Monday, December 20, 2010

Shattering the Clergy/Laity Divide

As promised I'm posting another Declaration from Rad Zdero's excellent book, The Global House Church Movement
This is a subject near and dear to my heart: the deployment of ALL of the Body of Christ to do the work of ministry. This cannot happen under the current religious landscape that dominates the Western world. 

We Declare Common People vs. Holy Clergy

For too long, we Christians have promoted the professionalization of Christian leadership. This religious caste system has created a rift between so-called clergy and laity, often resulting in a lack of involvement by lay people.  But, the tide is turning!  We now declared a grassroots Christianity that rightfully and practically restores the biblical priesthood of all "common" believers ( I Pet  2:4-10).

All believers can discover, use, and sharpen their spiritual gifts, talents, and capacities for the benefit of the entire Body of Christ (Rom 12:4-8; I Cor 12:7-12, 27-30). All believers can facillate even the most sacred symbolic acts, namely the Lord's Supper and Baptism, traditionally carried out only by ordained clergy. All believers are ministers in the truest sense and have a  God-given ministry to carry out.  There is no such thing as a priest or minister, for all Christians are believer-priests.

We , therefore encourage a shfit away from the unbiblical, professionalized, hierarchical, and money-draining clergy system, whether pope, cardinal, bishop, priest, minister, pastor, or senior elder. We suggest instead, a return to New Testament forms of leadership, namely local teams of co-equal elders (volunteers) and traveling apostolic teams (financially supported when needed) (Acts 13:1-3, 14:23, 17:9-15; 20:1-6, 20:17, 33-35; I Cor 9:1-18; Titus 1:5-9)  These are grassroots leaders who have been trained and approved by the Body of Christ.

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