“The abominable heresy that divides the church of God into the ‘clergy’ and the ‘laity’, is unknown in the word of God. This did not come into being until the latter part of the second century, as a perusal of any reliable ‘Church History’ will prove. This innovation was undoubtedly the work of the Devil, and it has wrought untold havoc in the church of God. The word ‘clergy’ comes from the word ‘kleeros’ which means ‘heritage’. In 1 Peter 5:3, the Spirit of God declares that all believers are God’s ‘kleeros’ or ‘heritage’. The word ‘laity’ comes from the word ‘laios’, which means ‘the common people’. In Christendom today we hear of ‘clergymen and laymen’, or the ‘kleeros and the laios’. The clergyman belongs to a particular class in the Church, who, by reason of education, along certain religious lines, and human ordination, has authority conferred upon him to preach, baptize, administer the elements in the Lord’s supper, and also lead the Congregation in public worship, prayer, and ministry as well as shepherd the flock. The ‘layman’, not being so educated and ordained, has no such privileges, and must be content to occupy a subordinate place. This abominable heresy finds its fullest expression in the Roman Catholic Church, but Protestantism, too, is greatly corrupted by it.
“There is not the slightest ground for this division of Christians in the New Testament. You will search in vain for it. It is foreign to the whole language of Scripture. Every believer is viewed as a ‘priest’. (1 Peter 2 5-9) and as such is exhorted to ‘offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’ All God’s people are constituted a kingdom of priests unto God (Rev. 1:5-6). All are invited to draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, through ‘the great High Priest of their confession”, whose blood has opened up the new and living way into God’s presence and favor (Hebrews 10:19-22).
The elaborate ritual of Judaism with its special priesthood, was done away in Christ! The veil has been rent, and every regenerated person has been constituted a priest unto God. All enlightened Christians will acknowledge this, yet many go on with a system that maintains and supports this multitude of unscriptural ‘reverends, right reverends, etc….’ Inasmuch as the church of God is likened to a human body, each part being necessary for the proper functioning of the whole; there can therefore be no dividing of the body into two separate bodies or classes, such as is practiced in denominationalism.”
The above was from a small tract or booklet Scriptural Principles of Gathering by Alfred Gibbs, published in 1934. The ensuing years have done away with none of these truths or abrogated God’s revelation to us.