The word hierarchy is defined today as "a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority."
An hierarchy is a pattern of rank, and it is found in nature all the time. Father and son is a common example, as is the model of the alpha wolf.
There is nothing wrong with the idea of hierarchy itself, but the manner and way it is determined and applied may produce different results.
- Is the rank according to status or authority?
- If the rank is according to authority is that authority over people or over things?
- When the rank is according to status or station how is that status determined?
Is there an "hierarchy" in the Church established by Christ?
The answer may not be as simple as one thinks. When we say hierarchy, we think of people ruling one over another, but that is not what the word actually means in every case. Just like the word government may suggest the idea of a ruler or ruling class. A "ruling class" is certainly not an absolute if we consider the long history of voluntary systems of self government.
The truth is that history is replete with governments that had no rulers one over the other, nor a ruling class. It has become so rare today that people believe that the term government can only mean people who rule the people rather than a system where the people rule or govern themselves and the Government is composed of servants.
Government does not have to mean a centralized government of control, but can be a diversified network of faith, hope, and charity. In fact, “our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm”.
Taxes in such a government that is non-centralized would be entirely voluntary, and there would be no entitlements except the natural rights endowed by a creator, or by parents as co-creators. While there are many examples in history, the most well-known is early Israel for hundreds of years before the institution of kings.
A Democracy may be said to be a non-centralized government, but that is not entirely true because a democracy is merely a government where the majority are the ruling class, or they elect a smaller group that makes or enforces laws upon the rest of the people.
The word hierarchy does contain the word archy from the Greek word archon or the verb archo, which does mean ruler or rule over, and it is commonly used to refer to rulers over people; it is translated as prince, chief, magistrate, commander, or leader. But it may also mean a ruler over things set aside into their hands voluntarily.
We find forms of the word in the Bible, like archisunagogos, meaning the ruler of the synagogue. He is not really ruling over people, but over a place. The people who enter the place must remain orderly while in that place, according to what the archisunagogos dictates, but all they have to do is leave the place and they are free to do as they wish.
The Greek word synagogue does not just mean a place like a building, but it can mean an assembly.
Early Israel gathered in congregations of ten families, often choosing Levites as their ministers. These were free assemblies because there was no means by which to bind the people together to keep the Law of Moses.
At other times in history, membership in a synagogue or congregation became the result of a contract with kings like Herod the Great who offered a socialist system of welfare like that of Nimrod, which made the word of God to none effect because it included a forced sacrifice.
The chief ruler of the synagogue could kick you out of the welfare system operated through the synagogues like we see in John 9:22 But those were not truly Free Assemblies since the days of Herod the Great and his own version of Baptism.
With the arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus, some of these heads of synagogues repented  These men followed the ways of Christ, repenting of the Corban of the Pharisees which had made the word of God to none effect. These true believers led their synagogues back to the righteous ways of Christ. They were still part of a welfare system in Pure Religion, but they now depended upon Faith, Hope and Charity - rather than force - to provide for their needs. This righteous system of Corban set the people free in many ways, but next they needed a Daily ministration dependent upon the Perfect law of liberty.
Men like Crispus began following the ways of Christ:
- Acts 18:8 "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."
Crispus, and Joses who became Barnabas, became part of an hierarchy that served the people with the Freewill offerings of the people, rather than the Benefits of men who call themselves Benefactors but exercised authority one man over another. They did not rule over the people, but over the offering. If they did a poor job, people picked a minister who did a better job. The right to choose what to give and to whom to give was in the hands of the people in a different form of government that was not like Rome. This was the Christian conflict between Rome and the true Christians. That conlict demonstrates how Modern Christians have more in common with the Pharisees and Pagans than they do with the early Christians.
Their elections were not national but local in a living network of self-organizing Tens.
There were also the politarches which means the ruler of the city like a mayor or governor.
Or there is the word architriklinos which, although it sounds ominous, literally means the ruler of three couches. His job was to arrange things at a feast or big dinner so everything went well.
While the Church in general is an organization, it consists of participants: the laity or people; and the ministers, who conform to Christ for His purposes. Ministers are to be Benefactors of the people, but they are not to exercise authority one over the other. They maintain an absence of hierarchy in the sense of ruling over people but there was a hierarchy over that which was offered by the people.
There is clearly an hierarchy in the Church which we see with Jesus' comment in Matthew 23:11 "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant." So when a minister picks a minister he is picking a servant that will help him connect to the rest of the kingdom of God in a charitable and loving way.
So we see in one sense the Ministers of the Church are an hierarchy.
Hierarchy is a late Middle English word via the Old French and medieval Latin from Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhēs ‘sacred ruler’. The earliest sense was ‘system of orders of angels and heavenly beings’; the other senses date from the 17th century.
And the Greek word hieros has a meaning dedicated, holy, sacred and separate, or the word hiereus meaning Priests, all included the idea of being separate or set aside. They did not rule over the people but over what the people freely gave
The Levites belonged to God and were separate, and they provided a service to the people without ruling over them either. The Apostles were also to be separate living in the world but not of the world.
By understanding what Religion is -- and specifically Pure Religion -- by discovering what it really means and the function priests provided in free societies before they were bound by superstitions, or covenants ... this will help people understand what hierarchy can mean and what services it can provide.
When society contributes to Christ by way of His appointed priest, who has no personal estate, like the Levites and the early Church, then as those Priests gathered in a network of Priests, each one becomes a joint heir of what they all receive. This is important because when such ministers or priests die or step away from their official mission, the funds and resources that they hold for religious purposes, e.g. sacred treasures, pass to the next individual to hold that office of Christ's Priesthood or to the other joint heirs to be used for their intended purpose.
The words joint heirs is from sugkleronomos which is seen in Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together."
The Greek word sugkleronomos is also seen in several other verses.
Again understand that Religion is a system of welfare; whether set up in the Character of God and Christ or in the Character of Cain, Nimrod and Benefactors of the world who exercise authority one over the other. Seeking the Kingdom of God includes seeking Pure Religion so that your welfare is not dependent on nor spotted by the world.
The apostles were rulers and princes, but not over the people, like the governments of the gentiles. They ruled over that which was freely given to them. There is no taxation in the Kingdom of God. If they did not do well with what was given to them for the purposes of Christ, the people could choose to give no more. Any government where the rulers can force the contributions of the people is not following the ways of Christ, nor are the people free or at liberty.
The Latin word from which we get the word religion can mean "re binding".
This is their choice.
Abel and Seth were shepherds. Shepherds lead people to green pastures...
But then there were Cain and Nimrod who plowed mankind and created "civil" powers. They bound man civilly for their own purpose. The way of Cain and Nimrod lead to Babylon. The other way of Christ leads to liberty under the God of Nature.
They did not force the contribution of the people, but they did bind the stuff freely given by the people, for the people and of the people to serve, not rule.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
- One of the most important things to do is to become involved in a network of Charitable Practices. Everyone should want to join a Living Network of Love and Charity.
- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church, contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
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- hierarchy a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.
- synonyms: pecking order, order, ranking, chain of command, grading, gradation, ladder, scale, range
- noun: the hierarchy: an arrangement or classification of things according to relative importance or inclusiveness.
- late Middle English: via Old French and medieval Latin from Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhēs ‘sacred ruler’ ( hierarch "a chief priest, archbishop, or other leader"). The earliest sense was ‘system of orders of angels and heavenly beings’; the other senses date from the 17th century.
- "The alpha wolf is a figure that looms large in our imagination. The notion of a supreme pack leader who fought his way to dominance and reigns superior to the other wolves in his pack informs both our fiction and is how many people understand wolf behavior. But the alpha wolf doesn't exist—at least not in the wild."
- Part I of The Enterprise of Law : Justice without the State by Dr. Bruce L. Benson.
- 758 ~ἄρχων~ archon \@ar’-khone\@ present participle of 757; n m AV-ruler 22, prince 11, chief 2, magistrate 1, chief ruler 1; 37 1) a ruler, commander, chief, leader
- 757 ~ἄρχω~ archo \@ar’-kho\@ a primary word; v AV-rule over 1, reign over 1; 2 1) to be chief, to lead, to rule
- 752 ~ἀρχισυνάγωγος~ archisunagogos \@ar-khee-soon-ag’-o-gos\@ from 746 and 4864; n m AV-ruler of the synagogue 7, chief ruler of the synagogue 2; 9 1) ruler of the synagogue. It was his duty to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, to examine the discourses of the public speakers, and to see that all things were done with decency and in accordance with ancestral usage.
- 4864 ~συναγωγή~ sunagoge \@soon-ag-o-gay’\@ from (the reduplicated form of) 4863; n f AV-synagogue 55, congregation 1, assembly 1; 57
- 1) a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting
- 2) in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men
- 3) a synagogue
- 3a) an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of the scriptures; assemblies of that sort were held every sabbath and feast day, afterwards also on the second and fifth days of every week; name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious purposes
- 3b) the buildings where those solemn Jewish assemblies are held. Synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile. In the times of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine, but also among the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns several or even many. These were also used for trials and inflicting punishment.
- : John 9:22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that Jesus was the Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
- : John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
- 4173 ~πολιτάρχης~ politarches \@pol-it-ar’-khace\@ from 4172 and 757; ; n m AV-ruler of the city 2; 2 1) a ruler of a city or citizens
- 755 ~ἀρχιτρίκλινος~ architriklinos \@ar-khee-tree’-klee-nos\@ from 746 and a compound of 5140 and 2827 (a dinner-bed, because composed of three couches); ; n m AV-governor of the feast 2, ruler of the feast 1; 3 1) the superintendent of the dining room, a table master. It differs from toast-master, who was one of the guests selected by lot to prescribe to the rest the mode of drinking. The table master was to place in order the tables and the couches, arrange the courses, taste the food and wine beforehand, and so forth.
- Luke 22:26 But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
- Luke 22:27 For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
- 4789 ~συγκληρονόμος~ sugkleronomos \@soong-klay-ron-om’-os\@ from 4862; and 2818; n m AV-fellow heir 1, joint heir 1, heir together 1, heir with 1; 4
- 1) a fellow heir, a joint heir
- 2) one who obtains something assigned to himself with others, a joint participant
- : Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs <4789> with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
- Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs <4789>, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
- Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him <4789> of the same promise:
- 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together <4789> of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
- : Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
- Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
- Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
- Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
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