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Ordination…

Ordination.  I can’t say I think much of it.  I’m really not sure how biblical it is either.  I do however believe in the affirmation of a community in whatever role you’re in.  Of course, then we should be ordaining/commissioning our secretaries, engineers, and school teachers too, and not just church leaders.

Most would agree you’re not suppose to be acting any different after being ordained, like in baptism, it’s an extension of what you’re already doing.  But at least Baptism’s in the Scriptures.

I established for myself quite a while back that I couldn’t care less for the title.  And these days the idea of ordination further solidifies the divide between clergy and laity that I rail against.

But there is this tiny issue of working within the constructs of the culture we’re in and walking through life with people.  Being able to marry and bury people (I’m doing my first wedding in september).  Being able to affirm their citizenship and sign their passports.  Being able to get into restricted areas of hospitals to visit people.

So I got myself ordained online today just for kicks.  I doubt this is in anyway legitimate in Canada.  I believe laws are looser in the States.

Does anyone know of any quick and legal way of a seminary grad to get ordained in Canada?  Specifically in the province of Ontario?  The denominations I’m somewhat affiliated with will all take years.

Here’s my hokey ‘universal life church’ certificate’

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Parke June 12, 2008, 1:45 pm

    These days one of the biggest functions mine serves is to open doors to help people in need. Often ministries, government officials, jails and half-way houses will extend more grace and offer more help if they know I’m there to clearly help a person in need. Is it good or the best thing? I’m not sure. I was helping people before my ordination as well. But in our current US culture at least it’s a significant benefit when serving hurting people so I take advantage of it.

  • Jason Allen June 12, 2008, 4:25 pm

    How would you classify the setting people apart in the NT?

    Ordination isn’t used, clearly, but it seems just as clear that this was significant. And more significant than ordaining secretaries and the like. There seemed to be something significant to the setting apart of leaders in the NT, or would you disagree?

  • aaron June 13, 2008, 8:12 am

    nice certificate.
    I couldn’t agree more!

    No idea about Canada, i’m still trying to figure out the way of the southern states.

  • Lon June 13, 2008, 8:14 am

    I tend to lean with you on this Parke… seems we need to leverage the systems sometimes, and I don’t ever assume it’s all going to as clean and ideal as I’d like it all.

    Jason – You’ve got a point – I see the overarching thrust of the NT as a breakaway from religious systems and as a communal connection to the living God … ie priesthood of all believers, fellow saints, etc. And being ‘set apart’ as God’s people far outweighs the technicalities in church procedures and ceremonies…

    biblically people are set apart for different things, often according to their gifting, ie. musicians and crafts, and yes, in the NT it seems limited to what we see as typical ‘ministry’ roles – but even with with that the NT is diverse, depending on how you slice things with apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, missionaries, servants, etc.

    all this to say that I don’t think their is one holy tier of the ordained, or the set apart – there are many roles – and with modern ordination it seems to be lumped into one giant category that can be unfair to the ‘minister’ as it may place expectations outside of their unique gifting, and at times it’s not fair to the people they lead either.

    and of course, it’s different from a secretary, the NT is concerned with the work of the gospel and it’s impact leading into eternity… and I am all for community affirmation, safeguards, life milestone markers, and such – but I still question if our current ordination process, and the current perceptions of the ordained in our own communities is what God intended.

    I’ve laid hands upon friends, prayed and affirmed Gods work and calling in their lives… does this mean they’re ordained? or set apart? or do they need a denomination or a government policy to do so? or here’s a question that just came to mind, when did the apostle Paul become ordained or set apart?

    wow, you got me thinking and going Jason… i’m sure i’m just scratching the surface… so significant, yes, but our contemporary mode of it all, i’m really iffy…

  • lon vining July 30, 2008, 3:27 am

    Lon, I came to your site because I saw my website linked to yours. Would love to meet you sometime. On the ordination thing, you guys better dig a bit deeper into scripture. I agree with the spirit of what you guys are saying about ordination as it is done by many denominations, i.e., it goes way beyond scripture’s intent. However, per the scripture, it is clearly a practice that was described and proscribed in the NT. (and yes, it does open those necessary doors, too). It mentions this per Paul and Barnabus being “set apart” and hands laid on them to be sent out as missionaries in Acts, and then Paul later talks of the practice, in an official way, in his letter to Timothy. Much like the blessings recorded in the O.T., the laying on of hands symbolizes the transference of blessing from an individual or group of people onto an individual (in the case of the scape goat, it was the transference of a curse in the form of the guilt of the people). Anyhow, I would define ordination as the act of the local church in which they simply affirm God’s call in someone’s life, and give their official consent and blessing for that person to be sent out on their behalf as a minister of the Gospel. But, as you have said, the NT does not give any qualifications of seminary, age, etc. except to say, “do not hastily lay on hands.” So, what denomination are you affiliated with that would take so long to be ordained?

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