I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Clergy or not?

I know many good brothers who would recoil at the suggestion that they are members of the clergy. I started wondering what the difference is between the clergy and those of us who are non-clergy professionals.
  • Paycheck? Yes for both.
  • Office? Yes for both.
  • "Full-time"? Yes for both
  • Special status? Yes for both.
  • Special tax considerations? Yes for both.
  • Degree(s)? Yes for both.
  • Ordination? Yes for both.
  • Perform weddings? Yes for both.
  • Perform funerals? Yes for both.
  • Do counseling? Yes for both.
  • Do hospital visitation? Yes for both.
  • Visit "shut-ins"? Yes for both.
  • Send letters to visitors? Yes for both.
  • Write newsletter articles? Yes for both.
  • Preach in church services? Yes for both.
  • Etc.
Do you notice a pattern developing??? If it walks like a duck...


Gman said...

The problem I have is really we're all clergy. all ministers. Though some are evangelists, some are "pastoring" and elders ...

My thing is I get paid to be a Christian ... and try to lead others.

Levi said...

I'm getting the sticker for the back of my car today! :)

David H. Willis said...

Or maybe we ae all laity.

I think I'll get one of those old "Clergy on Board" signs for my ride.

SammyBoy said...

No, guys. We are clergy. All Christians are not clergy. Clergy is a word that means a very specific set of things. Combining various definitions, the word CLERGY refers to people who are set apart for religious leadership, authorized to perform certain spiritual or religious duties or services. Like it or not, there is a class of people rightly labeled "clergy", and we who "earn our living by the Gospel" are part of it.

William Mckinley Dyer said...

I like being able to park at the Clergy parking at Hospitals, beating the system yet being honest at the same time...bahahaha, take that Medical Facilities.

Gman---i dont think u get paid to be a Christian. I think u get paid for preaching the Gospel (which is what im assuming u do) which is totally in line with 1st Corinthians 9:14

William Mckinley Dyer said...

Sammy---umm so where did u get that from? Bc what i read in the NT is that all Christians are a Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation (1st Peter 2:9) We are all memebers of one body (1st Cor 12:13) in which there should be no division (1st Cor 12:25)

SammyBoy said...

Billy (and all) -- what I'm saying is that the word "clergy" is not a biblical word. It's a word that means a very specific thing. It's a development in language that came long, long after the Bible came.

It can be compared to the term "major-leaguer" in baseball. Everybody who plays baseball is a baseball player. But not every baseball player is a major-leaguer. To be a major-leaguer has a very specific meaning -- a baseball player who plays in a particular circle of competition.

Let me give a biblical example. Every minister is, to a significant degree, a pastor -- every minister shepherds other believers. But not every minister is a Pastor -- an Elder. As Christians, we are ALL called to do things for each other that fall into the larger area of pastoring -- caring for, instructing, exhorting, etc. But we are not all called as Pastors with a capital P.

That's all I'm saying. "Clergy" doesn't equal "minister" when "minister" is used a a larger term to describe Christians as 1 Peter 2 does. "Clergy" is a specific group or classification of people who are recognized as "professional ministers" or "authorized ministers" of a given church group -- usually recognized as such to meet some authoritative or official responsibility.