Lately I've been thinking, what is my role in the kingdom. I woke up Tuesday having a sense of anger and frustration. It's something that at first I couldn't put my finger on.
Then later I realized it was God dealing with me. He was showing me some areas that I needed to let go of.
Doing ministry work in the field is really wonderful then there are times you feel just alone. I've also been really frustrated and almost disgusted with the way the modern day church operates. As I was thinking on these issues the word "bona-fide" came to mind. I like watching the movie "O brother where art thou?"
One of the issues brought up with the main character towards the end of the movie concerns getting his wife to not marry another man. She said he wasn't bona-fide and so she was going to marry the other man because he was bona fide.
I came to realize that is where my hurts come from concerning the whole clergy/laity issue of the church. (Which by the way is an unbiblical teaching.) Having the opportunites to pray with pastors and elders I was exposed to the sort of underground elitism that goes on amongst the "clergy". Now granted most of those I associate with don't have an arrogant attitude, but there is still that clergy/laity seperation there. Whether they realize it or not. They had their meetings they went to that only the "ordained" pastors could be apart of. They have special prevliges at certain places and conferences only for "pastors'.
So in reality if you aren't an "ordained" pastor/minister you are not "bona-fide". Again whether most ministers realize this or not it happens. They cling to each other instead of mingling with the flock. So they end up having special status in most circles. It becomes elitism. That is where the church has gone wrong. Jesus never exercised elitism over his disciples or others. He washed their feet,He made them feel wanted and served them. He said, unless you welcome the little children...there is no place in the kingdom. People we are all EQUAL in Christ. The very system Jesus fought with in the New Testament has been resurrected again. The Pharisitical and Sadducees system. We are all preist in Christ. There is no one, who is greater than the other in the church. We are all equal. Now I am not saying there should be no elders or such. Not at all. I am just saying we shouldn't be putting them on pedestals like we do.
I have encountered pastors who were not shepherds. They had their degree and it was like they didn't want to associate with the peasants.
Is that a biblical discription of elders? No, it is not. Again we are to be servants. We are all to associate with the lowly, poor, sick and each other. So ministers please pray and seek God to see if you have accidentally fallen into this viscious cycle. No one man is to lord it over another.