SO MUCH FOR CRITICAL RACE THEORY

Ty Smith, a parent who hosts a weekend radio show in central Illinois, blasted Critical Race Theory (CRT) in a blistering short speech before a crowded district school board meeting, the latest in a growing chorus of frustrated parents who view CRT as an ideology that flies directly in the face of the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King

Credit: screenshot/Cities929.com

Smith disputed some of the central tenants of CRT. “You’re going to deliberately teach kids, ‘this white kid right here got it better than you because he’s white’? You’re going to purposely tell a white kid that black people are all down and oppressed? How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed?” he said to loud cheers from the crowded meeting.

“No mom, no dad in the house. Worked my way through college, sat there and hustled my butt off to get through college. You gonna tell me somebody that looked like y’all white folks kept me from doing that? Are you serious? Not one white person ever came to me and said ‘well, son, you know you’ll never be able to get anywhere because the black people’”, an incredulous Smith argued.

He went on to explain that currently, black Americans are being told they won’t be able to make it because ‘the white man is going to keep you down’ but his own story proves that narrative is false. “Well how did I get where I am right now if some white man kept me down? How am I now directing over folks that look just like you guys in this room right now. How? What kept me down? What oppressed me? I worked myself off the streets to where I am right now and you’re going to sit here and tell me this lie of Critical Race Theory? That this is the reason black folks can’t get ahead, because of white folks? Are you kidding me? I can’t believe we’re even talking about this.”

Smith closed out his impassioned comments with remarks about Dr. Martin Luther King, saying it’s the “complete reverse” of MLK’s message of judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

“When February comes around, don’t talk about Martin Luther King. Don’t talk about Black History Month if you’re pretty much going to pee on his grave with this nonsense.”

REAL SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR ABORTION POSITION

This is an important video to truly understand spiritual warfare and how demons work and how their efforts can be effectively thwarted. Randy has been at the frontline of spiritual warfare in his efforts to support Pro-life outside of Abortion Clinics. Some of the stories including a courtroom drama clearly demonstrate that these people including a judge are Satanically inspired.

Randy has been faithful in defending unborn children for many years and it is obvious that God has been equally faithful in supporting Randy and his family.

Take the time to watch this video to the end as there as some great family stories at the end. You will be blessed if you do.

HOPE FOR ATHEISTS

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Seth Mahiga
attends a service at Life Church International in Nairobi, Kenya, after resigning from his post as secretary of the group Atheists in. | Screenshot: YouTube/Elevate TV

Of course, in addition to Seth Mahiga, many other atheists have come forward to share their conversion stories. During an appearance on a podcast earlier this year, Chet Hanks, son of actor Tom Hanks, detailed how an encounter with God during a day hike in Utah when he was 17 led to his conversion from atheism.

Another former atheist, Lee Strobel, wrote an entire book detailing his conversion to Christianity called The Case for Christ. Strobel, a former Chicago Tribune reporter, had initially sought to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ but ultimately failed to do so and ended up becoming a Christian. In 2017, a film adaptation of his popular book was released.

Like Lee Strobel many former atheists go on to serve Jesus mightily. They know the difference; from a life of hopelessness, no purpose or meaning to life, to knowing God loves them and a vibrant relationship with Him.

Prayer is the language of a love relationship with your Heavenly Father. Prayer is exciting, intimate and joyful. When you discover God answers heartfelt prayers, your life will change forever.

This book changed my life. Love to Pray is all about loving the one to whom you pray and learning to express that love in a continuing dialogue with God. This book will help you discover how to become devoted to prayer as a way of life rather than a duty.

Be blessed on your journey with God.

ISRAEL HAS A FINAL TIME OF SUFFERING AND EXILE BEFORE HER MESSIAH RETURNS

All of the O.T prophets were given a picture of the final restoration of Israel with their Messiah ruling all the nations. The Millennial reign of Jesus is all about fulfilling the unconditional covenant God made with Abraham.

Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. and He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11–12)

Isaiah’s prophecy is speaking of a final regathering that is patterned after the original Exodus from Egypt. The first was out of Egypt, the second is from all over the world, at the end of the great tribulation. It cannot be the 1948 regathering as Jesus is not ruling Israel and the nations.

In that day the LORD will start His threshing (His separation of the righteous from the wicked) from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” Isaiah 27:12-13 2

In the regions situated between the Euphrates River, which would include parts of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, and the “brook of Egypt,” which was most likely located in what is now the central Sinai Peninsula.

Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them,’ for I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.” (Jeremiah 16:14–15)

In Jeremiah’s mind, the final restoration to the land is an ultimate Exodus, far superior to the historical Exodus.

As I live, declares the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:33-38

For Ezekiel, the coming redemption, the ‘Second  Exodus’, overshadows its ancient prototype as the ultimate manifestation of Yahweh’s might.

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land… Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:24-28

Ezekiel connects the great end time outpouring of the Holy Spirit to Israel’s regathering to their land

And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you and  return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,” Deuteronomy 30:2

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6

Moses gives this amazing prophecy to the nation before they enter the Promised Land. Note at this time of regathering they experience an inner circumcision of their hearts resulting in total obedience.

Micah envisions the final restoration of Israel through the lens of a second Exodus.

In that day they will come to you, from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain… As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them marvelous things. The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;” Micah 7:12, 15

In chapter 7, the prophet speaks of Israel’s eschatological restoration and the expansion of her national borders: “On that day will your boundary be extended” (v. 11).

 

CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

The effects of the pandemic, the growing cultural disdain for “organized religion,” and the socio-politico turn to secularism have reduced church rolls. A Gallup report going all the way back to 1937 shows formal church membership has dropped from a high of 70% to 39% in 2020.

“Continued decline in future decades seems inevitable,” predicted Gallup Senior Editor Jeffrey M. Jones.

Is it over for American churches? Are we living in the era of end-times apostasy signaling an inevitable, irreversible slow fade of church life as we know it?

Movements come and go, say some historical observers, and it just may be that the church’s journey in finite time from the launch at Pentecost has sputtered out. Institutional atrophy seems inevitable.

Sadly, the institutional quest causes a church to become introverted, focusing more on its institutional survival than on incarnational mission. The focus on survival and reconstruction on the ruins of a collapsed institution means a church’s own survival becomes more important than the Lord who created it, the truth He gave it, the call to which He summoned it, and the people to whom He sent it.

The biblical view is the kairological outlook: God so often uses catastrophes for His purposes and no doubt this will be a new day for the Church of Jesus Christ. The church Jesus intended as described in the Book of Acts.

The focus must not be on trying to breathe life into dying institutions. In the biblical scheme, death leads to resurrection. Rather than seeing this period with the desperation of hopeless people watching the creep of finite time bringing death to antiquated hulks, the better focus should be that of the infusion of new life. Rather than pre-occupation with sustaining structure, the energy should be spent on building ministry, making disciples of Jesus. Instead of mourning the death that is inevitable in chronos-time, it is better to rejoice at the new kairological day that is rising before us.

adapted from an article in Christian Post: A New Day for the Church Part 1 by Wallace B Henley

NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH

How do you feel when you contemplate the new world to come? Read about the New Heaven and the New Earth in Revelation 21. I can’t wait, but then again, I am 85 this year. Sadly, I find most people are not even aware of the Scriptures describing it.

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21:3-4

Imagine spending time with Jesus, your loved ones, the heroes of God, with angels and other creatures we have read about in Scripture. Also, I believe animals will be there just as they were part of the original perfect creation. Imagine how vast and beautiful the new universe and heavens will be. Notice there will still be nations and kings on the new earth. John gets to see the new Jerusalem in all of its glory, its size 2,200Km (1,400 miles) cubed is enormous:

the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia (2,200 Km). Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.Revelation 21:10-27

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.Revelation 22:1-5

REALITY OF ANGELS AND DEMONS

Angels are part of cosmic reality. They are spiritual beings but also have the ability to take on physical bodies that appear and function as human bodies. God has given them free will just as he has given us free will. We know this because there are evil angels (demons) and there is a hierarchy of angels, good and evil.

An evil archangel, Lucifer (Satan, Devil) was instrumental in bringing sin into this world by deceiving Adam and Eve. We also know that before the creation of the Cosmos, Lucifer led a rebellion of one third of all angels against those angels loyal to God. The rebellious angels were of course defeated and are now called demons but God has allowed the warfare to continue on earth. Under Lucifer’s control, demons are enemies of God intent on deceiving and destroying mankind. The following scripture reveals that archangel Michael understood God had given Satan authority (within God’s boundaries – Job) to stage warfare on earth.

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the Devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.Jude 1:9

The reason is given for Lucifer’s rebellion; he wanted to be God. Is this not mankind’s major problem, we want to be God, at least of our own lives.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God: I will set my throne on high: I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the far reaches of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14

Sadly, most of mankind is oblivious to the existence of angels and demons and therefore of the spiritual warfare taking place and yet God’s Word makes it crystal clear that without the whole armour of God we are unable to stand against the schemes of the Devil.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11-12

Most of mankind is following the Prince of this World (Satan) dead in their trespasses and sins.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the Prince of the Power of the Air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.Ephesians 2:1-3

How foolish it is that most people are unwilling to repent and accept their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17

“Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

Why has God allowed Satan and his demons to exist and wage warfare against us, His creatures, made in His image?

God has revealed in many Scriptures that He knew the outcome of all that would happen in His world before He even created it. The following Scriptures make this point clear.

He (Jesus) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.1 Peter 1:20-21

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.John 17:24

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:3-4

Also it (the Antichrist in the last days before Jesus returns) was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it (Antichrist) over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it (Antichrist)), everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Revelation 13:7-8

Think on it; God planned for Jesus to come to earth at the appointed time to pay the price for the sins of mankind for all who repent and acknowledge Him as their Saviour and Lord. Surely this demonstrates the extent of God’s love for His creation as well as His grace and His mercy. Perhaps in no other way could God reveal to us His full character but in the history that has and is still playing out in His world. Through the stories of the Bible we get to know God, what He did and what is important to Him. We get to know; He is trustworthy, He is holy, righteousness, He disciplines individuals and nations, His judgement (Noah’s Flood), His mercy, grace and love (Jesus). God’s Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and His Holy Spirit makes it possible for all believers to live the Christian life. All has been revealed to us. God wants a people who will see His character and choose Him above all else regardless of the cost. Will you be one of His children that will live eternally on the new earth and heaven? The choice is yours.

MILLENNIAL KINGDOM THEN A NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH

What do you feel when you contemplate living in a new body in the world to come? I am of course assuming I am corresponding with Christians who will be resurrected or raptured to heaven. Have you even given it a thought? Prior to my conversion at 47, I had not given it a thought and to be honest gave it little thought in my early Christian years. When you get to my age, 85 this year, I think about it a lot more than I did previously. As well, my new calling of alerting the church to the escalating persecution that is before us, prior to Jesus second coming, has put my focus on Biblical end times prophecy and the ultimate fate of this world. Quickly, I came to the realisation that most of end times prophecy is all about Jesus returning to rescue His nation Israel from annihilation and to finally fulfill all the O.T. prophecies that Israel’s Messiah will rule the nations. Also, Scripture shows Jesus returning to earth to do battle at Armageddon with the saints. The saints are resurrected and raptured before the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world with the trumpet and bowl judgements of Revelation 8.

Have you ever contemplated what it will be like to do battle with the Lord at the battle of Armageddon?

Did you know that before the White Throne judgement and a new heaven and new earth this Cosmos still has another 1000 years before it is eventually destroyed by fire?

In the not too distant future, Israel will finally realize her destiny as the head of the nations,

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28

Jesus Millennial Kingdom is a necessary transition to the new heaven and the new earth. The saved and the unsaved alike will behold the Messiah’s rightful place as the divine sovereign of this universe. Resurrected saints, will hold high offices with responsibilities to match as they reign under King Jesus.

Hence, when I now contemplate living eternally in a wonderful new body I consider possible roles to which Jesus might assign me in His Millennial Kingdom. I also can’t help remembering that Jesus said, He and us will be ruling the nations with a rod of iron.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

The offices of judge and counsellor will be reinstituted.

I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 1:26

I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness. Isaiah 60:17

“For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against other nation,” Isaiah 2:3-4

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” Isaiah 60:12

Jerusalem will be the capital of the world on the highest summit.

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2 & Micah 4:1

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JERUSALEM – A NEW CITY, A NEW NAME AND A NEW TEMPLE

The city will be surrounded by open country and for the housing of all the tribes of Israel… and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Ezekiel 48:15–19,35

She is to have twelve gates, three on each side, each named after a tribe of Israel.” (Ezekiel 48:30–34). your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession.” Isaiah 60:11

The kings and peoples of all the nations will bring gifts, including gold and frankincense, to set before King JesusIsaiah 60:6

The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.Zechariah 8:21-22

There will be those eager to obey and worship the Lord Jesus, while others will be forced to obey. For me it is difficult to understand that despite Jesus and the saints ruling and reigning on this earth for 1000 years that when Satan is released from his chains in the Abyss he is still able to raise an enormous army to come against Jesus and the Saints.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

Will you now think more about the world to come? Will you think differently about your role in ruling and reigning with Jesus in the Millennium?

Next post I will contemplate living on the new earth with Jesus and our Heavenly Father after the White Throne Judgement.

KENYA HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT

Pastor Charles has just returned from a successful Mission Trip to Tanzania to learn that the young son of the leader of a recently established Home Church in Nyarombo Kenya had died.

The following request from Charles is self explanatory if you would like to help raise the requested small sum of $200 to help then do so at the Donations icon on my Home Page (far right). It would be good to exceed the amount requested.

To all KHC leaders: You are now aware that we have lost the beloved young son of our new KHC leader in Nyarombo.

The burial is set to take place this week, on Friday 11th, 2021.

You will remember that Nyarombo house church was recently founded by the grace of God. The power of the Holy spirit made it possible to open the understanding of our brother and his family to hear the Gospel message., The Nyarombo church group was birthed as a result of his conversion.

In a case like this one, you all know how the KHC movement normally conduct ourselves. Therefore, I urge the leaders of KHC house churches to do all that is necessary to ensure the outcome is positive since this is to be the first burial we are going to conduct in this new territory in the midst of our religious opponents. All KHC leaders and members will start  meeting there on Thursday morning, in preparation for the burial on Friday. Please remember all the Covid19 protocols must be observed.

To Ron Edwards & LEN team:  It is just one day ago, four KHC leaders came back home from the mission trip to the republic of Tanzania. Now this has happened to our new brother in Nyarombo house church group and we know he does not have sufficient funds to settle a hospital bill let alone funeral costs

On behalf of KHC movement, I kindly request you to help us assist him with Au$ 200. The remaining needed expenses like coffin and transportation cost, KHC leaders have agreed to help support him.

You will remember that this is a newly founded house church group ,and all  eyes are focused on us, wanting to see how KHC movement will stand in support of this brother.

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CHURCH LEADERSHIP

Even as far back as the 1970s many church goers began to be suspicious of ordination and all that went with it. The spectacle of some leaders being given special status among the people of God seemed contrary to the essential equality of all people in creation, fall and redemption. When accompanied by the wearing of special clergy robes and designation as “Rev” and then the clambering for such giddy titles as “Right Rev.” and “Very Rev.”, the whole ordination thing seemed reminiscent of Matt 23:1-12 (Scribes and Pharisees). Women clamoured after these top jobs.

The liturgical construct separated ordained clergy from the people of God and from the eldership. Clergy were placed on a pedestal (with all its perils), the eldership was diminished (with all its perils) and the people of God were left behind in this hierarchical understanding of church (a tragedy).

The present rising pattern of non-ordained persons being entrusted with significant pastoral ministries in our churches may be a reaction against the abuse of ordination as noted above. Which makes it time to look at what God’s Word says about the appointment of pastors and leaders.

1 Timothy bear witness to an orderly process:

  • 1 Tim 2:7 on Paul’s appointment as a preacher, apostle and teacher;
  • 1 Tim 3:1-13 on the criteria of character and gifting applicable to church leaders;
  • 1 Tim 4:6 on the value of training in the ‘words of the faith’ and ‘doctrine’;
  • 1 Tim 4:13 on the key word ministries to be undertaken by leaders;
  • 1 Tim 4:14 on the recognition of the role of the ‘council of elders’ (πρεσβυτέριον) in recognising gifts of ministry (see also 2 Tim 1:6b);
  • 1 Tim 6:2 on expected standards for the content of teaching by church leaders.

The context of 1 Timothy is relevant to this discourse. Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus to continue his own ministry elsewhere (1 Tim 1:3). This was an apostolic delegation which many see as part of the transition from the extraordinary and time-bound office of apostle to the more enduring office of pastor or shepherd. We do know that Timothy had been well-reared in the faith by his maternal ancestors (2 Tim 1:5; 3:14). However, he was also young, subject to youthful passions (2 Tim 2:22), possibly subject to self-doubt (2 Tim 1:7) and open to dismissive treatment because of his youth (2 Tim 4:12). The recognition and affirmation of Timothy by Paul and the council of elders was important as testimony both to him and to the church as to his suitability for ministry.

Therefore, by all means let’s scrap the titles, robes and assumed status that can be implied by the traditional construct of ordination. Equally, let’s locate the work of pastor within the eldership rather than as a separate order and let’s recognise the gifting and service of the whole people of God. However, let’s not lightly dismiss the value of orderly processes to test and affirm those called to pastoral ministry.

Of course, the same applies to all roles in church service. The youth leader, small group leader or teacher of children all need processes of testing, training and affirmation before being appointed to their roles. However, the high potential of pastoral leaders to do good or harm demands that they receive particular scrutiny before their ministry is recognised.

This article is adapted from an article by David Burke “Rethinking Ordination” David was a lecturer at Christ College. He was almost refused ordination in 1979 for his views on clergy titles and robes.