The Priesthood of all Believers, Careers, Culture and this World
Below are several excerpts from a small section in Michael Horton’s Putting Amazing Back into Grace on the subject of the priesthood of all believers. I would have loved to share the entire section if I was able. In our zeal to serve the Lord I fear many of us fall into a form of gnosticism where we oppose anything “physical” (of this world) and pursue only what we deem as “spiritual” (of the world to come). If this is your tendency (which I’ve been guilty of in the past) then consider Horton’s words humbly (and maybe buy his book).
In the medieval church, the Sacrament of Holy Orders entered those who were really “sold out” for the Lord into “full-time Christian ministry.” Christians were separated into “secular” and “religious” callings, as though those who decided to work for the church or Christian ministries were somehow more spiritual than those who engaged in “worldly” vocations. (p. 208)
Against this “sacrament,” the Reformers launched their biblical notion known to use as “the priesthood of all believers.” This doctrine insists that the milkmaid has as God-honoring a calling and contributes as much as any priest, though in a different way. One need not be a monk (i.e., an employee of a Christian organization). Christians ought to be involved with the world, as salt and light. (p. 208)
Bach’s chief ambition was to represent the Reformation in music both in secular as well as in church scores. In fact, he signed all of his compositions (secular and religious) with the Reformation slogan, Soli Deo Gloria, “To God Alone Be Glory.” (p. 209)
There was a tremendous sense among the Reformation’s adherents that this world is terribly important too. To be sure, heaven is the believer’s ultimate hope, but it is in this world where God has chosen to reveal, act, redeem, and restore. (p. 209)