#379 – OrdainThyself

A little while back my friend, Kevin, told me about an app that allows you to ordain yourself. In the app, which is named OrdainThyself, you take a picture of yourself and apply different ordinations to that picture. Below is what I would look like as an Orthodox Christian Priest.

I’ve always appreciated Orthodoxy and its connection to the apostles. I also love Orthodoxy’s icons but, based upon that picture, I don’t think I’ve got the beard to cut it.

I checked out the app’s website and this is what they had to say about themselves:

OrdainThyself started with a theologian and a dream. The Reverend Doctor Tony Jones (A.B., M.Div., Ph.D.) has developed a growing suspicion that religious people take themselves too seriously. And he’s come to this conclusion as a religious person himself.

Further, as an ordained minister, he thinks that ordination isn’t that important, or that serious. Maybe it was in the past, but it isn’t any longer. In this age of openness and crowdsourcing, he was looking for a way to make ordination available to ALL! (Or, at least to everyone who has an iPhone.)

I’m actually in the process of getting ordained in our denomination. I’ve had to go through a lot more than just taking a picture of myself and applying a skin to it. I don’t think I take myself too seriously but I do take my ordination seriously.

For me ordination still has value. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be jumping through numerous hoops, submitting myself to psychological evaluations and studying for a biblical knowledge test. I believe God can work through anyone and probably does more through people who aren’t ordained than who are. Even with that belief, though, it’s still important to me to get ordained.

In my mind ordination shows that other men and women think I am equipped and called to ministry. God equipped and called me to ministry long before I began the ordination process. Ordination, though, confirms that calling by more than just the feeling in my heart.

I’m also really looking forward to the apostolic tradition of other ordained leaders laying their hands on me. My grandpa is one of the most influential people in my life. He is an ordained minister and I hope that he will be there to lay hands on me when I am ordained.

I don’t think ordination is a prerequisite to God’s equipping and calling. I do, however, think it can be a confirmation of God’s equipping and calling. It may not be the most important thing in Christianity but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without value.

And, even if I can’t get ordained, I can always be a Klingon cleric.

What value do you think ordination has in the church today?

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2 Responses to “#379 – OrdainThyself”

  1. “I don’t think ordination is a prerequisite to God’s equipping and calling. I do, however, think it can be a confirmation of God’s equipping and calling. It may not be the most important thing in Christianity but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without value.”

    Well said, Scott. I agree. This is very much my own tradition’s understanding, too (Presbyterian). Bless you in your journey toward ordination! (Or should I say, “Qap’la!”?)

  2. This is a good post. And, since you asked, I agree with you that ordination is not a prerequisite to God’s equipping and calling. There are various callings that God places on people’s lives, and the vast majority do not require ordination.

    That being said, there are some ministries of the Church that I believe should be reserved for ordained ministers. From the very beginning of the Church, there were apostles, and after them bishops who had received the authority of the apostles through laying on of hands. In addition there were elders and deacons. These people had hands laid on them to set them apart for the specific ministry God called them to.

    All of God’s people are called to ministry. However, some are specifically called to equipping ministry. These people are the ones God has uniquely set aside and given special gifts for the equipping of the saints for the ministry (Eph 4).

    All of God’s people are called to ministry. Most, however, are not called to be leaders in the church (James 3:1). When you are ordained (and I will be ordained as a Presbyter shortly), you will make promises to present the people in your care as an offering to the Lord. That is truly a special calling, and it isn’t for everyone. God bless you, Scott, and the special ministry you were called to.

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