Clergy and laity ... or is it Laity and clergy?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    I believe it was that great Baptist Carlyle Marney who I first heard say that all Christians are ministers and that in reality we are all laity.

    Today I was indexing an article in the Journal of European Baptist Studies and ran across the following quote by the author of the article, Mark Pierson. Mark has been a Baptist minister for over 20 years and currently serves in the Cityside Baptist Church in Auckland, New Zealand.

    I am curious if you folk agree or disagree and why.

     
  2. nunatak

    nunatak
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    Doesn't the scriptures differentiate? God "gives" the "clergy" to the church.

    Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."
    Eph 4:9 (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?
    Eph 4:10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
    Eph 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
    Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

    This is of course assuming that "clergy" and "gifts" in this context are interchangeable. The gifts God gives are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, clergy. Or, the gifts outfit the saints to be gifts?
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    I have heard sermons both ways. There are those who say what you just said, clergy.

    I have also heard others say that this is too narrow an interpretation of ministry and that it means all ministries of all the people of the church. Each person has one or more gifts and in using these gifts in the world where they live and work is the fulfillment of this verse.

    Personally I like this view. If this is correct then the ministry of the pastor is to help prepare all the ministers in the church, that is all the people, to fulfill their ministry to the world where they live and work.
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

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    1 You're once, 2 Twice, 3 Three times a laity. 4 And I love you. - Lionel 1:1-4

    Seriously though, this is an excellent question. Aren't all Christians supposed to minister to those around them? Isn't fulfilling the so-called Great Commission a requirement of all, not just those with some ordination by a congregation? You can't even go on full-time "official" ministry, as many pastors are bi-vocational.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    I would tend to agree. I don't think there ought to be a gap between the 2. Personally I hate the term "clergy". The Biblical model, to me is that those ordained to leadership within a local church (deacons and elders, for me) are just part of the church. Their only real "power" is the power of servanthood, godly living and influence.
     
    #5 Tom Bryant, Jul 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2008
  6. nunatak

    nunatak
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    The Great Commission is a call that is first, corporate in nature, in that it is to the "Church" or the Body of Christ, which is to proclaim Christ; second, since it is corporate, there seems also to be an individual nature to the Great Commission as well. Some preach Christ, but not necessarily all.

    This brings to mind Romans 10.

    Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

    Thus if some are "sent" then some must be the ones who "send."

    Or, some proclaim Christ, and others commission them to proclaim Christ.

    I think there is a human tendency to internalize these scriptures. What I mean is, we tend to draw a narrow personal application.

    The Great Commission is a COMMAND to the BODY, not to individuals.

    1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

    The answer to Paul's questions seem to be NO. Therefore, if ALL are not the ministry, then some must be the ones the ministry should equip, i.e. to become ministers, or serving ones, for the perfection of the Body.
     
  7. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    100% correct.

    Absolutely. The instant a lost person is born of the Spirit, a minister of the most High God comes instantly into being. All of us....every single christian...is an ordained (by God) minister.

    That is not to imply that we have have the same ministry function of course, but we are all ministers.


    :godisgood:
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    Does this not get to the heart of the doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer?
     
  9. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    What comes to mind, whenever I hear the words, laity and clergy, is what the Lord said that He hated, in........
    God hates the idea, of the “clergy”, being somehow “lifted up” between the God and his people(like the pope);

    There is one meadator between God and man, and it isn’t the pope, or any preacher.
     

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