Posted by: baptistthinker | December 5, 2010

Ordination Mills: Buying With Silver The Office of Elder

Ordination mills are something I have known about for some time now. I discovered them some years ago, and was somewhat amused that such a thing existed. One can become ordained for free via an ordination mill, or one can pay anywhere from $20 to $200 to purchase an ordination package. At the lower end of a the spectrum, you get a laminated ordination card with your name printed neatly and a paper to hang from your wall, and at the higher end of the spectrum you get your ordination papers, a license to start a church, a license to ordain other ministers through the ministry you were ordained buy, a bachelor’s, master’s, and Th.D. And *poof*, you’re a real minister*(by “real minister”, I mean a poser).

The reason I’m blogging about this now, is because I was some time ago, googling “Reformed Churches” in my area. A new one popped up that I hadn’t seen when I first moved into this area, so I started looking. I had almost made up my mind to check it out, when I noticed something in the “About Our Pastor” section that raised some red flags very quickly. Upon doing research, I discovered that he had been ordained by an ordination mill. I then discovered that he had received his “Bachelor of Divinity” from a diploma mill.

Really, I must ask those who seek their ordination through such ministries, “What are you thinking?!” How can you possibly claim legitimacy for your ministry, when you are buying with “filthy lucre” an eldership? I sent a letter to the ‘pastor’ of this church, asking him questions about how he could claim legitimacy for his ministry, and how he thinks it is possible to purchase an his credentials and have legitimacy with those who are outside the church and those within the church who do their research. It is extremely sad, that a brother in Christ would be so impatient and so desirous for such a platform, that he would purchase his pastorate. Even if one is in a remote area of the United States, he could certainly find pastors willing to meet him somewhere perhaps, where they examine his doctrine and life, and ordain him.

Through Church History, this has been known as “Simony“, the practice of purchasing ecclesiastical office. In the book of Acts, we read the story of Simon the Magus, who attempted to purchase the miracles of the Holy Spirit. This has been extended to those who attempt to purchase ordinances of the church, or ecclesiastical offices. I really do not see the practicality of such “ordinations”, nor how they can be determined legitimate. Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think the practice of purchasing ordinations can be defended from Scripture.

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