Saturday, November 25, 2006

Don't call me Teacher: We are all brothers

You are all brothers

How do we resist the temptation to lapse back into a class-based religion? Jesus gives us the key, “You are all brothers.” (Matt 23:8) We must always remember that, in Christ, we are all brothers and sister. Paul reminds us that in Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) God does not see any distinction between believers. He does not see clergy or laity, rich or poor, young or old; He only sees sons and daughters. Even when Paul went to Jerusalem to submit to the Apostles the gospel he was teaching among the gentiles, he recognized that there was no difference between him and the Apostles or even the rest of the brethren. “But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) -- well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.” (Galatians 2:6)

God does not make distinctions among men, but far too often we do. We elevate some and appoint to them the professional ministry of the gospel. We let them to the work of ministry while we remain but spectators of the kingdom of God. As leaders, we often relish in the promotion we receive in the estimation of others. We like being thought highly of by others. We can even begin to see ourselves as being special, better than the people we lead. While we may see ourselves and others in this light, God does not. We must renew our minds to realize that, no matter the specific function we fulfill in the Body of Christ, we are all equal; we are all bothers and sisters in Christ. Whether Pope, Priest, Father, Bishop, Pastor, Teacher, Elder, or believer, we are all bothers.

In the church, there is really only one who is special, one who has first place, one who is preeminent and that person is Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us shed the old garb of clergy/laity and return to a biblical understanding of the body where we can once again be simply brother and sisters in faith.

David Robison

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