They even did away with the very word. ‘Presbyter’, or ‘elder’ was preferred, and the anchor point of their work was teaching.
But because we are all priests, there’s a sense in which we are all elders. Those of who are mature teach the less knowledgeable. And those who are brand new Christians see things with a clarity that older Christians need as a rebuke.
As Paul nearly put it in Colossians 3:16, we are taught by ‘The Reverend One-Another.’
So why do I come across reformation-hearted churches where the pastor doesn’t allow anyone else to preach? Where the pulpit is guarded so fiercely that no-one is ever trained up? Where home groups aren’t allowed because they might get the Bible wrong unless the minister is present?
Don’t we trust the Bible any more?
Have we produced our own priestly/presbyteral caste?
The Reformers would encourage us to have more confidence in God, his Word and his people. As Luther nearly put it, “While I sit here in Starbucks, drinking my Latte, the gospel runs its course.”
Or, as Tony Hancock nearly put it,”Does Sola Scriptura mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?”