Let’s just get this out of the way: the Universal Life Church is called an “ordination mill” by its critics. They provide free ordination to anyone who feels they can support the Church’s mission of doing “that which is right.”
Yes, you can get ordained, too, and it is free. For $39.95 you can get a really cool package of ordination materials, including a certificate (suitable for framing), a press pass and a parking pass.
The last five or six years have been a time of spiritual soul-searching and growth in my life. Not only have I continued to study the Holy Bible, but I’ve also spent a lot of time studying other religions and belief systems and meeting people whose religious beliefs vary widely from the from the mainstream Midwest where I was raised.
I’ve come to this conclusion: people have the right to religious freedom. Please don’t start lecturing about non-Christian religions. That is your agenda, not theirs. There are extremists in every belief system–including Christians–and you can’t judge the whole group by the extremists.
Given the political agendas out there, I fully expect that one day ordination by the Universal Life Church will go away. However, I figure the government will be forced to grandfather in those who are already ordained. I am prepared.
What does it mean to be ordained an a minister? I can marry people. I can provide last rites. I can perform baptisms. I can start my own church. I can do anything any other ordained minister can do.
This might make some of you who know me laugh until you wet your pants. Can’t really picture it, can you? I cuss like a sailor. I don’t look like a minister or particularly act like a minster.
I fully believe, however, that God has called me to this. We have talked about it. He has given it His seal of approval. He has a plan for this. He’s not giving me the details yet, but I trust Him.
You see, I believe Jesus told us everything we need to know about ministry. For me, it comes down to one thing: love one another. He didn’t put any exclusions on that love thing, either. He didn’t say love one another except…the gays, the obnoxious, the fat people, etc. He said: LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. BY THIS, PEOPLE WILL KNOW YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES (John 13:34).
You see, I already have my own church. You are a member, even if you didn’t join. Because I truly love all people. Some of you are easy to love; some, not so easy. Those who have hurt me, I still love them as people created by God. Those who have betrayed me, I still love them as people created by God. My church has a name: The Love One Another Church. Please join–you can be Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic or even atheist–you can be fat, thin, old, young, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, transsexual–you can be black, white, brown, yellow. Just be you. I love you exactly as you are. I hope to see you at the next service.