THERE IS NO LAITY
There is no Laity.
Essentially Eastern Orthodoxy, and Catholicism, are unbiblical pyramid systems where the so called "laity" are in effect the lowest of the low, almost like a lower caste, with the Pope or the Primus inter pares at the top, and Catholic and Orthodox laity at the bottom like a doormat.
One of the most massive, totally massive, differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicals (and Protestants) is the existence of priests, and a laity. In Evangelicalism we believe many things seen in old testament law are spiritualised in new covenant law. I believe the underpinning reason for this change may be found in the spiritualising effect of God in the flesh on Earth in the incarnation. The very presence of Jesus on Earth, and certainly his crucifixion and resurrection, is such a glory of spiritual perfection that the law is transformed.
1) Physical circumcision is done away with as law for everyone (not just Gentiles), and is spiritualised as circumcision of the heart.
2) The sabbath day is done away with, and is spiritualised into the eternal sabbath day (Hebrews 4) won for us as a day of rest by Jesus and his final and finished work of the cross (Hebrews 10:10). note: "The Lord's Day" the first day of the week, Sunday, is not a sabbath, it is an identified day of significance but not a sabbath. The idea the sabbath was moved onto Sunday (as in the Baptist Confession of 1689) is an error.
3) The Passover as a feast is done away with, and quote "sincerity" is the spiritualised keeping of it in new testament law 1 Cor 5:8, as the effect of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection is the born again experience to those who believe, changing our nature to one that tends toward doing good not evil, and therefore increasing our sincerity.
4) Unclean foods are replaced by the emphasis on that which proceeds from the heart and mind being unclean, a more spiritual concept.
5) The feast of Pentecost is spiritualised in the real presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives in Acts 2.
6) The shadow of the law, is replaced by the reality of Christ (Heb 10:10, Galatians chapter 3)
7) The Feast of Tabernacles is done away, wherein a booth is built on the side of your home, and you spend a week camping out (in the western world in freezing Autumn or Fall weather), in order to remember the passage through the wilderness in tents, and is replaced by a more spiritual concept. As Jesus tabernacled in the flesh, so we as Pilgrims upon the Earth (1 Peter 2:11) now on a spiritual journey toward heavenly Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26-31) and this journey is not finished until the end of the millennium.
8) The old draconian and anachronistic Law of Moses is entirely "done away" (2 Cor 3) replaced by the law of Christ (Gal 6:2 & Matthew 7:26).
NO PRIESTS OFFERING CANNIBALISM.
Even so in the new covenant there are no "priests and a laity" as proposed by Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, with priests dressed up in absurd man invented uniforms performing man invented ritualism. The idea of priests is also spiritualised into quote "a kingdom of priests" (Rev 5:10) where all believers, men and women, offer up spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise to God in thanks for the sacrifice of Christ (1 Peter 2: 5). In the new covenant the very idea of a laity is negated as Jesus said "ye are all brethren" (Matt 23: 8). In the list of ministries the concept of priests as Catholics, Popes, and the Eastern Orthodox see it is totally missing:
see 1 Cor 12:28
And God has placed in the church:
1) first of all apostles
2) second prophets,
3) third teachers,
4) then miracles,
5) then gifts of healing,
6) of helping,
7) of guidance,
8) and of different kinds of tongues.
It does not give "priests" as a ministry, with hocus pocus powers, and a laity they lord it over. Perhaps the three most important issues about the false idea of sacerdotalism, or salvation via priests and priestcraft are:
The powers of the fake priests of Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism.
1) Baptism - the heresy of sprinkling or cristmation.
Baptism and the eucharist are true sacraments of the real church, that is two things commanded that are symbolic (entirely symbolic), that represent aspects of the benefits of sacrifice of Christ. However the Orthodox heresy, and Catholic heresy, is that both impart saving grace, and as both are performed by priests they administer sacerdotalist salvation, salvation by priestcraft. With baptism this happens via an heretical interpretation of John 3:5 "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." where water is heretically interpreted as the physical water of baptism, but is in fact the water of the Holy Spirit as is seen in the next chapter "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14". The sense of the original Greek is "water even spirit". It clearly says in 1 Corinthisns 1:17 that baptism is NOT repeat NOT part of the gospel that saves, quote "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel". It should be noted that any would be Evangelical who preaches your salvation is not completed until baptism, or that baptism is part of the gospel that saves, is an heretic, and every bit as much a sacerdotalist as Catholics are. JESUS SAVES is the true gospel message, first preached by Jesus in Luke 24:44-48, then repeated by Paul in 1 Cor 15:1-4, nowhere does the salvation gospel contain ritualism or the performance of sacraments or works (Eph 2:8-9 & Romans 11:6).
2) Eucharist - the heresy that a priest alone, via ritualism, can offer you the body and blood of Christ to eat, without which "you have no life in you" thus without them you have no salvation, and they minister to you the heretical concept of a "process of salvation" also, as well as them and their ministry alone offering you this cannibalistic concept. The eucharist is clearly stated as something done "in remembrance" of Jesus. The disciples could not eat Jesus crucified and resurrected in the Last Supper, as Jesus had not yet died and risen again. The whole idea of the cannibal mass is an extreme example of the unspiritual person's inability to discern between the literal and the parable or allegory or comparison.
3) The invention of pseudo sacraments, in order to increase their power over people conceived of as a laity, by an increase in yet more hocus pocus pseudo powers, manifested through ritualism, strengthening their demonic iron grip on the people.
THE NICOLAITAN HERESY.
Whatever this heresy is, jesus said in the Book of Revelation he hates it. Yes God does indeed hate sin. He loves sinners but he hates sin. In a note about Revelation 2:6 in the Scofield Bible he states quote:
"Nicolaitanes From nikao, "to conquer," and laos, "the people," or "laity." There is no ancient authority for a sect of the Nicolaitanes. If the word is symbolic it refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order, or "clergy," which later divided an equal brotherhood Matthew 23:8 into "priests" and "laity." What in Ephesus was "deeds" Revelation 2:6 had become in Pergamos a "doctrine Revelation 2:15 ."
I believe that though definite historical documented proof of what the Nicolaitan heresy was is difficult to obtain, Scofield is correct that the word describing it unveils the truth of what it was - that is the division of the church into priests and a laity, which thing Jesus hates. If Rome is the Whore of Babylon, and Eastern Orthodoxy one of her many Orthodox daughters, which came first? The heresies that the Catholics and the Orthodox have in common started in the ROMAN EMPIRE. That is why The Whore of Babylon, Rome, is their Mother, the Mother of Harlots, whose daughters are the various Orthodox religions, that is centered on an heresy Jesus declares he hates, reducing saints to "a laity".
THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS.
In the middle ages many Jews were persecuted. They were accused of obtaining wine and bread "transubstantiated" and using them for blasphemous rituals. I mention this as it brings up an interesting fact. One of the subjects that arose in the "Great Schism" was that the Orthodox accused the Pope in Rome of "Judaizing" the mass, as the Pope used unleavened bread and the Orthodox leavened, and their wine was real alcoholic wine. I can practically guarantee that the Orthodox would invent some convoluted and preposterous reason that the following cannot be true ...... if you took away the wine from an Orthodox eucharist, and scientifically had it analyzed, and it (just for instance) contained alcohol, would that not be definite proof that there is in reality no "change" at all to the bread and wine? Thinking about this makes you realise the mass and Orthodox eucharist is open to complete refutation. That the mass is bunk. That it can be proven no change happens. That all the bread would come out as is bread, and the same with the wine, in a scientific analysis. Science can prove Orthodoxy and Catholicism is bunk. A minister in Liverpool England claims he went into a Catholic mass, took away the bread and had it analysed by a lab and the result was all it was just a starchy substance. Do you really think both the bread and wine (both of which are individually supposed to be the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ) would contain all the trace elements of a human body? Stop being naive. The mass is blasphemy. It is the cup of the whore of Rome.
THE HUMILIATION OF THE APOSTATES.
Sometimes people fall into apostasy and leave Evangelicalism to join Eastern Orthodoxy. The immediate effect of the heresy of a "laity" and the priests "power" over it is manifest. In Evangelicalism the person on believing in Jesus is born again immediately, and is therefore part of the church. But in his apostasy into Orthodoxy he finds he has to sit a year or two, is not considered part of the church, as the priests and bishops of Orthodoxy have the "power" to "make" him part of the church, if he suitably cowers to them, impresses them with his robotoid repeating of their heresies, so he can in effect "pass his confirmation exam" and only then become part of the church on the say so of these bogus priests and bishops. How vile the heresy of a laity is! How different from Evangelical Christians! Who say believing in Jesus immediately gives the born again gift without necessity of bogus priests, and you are part of the world wide church immediately! And let me emphasize once again the Catholics and Orthodox tell LIES about the Evangelical and Protestant view of the church. Everyone of them I ever met believes there is only ONE CHURCH, that is everyone who is born again, it is just that where people in Orthodoxy and Catholicism secretly have different beliefs, Protestants and Evangelicals are simply more honest and forthright about it.