Hierarchy is the principle of organization for creation and for every human society, even the Church. Remember that Christ Jesus is the Head and we are his body. That is reflected in the four orders of ministry; bishops, priests, deacons and laity. The bishop who said that he was the servant of the servants of the servants of God spoke only a partial truth, and we all know that a partial truth is a heresy. This particular heresy is endemic in the American Church where those who proclaim it most loudly discover that they have lost their authority (how odd?) and end up having to go to the secular courts to sue their brothers over property. Here the problem is the disconnected hierarchy of the American Church that refuses to acknowledge any authority greater than itself. Where is no hierarchy there is no dance of life.
Surrender to the reality of hierarchy is surrender to an hierarchical order that is by nature an authority structure. That should be too obvious to bear mention, but it’s not. The only other alternative is chaos. Dare I mention an unpardonable word? Obey! Dare I interject that word into our understanding of the hierarchical order of bishops, priests, deacons and laity? Humility is understanding and accepting your place in God’s created order. The kingdom of God is not a democracy, and where it attempts to be a democracy it fails to be a kingdom. In a kingdom one reverently obeys the King. One also obeys his delegated officers and ministers. In American democratic fantasy people fancy that they decide things by a popular vote. That is idealized in the Town Meeting system that has the unique characteristic of not working very well, which is why we elect temporary rulers to argue and vote among themselves while the rest of us are just expected to obey. Now my remarks about hierarchy may not seem very American or democratic, but that is because my allegiance is to a kingdom with another King.