Sometimes people ask, "Who has the authority to ordain ministers?"
Technically speaking, only God can ordain ministers. It is He who calls, and it is His Spirit that appoints spiritual gifts to whom He wills. For this reason, we make no claim to ordain people, but rather in granting ordination we recognize the call to Christian service (ordination) that God has already placed on someone’s life.
“All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen” (Mat 28:18-20 MKJV).
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (Joh 15:16 MKJV)
It is God who calls and ordains people into ministry. The irony is that man still has to acknowledge this calling to make it “legal”. Therefore, from a legal standpoint, religious organizations can ordain; however, not all organizations are reputable. It is our goal to stand as a model of valid Christian leadership in a world who desperately needs the salvation of our Lord.
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What makes any ordination legal?
In the Bill of Rights for the United States of America we read the following:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In other words, the government does not have the authority to determine what constitutes an “ordained minister.” This power is left in the hands of religious organizations. Further, the government is not permitted to deem one religious organization more respectable than another.
The First Amendment (made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth) Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 67 S.Ct. 504. There was said:
Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force or influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion….Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.” Id., at pages 15, 16 of 330 U.S., at page 511 of 67 S.Ct. The majority in the Everson case, and the minority as shown by quotations from the dissenting views in our notes 6 and 7, agreed that the First Amendment’s language, properly interpreted, had erected a wall of separation between Church and State. They disagreed as to the facts shown by the record and as to the proper application of the First Amendment’s language to those facts.
(Quote from: http://www.altlaw.org/v1/cases/397379)
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