2 License Applications
2 men were applying for ministerial license. They arrived to meet the ministerial board with applications in hand, ready to answer some questions and get started with their publicly-accepted callings.
I'll call the first man "Brother Rivers". He was quiet. His application was full of surprises.
First off, he had backslid early in life, and only recently had he returned. This was not the biggest issue - many men find repentance and good full ministries after such things. The larger issue was what he did right before all of this. You see, Brother Rivers had a criminal record; he was guilty of a very serious offense that would've carried a long sentence.
Worse still - he ran from the authorities trying to bring him to justice. Even worse - it WORKED! He successfully avoided consequences to his criminal actions for decades of his life. He hid from justice, and now should the board license him? This was going to be a tough meeting.
As for the second license applicant, I'll call him "Brother Pitts". He was a distant relative of Brother Rivers. Brother Pitts was good in front of people - folks naturally listened to him and trusted him. He had no criminal record or negative marks in his public past. He even had a good degree of musical talent. There seemed to be no hiccups in this application.
Back to the first one: Brother Rivers was in a bind, because there were several more issues. While both men felt called of God, Brother Rivers was expressing extreme hesitation about any form of public ministry. That was understandably a concern for someone saying they feel to be used of The LORD.
Furthermore, the board learned that Brother Rivers had not maintained 100% compliance with the required standards for a few years. In fact, he'd only consecrated his family and made them conform to them ... on the way to the meeting today! It was getting crazy. I didn't see how he could survive this.
Every question seemed to generate controversy. When the board simply asked him about his pulpit ministry (a common question from elders to license applicants), Brother Rivers confessed that he honestly thought his brother was a better preacher than he is. In contrast, Brother Pitts was ready and able in the public arena.
Then came the questions about authority. Brother Pitts claimed he had once offered to take some of his own pastor's burden off of him as a relief from all the stress, and to help the congregation.
Meanwhile, Brother Rivers' response was a little more troubling: he'd had an ugly break-up with his first leader. From his second leader, the board found no direct approval obtained for Brother Rivers to elevate into this new ministry. He just kept saying, "he knows God asked me to do this".
This wasn't going good for him.
Now came the moment of truth. The board had to vote on who was approved for ministerial license, and who was not. The 2 applications couldn't be more different. One full of problems and unanswered questions, and the other essentially a smooth-sail into public pulpits.
But let's not get too caught up in this vote. There's something important you should be made aware of first. You need to know their true identities. So far, I've spent the whole post using pen names and story-analogies.
So who exactly were these 2 men I've discussed?
Why, you know them well. Their names are, respectively:
(1) Moses ("Brother Rivers")
(2) Korah ("Brother Pitts").
Which application should the board license?
Which one would you approve?