Online Ordination Frequently Asked Questions
What is Online ordination, Is it legal, Is it for me?
Online Ordination is recognition by an established religious organization that you have met their requirements to enter ministry. Entering ministry is by the calling of God, not the permission of man. If you are called by God, then online ordination may be for you. Online ordinations are as legal as any other type of ordination granted by men.
Is my ordination legal?
Yes. Ordinations are not controlled by any government entity. Churches and other ministries are allowed to determine who they may ordain into the ministry. Once you are accepted for ordination by us and added to our database, then your ordination is as legally valid as anyone else's. There is no legal distinction between online ordination and other ordinations.
There is a website that says Message From Above Ministries has been dismantled, is this true?
No. We don't know who created that page but nothing could be further from the truth. We have been ministering to people since 2004 and will not stop until our Lord returns.
Are you affiliated with the ULC?
No, they are non-Christians serving non-Christians. We are Christians serving Christians. There is no connection between Message From Above Ministries and the ULC.
What makes online ordination legal?
In 1974 the ULC sued the Federal Government in response to a challenge against the tax exempt status of the ULC. The ULC is a non-traditional, non-Christian church based in California. The following are excerpts from the court when it ruled in favor of the ULC. Even though the ULC is not a Christian organization, the ruling of the courts have been a great assistance to the rest of us.
"Certainly the ordination of ministers and the chartering of churches are accepted activities of religious organizations... The fact that the plaintiff distributed ministers' credentials and Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates is of no moment. Such activity may be analogized to mass conversions at a typical revival or religious crusade."
Here is the part of the decision which guarantees the legality of your ordination: "Neither this Court, nor any branch of this Government, will consider the merits or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. WERE THE COURT TO DO SO, IT WOULD IMPINGE UPON THE GUARANTEES OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT."
As you can see, online ordinations are perfectly legal within the United States of America.
I have been told that online ordination is just a game and that my ordination is not legal, is this true?
The value of your ordination is governed by God and you. No one else can judge the value of ordination in your life. Are you using your ordination to win souls for God's Kingdom? If so, then your ordination has extreme value; each soul has more value to God than the entire earth itself! If online ordination is a game, then it is the only game that I know of where you can take your game-piece down and register to perform weddings, or present it to the IRS as evidence of ordination and be granted tax exempt status. It is up to you to decide the value of your ordination, don't let others make that decision for you.
What is the difference between ordination granted by you and ordinations granted by other ministries?
Legally speaking, all online ordinations carry exactly the same weight. Some county clerk's may attempt to discriminate against you based upon the organization that granted your ordination; you need to remind them that our constitution guarantees the right of free exercise of religion. But in the eyes of the law, there is no difference.
Morally, you may not want to be associated with organizations which issue ordinations to atheists, witches, warlocks, homosexuals, and other non-Christian practitioners. We do our best to only issue ordinations to Christians who are wanting to further their ministries and in need of documentation to open doors that are closed to them. Nursing homes, jails, prisons, and other places where people are housed often require ordination credentials before they will grant access to the people under their care. We simply provide those papers to allow ministers to gain access to those hungry souls.
What documentation do I need to prove that I am ordained?
For legal reasons, ministers should have ordination papers in their possession. These documents may be ordered from our credentials catalog at your convenience. Each of our documents are individually prepared and are NOT downloadable. Ordination credentials should have the following characteristics:
An original signature of the ordaining authority. (Most states now require this to meet registration requirements)
An embossed seal of the ordaining authority. (This gives the document the authenticity that governmental officials have come to expect)
Be printed on high quality paper.
Beware, emails and documents downloaded from the web do not contain these qualities, our individually prepared documents do.
Can I perform weddings with an online ordination?
Yes. However, many states require you to be a pastor of a church located within the state in which you wish to perform weddings. If you are not already a pastor of a church, then you would need to start a church before you will be recognized by the state as a wedding minister. We provide the ordination, the rest is up to you. Check with your state and local government agencies to find out what they require of you BEFORE performing any wedding ceremonies. As an independent minister, it is your responsibility to comply with all of the laws in effect at the time you perform a wedding. Failure to do so may subject you to civil and criminal proceedings. We have compiled the current state laws regarding the performance of marriage, see the current laws here. The laws regarding the performance of marriage have a tendency to change periodically, always contact the appropriate government office to assure your eligibility before performing a wedding ceremony. Please be advised that the following states are very restrictive as to whom they will authorize to perform marriages: Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, New York City, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia. In many cases, independent ministers are not allowed to perform marriages in the above states. Make sure you contact the appropriate state offices to determine whether or not you will be allowed to perform a marriage before you make any commitments.
If for some reason you cannot legally perform a marriage within a state, here is a way to work around the problem: Have the couple buy their marriage license and then have a Justice of the Peace perform a quick civil union ceremony. Then the couple will be free to engage in a Christian celebration of their marriage including the taking of proper vows officiated by you, the Christian minister. The legal aspects of the marriage would then be taken care of and the happy couple could get on with their lives in a Christian fashion. This is also done in other countries where the government officiates all of the marriages.
Will my ordination be recognized by other churches?
Probably not, most organizations have their own ordination requirements and do not recognize ordinations issued by other entities. However, that decision rests entirely with the organization that you are applying to.
My pastor told me that my online ordination is invalid because it didn't come from a denomination. Is this true?
No, your online ordination carries the same legal status that his does. Denominational affiliation is not required in order to be an ordained minister. The calling of God should supersede any rules that man has devised to control entry into the ministry.
Is Message From Above Ministries a 501 c3 corporation?
No, nor will we be. We disincorporated in 2007 to escape limits being placed upon us by changes in state laws. Taking on the 501 c3 status comes with limitations imposed by the IRS regulations. We have no intentions of being bound by these rules.
Is my ministry granted tax exempt status by MFA Ministries?
No, only the IRS can grant tax exempt status. You need to apply directly to them in your own name. Churches are automatically tax exempt by the IRS, so check with a competent lawyer or tax professional to determine if you need to do anything further.
Can my online ordination be revoked?
Yes, if it is brought to our attention that a minister is not living a life consistent with the scriptures, then that persons ordination will be revoked. In order to keep your ordination permanently, you must be living a life consistent with the requirements found in the scriptures.
Message From Above Ministries: We provide online ordination to serious Christian Ministers.