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Check Pastor's Background

Is there a way to check a pastor's crudentials? Am I wrong for wanting to know this information?

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 ---trishh7856 on 10/15/08
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There is a way to check crudentials (background), I just don't know the proceedures to take. Ask your local government office on this. Yes, God can change people, but do not be foolish or unwise. If someone has stolen or is convicted of fraud, they should not be working with the church finances. If someone wants to work with children or youth, but they were a convicted petifile, this may not be a good idea. If someone was a convicted rapist, but wants to work with womans ministry, this can also cause problems.
---Leslie on 11/4/08

Trish, it's not wrong to want to know your pastors credentials. In fact, more so, the overall leader of your denomination/ religion. But let us clarify what "credentials" you should check. As an example, apostle Paul persecuted a lot of Christs followers before, but he changed and was able to prove that through Gods grace he changed and left his old ways. Similarly, for example, your pastor used to have an addiction in gambling, but if he had left his old ways and is now a true follower of Christ, then his "gambling history" should not anymore be taken against him. " not deceived, neither fornicators... And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified..." (1Cor.6:9-11) I hope you get my point
---manny on 10/21/08

Are the sheep supposed to be so sheepish that they don't know a phony when they hear one?

Here's what I know, you can fake credentials, but you cannot fake a calling. By the way credentials with no calling are FAKE credentials anyway!
Would the Apostle Paul have passed a background check?

NO, but his conduct among the brethren was blameless, a walking testimony to the power of God in Jesus Christ. This is what matters, does he grow the faith of the church, strengthen and challenge them to holiness? Does he equip them with a testimony that will win the lost?

His past is only a scandal if you make it one.
---Pharisee on 10/20/08

katavasia, think real hard in this one. If the Pastor was performing actions under false pretenses as was never qualified to be a pastor. All Marriages and Baptisms he/she may have performed are invalid.

And I illustrated how am invalid Baptism can cause some one a problem later in life if they were trying to get admission to a seminary that requires a certificate of baptism for admissions. Do you understand now?
Many Educational Institutions check credentials presented to them.
---Phil_the_Elder on 10/20/08

""If the baptisms were erroneous it can still cause ecclesiastical annoyances.""

What do you mean by "erroneous baptism?" I don't understand.
---katavasia on 10/18/08

Mar 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Mar 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Eze 16:32 [But as] a wife that committeth adultery, [which] taketh strangers instead of her husband!

Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. , given to hospitality, apt to teach,

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior
---Carla3939 on 10/18/08

SusieB: Those churches maybe successful financially, but what about spiritually? If a Pastor is not called by God to preach their church will not grow spiritually. Just because a person goes to college and have a line of degrees under their belt, that doesn't mean they are called by God to preach. If their not called by God to preach, they shouldn't be preaching. If I stand under my carport, that doesn't mean I am a car. Like I said if a person's sins are truly under the blood (their past) and God calls them to preach, it shouldn't matter what a person did in their past. When God changes a person, they are changed for life.
---Rebecca_D on 10/17/08

katavasia, there are both civil and ecclesiastical law/protocol.

For example if a family moves to a new location and joins a new church by letter of transfer, the transfer letter would normally include children and date on baptism. If the baptisms were erroneous it can still cause ecclesiastical annoyances. Some seminaries require baptism for admission of students credential problems can delay or deny admission.
---Phil_the_Elder on 10/16/08

First: it's never wrong to want information concerning a pastor - the mistake I've seen are from people, is not wanting the correct information. Second: the best place to seek a pastor's credability is from his former pastorate. You should also check his credit rating from a reliable credit organization. Just because he is a pastor doesn't mean he can't make mistakes. Recently had a friend of mine who's church just fired their pastor because he had a poor relationship with people, wanted to be the only one who made any decision in the church, and was spending church funds that he had no business spending. His comment as he left, "You should have checked me out first."
---wivv on 10/16/08

Rebecca...If you think that a pastor's ministry will flop if he is not called of God, you haven't watched many television evangelists who are not called of God. There are many successful churches around today where the truth of the Word of God is not taught.
---SusieB on 10/16/08

Good Evening Rebecca D,
In a perfect world there would be no need to check credentials. However we live in a time where pastors lie,cheat,cushion resumes to get a church, molest children,etc. Therefore, I am of the opinion that credentials should be verified and a criminal background should be conducted prior to making a selection.
---pg1 on 10/16/08

It is the resposibility of the elders of the church to check the credentials or any other information of the pastor.
---john on 10/16/08

Why would you want to know? The answer is simple. If a person is called by God to preach, that is all you need to know. If a person isn't called to preach but preaching anyhow, you'll not learn and his church will flop. My Pastor is called by God. God qualified him and that is good enough for me. God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Think about it. If you found something out about your Pastor's past, when he was a sinner chances are you wouldn't speak to him now. The only question you should ask, and only God has the answer is, "Is this man called by God to preach God's word"?
---Rebecca_D on 10/16/08

Here's the way to uncover a (called) pastor. Simply asking him to lead you in a sinner's prayer. Surprisingly and unfortunately many cannot do this. If they cannot then I would have no confidence in his ability as a pastor. A friend of mine who visits many churches told me, you have literally taken the skin off of many ministers. Because of you I definitely listen to their altar call and many I find out at no altar call and all.
---mima on 10/16/08

**And of course there are the legal ramifications from all the baptisms marriages he performed during his time as pastor.**

I don't know where you're from Phil the elder, but in the USA, the civil laws have no interest in baptisms.
---katavasia on 10/16/08

Yes the problem of poor and falsified credentials is usually in independent churches that don't have a good pastoral investigation process.

I know of a case in a local Congregational Church where it was discovered the pastor had falsified ordination and seminary graduation credentials. He was fired, but the church never really recovered either.

And of course there are the legal ramifications from all the baptisms marriages he performed during his time as pastor.

If you are in an independent church verify verify verify. Don't take any credentials at face value.
---Phil_the_Elder on 10/15/08

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Yes! You can go to the pastor and ask him where his credentials (ordination, license, etc.) are from. That is the Christian thing to do. You go directly to the person instead of asking everyone else about it. Many ministers carry a card in their wallet which shows the information you want. You might want to ask the pastor how and when he got saved (born again). We have visited churches where the pastor was very hesitant to tell where his credentials came from. One pastor whose church's statement of faith said the church was Trinitarian had his license through a Oneness organization. He didn't have a clue that the organization his credentials were from were Oneness.
---SusieB on 10/16/08

I'd say an honest pastor would welcome you to check his credentials. But if by "credentials" you mean superficial things like schooling, license, references from strangers, etc., he "might" advise you how such are not reliable sources, but give you the info, anyway, if you insisted (o: 1 Timothy 3:1-10 gives us *God's* credentials for a truly qualified candidate worthy just to be *considered* to be trusted with the "care of the church of God". He needs to be "blameless", a family man proven in his own home "first". You can't reliably determine this, except by prayer and getting to know someone. Another thing > a good search committee welcomes input and questions.
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/15/08

the wicked spy on the righteous and always
---kevin on 10/15/08

I would think that the Pulpit Committee responsible for recruiting the pastor to your church would have done the credential check prior to recommending them to be the pastor. That is how it is done at my church.

It is neither wrong nor right to want to know a pastor's credentials. My question is, why do you want to know?
---Trish9863 on 10/15/08

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If you're dealing with an organized denomination, you don't have this problem. There is generally some kind of department giving this information.

It's only independent "non-denominational" churches (which there's really no such thing) that have to re-invent the wheel every time.
---katavasia on 10/15/08

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