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Ordination – Historically

In this, I set out Biblical and Historical definitions of “ordination”.

***I thought I would have fun, and reply to Cory Heidelberger’s article (scroll to the end)

Christ’s choosing and ordaining of all believers:

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed [ordained] you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

– John 15:16, NKJV

Direction from God; Paul as an example, Galatians (NKJV):

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see [c]Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)

21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.

Christ’s Commission to the Disciples, Matthew 28 (NKJV)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen.

Charles Spurgeon, “the Prince of Preachers”, Baptist Minister

Letter from Spurgeon:

“BOROUGH, May 2, 1854.


I sit down to communicate to you my thoughts and feelings with regard to

a public recognition. I am sure I need not request your notice of my

sentiments, for your usual good judgment is to me a rock of reliance. I can

trust any matter with you, knowing that your kindness and wisdom will

decide rightly.

I have a decided objection to any public ordination or recognition. I have,

scores of times, most warmly expressed from the pulpit my abhorrence of

such things, and have been not a little notorious as the opponent of a

custom which has become a kind of iron law in the country. I am willing to

retrace my steps if in error; but if I have been right, it will be no very

honorable thing to belie my former loud outcries by submitting to it myself.

I object to ordinations and recognitions, as such Because I am a minister,

and will never receive authority and commission from man; nor do I like

that which has the shadow of such a thing about it. I detest the dogmas of

apostolic succession, and dislike the revival of the doctrine by delegating

power from minister to minister.

(2) I believe in the glorious principle of Independency. Every church has a

right to choose its own minister; and if so, certainly it needs no assistance

from others in appointing him to the office. You, yourselves, have chosen

me; and what matters it if the whole world dislikes the choice? They cannot

invalidate it; nor can they give it more force. It seems to me that other

ministers have no more to do with me, as your minister, than the crown of

France has with the crown of Britain. We axe allies, but we have no

authority in each other’s territories. They axe my superiors in piety, and

other personal matters; but, ex officio, no man is my superior.


We have no apostles to send Titus to ordain. Prelatic power is gone. All

we are brethren.

(3) If there be no authority inferred, what is the meaning of the ceremony?

“It is customary.” Granted; rebut we are not all Ecclesiastical

Conservatives; and, moreover, I know several instances where there has

been none. Rev. W. Robinson, of Cambridge, agrees with me, I believe;

and has not endured it himself. Rev. J. Smith had nothing of it, nor had

Rev. Burton, of Cambridge, nor Rev. Wooster, of Landbeach, etc., etc.

Furthermore, I have seldom heard of an ordination service in which there

was not something objectionable. There are dinners, and toasts, and things

in that line. There is foolish and needless advice, or, if wise advice, unfit for

public mention. I am ready to be advised by anyone, on any subject, in

private; but I do not know how I could sit in public to be told:, as Mr. C.

was told by Mr. S., that I must not spend more than my income; and (if

married), that I must be a good husband, and not let the wife say that being

a minister had lessened my affection, with all the absurd remarks on family

and household matters. I do not know what sort of a homily I should get;

but if I am to have it, let it be in my study; or if it be not a very, good one, I

cannot promise to sit and hear it.

I trust, my dear Sir, that you will not imagine that I write warmly, for I am

willing to submit; but it will be submission. I shall endure it as a selfmortification,

in order that you may all be pleased. I would rather please

you than myself; but still, I would have it understood by all the church that

I endure it as a penance for their sake. I find the friends do not care much

about it, and others have, like myself, a decided aversion. I am your

servant; and whatever is for the good of the church, let it be done. My

knowledge is little; I simply express my feelings, and leave it entirely with


A tea-meeting of members, with handbills, and notices in the papers, will

be a real recognition; and if my God will make me useful, I am not afraid of

being recognized by all good men. I write now to you as a kind and wise

friend. You can use my communication as you think best; and believe me

to be —

Yours, with the profoundest respect,


(Shortly after writing the above letter, Mr. Spurgeon preached the
following sermon at New Park Street Chapel: — )
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of
Israel’ therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them
warning from Me.” — Ezekiel 3:17.

Spurgeon’s Autobiography – Diary, Letters, and Records Vol. 1.31 (pp 384-386)

Prayer Meeting, Spurgeon:

At a prayer meeting on the last night of January Spurgeon spoke against

the title “Reverend” (although he still used it “for the convenience of the

postman!”). He stated that nobody had ordained him and nobody ever

would. His only ordination was that “of the pierced hand.”

Eric W. Hayden – “Highlights in the Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon” Chapter 24 – 1876 p. 50

Spurgeon references, Credit to “Wannabee” on “The Puritan Board” @ https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/theology-of-ordination.39026/

More on Spurgeon,

Spurgeon Article on “Ordination”

Ordination and Religious Titles

Sword and Trowel Volume 4, 1874 pages 111-117

Whence comes the whole paraphernalia of ordination as observed among some Dissenters? Since there is no special gift to bestow, why in any case the laying on of empty hands? Since we cannot pretend that mystic succession so vaunted by Ritualists, why are men styled “regularly ordained ministers”? A man who has preached for years is Mr. Brown, but after his ordination or recognition he develops into the Reverend Mr. Brown; what important change has he undergone? This comes before us in the form of addresses upon letters “Reverend Titus Smith, Mr. Spurgeon’s College,” or sometimes, “Reverend Timothy Jones, Spurgeon’s Tabernacle.” Rather odd, this! Here are reverend students of an unreverend preacher, the title being given to the one out of courtesy, and withheld from the other for the same reason. The Reverend Titus has met with a church which will insist upon an ordination, and he is ordained; but the President of his College, having never undergone such a process, nor even that imitation of it called a recognition, remains an unordained, unrecognized person to this day, and has not yet discovered the peculiar loss which he has sustained. We do not object to a recognition of the choice of the church by its neighbors and their ministers, on the contrary, we believe it to be a fraternal act, sanctioned by the very spirit of Christianity; but where it is supposed to be essential, is regarded as a ceremony, and is thought to be the crowning feature of the settlement, we demur.


God’s Spirit poured out in the last days to enable prophesying, Acts 2, NIV

17 “‘In the last days, God says,

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

    your young men will see visions,

    your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,

    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

    and they will prophesy.

God’s Spirit poured out on the 70 Elders; 2 men not present at the tent, Numbers 11, ESV

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it. 

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Also, see the example of Hudson Taylor here


Hi Cory. 

[I hesitate to post this, as I think, “Oh, its just another hit job” and what do these spiritually dead people , care…but I’ll give it a shot]

I just came across this article (my website was showing hits from here) Anyways, you can call me at 605 890 2604 (which I post on my website). I am a real preacher (probably more real than most, if not all, you have met). I preach the historical faith, repentance from sin (lust, anger, pornography, sex before marriage, homosexuality, greed, theft, etc), and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (who died, rose again, and gives eternal life to all who believe). We are saved from our sinful hearts (sin’s power) and our sinful records (judgment in eternal Hell). Perhaps you no longer care, and your heart is hard, but I sincerely do hope you trust in Jesus Christ- and the same as well to those reading this – especially before you die of course…

And as to “legitimate ordination”, I posted a link on that on the website, citing Biblical and Historical examples of the school of thought I hold to. You can see that I hold to a historical Puritan Baptist/Brethren view of primary ordination coming from God Himself (as one of our famous forefathers, the 1800s Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon [who most Baptists admire, even if they don’t agree on everything], noted) Link 1.I also was in several churches that were/ had gone “liberal” in numerous ways/including the Bible school I attended. It would have been hypocritical for me to have them “Lay hands on me”, or to claim something from God they simply don’t possess (like being an actual converted Christian)…Anyways, God has made His calling and election sure. And no, we would never recognize your female wife as an elder/ “pastor” as that clearly has no warrant in Scripture… I also follow in the path of the famous missionary to China, Hudson Taylor. Link 2.

I see you have been writing about me in other articles. AND I DO, appreciate a number of articles you have written, even if I don’t agree with you on other things.

Another question came to my mind: “Why, out of the blue, does Cory want to attack me? Especially using the spring board of an article about handing out literature, and what news sources I recommend?” I have my theories…One of them involves a smear campaign by a liberal/leftist relative trying to get out of an assault case and a law suit…

Anyways, I have no doubt you will be reading about me again, so put ‘er there Cory, it’s gonna be a ride. 

And I sincerely hope you and your readers escape the Hell that is duly reserved for you and your Democrat readership before it is too late…

Psalm 52.2-7
“2.You who practice deceit,

your tongue plots destruction;

it is like a sharpened razor.

3You love evil rather than good,

falsehood rather than speaking the truth. c

4You love every harmful word,

you deceitful tongue!

5Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:

He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;

he will uproot you from the land of the living.

6The righteous will see and fear;

they will laugh at you, saying,

7“Here now is the man

who did not make God his stronghold”


Matthew Monfore

Link 1


Link 2

[editor’s note: I also typically don’t think of money, but others do. Most of my decisions to be as pure and true to Scripture have cost me $$$ money, time, and relationships; yet I do so joyfully for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and His precious blessing, In Jesus’ name, Amen.]