License to Preach

by Van Robison

In the world we live in, the "license" is a key element of our culture. For whatever reason, in our society we are led to believe that having a "license" is a guarantee of being professional, qualified, legal and certified. We are led to believe that a license or a permit is necessary for almost everything under the sun such as:

  • License to be a doctor
  • License to walk on the side walk
  • Dog license
  • License to smoke
  • Driver's license
  • License to breath
  • License to be a lawyer
  • License to live
  • License to be a "pastor"
  • License to pray
  • Fishing license
  • Permit to read the Bible
  • Hunting license
  • Permit to question professionals
  • Barber's license
  • License to believe in Jesus Christ
  • Beautician's license
  • Permit to worship God in private
  • Plumber's license
  • Permit to think
  • Carpenter's license
  • License to deceive
  • Realtor's license
  • Permit to buck the status quo
  • Building permit
  • Contractor's license
  • Work permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Marriage license
  • Child care license
  • Corporate license
  • Liquor license
  • Gaming license
  • Dental license
  • Druggist license
  • Engineer's license

The list is endless in the realm of life on earth. To believe that having a college education is a guarantee of professional service is too ludicrous to believe. To believe that having a "license" somehow makes anyone an expert is a joke. The world is full of "licensed" practitioners that are incompetent in every field and endeavor of life. What does a license have to do with catching fish? The fish will bite the worm whether you have a license or not. Quality, service, and professionalism has more to do with individual character by far than having a permit or a license. In fact, the enforced license and permit system protects the establishment far more than it protects the public. A great example of this is in the field of medicine where the licensed doctors are protected even though most of them reject alternative healing practices in favor of the drug/surgery/radiation money-making system. The statistics regarding orthodox cancer cures is dismal and beyond belief and yet the "licensed" practitioners march on in darkness. When will they ever learn?

Basically, the world of permits and licenses is a world of control and money. The permit and license is no guarantee. In the Christian world, having a piece of paper that says someone is "ordained" or a "pastor" is no guarantee of spiritual maturity or qualification. In the life of John Bunyan, John was placed in prison for not having a "license" to preach, and that happened in November, 1660 where he was confined for nearly twelve years.

There are innumerable preachers who court the system of man-made ordination, believing that somehow a piece of paper with their name on it qualifies them as "spiritual experts". Jesus Christ was not ordained by men, or by their institutions as most are today. It is not the "license" or the "permit" or the college "credentials" that qualify anyone to serve Jesus Christ. Christ handpicked mostly "uneducated" fishermen to represent Him, and for very good reason. Few high and mighty of this world are ever chosen by God to represent Him, and that is because God generally chooses the foolish things of this world to confound those who are wise in their own eyes. God also loves humility and meekness and rejects the strutting peacocks of vanity.

James Bond of 007 fame had a "license to kill", while the world is full of preachers who have a license to deceive. No real called of Jesus Christ preacher needs a man-made license to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ never told His disciples to "get a license" to preach, or to "incorporate under 501c3" of the Internal Revenue Code, and to be controlled by man-made institutions.

Have we been so far removed from the role model and teachings of Jesus Christ that all we can see is man-made institutional churches, with their "license" to exist in the eyes of men? Some of us prefer "uneducated" fishermen to be fishers of men, as opposed to the "licensed" pastors who are under the control of man-made systems. Where in the teachings of Jesus Christ in the four Gospels did Jesus choose licensed "senior pastors" to go fishing?