Friday, February 11, 2011

Let all things be done.

The New Testament simply does not speak in terms of two classes of Christians -- "minister" and "laymen" -- as we do today. According to the Bible, the people (laos, "laity") of God comprise all Christians, and all Christians through the exercise of spiritual gifts have some "work of ministry." So if we wish to be biblical, we will have to say that all Christians are laymen (God's people) and all are ministers. The clergy-laity dichotomy is unbiblical and therefore invalid. It grew up as an accident of church history and actually marked a drift away from biblical faithfulness.... It is one of the principal obstacles to the Church effectively being God's agent of the Kingdom today because it creates the false idea that only "holy men," namely, ordained ministers, are really qualified and responsible for leadership and significant ministry

(Howard Snyder -- The Community of the King [IVP, 1977], pp.94-95).

(Lifted from Building Up the Body -One Man or One Another?)

This brings us back to one of my favourite verses, the one I quoted yesterday:

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

(1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV)

We shouldn't expect that our edification (building up) should come from our Leadership alone, but it comes from all us. The NIV puts it nicely here, "Everything must be done so that church may be built up."

Again, we all have the ability, the gift, the indwelling Christ, and the responsibility to build up those around us. Who? You. Me. Thou. Ye.

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