Summary: Every member ministry.

Reading: 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 4-10.


• The greatest wall ever built by human hands;

• Stretches 1500 miles along the northern boundary of China.

• It was begun in the third century B.C. by the emperor Shih Huang Ti,

• It was built in defence against the Huns, who threatened to invade.


• The largest wall ever built by living creatures is the Great Barrier Reef

• Off the north-eastern coast of Australia.

• Extending 1250 miles, the reef has been built up through the centuries with “bricks”

• Made from the skeletons and remains of marine animals and organisms.


• The deepest gap ever carved out of nature is the Grand Canyon,

• Which ranges from 4 to 18 miles wide and 5300 feet deep.

• It has been gouged out over time primarily by the Colorado River,

• Which erodes more than half a million tons of sediment a day.

Walls. Barriers. Gaps. They all do the same thing—divide.

• But the most imposing divisions mankind will ever know are the invisible ones;

• And you and I are their architects.

• Brick by brick, with each sharp word or wrong attitude or action,

• We erect a barrier, we build a wall.

• And left un-dealt with,

• Our relationships erode and a gap is formed, separating us from each other.

Relational barriers exist not only between individuals, but also between groups of people:

• For many centuries in this country;

• An ecclesiastical wall separated the clergy from the laity.

One example:

• In the 15,00’s Only the priests were allowed to have a Bible;

• And then only in Latin.

The religious institution called the ‘Church’ had become corrupt;

• Ill: Tyndale: “I will build my Church”.

• This corrupt system held the power over the very people they were supposed to help.

• It is thanks to men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale And the many men & women;

• That we will never know about but who gave their lives spreading this book.

• That this particular barrier was eventually broken down,

• Most of us don’t think twice about having a Bible in English that we can read.

In the 1800s there was another major barrier:

• A barrier between the Clergy-Laity.

• Between the two there was a dividing wall.

• This gap led to people leaving the established Church,

• And forming independent Churches.

Once again we take Churches like this one for granted:

• We fail to appreciate the persecution and stigma and the criticism,

• That our founding-fathers experienced!

In the 1800’s (and it is still true today):

• The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church were and are made up of;

• Bishops, priests, deacons and lay people,

• But only the clergy i.e. bishops, priests and deacons are ordained,

• That means ONLY they are;

• Recognised and given authority to do certain tasks,

• e.g. baptise or give communion etc.

• Christian’s who were not ordained as ministers (‘the laity’ i.e. the average person),

• Have always been restricted, limited in their Church activities.


• No matter how well a person might know their Bible,

• No matter how godly their life may be,

• No matter how gifted that individual was,

• It all countered for little unless they had been ordained.

Question: What is ordination?


• Ordination involves a period of training and exams,

• You need to gain certain qualifications and pass certain tests and interviews.

• If you achieve that,

• Then you may be recognised or ordained as a minister, or a priest or a vicar etc.

• And then and only then you are allowed to practices certain tasks;

• E.g. baptism, communion etc.

Now I am not on a knock others platform tonight:


• I regularly work with other denominations:

• Perhaps more so than anyone else here.

• SO I am not out to knock them,

• Just to remind you of why we do what we do.


• That there is no Biblical basis for ordination,

• It is not taught in the Bible, it is an artificial distinction:

• I agree that we all benefit from training and studying & gaining insights from others,

• I spent several years of my life, training for Christian ministry myself.

• But I cannot find any teaching about clerical ‘ordination’ in my New Testament!

• It is built entirely on church tradition and ecclesiastical customs.

Churches like this one:

• Especially my background i.e. Christian Brethren Church,

• We very much owe our origin to the years of 1825 to 1830.

• Although any good book on Church history will inform you,

• That groups of Christians had met this way long, long before that (always!)

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion