The Elder’s Ordination – Rev.D.Kuiper – April 1, 2015 “Standard Bearer”

SB-April 1-2015The April 1, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer is now out and a variety of articles once again fill this Reformed magazine (see cover image here for the details – click on it to enlarge).

One of the articles in a continuing series on the office of elder is that found in the rubric “Ministering to the Saints”. Rev.Doug Kuiper (Edgerton, MN PRC) begins writing in this issue on the important subject of the ordination of elders, introducing it this way:

The fact that a man is qualified to be an elder in Christ’s church does not, in itself, make him an elder. Nor has he become an elder by virtue of being designated by the council of a church or being chosen by the congregation to be an elder.

Until the church of Christ ordains a man to be elder in her midst, that man may not consider himself to be an elder. Such is the importance and necessity of ordination into office.

A little further in the article he continues:

Ordination is the work of the church by which she officially and authoritatively places a man into that church office for which he was chosen. Samuel Miller’s definition is helpful: ‘By Ordination is meant that solemn rite, or act, by which a candidate for any office in the Church of Christ, is authoritatively designated to that office, by those who are clothed with power for that purpose’ (An Essay on the Warrant, Nature, and Duties of the Office of the Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. General Books, 2009, 137).

Following this, Rev.Kuiper goes into a treatment of the distinction between ordination and installation, concluding that “while there is an important distinction between the two terms, especially regarding the office of minister, they both refer to an official placement into office, and both indicate that one is now authorized to begin the work of that office.”

In his next installment he plans to consider the reason why such ordination requires a public ceremony. Be sure to read this and the rest of the articles in the April 1, 2015 “SB”!

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