He had told them before, when they squabbled over who would be the greatest in the kingdom, that while the kings and rules of the world lorded their authority over their subordinates, he came not to be served but to serve, and if they wanted to follow his way, then they would have to do the same…
While Jesus calls all his followers to this style of humble leadership, most Christians hold in tension a belief in both the “priesthood of all believers” and the distinct calling of some Christians to specially ordained ministry roles. In many traditions, these roles — such as pastor, priest, deacon, and bishop — are known as holy orders, and ordination to them is considered a sacrament.
Unfortunately, the difference between the clergy and the laity is often perceived as more vast than it is, which leads to all sorts of trouble, from abusive and authoritarian churches, to the idolization of religious leaders by their followers, to unhealthy and unhappy pastors who struggle to manage the weight of the expectations placed upon them, to Christians who miss the full depth of their own callings because they believe ministry is something other people do.
–Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday, p.115
Feelin’ a Certain perspective on this as someone who used to be an acolyte (you know, the kids who light candles and carry the stick with a cross on it and stuff)… ’cause in a role like that, you feel like you’re part of a distinct group involved in running the show, but you don’t really feel “holy”… It’s more like… eh, what I imagine it’s like to be the sound guy.
RHE doesn’t usually go as far as I would in her statements and
at times she’s a little tepid for me, but boy does she give me some jumping-off spots for my thoughts.
Which is to say,
(chanting) christian anarchism christian anarchism CHRISTIAN ANARCHISM