Donations – BT6
The arguments for pastor compensation all fall apart when carefully examined.
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The “right to pastor compensation” folks will also say 1 Timothy 5:17 proves that the “double honor (diplous time)” we are to give “elders who stand-before-others (superintend) well, especially those who labor in preaching and/coupled teaching” obviously means “verbally and financially” or hopefully “twice as much money” because of them having to do 2 tasks! But the Greek word time simply means “giving perceived value, worth, or honor,” but in many verses it never means money (a), and in fact it’s clearly not money in Romans 13:7. It’s only used of money for the silver Judas took (b), the money from the sale of houses that some Christians were deceptively withholding (c), the tomb that Abraham bought (d), and the value of the books that Christians burned regarding sorcery (e). That’s it! The “right to pastor compensation” folks once again have twisted bible verses out of context to support their so-called “right.” <Notes> a) John 4:44; Acts 28:10, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23, 12:23-24; Romans 2:7, 10, 9:21; 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:1, 16; 2 Timothy 2:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; Colossians 2:23; Hebrews 2:7, 9, 3:3, 5:4; 1 Peter 1:7, 2:7; 2 Peter 1:17; and Revelation 4:9, 11, 5:12-13, 7:12, 21:26, b) Matthew 27:6, 9, c) Acts 4:34, 5:2-3, d) Acts 7:6, e) Acts 19:19.
The “right to pastor compensation” folks will also say that Galatians 6:6’s “The one who has been catechized (a) the logos gospel message must share all good things with the one who catechizes (b)” is obviously talking about monetary compensation, but the context is actually of “bearing one another’s burdens to fulfill the Law of Christ” (v. 6:2). Doesn’t that mean giving money to the pastor? No! We know from early Christian writings, that these “catechizers” were people training others for water-baptism, people that many mistakenly idolized and became followers of (c)! Verse 1 talks about gently restoring a brother in sin – that’s the burden to carry! If anything the so-called catechizing “leader” of v. 6:3 is more in the spotlight, the one that needs to gently help the sinners he is instructing, for “if anyone thinks he is something, when actually is nothing, he deceives himself.” This is exactly the “leader-follower” problem that Paul speaks disdainfully of in so many letters of his (d). We still have this problem – see Coaches and Facilitators! Now in v. 6:5 Paul talks about his work ethic again, “For each will have to bear his own load.” That’s the context of v. 6:6! Paul is simply qualifying or balancing out v. 6:5’s personal “work ethic and responsibility” by saying that the water-baptism disciple should share “all good things” with these so-called “somethings” who are the water-baptism catechizers. <Notes> a) katecheo: repetitive instruction of foundational truths, b) katecheo, c) 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, d) 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, 3:1-23.
What is the “burden” that this water-baptism instructor has that needs to be “shared” by their pupil? How about understanding how much work it is to instruct so many people who want to get water-baptized – the Church was exploding! It is tough “being in front of others” so much, water-baptizing so much, and it’s easy just to be grudgingly stuck in a sense of duty. That’s why Paul says these “leader-teachers” should use that grace-gift with zeal (a), and Barnabas adds: “Let them do this with joy and not with groaning” (b), in addition to Peter saying: “Exercising oversight not under compulsion but willingly” (c). Well it certainly helps “lighten the load” when the pupils are encouraging the instructors instead of giving them a hard time! <Notes> a) Romans 12:8, b) Hebrews 13:17, c) 1 Peter 5:2.
But it’s a big leap to say that the water-baptism pupils needed to pay their instructors to water-baptize them! In fact, there’s so many warnings about “leaders” in it for the “gain, which is dishonest and greedy and shameful.” The Greek phrasing isn’t saying there is “honest, non-greedy, and shameless” gain that was okay for “leaders” to pursue, but that if they are in ministry for “gain,” then this is dishonest, greedy, and shameful (d). <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 3:8, 6:5; Titus 1:11; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2:3, 15; Jude 1:11.
Romans 12:2-10 is absolutely not talking about offices, positions, and titles as the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches have interpreted it, which is simply “borrowing” from the ungodly world – these are the worldly stones building The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit! The Greek makes it clear that this is talking about praxis “functions, sustained activities, deeds, and/or responsibilities” based on the charismata grace-gifts that God alone “measures out” without any consideration of our merit, thus it is by unconditional-favor-of-grace. Paul warns in Philippians 2:3 to “Do nothing in possibility from eritheia selfish ambition or empty self-glorifying pride, but instead each of you should in self-humility be motivated to treat one another as more important than yourself.” This Greek word literally means “work for hire, work done merely for money, acting like a mercenary for one’s own gain regardless of the strife it causes, placing your own self-interest ahead of the Lord’s good for others. The NT usage is the seeking of followers as a self-seeking pursuit of office for gain, which is worldly.” These worldly methods were actually seeping into the Church, and sadly we see this continued through Catholic and later Protestant church history! See the Body-of-Christ ministry and Teach One Another pages.
This word eritheia is listed in Paul’s “works of the flesh that are evident” (a), and Paul was afraid to find this when he revisited an unrepentant church: “I’m afraid that somehow when I come I will not find in you what I wish . . . but . . . eritheia selfish-ambition . . .” (b). God’s “wrath and anger are to those who live in this eritheia selfish ambition” (c). Paul said there were “some, to be sure, who are preaching Christ through envy contention strife (eris comes from eritheia) . . . proclaiming Christ from eritheia selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me during my imprisonment” (d). There were also so-called “wise and understanding” Jewish teachers in the early Church, who were actually against “The Truth” (e), that James had to deal with: “If you have bitter jealousy and eritheia selfish-ambition in your hearts, do not go about boasting and tell lies against The Truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come from above but is earthly, soulish (f), demonic. For where there is jealousy and eritheia selfish-ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice” (g). <Notes> a) Galatians 5:19-20, b) 2 Corinthians 12:20, c) Romans 2:8, d) Philippians 1:17, e) Jesus and His gospel, f) the adjective of psyche – see the Identity page, g) James 3:13-16.
In summary, people who want to get paid to share the gospel and minister for God, will find some way to interpret some verse in their favor. They will use the verses above and miss the main points and obvious contextual meaning. This is nothing new! The 1st century had Greek “Cynics” and other groups that were paid to preach their religions and philosophies, often requiring this from who they delivered it to. Jesus sure wasn’t asking His disciples to be anything like them! The Canaanites, the ones in the temple that Jesus drove out, were the merchants at peddling religion and anything else that could make a buck. The last martyred OT prophet Zechariah in his last verse (Zechariah 14:21) says “there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts on that Day [of His great return].” The early church’s “Teaching of the 12 Apostles” or Didache, circulating at the time of Paul, strictly prohibited churches from paying any teacher, preacher, or prophet if they settled down for more than 3 days, but to send them on their way. If they insisted, they were to be quickly judged as “false prophets and teachers.” This was a real problem in the early Church because there were lots of people “in it for the money,” which the NT makes clear such “gain is dishonest, greedy and shameful.” And it sounds like they really took Paul’s advice, a contemporary! The modern church sure hasn’t!
SpiritMusicMeetups is following Paul’s ministry team example – we aren’t exercising any so-called, “rights to a living because of ministry for the Lord.” So be free in your giving to the Lord and His work. It simply will be a blessing to share together with you in all aspects of this ministry.