Models of Church Government – an Outline

Hierarchical Model Nicolaitan Spirit   – Nico = To Conquer/Laitan = the laity, the people. “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Revelation 2:15, KJV.   The error of the Nicolaitans was to teach that the  priests were given secret and special knowledge not available to the people, and thus were also given the rights and privileges to administer the sacraments and operate in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, not available to the laity. This created a special holy, religious class of priests that were above the people and supposedly closer to God than ordinary Christians. It also created an unbiblical hierarchy where the only way to have access to God was through the priesthood and then the pope, thus putting a wall of separation between God and his people.  This hierarchical structure also happens in independent, authoritarian churches and personality driven churches, where the pastor is seen as God’s voice to the people. That pyramid would be much simpler and would look something like this: But we have one High Priest, Jesus, who is the only Mediator between God and Man: “For there is one God, and one mediator between … Read more

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