Division of ch. mems. into clergy and laity is valid if the words simply distinguish those who have been called into the ministry (see Ministerial Office, 5) from those who have not been so called. But with the rise of the sacerdotal system, which culminated in the papacy, the idea that the priesthood formed an intermediate class bet. God and man became prevalent, and the term clergy took on added, hierarchic meaning in that context.
The doctrine of justification by faith alone abolished human mediation bet. man and God. M. Luther* effectively proclaimed the priesthood of all believers (cf. 1 Ptr 2:9). As a result, the laity recovered its proper position and lay representation again became possible. See also Laymen's Activity in the Lutheran Church; Priesthood.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
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