And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. — Jesus (Mark 10:44)
In the Canons (as revised: January 1, 2007), we state the following:
Religious Titles and Styles [emphasis added]
Pastor means shepherd. A shepherd serves the flock.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:1-12).
Therefore, we ought not call each other "Reverend," "Father," "Mother," "Master," or the like. We will teach one another and others. We are all brothers and sisters and may use each others first names as close and loving family members.
The noun "minister" comes out of the verb to serve. We have said that a pastor is a shepherd. The lambs and sheep are in the pasture and the good shepherd is watching over them, serving their needs and obeying their owner and his or her master. This is the relationship Jesus had with his followers and the lost of the fold and with God. Jesus was the good shepherd who gave his flesh life for the many in full faith and confidence in his most honorable and honest master, who is God the father, God who will share all with those who will share all. Jesus did God's will. The Christ (Messiah, the anointed one and savior) keeps God's will as his own and is, therefore, last but first.
We see Jesus's relationship to God in the words Jesus prayed when Jesus was about to be taken by the Jews and Romans to be tried in a false court, disrespected, tortured, and abused, held up for ridicule and scorn, denied, and murdered on the cross. When Jesus was praying, he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mark 14:36).
We see here that Jesus made the distinction between God the father and himself, even while Jesus did everything as God does, wants, and wills. We know that it is Jesus's position that doing God's will constitutes being God's obedient servant and child (spiritual child and flesh child in one).
This is the position of minister (pastor) and member in the Real Liberal Christian Church. This is the ends, rising to this from out of sin that is error, having been misled by the misled, having confused freedom with selfishness.
Starting Out in the Tiny Minority
Understand here that the Church is in the tiny minority as it starts shining this light of Jesus more radiantly. All the language has been distorted to obscure this light. The terms "minister" and "pastor" and "priest," etc., have undergone a devolutionary process on account of the deception that is selfishness. This is why the US government, through its Internal Revenue Service, reflects the error of the hierarchical churches, where the priest is, by mistaken tradition, not the servant first but rather the master. That is why those churches have never gone down the right road of giving and sharing all freely and of holding all things in common in the fold, from each according to the blessing he or she received, or receives, to each other in accordance with real need.
Putting the Meaning of Ordained Right Again
It is from this whole situation of the worldly mistaken definition or concept of the Christian clergy that the RLCC is confronted by the secular notion of ordination.
To be ordained, in truth, is to heed the call of God to do God's will that is righteousness. The church of Rome was co-opted by the Roman Empire for the sake of worldly Empire building, for the sake of turning fervor for unselfishness into fervor for violent coercion (the Roman Legions) under Constantine I, the first head of the church of Rome as we now know it.
Both the apostate churches and the capitalists have had an occulted, vested, special, private interest in using the twisted definition of minister. They inherit personal privileges and advantages as a result of the secular support for that twisted and mistaken so-called religious definition.
The system has been deceptively designed in a way that attempts to preclude real Christianity.
The truth is that absolutely no one but God ordains anyone. When the RLCC says someone is ordained by the RLCC, it does so only in a sense that the language may bridge the gap in understanding between the real Christian who speaks the language of the revelation and the other people whose hearts may soften enough yet to also speak and do that language. The RLCC recognizes the ordination performed by God in whomever God's spirit is the guide. We know this by the heartfelt words and deeds of that ordained one. We cannot bestow this upon anyone simply on account of that one taking courses and passing written and oral examinations to verify an ability simply to regurgitate. That verifies nothing more than lip-service in many. In and of themselves, such studies and mundane test results do not constitute credentials for ordination.
This all represents the need for the reeducation of souls and the spreading of the truth of it throughout the planet.
All those who join the Church will go through training in the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, any Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons or Continuing Resolutions), the Policies and Procedures (covering but not limited to conflict resolution, confidentiality, counseling, and church discipline), and the religious doctrine of the Church. They will understand and acknowledge in their hearts that members in good standing abide by, and remain faithful to, those documents and their training.
Of course, all this training will cover the scriptures and more.
This is why we say the following concerning Ordination:
All members will be ordained. The Holy Spirit of truth speaking within about all that we are working to do to serve ordains. Read The Bible. Read the work (There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist). Read this site. Do outside reading and studying and conversing. Learn to speak the language of the revelation. Take it into your heart. Soften. Repent. Atone. Be true to the Church (the people of God). Support the effort with your all (with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength). Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Follow the Golden Rule. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. — Jesus (Matthew 7:12). Love each other as Jesus loved his closest friends, his closest disciples. That is the new commandment and the summation of all the best.
Once a person is known to the Church consistently to be practicing these things, he or she will be considered ordained consistent with the concept of the priesthood of all believers (the universal, royal priesthood forever) that is an accurate reading of scripture.
We also say at the same time that the heart and the deeds must match the words. We further say that the learning process is on-going.
The people, the membership, the grassroots, will choose their own to hold up as last and first. That chief shepherd will not be motivated by a desire to be seen of men and women for ego sake, but rather will be motivated to do the will of God that is mercy. This is the process by which one is ordained in the RLCC, Jesus's Church.
Remember, it isn't we who ordain you in this context. It's God. God knows your heart better than you do. If God has ordained you, all true believers will know it.
Our ministers certainly won't be raising money for their own sakes, as difficult as that is for many to sort out. Neither will they be lazy or slothful.
Then he which had received the one talent [earlier from his master] came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. — Jesus, teaching via a parable. (Matthew 25:24-27)
Since this is right concerning a hard man, consider just how much more important it is that we not hide the light of God, who is also the most softhearted being.
People cared for Jesus, ministered to his needs, glorified him, and gave to his disciples for the sake of all; because, they loved Jesus, because he was real.
Real Christian ministers do not come to be ministered unto but rather to give their lives for the sake of the many. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. — Jesus (Matthew 20:28)
No minister should be rich in the worldly sense, plain and simple. No minister should preach or condone war, plain and simple. No minister should support anyone in his or her decision to be militant. All ministers who are rich or support war or lend spiritual support to the militant mentality are liars, thieves, and hypocrites. All real workers are worth their wage. We would not begrudge any person a roof, clothes, or food, etc. However, no real minister needs what is not held in common for the common good of all.
Feeding the Lambs and Sheep
Poor Christians are to receive the service of others, for though it is more blessed to give than to receive, there must be those who will receive that others may give. Jesus received the gift of love from Mary. Christians are to share what they are given, even with the once high-and-mighty and perhaps still haughty and proud but nevertheless needy (spiritually in need of truth). Receivers, in their turn, are to minister to yet others in need. Everyone serves everyone. No one is master without serving. No one serves without also being master. One is recompensed without that being one's motivation. The motivation is the good of each and all. Jesus was ministered unto by the angels. The angels were those who served him and thereby glorified him. He received this while he ministered to others. It is the softhearted way.
Our ministers will be male or female; married or single; repentant; pacifistic and freely giving and sharing of all things, therefore, directly involved in feeding all the lambs and sheep of the fold of Jesus and teaching and exemplifying the new commandment in all that it implies; self denying and controlled concerning all appetites; being of unselfish love in action (the spirit of oneness in service and friendship); believing in the meaning of the name of Jesus that God is salvation; warning; not resorting to punishment or coercion; forsaking genetic family if needed for the sake of the spiritual family; forsaking all human traditions for godly precepts (the social Gospel without the worldly state); overcoming; long-suffering persecution; atoning; willing to be martyred in the name of Jesus; merciful; being of the universal royal priesthood forever; believing that through God all things are possible; having God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit of truth indwelling and, therefore, even if relatively recently converted, definitely no novice.
On the mundane level, the various states in the United States have different secular laws concerning requirements for people to perform marriages for instance. Washington State, for one, requires no license as of this entry (Monday, December 18, 2006):
PERFORMING MARRIAGES: A person performing marriages needs to file two certificates of marriage with the county auditor of the county where the marriage license was issued. Delivery is to be no more than 30 days after the ceremony. RCW 26.04.090 [Revised Code of Washington State, USA]
The works which the Father hath given you to finish, the same works that you do, bear witness of you, that the Father hath sent you. Why is this true? Because Jesus said the following: The works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)
Housing Allowances and Compensation
Housing allowances and compensation come up within the secular context. Those the flock selects from its members in good standing (who necessarily have studied the Church literature as contemplated by the secular government) will be entitled under the secular law to receive housing allowances and compensation as self-employed workers under the tax code. We have more fully addressed this in the work (There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist).
As we have made clear elsewhere, it is anticipated that member-clergy (understood within the context herein) will live in communes. Of course, in spreading the real Christian life, member-clergy will also live outside the communes during start-up.
The US government expects a clergyperson will meet the following:
Be one of the following:
licensed by the given state
ordained or commissioned by a religious body
requires a minimum one-year course of study
Control, conduct, or maintain the organization
Officiate/administer the sacraments
Conduct worship services
Be recognized as a leader by the Church
When there is a Church body, starting even in an office setting, we will do all these things.
The RLCC requirements for entering the clergy and ordination, etc., will be continually spelled out in the Canons. Additional details will be published in the applicable Policies and Procedures Manual.