Questions and Answers
What is a Religious Order? Q and A
Question: What must I do to become a member of the ministry of the Church?
Answer: You must become an ordained, licensed or commissioned minister. Ordained members should be member of a religious order, which is a congregation of ministers.
Question: What must I do to become a licensed minister?
Answer: A licensed minister is elected by a congregation and appointed by an ordained minister to act ex officio on behalf of the Church.
Question: What must I do to become a commissioned minister?
Answer: A commissioned minister is someone appointed by an ordained minister to act ex officio on behalf of the Church on matters that he cannot or may not do himself.
Question: What must an individual do to become an ordained minister?
Answer: They must obey the requirements of Jesus Christ according to His calling and be ordained by an ordained minister of the Church. This usually involves the laying on of hands, anointing with oils or some form of recording of the event by witnesses or documentation within a congregations of ordained ministers called an Order.
Question: What is an Order?
Answer: An order is a congregation of ordained ministers. It usually is not much larger than 10 ordained ministers, and their Family members.
Question: What is the purpose of an Order?
Answer: Like a congregation it serves the needs of the ministers and their Families and is a part of an over all network of the kingdom binding the people in faith, hope, and charity in practical ways.
Question: Are only Ministers members of Orders?
Answer: Orders consist of Ministers and Members and their Families and ministerial servants if any.
Question: Who are Members of an Order?
Answer: Members of an order are either those seeking to be full time Ministers, are retired from active ministry of congregations or support the order with special skills, piety or devotion. An Order is a small group of men or families, ideally ten to twelve, that have chosen to become a brotherhood or body with all things in common as a part of His Holy Church and the appointed kingdom of the Messiah, who is called Jesus Christ.
Questions: How does an Order differ from a congregation?
Answers: A congregation is merely a fellowship of men giving as they see fit and loving one another as much as they love themselves. An order is an autonomous brotherhood with no personal estate. They have chosen to live entirely in the service of Christ's purposes as bond servants with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, they have mutually pledged their estates and inheritance to live in service to Christ for His purposes alone.
Questions: What do you mean by "with all things in common"?
Answers: Each order is like a commonwealth. A commonwealth is defined as “The people of a nation or state; the body politic. A nation or state governed by the people; a republic.”1 We use the word “order” rather than commonwealth to refer to a self-governing, autonomous subdivision voluntarily associated with His Holy Church established by Jesus Christ. Each member of an order may hold a semblance of a "legal title" in accordance to the rules of that order, but it is the order that holds the beneficial interest in common of his estate.
Questions: How is an order created?
Answers: An order is created by the will of Christ through vows of intent given before witnesses by three or more men who renounce their personal wealth for the purpose of Christ. It has clearly defined articles of governance, excepted creeds, and its words and deeds express those commitments to Christ.
Questions: Who establishes the rules of an order?
Answers: Those who join the order at the time of its edification need to adopt basic forms, precepts and ordinances that will give that order its individual identity with in the whole Church. Those guidelines and ordinances must be in compliance with the teachings and ordinances of Christ and agreed upon by the original members and all those who subsequently join.
Questions: What is a vow?
Answers: A “Vow” can be defined as, “Specifically, a promise of fidelity; a pledge of love or affection; as, the marriage vow.” Or is further defined as, “A solemn promise made to God... an act by which one consecrates or devotes himself, absolutely or conditionally, wholly or in part, for a longer or shorter time, to some act, service, or condition; a devotion of one's possessions; as, a baptismal vow; a vow of poverty.”2 The word vows is used in the sense of the Greek word euche, meaning “to pray to God.”
Questions: Can the rules be changed by a vote of the majority?
Answers: Vote is defined as, “An ardent wish or desire; a vow; a prayer.”3 When a vow is taken the rules of an order may not be changed without the unanimous consent of the order and its leader and overseer, remaining in compliance with the teachings and ordinances of Christ.
Questions: Can I leave the order when I choose?
Answers: Anyone may leave an order at any time, but they may not be able to take any of the corpus with them. If the order so deems it may grant a gratuity according to its ordinances to aid in their establishment outside the order.
Questions: What are the vows that I might have to take?
Answers: Vows of poverty, obedience, loyalty, chastity, etc..
Questions: Does a vow of poverty mean I have to live like a beggar?
Answers: A vow of poverty means that you have no personal estate. Everything you own belongs to Christ and held by the Order where you are either a minister or a member.
Questions: Does a vow of Chastity mean I cannot get married?
Answers: A vow of chastity has to do with remaining pure from involvement outside the order. There is nothing impure about Holy Matrimony. See rules of the order about procedures.
Questions: Does a vow of obedience give an exercising authority to the leaders of the order?
Answers: No. Ministers of God’s kingdom do not exercise authority, but are only servants. They do have authority over the manner of their service according their God given conscience.
Questions: What are novitiate or temporary vows?
Answers: Vows are often taken for a period of time because of their serious nature and long range implications and consequences. Vows are always taken with an intent to renew.
Questions: Is a vow an oath?
Answers: Vows and oaths are not the same thing.4 Vows are made in the heart and mind of the individual in daily communion with God. They may be expressed in word and deed within the Church and written as a matter of record and witness to the world.
Questions: Why do we need all this documentation?
Answers: God does not need it for he sees the heart, but the world needs to see a notice or witness that they may comprehend the identity of the Church, its ministers and members.
Questions: Can I keep my Social Security number or benefits under such a vow?
Answers: Members or ministers of an order must have total faith and allegiance to Christ’s kingdom and are excluded from having or using an SSN.
Questions: May an order file an SS16 with the IRS on behalf of its members?
Answers: No. It would cease being an order of the Church.
Question: Once a member is excluded, as opposed to exempt, can he use such prior SSN to obtain benefits such as a drivers license or identification?
Answers: If you have given up all you no longer have an SSN to use. Under a vow of poverty as described in the Bible a minister is truly a new man in Christ such as we see of men like Joses who became Barnabas after relinquishing his property and giving its value to the Church. Acts 4:36...
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These records are dependent on the separate and distinct nature of the Church and its ministers of the congregation of the people.
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