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Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Sometimes persons claim to have an extraordinary calling to the ministry, not being under any Church government. Is this legitimate?

Interestingly, this difficult, but Biblical topic of an extraordinary calling was well hammered out in the Reformation and puritan eras. Samuel Rutherford, thankfully, seemed to treat every in and out of this topic in his controverting with congregationalists.

To be able to wrap one’s mind around the issues surrounding a Biblical and divine extraordinary calling is truly profound, coming to grips with the most foundational elements of ecclesiology and the will of God.

May this new page of resources be a great help to being able to carefully discern the Lord’s will in these matters:

The answer, by the way, to the question above is: It may be.
 

mgkortus

Puritan Board Freshman
Travis, thank you for your all your work to maintain and grow the website. I have profited from it a number of times. It may be worth adding the Dordt Kirk Order. The relevant articles would be 3, 4, 8, 9. Articles 3 and 4 make clear that a lawful call is necessary to be a minister of the gospel. Article 8 allows for those who have not had formal training to enter the ministry during unique circumstances if they are exceptionally gifted (possess the necessary gifts without training). Article 9 addresses priests and monks being admitted into Reformed churches.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
...It may be worth adding the Dordt Kirk Order...

Pastor Kortus,

Thanks for your words, and for the references to the Church Order of Dort. I added those references to the section on the page: 'That Extraordinary Practices do Not Justify the Same for Ordinary Circumstances'.

Just so others are aware: the webpage is principally concerned, not with gifted persons over 30 who haven't gone to seminary (so to speak), but with the average Christian who simply strongly feels the need to go out and publicly preach, teach, etc. in a less than regularly constituted Church area.

It seems to me there is a great difference between the Netherlands, and, say, the Church of Scotland of old, from today in America. In the Netherlands and Scotland etc., they literally had every piece of land divided up into parishes, and one would truly be going against good order to try to be a start up and be publicly preaching on one's own.

In America however, with the plurality of denominations and a dominance of unchurched people, it seems to me a lot more of it can be considered an unconstituted Church area. If there are start-up, public teacher, Christians, who save souls through the gospel, it is not immediately apparent that they are going against, in their practical life good order by stepping on the turf of others. The Vineyard is huge, and there is room for plenty more workers.

So what Rutherford deals with on the webpage is very relevant, I think, to America. And there may be a preacher/teacher, which, for any number of reasons, it is not prudent for him and persons to join up with a particular denomination.

Further, what does one make of the many churches around that don't practice ordination, or that in the right way? etc., etc., etc. Yet they are in fact spiritually gifted of God for the task, and have the consent of the people? They are legit ministers, says Rutherford.

I think the topic is incredibly relevant to us.
 
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