I recently attended a research symposium and spoke on organic, missional and simple church. During the meal breaks I was speaking to several ministers, and after some probing questions, I was promptly and repetitively referred to as a ‘layman’. I have read endless material on the clergy system and how some denominations think there is a distinct divide between the ministers ‘elite’ and regular folk ‘laymen’, but I had never experienced it first hand until now.
Karl Barth summarises my view well – ‘The term ‘laity’ is one of the worst in the vocabulary of religion and ought to be banished from the Christian conversation’
At the conference, the first minister that said it to me made me chuckle, but when the second used the same term.. I questioned him. “why do you create a distinct separation between yourself and your congregation?” He looked at me with concern, I then explained “the term laymen is sectarian and places a wedge between yourself and the priesthood of all believers, do you truly believe that divide is biblically warranted?”.. lets just say he scuttled away very quietly into the crowd.
Are you a minister/priest/pastor?.. do you truly believe you have authority to tower over the priesthood of all believers possessing higher abilities or powers from God? Today I question your pride and pomp, and hope the following articles can bring some insight into where the nasty doctrinal perspective was birthed.. lets learn how God intended the Church to function, not bow down to the world and its military-roman style ways.
Here are some links that explain it better than what I can;