Pastors v. Priests 🧵(thinking out loud):

1/ "The occupations of butcher & baker are just as sacred as priest & pastor," is an argument that needs testing.

My immediate response: No.

But maybe that's b/c I think of ministers as priests, not just pastors. Hmmm.
2/ Yes, pastors can be narrow-minded & narcissistic like anyone else. But is there no continuity b/t ancient priests & modern pastors? Is there no *higher* calling? Is the goal to strip away all religious hierarchy until we fully realize the flattened modern individualist ideal?
3/ Churches used to be built in the center of town. Steeples were the highest points. Church bells governed rhythms, not just on Sunday but throughout the week. It's not "delusional arrogance" for a pastor to believe the church is primary. It's his job (and it's the truth).
4/ The thing we often forget when we flatten the world for the sake of "equality" is:

If everything is sacred, then nothing is. But if the sacred is kept sacred, it infects everything else.
5/ This paradoxical notion--let's call it salvific holiness--is central to Scripture. Israel is commanded to be holy and set apart. Why? *So that* it can be a blessing to the nations. Holiness does not contradict universal blessing. It makes it possible.
6/ Likewise, Jesus tells the Canaanite woman: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." Why? *So that* even the Canaanite woman might be included in the blessing (and her daughter healed). Again, holiness does not contradict universal blessing. It makes it possible.
7/ I'm a Protestant. I believe in the priesthood of all believers. But universal priesthood is a fractal reality, not a flattened one. It is true on different and ascending levels. Thus Scripture tells us that we are priests (1 Pet, Rev), but also that Jesus is our priest (Heb).
8/ Hierarchical roles are prescribed in the NT as a way of guarding the church's doctrine, worship, & holiness. Of course all believers should guard these things. But some are given special roles. This doesn't mean they're more valuable people. But they are more sacred roles.
9/ I could imagine a frame where some are called to be pastors-but-not-priests (to hold no sacred office). I may be one of those. In this frame, I could agree w/ Skye when he calls for more intermixing w/ the secular world. Perhaps more of these "pastors" should be bi-vocational.
10/ But I can't escape the notion that many pastors *are* priests (whether they say so or not). And I thank God for their role in keeping the worship of the church holy & highest. B/c, paradoxically, it is through set-apart-ness that the whole world is reconciled to God.

(Thx @SkyeJethani for putting your thoughts out there. Helped me to think through some things.)

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