What did the Reformation ever do for us?


08/10/2013 by Chris Green

20131008-101238.jpg It was one of the foundational insights of the Reformers – the priesthood of all believers. No more priestly caste, because we confess our sins to “The Reverend One-Another”

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?”

Join in!

2 thoughts on “What did the Reformation ever do for us?

  1. You almost sound like one of the Brethren Chris! More seriously -isn’t it those men who themselves miss out. It’s a really joyful thing to be involved in seeing and help others develop their gifts.

    By the way -in this context, is it helpful or unhelpful to have the model set by some of the churches and church leaders that are looked up to where they have satellite venues and the sermon is transmitted through via a live link or pre-recorded?

    • Chris Green says:

      Well, I’m not trying to deny the need for pastors #selfdefeating ! But even they are set in a context of plurality, and are not exempt from being taught by others. And I’m not that keen on multi site either. But my real target was such a risk-averse mentality that we never take risks with younger people coming through, and under a right concern for orthodoxy, actually take the bible away from people because they can’t be trusted to read it for themselves.

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