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Buying Priesthood

by Tim O'Hearn

Did you know that you can become an ordained priest, with a valid license in every state of the United States? The certificate of ordination lets you perform marriages and baptisms, do religious counseling, start or head churches, and lead Bible studies. And it will only cost you anywhere from $50 to $150. You do have to agree to the Calvinist statement of faith.

Even better than that, you can get your ordination for free, valid in all but two states. In doing so you can join a number of celebrity ministers, such as Stephen Colbert, Duane “the Rock” Johnson, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, and Ian McKellan. For this one, the only statement of faith is to do good and worship any way you want.

Most of the online ordination sites tout their product so that you can perform marriages. That is really interesting because marriage is essentially a non-religious rite. People can marry if they are religious, non-religious, members of any faith or no faith. Officiants at a wedding don’t even have to be religious if they hold certain government, or sometimes non-government, positions.

King Jeroboam of Israel set up golden calves in his country. Most of the Levites, the people ordained to priesthood by God, had fled to Jerusalem, where the Temple was. So Jeroboam decided that anyone could be an ordained priest of his idols. There was a cost, and it was greater than $150.

Whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods. (2 Chron 13:9)

The difference is that Jeroboam’s priest were not primarily wedding officiants. They were there to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to hunks of metal. They were to replace the legitimate priesthood.

Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? (2 Chron 13:9, just before the previous quotation)

Jesus came to be a priest. He was not from the tribe of Levi, so he could not ordinarily attain the priesthood.

For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. (Heb 8:3-5)

Jesus had to “have somewhat also to offer.” He did not bring “a young bullock and seven rams.” He brought something better.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Heb 9:12)

Under the Law of Moses, the descendants of Aaron were eligible to become High Priest. They each died and were succeeded by another relative. Jesus became a better high priest. “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” (Heb 9:28) He has no need of descendants to take his place because he lives forever as the High Priest.

Also under the Law, the High Priest was assisted by other priests. Normally these would also be descendants of Aaron. During the reign of Hezekiah, however, circumstances dictated that these assistants were other members of the tribe of Levi. (2 Chron 29:34) As our High Priest, Jesus also has priests to assist him in his duties; not in the offerings on the altar, because he did that once, but in other duties related to worship and his church. We are those priests. We assist in the worship.

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet 2:9)