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As a Catholic we do honor clergy in a respectful manner more than fellow brethren with good biblical background. As a former Calvinist I did honor an ordained minister for their in depth understanding on Scripture and Church History. I think it'd be proper to honor people who are called with such calling and have equipped themselves with seminarian study to serve God's flock.

Would it be possible for an ordained minister to get a unique title or special badge to honor their privilege? This would also clarify whether or not their answer is credible in case an ordained minister from one group of belief is trying to answer a question about another group of belief. I personally would prefer an answer from a Baptist minister to answer a particular question about Baptist faith rather than from a non-Baptist guessing and quoting what a Baptist might believed.

I hope we can have an option to specify if a person is an ordained clergy to honor them with an honor due to them. When we're having multiple opinions it'd be helpful to have a clergy explaining the official teaching. An example would be from Puritan Board where you can see whether or not you're talking with a laity or a clergy.

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As an ordained Baptist minister, I would feel uncomfortable being called out in this way. Baptists in particular believe that being "set apart" is an honor, but not one that should put any individual minister "above" another. Indeed, a minister is called to be a servant, and if anything, should be viewed that way.

Also, as one who has earned his Masters of Divinity and served a church, I can say from experience that while these credentials should turn one into a more knowledgeable person, they don't always.

Ideally, in the SE model, one is appealing to facts rather than to personal authority. I'd like to think that the answers I write tend to focus on facts and argument, and that one reading what I write would be able to see the time I've put in the books.

Beyond that, I put these details in my profile - and that's a reasonable middle road.

  • Huh. So, you are a minister, not an elder or a teacher or a pastor. But a minister. – Double U Feb 13 '15 at 18:23
  • @AffableGeek, I agree that being a clergy doesn't automatically espousing a correct theological view. Heretics from the past have been among clergy such as Arius. I'm not proposing of making them authoritative. It's only to help us know the credential of the person giving an answer. For example as a Catholic I prefer an Orthodox priest to give an answer about their faith rather than a Wesleyan guessing or quoting Orthodox sources about the matter. A matter of authenticity. Similarly I would like to hear Mormon bishop explaining their faith rather than a JW doing it. – Adithia Kusno Feb 13 '15 at 18:33
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    @DoubleU Pastors are ministers. My ministry was one of pastoring a congregation and teaching from the pulpit (i.e. preaching) every Sunday. This question may help you: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/5596/… – Affable Geek Feb 13 '15 at 18:36
  • Right. I largely agree with you. You're one of the best Christianity.SE members, but you also make mistakes. – Jim G. Feb 14 '15 at 21:45
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I'm going to respond to individual parts of your post.

I think it'd be proper to honor people who is called with such calling and have equipped themselves with seminarian study to serve God's flock.

This is entirely subjective. Though you find it proper, some may not. If a user wants to be called "The Reverend so-and-so" then they can make their name say exactly that. They can further clarify that they are indeed a Reverend in their profile if they wish.

Would it be possible for an ordained minister to get a unique title or special badge to honor their privilege.

I don't believe it would be possible or supported by the SE staff. Some sites do have custom badges, but they are related to achievements on the site. There's also a problem of verification. How would we do that? I don't really feel like calling seminaries to be sure certain users completed with good standing. But unless it's verified, then it is meaningless.

This would also clarify whether or not their answer is credible in case an ordained minister from one group of belief is trying to answer a question about another group of belief. I personally would prefer an answer from a Baptist minister to answer a particular question about Baptist faith rather than from a non-Baptist guessing and quoting what a Baptist might believed.

You might personally prefer an answer from a Baptist minister for a Baptist question, but concluding that such answers are automatically better based off that single criterion is a combination of logical fallacies. Specifically, it is an appeal to authority and a genetic fallacy. This community would be remiss to devise a system that propagates any logical fallacy. This is, therefore, not a supporting point of your proposal, but rather a supporting point of a rebuttal.

I hope we can have an option to specify if a person is an ordained clergy to honor them with an honor due to them.

SE already has a system that brings users "an honor due to them" and it is entirely based off of the quality of answers and question that you post. "Let your work speak for itself" is the crux of this model and does not bother with considering any real life laurels you might have. For as faith without fruit is dead so also is an education not put into practice or shared.

When we're having multiple opinions it'd be helpful to have a clergy explaining the official teaching. An example would be from Puritan Board where you can see whether or not you're talking with a laity or a clergy.

I'm afraid I don't see how this is helpful. This harkens back to the previously used logical fallacy. Additionally, I prefer to "Let the work speak for itself" and I would bet a good deal of the users already here agree. We'll see in the votes on this post.

Summary: There's no apparent benefit to the site or it's users given in your post or otherwise.

  • @fredsbend, I think you missed my point entirely. Have you read my comment on AffableGeek? It's not a reliance on someone's authority. It's merely a way to authenticate a person's theological view. I can describe what Mormon and JW believe and those might be pretty well accurate but I prefer to hear they themselves to speak about what they believe. It's more of knowing who is talking based on knowledge of what someone might believe or a person within that belief explaining what his belief is. This is a good option to have. Benefit? See Puritan Board or any Catholic and Orthodox sites. – Adithia Kusno Feb 13 '15 at 23:08
  • @AdithiaKusno I believe you are still making the genetic fallacy. Regardless, you said it's "merely a way to authenticate a person's theological view." How exactly would it be authenticated? For example, I have no M. in Divinity, yet I could claim I do. I could open a new account right now an claim to be a Priest. How would we verify this? – 3961 Feb 13 '15 at 23:22
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    @AdithiaKusno The way to authenticate their answers is to request that the quote from official published documents for their church/denomination. – curiousdannii Feb 14 '15 at 0:58
  • @fredsbend the admins can contact the person directly either by phone or email as registered in public directory, eg. online church website. – Adithia Kusno Feb 14 '15 at 3:19
  • @curiousdannii that is one way to authenticate their answers but as you might yourself experienced it people could either misquote or misrepresent it. I did it many time, I give you an example: accusing Church of the East for teaching dual subjects Christology. Only until I talked to them and join their discussion forums I learned the intricacy of their Logos and tabernacle terminology as nothing else than affirming two natures Christology. – Adithia Kusno Feb 14 '15 at 3:23
  • @curiousdannii I was a Calvinist, becoming an Eastern rite Catholic make me realized that back then I read the same text, the same quotation, and most of the time with the right context, but still I misrepresented what the Church historically believed because of my Calvinistic conviction at that time. I can quote anything while reading it differently than the author intended, we have bias. If you join any Catholic or Orthodox discussions on Facebook or blogs you'll see clergy help answering. They help laity in answering questions not by imposing authority but by explaining the official belief. – Adithia Kusno Feb 14 '15 at 3:34
  • @curiousdannii I met Darrell Bock and D A Carson at 2013 ETS Meeting in Baltimore. They might not be active here but supposed they're their views (not because they're scholars mean they're automatically right) would be greatly valuable because it's no longer quotations but straight from the persons. If Kevin Vanhoozer or Richard Hays supposed in person active on this site their views will be contextual rather than quoting their works 10 years ago. Not a question of authority but a matter of credential and contextuality. An optional badge for Teaching Elder, Pastor, or Priest is a good thing. – Adithia Kusno Feb 14 '15 at 3:43
  • @AdithiaKusno "the admins can contact the person directly either by phone or email as registered in public directory" Yeah, that's not going to work. The SE staff is not in the business of verifying clergy status. They are in the business of making user run websites. If anyone is going to do it, it has to be the community. I know I will probably not bother calling Churches and stuff. Would you? – 3961 Feb 16 '15 at 1:47
  • @fredsbend when I was a Calvinist at Puritan Board, having clarity who is a pastor and where he serves is something that I valued. Especially during Federal Vision Controversy at that time. No one can simply claim that he is a deacon, but if he is a clergy members of this site with enough reputation let say 500 can validate his claim and give him an additional description on his profile that he is a deacon. I won't mind doing that. Check any Catholic and Orthodox forums on Facebook. I prefer to hear answers from SDA pastors or Mormon bishops because we tend to be biased in representing others. – Adithia Kusno Feb 16 '15 at 2:15

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