You say, my church doesn't practice clericalism? You don't call him "reverend?" He doesn't wear black clerical garb? Okay, is he your "pastor?" That's clericalism. The New Testament teaches that the pastors are the elders are the shepherds. "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." I Pet. 5:1-3. This is a definitive passage in the New Testament, and yet is is made of no effect by clericalism. Listen to your pastors explain away this passage!
I know a man who wrote a best-selling book on eldership, and he has sold out on the idea of "elders" being, first of all, what the word means. Everyone, in all places, cultures, and times, knows what an elder is. Except in apostate Christendom! And what fancy theology Christians use to explain away the idea that an elder is an elder!
But Thomas Hughes Milner said it best,
Age, therefore, is the first requisite to the work of the Christian overseer and shepherd. Neither non-age, nor dotage, but simply age, is that which is denoted by presbuteros. A presbyter in apostolic use of speech is simply a senior. The zah-kehn of the Hebrews, the presbuteros, of the Greeks, and the senex of the Latins, are the exact equivalents of the English senior, elder, or aged. With all peoples the aged have their appropriate place and standing in the commonwealth; from among the elders of Israel the Sanhedrin, or national council, was constituted; the magistracy of the Greeks was filled by their presbuteroi; and the senate of Rome took its name from its being composed of seniors. It has been reserved to apostate christendom to shew to the world such an inversion of the natural and divine constitution of things as savageism itself cannot parallel––the seniors systematically under the rule of the young!––beardless youths fresh from school set to oversee the aged!
---from "The Christian Ministry According to the Apostles," Chapter XIV.
But you know what? Believers and nominal Christians are mostly agreed that the charge of clericalism is outrageous and even irreverent. Not only so, but even unbelievers and pagans are troubled by my charge. They don't like having their view of Christianity challenged, because it would force them to reexamine the only real issue--whether or not Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and was raised for our sins. Instead they prefer the existing system, on which they heap their contempt and tell themselves that the God of Christianity must be someone they don't have to take too seriously.
Now don't get me wrong--the world hates the disciples of Jesus. He said "if they hate me they will hate you." But the world is very comfortable with the system into which Christianity has deteriorated. It is non-threatening and in line with "the precepts of the world" that Paul condemned in Colossians 3.
However most of the readers here will reject my assertions on the basis that "this isn't really Christian teaching." Real Christian teaching, you know, begins with a three- or four-verse text and is followed by a three-part sermon in which the Scriptures are said to be "expounded" even as Jesus expounded the Scriptures on the way to Emmaus. Well, you don't know that. Fact is, expounded means "explained" and in no way requires a three-part sermon. Fact is, "expository teaching" is one of the cardinal tenets of the clergy system, a system nowhere taught in the New Testament. Fact is, the so-called Sermon on the Mount is called a sermon by men, and not God, and in no way provides a framework for what men call "sermon teaching."
Your clergy will explain away my application of the Lord's statement to the Pharisees. First they will tell you that context determines the interpretation and application of the Lord's words. Hypocrites! Of course context determines the interpretation and application, and the clergyman's prefacing his rebuttal with this fact in no way ensures that his interpretation is correct. This is standard clerical pretension. The clergy lead men astray by their pseudo-reasoning whenever and wherever it comes to defending "the system."
I do not have time or space here to answer all the clergy's objections to my application of the Lord's words. (But this website has plenty of space for it.) Short summary of their objections: they serve to defend and uphold their corrupt clergy system, and I am sick of it. Theirs is not theology, it is sophistry. Suffice to say, their objections are answered, and at length, in the articles found on these pages.
"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."