| How shall we pay Christian workers?|
I think there is a lot of confusion about the issue of paying Christian workers. There is abuse paying too much and to little.
What is the right measure?
Fair, industry average, as little as possible, none at all, generous, or as much as you would like to have for yourself?
The first group says, give them fair wages so that they can do their work without worrying making ends met. Let them be fully devoted to win souls, plant churches, teach, and help.
Then there are those who say, give them miserly lest they fall into temptation to gain from serving God. Let them be so poor so that no one can accuse them of misusing funds. Make sure they drive old bangers and wear 2nd hand clothes. Make the living conditions for Christian workers so unattractive that only those who really want to serve God can bear it. The less you give to them the more people you can send.
Then there are those who says, let all earn their own money in regular employment or business. Thus there is no discussion about abusing funds or taking money from people who are poorer then them. Let us make sure no one can accuse us of exploiting the flock.
Then there are those who say, if you want to be in Christian service you have to raise your own support. Then they put them to the embarrassment to go around and beg their friends and relatives for support.
Then there are those who think, we are a mega church with a good income. Let us offer a good salary to attract a really gifted pastor who can lead us on and keep the pews filled with people who tithe to keep the show going.
Then there are those who say, you must never make your needs known to man, but allow God to feed you. Live by faith. Do not take a salary but live hand to mouth. Some missionary societies practise this.
Last not least are those who actually want to see their leaders to live a lavish lifestyle because they identify with them and hope to come to riches by giving their tithes to them.
I have deliberately used some polemic and extremes here. My question is:
How can we find a biblical answer to these different scenarios?
You can google for yourself the net worth of some famous Christian personalities. You will be surprised!
George Muller died with a few pennies in his pocket yet he always had enough to meet the needs of multitudes.
Here are some bible verses in regard to wages of Christian workers. Jesus talked a lot about money, because our use and attitude towards money reveals a lot about ourselves. Fact is, we must use money in this world. Even Jesus disciples left their day jobs and took money and gave money away.
Luke16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
2 Corinthians 11:8-9 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. 9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
2 Corinthians 12:17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
1 Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
1 Timothy 6:10 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.
Proverbs 30:7-9 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
| 2018/2/13 17:27||Profile|
| Re: How shall we pay Christian workers?|
1Cor 16:2/ 2Cor 9:7
The discipline of giving has great value and giving with a conscience toward God by intention does also. If we give as unto the Lord I believe one can’t miss. I know many on this site will spout out ministries that are excessive or maybe even false, than back up those claims and try to put people into bondage by using stewardship scripture and guilt people into conforming to such, but in the end it is a persons conscience toward God that matters, end of story. God LOVES a cheerful giver.
Years ago a healing minister/evangelist came to a large church but was boicoit by many local churches because of some recent news of his sins and refusal to sit under discipline. He did give an alter call for a healing line and many were healed. I was a little confused when an older minister explained something that never left me, he said the people are The Lords sheep, and often times God responds to them around the preacher rather than through the preacher. The truth here is that The Lord responds to the heart in most things, healing, giving etc....
The conclusion was that evangelist is not preaching anymore and many people I know personally are still healed and serving The Lord these 20 plus years later. Praise The Lord.
| 2018/2/13 19:03||Profile|
| Re: How shall we pay Christian workers?|
matt 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
The context is showing intinerant ministers going from house to house receiving from that house their hospitality, that giving of room and board was acceptable to receive because the workman is worthy of it.
Today, we modify the house-to-house abode and live in our own homes and receive from God via the people of God their hospitality to us.
Then, we modified it to include old testament tithing as a means of pastoral support.
Then we modified it to include tithing for building projects, salaries, sound equipment and modern technologies.
Then we modified it to include 'perks' such as planes, lavish cars, lavish homes, vacations, second homes.
Then we modified it to include preaching for each other in order to raise funds and get that missing tithe from those cheepies in the congregation.
Then we modified that in order to take another offering for the visiting minister who just did a fund raiser sermon for the host pastor.
God does love a cheerful giver, he wants us to serve one another in our giving and with generosity.
We modified that in order to take 'holy Ghost offerings', or special needs offerings, or you have a big need yourself so you give another offering to seed-your need and expect a harvest.
We modified that by various wealth principles, giving principles, tithing principles, 100 fold principles, 1000 fold principles, and design our service to our members by who pay regular tithes, these have 'member' privileges and can ask the Church to help them if needed. Those who are not regular tithers or big offering givers are outside the blessing loop and cannot acquire the ministerial services allotted to members.
These and various other 'types' of giving are promoted in all kinds of churches in America.
The successful minister tell you that he too was a part of the bill paying poor mouthed group you are in, and according to these principles he has discovered you too may escape the bill-pay rat-race and gain God's favor and financial blessing.
The successful minister will tell you unless you tithe to his storehouse you are cursed, will be left in poverty, your bill paying life is because you are a cheap no good Christian worthy of the hardship you endure. (never so crassly, but its all the same)
Observation 3. Special offerings are part and parcel of being a good and generous Christian, your good job and your good house and your good car and your good wife and your good health are all due to your tithe and the removal of the Malachi curse, its incumbent upon you to recognize others have great needs too, therefore our ministry has undertaken to provide and avenue for you to alleviate your prosperity guilt...give a special offering for the missionaries, the poor, the special needs kids, the Sunday school program, the bibles to china, the assorted needs of the very busy and tired pastor.
Summary of those 3 observations...with my own conclusions, not requiring any of you to adhere to.
1. The man has no special insight into giving, only a special insight into getting into your pocket via using bible verse on un taught people.
2. The Old Testament tithe long since gone with the old covenant, resurrected in the new by way of using the law and its curses to keep the untaught and guilty in check and giving.
3. The Special offering taken specifically because the leaders have bought into their own fund-raising lies and now guilt the people of God into giving.
Final conclusion, the Church has been lied to, manipulated and conned by exploiters, by the traditions of men and by foolish and greedy men who can think of no other way of seeing success for their programs unless they find 'special' methods to put your money in their service.
Answer, a total refusal to be a part of old testament giving. A total refusal to be guilted into giving anything God has not already put on my heart. A total refusal to rely upon someone-else to find ways for me to give and show generosity.
It might please God more if someone were to give to the ASPCA rather than be guilted into another special offering for some project.
A rejection of the current methods of giving is in order.
A return to the proper understanding of giving in the new testament and what that is as a disciple.
A rejection of any minister who uses tithing, guilt, projects or power points with pictures of starving kids so that they can add this to their missionary budget.
It feeds egos, empires, ministry machinery, mortgages, big salaries, big buildings, big visions, big conquests and goals of those power personalities who are able to sell the body of Christ on their new 'word from God' project.
Until the church goer recognizes he can help whoever, when ever and how ever the Lord leads, he will always be enlisted in the Malachi curse machine and the special offerings programs...and not have the money to give to someone right in front of him that needs help.
You don't need to pay anyone that scripturally does not have a right to 'double-honor', you need not budget for teen leaders, working elders with good jobs, associate pastors who's real focus is administration of the religious machine.
Jettison the false and make a statement to the whole congregation...your gifts from God are sacred and are to be put to sacred usage.
You don't have to worry about a big congregation for such teaching, those who teach even close to what I just wrote will rarely gather those who just want to "pay their way through" and be left alone. That will remove half the congregation up front in some churches and ruin the ministries, programs and goals of many many more.
You want to ask the difficult confrontational questions to your pastor? Just ask him, why you need such and such a budget when the whole congregation is free in the scriptures to do good to the poor anytime they wish without routing any money through Church coffers. Ask this in regards to any project, program, goals.
| 2018/2/13 22:14||Profile|
| Re: |
Excellent post! It will take a big shake up in the 'churches' to get back into line with God's way of operating.
I give (not tithe) into the offering at churches I attend. This is because I recognise that there are some basic overheads that I enjoy, such as building, heating, lighting, etc. Even though these may be well covered by those who 'tithe' I don't want to free load on them, so will contribute my share.
However that is not really 'giving' in the biblical sense. Biblical giving is where we are free to give into what ever need or work that God directs us to.
| 2018/2/14 6:43||Profile|
| Re: |
My unsaid premise for all that shift in giving has to do with taking the emphasis off institutional forms of Church and restructuring congregational life.
The first place to start is with shifting emphasis away from professional, pastoral, elder, church board authority where these folks do the decision making, budgeting, discerning who gets what...to individuals, or groups of men or women who have a common burden; these groups within a congregation raise money among themselves for whatever God puts on their heart to do.
Want to hear something Ive never heard coming from a pulpit?
"Now, folks, I encourage you to meet up with people of like mind, pray and seek the Lord together where you will pool your funds, then give to that need."
" This morning I am impressed of God to make sure you have concern for your own people among you; if you know someone who cant pay the light bill, before you drop your offering in the plate, make sure the guy sitting next to you is able to turn his lights on".
"Those of you in the trades, offer your help to others so they can be blessed by your giftings, share your skills with those who don't have them.
this is giving and its never spoken of in this way that Ive heard.
| 2018/2/14 17:05||Profile|
| Re: |
Marvin I agree with 100% of what you have written.
The NT standard is stewardship meaning that everything belongs to God (not just 10%) and nothing belongs to me; I must use it as He would have me use it.
But first we must turn everything over to Him which is exceedingly difficult.
However, recall God did not let Abraham kill Isaac.
Further we have no idea what Jesus would have done had the rich young ruler started liquidating his assets. There is no record of Jesus telling Lazarus or his sisters to liquidate their assets.
The heart is what God cares about. If our heart is right we will be worthy stewards.
| 2018/2/14 17:14||Profile|