SHOULD A MINISTER BE PAID?
"Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise." Rev. Sam Pascoe
The world of religion has become a profession rather than an extension of
God’s love. Many so called "ministries/ministers" view ministry as something they have a right to profit
by in the name of God. Now a days it has become all too common for preachers to charge money for their preaching,
this is a disgrace and the Lord is not blind to their deeds.
Proverbs 23:23 "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding."
1 Corinthians 9:15-27 "But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
In the Book of Micah, the religious leaders had become accustomed to taking money for ministry, while telling people what they wanted to hear which displeased the Lord.
Micah 3:11 "The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us."
The Lord also spoke to Isaiah about the greed of Israel’s priests, who took money and spent it on themselves.
Isaiah 56:9-11 "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter."
Jeremiah 6:13 "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely."
Now, that’ is not to suggest that every ministry or minister who asks for donations is wrong in doing so, there are those that provide free literature and/or programming, in such a case asking for donations strictly for this cause is acceptable.
Preachers telling people that they can’t do anything without their continued financial support for them personally is a lie! Does anybody really believe that a minister is so busy or incapable of working at a job to pay their own way? There is nothing in Scripture stating that everyone is supposed to follow and subsidize their living.
Acts 20:29-35 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities (He physically worked to provide for himself and those with him), and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Scripture does NOT teach that "ministry" is something you leave your job to "go into", but does says just the opposite!
1 Corinthians 7:20-24 "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called ( his vocation, trade, occupation, etc.). Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called (his vocation, trade, occupation, etc.), therein abide with God."
Do not quite your day job!
Working hard is the primary means by which we can do good and help others.
Ephesians 4:28 "…but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
Paul followed his own advice, he continued to make tents, he paid his own way so that he could help others without ever being a financial burden to them. Others are mentioned,
Pricilla and Aquila, who worked with Paul in his business. Peter, Andrew, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John were fisherman by trade. We know from Scripture that several of the disciples continued to fish even after the resurrection of Jesus (John 21:2-3). This of course doesn’t mean they fished all the time
and that they never took leave to travel for ministry, they did not end their professions to serve the Lord.
After the death of Jesus a supported priesthood came to an end by God, it was not until the middle of the third century that the concept of a paid/supported "clergy" came into fashion again, only this time without God's endorsement.
Lack of finances may affect the speed with which a mission is carried out, but it does not prevent it from being carried out.
1 Timothy 6:6-12 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
A ministry MUST ALWAYS BE FREE!
The Church of God Proclaimed