Menno Simons on ... the qualification of ministers

Those who are of one spirit with Christ Jesus are members of his holy body, full of the love of God and of their brethren, who with Christ Jesus, their Bishop, seek nothing but the eternal gain, honor, glory and praise of God, and the inward conversion, regeneration and eternal salvation of those whose brotherly care is entrusted and commended to them of God. Yea, he sends such as are unblamable both in doctrine and life; as are urged by the Holy Spirit; who sincerely lament, with Christ, about those who do not acknowledge the gracious time of their temptation, who are rejoiced, with all the angels of God, at the conversion of a sinner, who so thirst after the salvation of all mankind as a hungry person hungers after bread; who so apply the word and truth of the Lord that they dare not teach or practice a word otherwise than Christ Jesus himself has taught, practiced and commanded, namely, the pure, unadulterated, biblical word in the true sense and meaning of Christ and of his holy apostles. [p. 341]

We desire, according the word of God, that no bishop, pastor or teacher shall be admitted into the church of the Lord, to teach and administer the sacraments of the Lord, other than those who are comprised in the doctrine, ordinance and life of our Lord Jesus Christ – unblamable in all things, 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6; Lev. 21:7; Ezek. 44:21; for the word of the Lord is truth, Jn. 17:17; it is Spirit and life, Jn. 6:63; therefore they can not be administered by the carnal minded; by no children of death, nor by liars; but by the truthful, by the spiritual minded, and by those who rightly confess Christ Jesus; who surely feel the life eternal in their hearts, and who live unblamably before God and walk in Christ Jesus, so that they may truthfully say with Paul, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ," 1 Cor. 11:1. [p. 243]

All excerpts are from The complete works of Menno Simon (Elkhart, Ind., 1871).

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