Monday, June 23, 2014
Call to Service
1Tim. 5:22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.
There are different opinions regarding this verse. Some believe that it is referring to the laying on of hands for healing, while the majority believe that it refers to the practice of ordination. There are some who are called out by God to specific service as leaders. Those who are called out for this responsibility of leadership or service as an overseer are ordained into this ministry. The elders present lay their hands on this individual as a part of the ordination process.
Here we are warned not to lay hands on anyone too hastily. The responsibility as a minister or leader is not one to be taken lightly. Instead, this is a very serious and sacred responsibility and therefore one who senses this call must go through a period of preparation before they are ordained. The caution here seems to be stated toward the individual who would do the ordaining. They are not to participate in the sin of someone that they may ordain without providing for a way in which the character and doctrinal teaching of the individual can be ascertained. If this is not done and someone is placed into a position of leadership who is not of the character required by God, then the one doing the ordaining participates in the sin of the one being too hastily ordained.
A leader is to keep themselves pure, even by the ordination of those called to ministry. There is a call to service and it is a serious call!
Sadly, almost anyone can become ordained these days. Internet ordination is available in an instant if you simply send in your money and the sacredness of the calling seems to be falling by the wayside. This is not God’s intent for a call to service is a serious call. It a call to service, but it is also a call to leadership. As a call to leadership it requires individuals to take the time to study and to know the doctrine of which they will be stewards. Nothing should be done hastily!
In the early days of Christianity there were many wanting to join this new religion but not because they had experienced Christ, but because it may have seemed exciting. We also know that there were those who were charismatic leaders who enjoyed the role of leadership but did not want to take the time to seriously study and know the word. These teachers were leading people astray and it was creating divisions and problems among the new believers. Sadly, the same is true today when there are those who enjoy being a part of the church simply for what they can get out of it. There are too many religious leaders who are failing these days because their own faith is shallow.
The church must take her role seriously when it comes to laying on of hands for ordination. This is a serious call. This is a call to service and teaching and much is required of those whom God calls.
Lord, please help the church to be discerning in the nurturing of the call. Amen.