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Home Controversial beliefs The priesthood according to other churches not lds.

The priesthood according to other churches not lds.

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In 1 Peter 2:5,9 it reads, "Ye also, as lively stones are built up a
spiritual house, an holy priesthood...  ye are a chosen generation, a
royal priesthood." What is this priesthood which Peter talks about? That
all depends on which church you ask.

The position of the Catholic church is easy to explain. They claim the
Pope has the same priesthood as Peter had. And it is this priesthood
which gives the Pope his power and authority to direct the affairs of
the church. They declare that since Peter was the first Bishop of Rome
and the head of the church, then whomever is called to be the Bishop of
Rome, likewise fulfills the role which Peter had. Although there is no
scripture in the Bible which can be used to verify this claim, secular
history does indicate that Peter did act in the office of a bishop while
he lived in Rome. However there is no evidence that the authority to
preside over the church rested in the  position of who governed Rome.
The remaining priests in the Catholic church derive their priesthood
from the Pope, either directly or indirectly. Thus, they claim that the
authority of their priesthood can be traced directly back to Peter, who
received it from Jesus Christ.

The Protestant movement came from a dissatisfaction with the Catholic
church. But what about the authority of their priesthood? Martin Luther
was indeed a priest, and, in his own church, he did ordain others to the
priesthood which he held, so it might be argued by some that they can
still trace their line of authority back to Jesus Christ. But to do that
they must go back through the authority of the Catholic church. But if
the Catholic church is teaching incorrect or false doctrine (which is
the reason Protestants claim they broke away) then the Catholic church
had lost the moral power of its priesthood long before Martin Luther
came along. In which case, the Pope had no real power or authority left
in his priesthood. And if that is the case, then Martin Luther's
priesthood had no power in it either. On the other hand, if the
priesthood in the Catholic church still retained its authority, when
Martin Luther broke with Catholic tradition, he was excommunicated by
the Pope, which also annulled his priesthood authority. So, either way,
the Protestants have no legitimate claim to the power and authority of
their priesthood.

Since Peter did talk about the members of the church holding the
priesthood, Protestants have invented all kinds of answers to explain
away this problem. Listed below are some of the official interpretations
of what the priesthood means to them.

This is what they explain.

The Priesthood of All Believers

Every Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, the sole mediator between God and human beings. However, the priesthood of all believers is exercised within a committed community of fellow believers - priests who share a like precious faith. The priesthood of all believers should not be reduced to modern individualism, not used as a cover for theological relativism. It is a spiritual standing which leads to ministry, service, and a coherent witness in the world for which Christ died.

1988 Resolution On the Priesthood of the Believer
Adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention
Held in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988 as Resolution No. 5

Whereas, None of the five major writing systematic theologians in Southern Baptist history have given more than a passing reference to the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in their systematic theologies; and

Whereas, The Baptist Faith and Message preamble refers to the priesthood of the believer, but provides no definition or content to the term; and

Whereas, The high profile emphasis on the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in Southern Baptist life is a recent historical development; and

Whereas, the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer has been used to justify wrongly the attitude that a Christian may believe whatever he so chooses and still be considered a loyal Southern Baptist; and

Whereas, the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer can been used to justify the undermining of pastoral authority in the local church.

Be it therefore resolved, That the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988, affirm its belief in the biblical doctrine of the priesthood of the believer (1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6); and

Be it further resolved, That we affirm that this doctrine in no way gives license to misinterpret, explain away, demythologize, or extrapolate out elements of the supernatural from the Bible; and

Be it further resolved, That the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in no way contradicts the biblical understanding of the role, responsibility, and authority of the pastor which is seen in the command of the local church in Hebrews 13:17, "Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account;" and

Be finally resolved, That we affirm the truth that elders, or pastors, are called of God to lead the local church (Acts 20:28).


. The Priesthood of Believers--The Reformation Model
The priesthood of all believers was a cardinal principle of the Reformation of the 16th century. It was used by the reformers to buttress an evangelical understanding of the church over against the clericalism and sacerdotalism of medieval Catholicism. In modern theology, however, the ecclesial context of this Reformation principle has been almost totally eclipsed. For example, in the current SBC debate on the issue, both sides have referred (uncritically) to the "priesthood of the believer." The reformers talked instead of the "priesthood of all believers" (plural). For them it was never a question of a lonely, isolated seeker of truth, but rather of a band of faithful believers united in a common confession as a local, visible congregatio sanctorum.

The modern reinterpretation of the Reformation goes back to the philosopher Hegel who saw Luther as the great champion of human freedom whose stand against medieval obscurantism signaled the dawn of modern civilization. With F. Schleiermacher and "the turn to the subject" in theology, Luther became more and more the hero of modern rugged individualism. Consequently, the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers degenerated into the ideology of "every tub sitting on its own bottom."

In this context the concepts of priesthood of believers and soul competency were conflated, the one becoming virtually interchangeable with the other. W. S. Hudson, one of the most perceptive interpreters of Baptist history, has pointed to the devastating impact of this development on Baptist ecclesiology:

To the extent that Baptists were to develop an apologetic for their church life during the early decades of the twentieth century, it was to be on the basis of this highly individualistic principle. It has become increasingly apparent that this principle was derived from the general cultural and religious climate of the nineteenth century rather than from any serious study of the Bible . . . The practical effect of the stress upon "soul competency" as the cardinal doctrine of Baptists was to make every man's hat his own church.

The appeal to individual experience and private judgment--traditionally both suspect categories in Christian theology!--corresponded to the shift away from biblical authority and the dogmatic consensus of historic Christianity. It also produced a truncated and perverted version of what Luther and the other reformers intended when they formulated the doctrine of the spiritual priesthood of all believers.

P. Althaus, the great interpreter of Luther's theology, explains the original Reformation meaning of this term:

Luther never understands the priesthood of all believers merely in the sense of the Christian's freedom to stand in a direct relationship to God without a human mediator. Rather he constantly emphasizes the Christian's evangelical authority to come before God on behalf of the brethren and also of the world. The universal priesthood expresses not religious individualism but its exact opposite, the reality of the congregation as a community.

Of course, Luther did believe that all Christians had direct access to God without recourse to "the tin gods and buffoons of this world, the pope with his priests." But for Luther the Priesthood of all believers did not mean, "I am my own Priest." It meant rather: in the community of saints, God has so tempered the body that we are all priests to each other. We stand before God and intercede for one another, we proclaim God's Word to one another and celebrate His presence among us in worship, praise and fellowship. Moreover, our priestly ministry does not terminate upon ourselves. It propels us into the world in service and witness. It constrains us to "show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light" (I Pet. 2:9).

Priesthood of believers, then, has more to do with the Christian's service than with his or her status. One function Luther specifies as incumbent upon all believer-priests is that of "a guardian or watchman on the tower" (warttman odder welcher auff der Wart).
This is exactly what one calls someone who lives in a tower to watch and to look out over the town so that fire or foe do not harm it. Therefore, every minister . . . should be . . . an overseer or watchman, so that in his town and among his people the gospel and faith in Christ are built up and win out over foe, devil, and heresy.

According to Luther, then, the priesthood of all believers, far from providing a cover for individual doctrinal error, is a stimulus for defending the church against those forces which would weaken and destroy it.

John Calvin interpreted the priesthood of all believers in terms of the church's threefold participation in Christ's prophetic, kingly and priestly ministry. Specifically, every Christian is mandated to be a representative of Christ in his redemptive outreach to the world.

All believers . . . should seek to bring others [into the church], should strive to lead the wanderers back to the road, should stretch forth a hand to the fallen and should win over the outsiders.

The priesthood of believers is not a prerogative on which we can rest; it is a commission which sends us forth into the world to exercise a priestly ministry not for ourselves, but for others--"the outsiders," not instead of Christ, but for the sake of Christ and at His behest.

For Calvin, the priesthood of all believers was not only a spiritual privilege, it was also a moral obligation and a personal vocation. C. Eastwood, the great Methodist scholar whose book on the priesthood of believers is one of the few comprehensive treatments of the theme, laments the distortion of this tremendous evangelical imperative:

The common error that the phrase "Priesthood of Believers" is synonymous with "private judgment" is most unfortunate and is certainly a misrepresentation . . . . Of course, the Reformers emphasized "private judgment," but it was always "informed" judgment, and it was always controlled, checked, and corroborated by the corporate testimony of the congregation. Indeed Calvin himself fully realized that uncontrolled private judgment means subjectivism, eccentricity, anarchy, and chaos.

Given our commitment to religious liberty, Baptists cannot approve Calvin's method of dealing with the excesses of uncontrolled private judgment, as evidenced by his acquiescence in the execution of Michael Servetus who had repudiated the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. At the same time, we can and should recognize the danger which such teaching poses to the life of the church. We should not invite Servetus to become the pastor of our church or a professor in our seminary! To do so would violate the integrity of our Christian faith. It would also be an abdication of our responsibility in the priesthood of all believers.

No one should deny the importance of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. It is a precious and irreducible part of our Reformation heritage. But let no one trivialize its meaning by equating it with modern individualism or theological minimalism. It is a call to ministry and service; it is a barometer of the quality of our life together in the Body of Christ and of the coherence of our witness in the world for which Christ died.


This is basicly what most of the protestant believe.

Other churches mantein that they have their autorithy and power directly from the Bible but they don't give further knowledge about that.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:31  

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