Ordination And The Local Church -- By: Anonymous
CenQ 3:1 (Spring 1960) p. 45
Ordination And The Local Church
In view of the fact that ordination into the Gospel ministry is a matter of far reaching importance and with the tendency today to misunderstand its purpose and, through following custom, to usurp the authority of the local church, a committee was called into being to study the whole matter of ordination procedure with regard -to the Scriptures and the emphasis upon the local church with its responsibilities.
This committee brought its findings to the annual meeting of the Minnesota Baptist Convention, presenting therein important observations and convictions to consider. Chairman of the committee was Rev. Loren Eastman; other committee members were Rev. Charles Curtis, Rev. Irving Larson, Rev. Harold Leppke, and Dr. O. A. Look.
The committee realized that it could not possibly legislate, but only bring a report and recommendations. They desired that their report be given careful and prayerful consideration and that what we as Baptists believe in theory might become our practice.
I. What Is Ordination?
Ordination is a public recognition by the local church of a God-given call to a specific “ministry. Acts 13:2: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” “All ecclesiastical authority resides in the local church. This is the only organic form of Christian life divinely appointed. Christ instituted no society but the Church, and to it He committed authority to administer His laws. This is the Baptist doctrine, held, taught and defended, always and everywhere. Councils and Presbyteries, as organized bodies, are of human, not of divine origin or authority, and cannot be essential to, much less supersede, the Church in the performance of any ecclesiastical functions” (Hiscox, page 365).
CenQ 3:1 (Spring 1960) p. 46
II. Why Ordination?
A. Although the Scriptures are silent concerning the type of service (if any) relative to ordination, yet Scriptural exhortations to ordain, set apart, or select are many in number (Mark 3:14; Luke 10:1; Acts 14:23; 13:2; Titus 1:5).
B. To insure a wider recognition of all churches.
C. To encourage a wider fellowship particularly with sister Baptist churches.
D. To establish a wider ministry for our pastors since many churches reserve the right of administering the ordinances of water baptism an...
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