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Whence comes "Ordained"?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nazaroo, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo New Member

    Oct 29, 2007
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    Dr. Walter posted:
    Now I have a few questions still, because although there does seem to be a trace or hint of church adminstration/organization here, there still doesn't seem to be enough to go on, to create a detailed tradition of "ordaining" out of.

    Here are a few questions that pop onto the grill:

    (1) Is "ordain" a Latin (i.e., Roman Catholic) word? It doesn't appear to have any Saxon root.

    When I look at the underlying Greek in Mark 3:14, I find 'εποιησε' there. But in Acts 14:23 we have a whole new word, 'χειροτονησαντες'. Paul in 1st Tim. 2:7 uses yet again a different phrase: 'εις ο ετεθην...'

    The Anglican translators of the KJV may have used "ordained" here, but were they just perpetuating a 'high-church' (Roman Catholic) view or dogma? Not all the obscurantism or layers of tradition were stripped out of the KJV, even though it is a far superior translation than the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims.

    Just what do Roman Catholics mean by 'ordained'?
    What do Anglicans mean by 'ordained'?
    What should other Protestants mean by 'ordained'?
    Or should we use a word like 'ordained' at all?

    It seems that at the very least the word 'ordained' carries with it a lot of Latin baggage with it, and seems to imply many questionable ideas, like "Apostolic Succession" (the power to pass authority on to others by laying on of hands etc.).

    I'd like 'ordination' explained. Are ALL Christians 'ordained'? After all, aren't ALL Christians priests? Are we ordained by baptism? Or is some special meaning being attached to the word, and also the passages being invoked here?

    For one thing, it seems in Acts that the Apostles let the people "ordain" seven men for food-services, by simple democratic acclamation. But that doesn't seem to be what Dr. Walter and others intend by "ordain".

    Can we get some clarity here?

  2. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter New Member

    Apr 28, 2010
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    First, let me be clear that I don't come to this issue with the baggage of Rome and the Reformation. My studies have been limited only to God's Word.

    Second, I readily acknowledge this is not an easy subject as I have spent years studying it and coming to a position.

    Third, I readily acknowledge that God calls and appoints His servants to the ministry (Jer. 1:5).

    However, the New Testament church, the local visible congregation and its appointed leadership is a mixture of something new in God's plan and yet something old.

    It's relationship to the Old Testment is in regard to "the house of God" (1 Tim. 3;15) with the "keys of the kingdom" (Mt. 18;15-18) that was taken from those who supervised the Old Testamet house of God (Mt. 21:24) and given to the New Testament congregation (Mt. 18:15-18) inclusive of the membership as well as the leadership.

    There is a distinction drawn and made between the common membership in the New Testament congregations and its leadership (Acts 20:17-31; Eph. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1; etc.) and yet all are equally priests before God in that they all have equal access to God in regard to their personal salvation.

    However, membership in the New Testament congregation goes beyond salvation to what must be defined as proper versus improper, or acceptable versus unacceptable service unto God within the congregations that relates to the proper and improper service found within the Old Testament house of God.

    It is in this realm of proper service there is a secondary application of the Preisthood and specific qualifications in the Old Testament house of God seen in the appointment of men to the leadership positions in New Testament congregations.

    For example there are specific personal, doctrinal, social, and family qualifications listed for those who "desire the office of Bishop" and "deacon" (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1).

    I would suggest that those qualifications are first summarized in the three basic qualifications in Acts 6:3 provided to the congregation in their pursuit of men to take positions of responsibility within the congregation at Jerusalem.

    I believe the primary issue is to determine who and how are such men recognized, approved and selected.

    In Acts 6 it was not the Apostles that recognized, approved or selected such men but they only (1) provided the guidelines for recognizing, approving and selection of those men (2) and laid their hands upon those recognized, approved and selected.

    In addition, I believe there is common sense involved in determining how such men are recognized, approved and selected. The common sense that has biblical precedent in the prinicples of "let all things be done decently and in order" without confusion.

    My position is that it is the congregation that is authorized by scriptures to recognize, approve and select those men who desire the position and profess to be called by God to that position and therefore the Spirit of God works through the assembly in recognizing, approving and selecting men to leadership positions in the assemblies.

    My interpretation of the Greek terms used in connection with this subject will be discussed later.
    #2 Dr. Walter, Sep 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2011
  3. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter New Member

    Apr 28, 2010
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    I see the appointment of these men to these positions of responsibility within the congregation as a process (recognition, approval, selection and laying on of hands) that is done decently and in order.

    First, take a look at Acts 6

    3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
    4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
    5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
    6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

    As pointed out earlier, the established leadership set forth the qualifications but it was the congregation that went through the process of choosing those men qualified to be set before the apostles for them to lay their hands upon.

    However, the congregation in Acts 6 was several thousand and "the whole multitude" was involved in this process (v. 5). Here is where the principle of "decency and in order" must have prevailed as utter confusion would have occurred any other way. There must have been some orderly process whereby such men were recognized, qualified and then selected from among the thousands - this is just common sense and in keeping with Biblical principles.

    Furthermore, there must have been some kind of visible mechanism such as "casting lots" or voting by stretching forth of their hands that made the approval of the "mutlitude" known in approving and selecting merely seven.

    In Acts 1 the final two in their early process of selection was decided by casting of lots. In Acts 14:1-3 it was through revelation to the leadershp of the church at Antioch that Saul and Barnabas were selected. In Acts 14:23 it was by "stretching forth of the hand" that the leadership was selected. My point is that some visible and orderly method was implemented to select those whom the apostles in Acts 6 laid their hands upon.

    In Acts 14:23 the Greek term χειροτονεω translated "ordained" in the common version means to "stretch forth" the hand. Some believe it refers to the method of selection by the churches under apostolic leadership. Others beleive it refers to the laying on of hands by Paul and Barnabas. I believe it refers to both and therefore was the perfect term to use.

    In 2 Cor. 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

    The term "chose of the churches infers some visible manifestation of approval and confirmation process by the churches that made this known to Paul. Here again is where the principle of "let all things be done decently and in order" must apply to make any sense of this.

    It is not wrong to assume that a "multitude" of people acted in a decent and orderly manner to recognize, approve and select leaders among them. Whether the final selection was done by "casting lots" or by "stretching forth" of hands or all in favor stand up and those oppose sit down - some kind of orderly process was necessary to bring a "multitude" to a consensus.

    I believe that ordaining (recognizing, approving, selecting) by the congregations was an orderly process that concluded in placing the selected individual before a presbytery for laying on of their hands.

    The apostolic laying on of hands actually imparted spiritual gifts to the person selected for ministry (1 Tim. 4:14).

    However, the laying on of hands by the presbytery of a congregation, involved several principles. It is essentially the public confirmation of the appointees by the leadership in behalf of the congregation which publicly and prayerfully separates them unto the task the church, the leadership and the appointee believes they have been called of God.

    Paul warns Timothy to lay his hands on no man suddenly which implies that the leadership must be personally convinced the appointee is qualified for that selection and thus the presbytery acts as a secondary approval and confirmation for those selected and approved by the congregation. Also, Paul gave a charge to young ministers under him (Timothy, Titus) and thus it is not unreasonable that in this final confirmation by the congregation through its appointed leadership that those entering into this field of endeavor are charged with the responsibility that this calling entails (2 Tim. 4:1-5).

    The laying on of hands shows a visible separation, so that this person has been recognized, approved and selected to this leadership position with the prayerful support of the whole congregation behind him. It is also a public recognition before God that the whole congregation believes this man has been called by God to this position.

    Finally, and most importantly, such a process helps recognize and weed out those who are not sound in the faith. Hence, the more elders involved in the process and the more scrutiny involved in the process the safer the outcome for the churches.
    #3 Dr. Walter, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2011
  4. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo New Member

    Oct 29, 2007
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    Thank you for your efforts here Walter.

    There is another passage also that uses "ordained".

    "they [the torah? the prophets?] were ordained by angels..."

    Galatians 3:19 ...διαταγεις δι' αγγελοι...

    We now have four different Greek words translated "ordained".

    It sure looks as though the Anglican translators of the A.V. really wanted to work in the word "ordained". But no English reader would know there are four different Greek expressions in these places.
    #4 Nazaroo, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2011
  5. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter New Member

    Apr 28, 2010
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    There is no doubt they overworked that one English Word:

    1. Mk 3;14 "ordained" = ποιεω - TO MAKE
    2. Jn. 15:16 "ordained" = τιθημι -TO PLACE
    3. Acts 1:22 "ordained" = γινομαι - TO BECOME
    4. Acts 10:43 "ordained" = οριζω - TO DETERMINE
    5. Acts 13:48 "ordained" = τασσω - TO APPOINT
    6. Acts 14:23 "ordained" = χειροτονεω - TO STRETCH FORTH THE HAND
    7. Acts 16:4 "ordained" = κρινω - TO JUDGE
    8. Rom. 15:1 "ordained" = προοριζω - TO APPOINT BEFORE HAND
    9. 1 Cor. 9:14 - "ordained" = διατασσω - TO COMMAND
    10. Eph. 2:10 - "ordained" = προετοιμαζω - TO PREDETERMINE
    11. Heb. 5:1 -"ordained" = καθιστημι - TO PLACE OVER
    12. Heb. 9:6 - "ordained" = κατασκευαζω - TO EQUIP
    13. Jude 4 - "ordained" = προγραφω - TO WRITE BEFORE

    There can be no doubt there was some heavy bias here to convey their idea of "ordain".