Religious witnessing in an Indonesian setting
Unpublished Thesis (MTh)
Mang, Dal Khan
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This study relates to the need of the SDA Church for a distinctive doctrine of ordination. The purpose of the study is to discover the concept of ordination in the writings of Ellen G. White in order to aid the church in part in its search for an ordination free from unscriptural biases, yet relevant universally. White’s ordination models drive from the Bible as a means (1) to check wrong motives of service, (2) to authorize one to function in an appointed office, (3) to teach members to respect church authority, (4) to appoint representatives to continue Christ’s ministry, (5) to prevent ministers from prejudices, and (6) to highlight the role of the church. White emphasizes the need to critically examine candidates for ordination to the extent that the would-be workers are examined even before they are accepted into the ministry. She provides criteria and procedures by which the church may examine the candidates for ordination to control “widespread evil” in the church. The rite of ordination has no effect upon the attained qualities or character of the ordained. The purpose of the rite of ordination is to set apart qualified ministers to represent Christ’s ministry in word, in administering ordinances, in establishing churches and in organizing the church for effective service. This ordering of ministry includes organizing the churches to secure unity, screening false teachers, checking heresies, preventing prejudices, and subduing independent spirit. The findings of the study suggest two sets of conclusions regarding what ordination should and should not be. Ordination is not instituted (1) to build a religious hierarchy or sacerdotal chieftainship, (20 to exalt a person to a special privilege or right, (3) to reward faithful service, (4) to add the title or prestige to workers, (5) to honor workers by family or friends on their behalf, (6) to impart instant virtual grace on the ordained, or (7) to cherish independent activities and spirit. Essentially, ordination (1) is a divine rite, a divine idea, (2) is selective, (3) happens in and for the church, (4) is a seal of spiritual and professional commitment, (5) is the focus of church organization, (6) is granted to ministers who meet the required fitness qualification, and (7) invites members of the church to cooperate, support and respect God’s delegated authority through the church’s authorized ministers.
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