Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they continue their new series on the Church. This is a topic hotly debated today. What really does it take to be a church? Can three people meet at a coffee shop and call themselves a church? Do churches need to have elders? What about an online church?

There are so many questions being asked today about the Church in the 21st century. This series seeks to dive into the prominent issues of Ecclesiology (the study of the Church).


    4 replies to "Theology Unplugged: Church (Part 5) – Ordination"

    • Steve Martin

      I’m thankful that they ordain full blown sinners, albeit repentant ones, in our church.

    • Irene

      One big difference between evangelical pastors and priests that wasn’t mentioned: Priesthood is permanent. It is a mark on the soul (not the correct theological term, I’m sure) that cannot be undone. Even if a priest becomes unfit for his position, he may be “defrocked” (taken out of commission), but he remains a priest. A priest is a priest forever. This is in contrast to an evangelical pastor….the example was even given of a pastor passing ordination requirements once then having to be retested and reaffirmed by a different local body (implying the possibility of not being affirmed).

      So Tim, if I understood you right, and I don’t want to misunderstand, the biblical requirements as in Titus and 1 Timothy are the essential requirements for ordination. What is the difference then, between 1) an upright man who meets these moral requirements and is skilled at teaching and administration, such as a good Christian businessman or scholar, but is NOT ordained, and 2) a man who meets these requirements and IS ordained. Whatever that difference is MUST be a qualification of ordination. Or else every good and competent man would be a pastor.

      A hypothetical question: if the true successors of the apostles are not men who have been ordained by men who have been ordained, etc, but rather are men who teach the true Gospel….
      I am a layman at Elm St Christian Church. I see that my pastor has strayed from true doctrine. May I not stand up, preach correct doctrine, and name myself new pastor at Elm St Christian?
      Or, even if my pastor is not off track, may I adopt all the truths that Elm St Christian holds and, on my own, start a branch (ha) across town, maybe “Elm St Christian on Ash St”?
      These are the types of questions that need consistent answers for nonChristians to take ordination seriously.

    • Aaron M. Renn

      Thanks for this one. I enjoyed it.

    • N. Davis

      This episode exposed my very limited understanding of ordination and got me thinking about it in much broader terms. By the end though I can’t help but see ordination as a vehicle for legitimizing a persons ministry as having been handed down from the Apostles but am left to wonder if it is meant to put that person in a place of authority or to put them under a more formal authority.

      If any pastor can ordain anyone as a pastor (following all the right criteria to be sure) it seems to me that ordination becomes something of less value than of more value and as such leads me to view ordination as something less than I previously thought it to be. But again, I admit that this episode showed my limited understanding of this issue and so perhaps I was placing too high a value on it to begin with.

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