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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple Church Minute 57--clergy/laity divide

57—clergy/laity divide
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
            At the time Jesus walked the earth, all beliefs had priests, laypeople, temples, and sacrifices, and many countries and occupational skills actually acted as a belief.  An example is Paul and the riot of the idol makers guild in Acts 19.  When Jesus died, arose, ascended to heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in the people of his New Covenant, He made a chosen people with characteristics unlike anything seen before on earth.  He introduced to his followers spontaneity, worship, and honor of God without structure and ritual, but within each believer, male or female, Jew or Gentile, the desire to honor Jesus with all that was in them.  Leadership was informal, by experience and gifting, character, and obedience to the Holy Spirit. 
            How then did the church wind up with a structure like other beliefs?  The apostles opposed it.  Third John verses 9 and 10 speak against a man who liked to have the preeminence.  Revelation 2 verse 6 may also be a warning of such a division.  Our wanting official human leaders seems to be a human temptation.  In the Old Covenant, God set up judges, but one sees in First Samuel chapter 8 verse 19, the people wanted a king.
            There were elders, people of experience, but no one was over another.  Apostles started churches, and on occasion revisited churches, had others visit, and Peter, Paul, and John sent letters, which are examples of apostolic oversight.  Notably, they weren’t sent to the head person, they were sent to all the church.  The leaders were not necessarily male.  In Romans 16, Phoebe is mentioned in verse 1, Priscilla in verse 3, and Junia in verse 7.  Within a couple hundred years, Cyprian of Carthage taught clergy was needed to intercede, even though the Bible teaches we no longer need an intercessor.
            You can email me at simplechurchminute@gmail.com.  For more info on organic church*, visit http://www.simplechurch.com/ or locally at (local website).
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.”  While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better.  I comment on that in blip 94.

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