I recently was at a missions conference for a Southern Baptist Church. It was interesting for me to observe the strong emphasis on “calling to full-time service” during the program. Albert Mohler has written about this in an article on his web site. I wonder, though, if this whole concept is bad theology.
First, there is scant biblical support for it. Note that Mohler references 1 Timothy 3:1 “it is a fine work he aspires to do,” referring to somebody who wants to lead in the church. If that is considered a key “proof-text” then I must say there isn’t much to support this idea.
Second, it seems to me to abrogate a much more important concept: the priesthood of all believers.
Third, it makes the “non-called” feel second-class. As somebody who is “full-time” in ministry I don’t think I appreciated this much until the last year or two when I friend told me who they felt when they heard this kind of language. Now I hear it all the time.
We should all be called to our vocation – we should avoid elevating one type of calling above another. The sooner we embrace this idea, the sooner we will see all Christians motivated for ministry. Not just a select few.
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