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How can it be so easy to become ordained? Don't I need to attend seminary first?
Posted by Brother Kevin, Last modified by on 17 May 2006 01:30 AM
The Universal Life Church is about religious freedom. Each person has the right and responsibility to determine what is right. Our only doctrine is "Do only that which is right."|
We also believe that you are already ordained, from the beginning, and that the church merely documents this ordination so that it is acceptable to the government. (John 15:16). In truth, the government has no authority to question your peaceful spiritual practices anyway, and you do not require the ordination of the Universal Life Church to be a minister.
Just because someone is a minister does not mean you can trust them, regardless of what church ordains them. Ministers and priests of all faiths are regularly convicted of serious crimes. Moreover, different churches believe different things, so these ministers are telling people different things, which are in conflict with one another. If you believe someone because they are a minister, how would you reconcile the conflicting things you are told by different ministers?
No regulatory power, whether created by a government or a church, will ever have any legitimate authority over those it purports to serve, other than that which comes from the individuals. As an adult individual, you are responsible for governing yourself, and as long as you do not infringe on the rights of others.
If you ask to be ordained as a minister, no church should refuse you ordination. How can they? What authority do they have to deny you ordination that has already been given? You are responsible for your actions as a minister, not the church. If you make a mockery of religion, then that is your religion.
I do not have to be a cheerleader for your religion. There are many people I wish would not express themselves. But I am grateful to God that they are free to make their own choices, foolish and idolatrous as they may be.
Since everyone is already ordained, we are equal in matters of religion. If someone is called to serve their community as a minister, that is great, and their ministry can be evaluated by the good that they do. But regardless of how good they are as humans, they are not superior to you before God and should not be followed. They can preach, and you can listen, but evaluate what they say and reject that which does not resonate with what you know to be true in your heart.
Some people who become ministers do so as a joke, or to prove a point. Interestingly enough, many of these same people find that the experience changes them and they go on to have sincere and meaningful ministries.
The Universal Life Church will ordain all who ask, without cost, for life, and without question of faith. It is not the ordination, or the piece of paper, which makes someone a minister. It is their activity as a minister. How they act, what they do. It is not for we humans to judge their hearts, or the sincerity of their calling, or their ability to be effective as ministers. Many churches do this, and end up prohibiting many good and decent people from following the calling of their hearts. Some churches will not permit women to be ordained.
Others require advanced "training", which can unduly effect their thinking. Most churches require ministers to adhere to the church doctrines, even when they have been convicted that the doctrine is in error. Our doctrine is not in conflict with any peaceful belief system, so it is not a problem. People can (and do) belong to our church as well as others, and many of our ministers are also ministers of other, more traditional churches.
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