Law and Religion – Reclaimed!
by Gerald R. Thompson
CLERGY AND PRIESTHOOD
I. GATEKEEPERS OF RELIGION
The law of the nature of priesthoods: how do you know a priest when you see one? A priest is anyone who claims you must go through him in order to get to God – to make your prayers heard, to receive God’s favor, to know his will, or to attain salvation. The inevitable tendency of a clergy-laity distinction in any church (orthodox, catholic, or protestant – it doesn’t matter) is the creation of a human priesthood.
The office(s) of pastor, elder, and overseer (bishop) were never intended by God to create a class distinction among church members, i.e., clergy and laity. The office(s) of pastor, elder, and overseer (bishop) are valid church offices, but they are governed by the law of equality within the body. Class distinctions between clergy and laity nullify the equality which God has ordained, and pervert the government of the visible church.
The politics of power and control: Double standards, personal privileges and exemptions. Bottom line: maintain the gravy train system at all costs. “Show up, pay up, shut up.”
II. THE PRIESTHOOD IS DEAD
No one but God can institute (create) a religious priesthood (such authority has never been delegated to men).
God abolished the only priesthood he ever established (the limited authority to exercise the authority of a priesthood formerly given has been withdrawn).
All human efforts to exercise authority God has withheld or withdrawn (reserved to Himself) are lawless and subversive of true religion.
All priesthoods are abolished as a matter of law. There is no such thing as a “Christian priesthood” – an oxymoron.
III. ABUSE AND LAWLESSNESS
Things which should never exist in any church calling itself Christian:
1. Confession of sin and the human mediation of forgiveness
2. Tithing, sacrificial giving, and tax-deductibility
3. Sacraments and so-called ordinances (sacerdotal functions)
4. Of temples, garments, titles and terminology (priests, robes, sanctuary, altar, vestibule, narthex, etc.)