May 24th, 2013
[sass''-er-dote''-uh-liz''-um] (Latin sacerdos, “priest”)
Sacerdotalism is the belief in an established hierarchy that separates man from God. In such a system the priesthood stands as an essential mediator between God and man. This priesthood, according to sacerdotalists, is a necessary component in worship, receiving communion, confessing sin, baptism, and other acts of administering grace. This “caste” system is generally rejected by Protestants who traditionally hold to the doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Pet. 2:5). Protestants believe that the only mediator between God and man is Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). Advocates of sacerdotalism reference the priesthood established in the Old Testament which was sacerdotal. Opponents will emphasize the difference between the New Testament church and the Old Testament theocracy, believing that the Old Testament sacerdotal system is completely fulfilled in Christ and, therefore, no longer necessary (Heb. 10:19-20).