Author Topic: 11-Year-Old Boy, Ordained As Minister At Fullness Of Time Church In Maryland  (Read 10257 times)

Positive Change

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Fact of Delusion?

In Buddhism we believe in reincarnation and High Lamas/teachers that return to teach... In the case of this 11 year old, could it be he could also be some reincarnated being but within a different faith and his path is the "calling of GOD"?

Or perhaps it is all an elaborate publicity stunt to get the limelight? Here is a write up on this young boy:


Ezekiel Stoddard, 11, of Temple Hills, Md., was ordained as a minister in his family's independent Pentecostal church, where his parents are also pastors.

Stoddard said he was motivated to become a minister after God spoke to him in a dream and told him to read Psalm 23.

"God gave me that particular scripture because a lot of people, they try to draw you away from the lord, trying to get you on the wrong path," he said.

"People come to you, they ask you questions about why you should act like a child and not a minister," the young minister said. "I do things like a child, but still I am a minister. I am an evangelical."

Stoddard was ordained in a congregation-wide ceremony on May 6, with his parents leading the service.

His mother, Pastor Adrienne Smith, says her son preaches the 11 a.m. service with the other preachers at the Fullness of Time Church, a small but growing congregation in Capitol Heights, Md.

He has also preached at churches around the Maryland region.

"He can go to the bible and pull a text and prepare a sermon. That's in his heart," she says. "That's how he feels about the ministry, about Jesus, about the community."

Smith says she is confident in her son's abilities to lead a congregation, regardless of his age.

"He's had time to study, he knows a lot of scripture, he knows the 10 Commandments, the stories. He does childlike things, but when it comes to the word of God, he studies, he prepares."

Minister Ezekiel, nicknamed "Zeek" by his family, said that he doesn't feel like there should be an age limit to how old a minister needs to be before becoming ordained.

"A lot of people think of me being a kid, that my parents are forcing me to minister the gospel," he said. "But the first time I did a sermon, I was 7 or 8."

"There's a seriousness about Minister Ezekiel," his mother said. "He knows it's not about him. It's about ministry. Wherever he goes, they say, 'That's the little preacher there.'"

Stoddard is homeschooled by his mother, along with three other siblings. His mother says he spends at least three to four hours a day studying the Bible.

He names basketball, tennis, and going to the movies among his hobbies outside the church. He and his brother also have a landscaping business.

He said he plans on being a minister his entire life.

The cases of children becoming ordained as ministers is unusual, said Richard Balmer, professor of American religious history at Dartmouth college and an Episcopal priest.

"It's usually a novelty sort of thing," he said. "What happens in evangelical circles is that a congregation has the power to ordain anyone that it wants really. So if they take a liking to this guy and they think that he is talented and gifted and worthy, then that person can be ordained."

Balmer said the idea of ordaining a child is unusual because the ministry is viewed as a professional calling.

"Just as you don't have 11-year-old lawyers, or 11-year-old positions, there's a general sense that you need a certain maturity in order to function effectively in that role," he said.

"There have been child preachers through the decades, and more than one of them has grown up to be quite embittered by the experience and turned away from the faith," said Balmer. "I think that's a cautionary tale to anyone who wants to rush in and be ordained."

An 11 year old boy is the pastor of a church. 11 year old who is minister priest at a church. Is the boy too young?

Some links:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/11-year-minister-ordained-md/story?id=16614056#.T-M9bb9y-Sz

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-little-child-shall-lead-them/2012/06/14/gJQA4teveV_video.html

bambi

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His imprints form his previous lives could be strong that is why he can talk about god at such a young age.
I also believe that whatever was calling him could be a spirit telling him what to do and confusing him.
I think that the boy is still too young to be ordained as a minister for he need to have training and fully understand rather than believing in the 'calling'.
What about reincarnated Lamas? Many of them are recognized the moment they are born and brought to the monastery for training to fully understand before they are ordained.

negra orquida

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In Buddhism we believe in reincarnation and High Lamas/teachers that return to teach... In the case of this 11 year old, could it be he could also be some reincarnated being but within a different faith and his path is the "calling of GOD"?

Sounds like he was a evangelist or minister in many previous lives, hence the imprints are very strong in him in this life.  Reincarnation will happen regardless of whether one believes in it or not. 

His behaviour sounds similar to what recognised young Tulkus behave (e.g. they like things which children like e.g. toys but their minds are way more advanced than lay adults).  The only difference is perhaps the "God spoke to me" part... I can't figure out who or what really spoke to the boy but i'd like to imagine that it was actually maybe DS emanating as a Christian God speaking to him :P

Ensapa

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There is this one feature about Christianity that I do find confusing and weird: the whole God told me to do this and that thing. I have met a person who was homosexual, and who was christian. He had to surpress himself as his career choices seem to bring him to those that prevent him from being who he really is and when i asked him why did he chose those careers, he told me that god told him to choose them and that god told him to do this and that in his life. How do you know it is really god and not some spirit who just wants to have fun with you? He was totally throwing his life's responsibility to an imaginary god that he has no proof that he exists and even traded in his happiness for that. I could not understand or phantom this. Also, how is hearing the word of god different than being schizophrenic, where people also hear voices? Is there any way to prove that it is really god and not something made up? It seems that it is a very convenient excuse for the Christians to do what they do without providing any logical backing.

Maybe this young kid is influenced by a spirit of a minister in training, or it could be that this kid was a minister in his past life and he wants to continue this life as well. Looks like their going to heaven theory is wrong after all, either way.

kurava

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Even though the Christians do not believe in re birth, there are  many instances that Christians encounter cases where people remember vividly places, relatives and intimate details that only the deceased know.

When Christians can't explain certain phenomena, they  conveniently attribute to God. This is probably the case with the 11 year old boy. He can't explain why his imprints are so strong with regards to his bible knowledge and his faith forbids him to explain through past lives' experiences , therefore the most "logical" explanation would be God's will or "God spoke to me".
Sometimes, if you substitute "God" with "Karma", then everything can be logically explained.

Buddhist Sutra acknowledges bodhisattvas come from different background and religions. At different time and conditions, bodhisattvas manifest as saints of other faiths in order to benefit people that do not follow Buddhism. This is one of the skillful means of the enlightened beings to bring benefits to many irregardless of their color and faiths. Religions are only labels that tend to segregate people, the motivation and deeds are far more important than clinging to labels and be limited.

Jessie Fong

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I think there should be an age limit as to how old (or young) a person should be before he becomes ordained as a minister - no doubt he may have imprints from previous lives, but still he would need to be properly/correctly educated in the religious path.  Yes, you can have the "calling" to serve at any age but that does not entitle you to be ordained.  At this young age of 11, he is not mature enough to understand what life is all about, let alone lead a congregation.  But if he is really the chosen one, with time, guidance, proper/correct education, he should be able to fulfil his calling.

ratanasutra

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In my point of view i will call this like a incarnation in Buddhism as shown be the young boy imprint.

If we look at age of the body of the person, there might have some limited of age to hold some positions as it might create doubt, confident and faith of other people but if we look at the mind of the person as the mind never die off, it just move from the previous body to the new body so there is no age for mind.

I will say that how the society and community perceive about this position and  how the young boy perform before and after receive the position is very importance indeed.   

yontenjamyang

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Even though the boy is 11 years old, I do not see age by itself as a problem. In the same way, a young pianist or mathematician can have the inborn talent to be good at their fields, so do being a minister. We cannot equate, professions that needs many years of training or where physical size counts like, sportsman, lawyers and doctors with a theological position.

I would not like to find fault with any religion but focus on the commonality of all. All religion preach, love, kindness, compassion, diligent, patience and tolerance. Its there are any faults, it is the people who are at fault. Dharmically, it is the karma of the people that link them to any one religion. At least there is a scope albeit a small scope according to the Lamrim.

What counts however is really the results. If the boy is able to help the congregation, then he would be doing a good job. Doesn't really matter about the age. It may even be an advantage.