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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Justified, Jul 27, 2002.
Who and how then is the New Testament Church and Pastor Supposed to be supported?
Quote from hr:
Paul tells us in 2 cor 9 that those who preach the gospel have a right to live of the gospel. Paul chose not to in order to not be a burden on newly started churches but he clearly maintained his right to. That does not necessitate a tithe however. Believers are to give as the Lord has blessed them (proportionally) on the first day of the week (regularly). Too many people get away with a tithe when they should be giving more.
What about when the church is just starting and there is not enough people with tithes to support the Pastor? and the needs of the church?
[ July 27, 2002, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: Justified ]
Warm Christian greetings!
I know of a church in Leicester, England, that is seeking to plant a branch work. They have taken over an old "working mens club" and they have services every Sunday. The person who is heading up this work has a secular job but he has reduced it to 3 days per week so he can do church work more often. It is hoped that as the church grows a pastor can be called who is "full-time".
If a church is just starting or is very small it is necessary for the pastor to have secular work to support himself, but it is a biblical principle for a pastor to be supported by the Lord's people.
Robert J Hutton
Paul stated explicitly that preachers had a right to be paid, and based it upon the practice of the Levites and a Mosaic command concerning oxen.
Could you please give the references for your statement? You don't have to write out the verses, I can look them up. Also, if you have the parallel verses in the Old Testament, if there is some?
There are no "tithes" in the NT church per se. That was a part of the Law that we are no longer under. If there is not enough to support the pastor, then he will have to work on the side to support himself. However, that greatly hinders the building of the church and should be avoided if at all possible. The support of the pastor should be the first "missionary" and when he is fully supported, then other avenues can be sought out. The exception might be a smaller community, where a full time pastor is simply not needed.
I don't think Paul's admonition is based on the Law per se, but rather on the principle that those who do something for a living should be paid for it such as soldiers, farmers, shepherds and cattlemen, oxen, and priests. In other words, I wouldn't single out the OT practice of giving the tithes to the Levites to try to bring the OT Law into the NT church. I don't think that was Paul's point.
Pastor Larry, what does Paul's words "Even so" in 1 Cor 9:14 mean? I'm anxious to hear your take on that.
It means that "just like" soldiers, farmers, cattlemen, oxen, and priests got their wages from their occupation, so should the ministers of the gospel.
Pastor Larry, and where did the "wages" of the priests come from? I'm not trying to be argumenative. Just trying to get my point across.
My .02 cents:
Everything is by faith without which it is impossible to please God.
If a man is called to preach, he does so by faith.
Our heavenly Father will provide whatever he needs.
It might come from those whom he feeds spiritual food.
Or, God may provide him with a job if those he ministers to are poor,
unable or unwilling to support him.
This is the manner in which He provided for His Only-Begotten,
the carpenter's trade then from the assistance of others when He went on the road.
[ July 27, 2002, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
Where did the wages of the soldier come from? Where did the wages of the farmer come from? Where did the wages of the cattleman come from? Where did the food for the oxen come from?he point in each analogy is that the person paid was paid by the income from the service he provided. Same as with the priest. The point is not that the NT church is to "tithe" according to the OT Law (23% on average--Maybe I should start preaching that). For the NT gospel minister, his living comes from the giving of the church.
I understand your point but I think you are missing Paul's. Paul is not instituting tithing for the church. He is drawing from a familiar analogy. The pastor does not function in the same role as the priest and therefore the analogy breaks down anyway. However, this thread is not about whether or not we should "tithe." It is about where the pastor is paid from. The answer is the giving of the church body.
Pastor Larry, I'm not sure but you may be misunderstanding Doc's point, and perhaps you have made it in your answer. "Even so" - in like manner, etc. - The priests (as priests ministering at the altar) were not supported by the tithes, but by portions of the freewill offerings brought to the altar. The tithe was the patrimony of the Levite (all Levites) whether he ministered at the altar or not.
Again, not for you Pastor Larry, but just to emphasize - the tithe was the inheritance of the tribe of Levi. Not every Levite was a priest or even eligible to be one, but the entire tribe was supported by the tithes.
Pastor Larry, You are correct. I got onto another subject and I apologize for that.
On the subject--I understand that some churches
takes pledges,makes an assessment of the members or some such method in order to bring a budget to the table. Our church doesn't do this. Each Sunday the plate is passed and each member contributes as he purposes in his heart. Some tithe and some don't. From this free will offering the church pays the expenses of the church including support for missions, pastors salary and auto expenses, relief of the poor and support for a private school (K-12) that the church authorized. There are other things paid from this offering but those are the major items.
The main idea I wish to convey is these moneys are contributed through love of the Lord's cause and by whatever method the contributions are made, I believe each person is a cheerful giver. Even tho I believe the NT teaches tithing, I would not force my views on anyone. If I have the opportunity I will certainly try to explain my views to you and try to make you see my point, but I don't believe in putting constraints on anyone.
Thank you rlvaughn for making my point far better than I could ever. If I'm not out of line for saying this here, I would like to communicate with you concerning the Landmark Baptist, especially the ones in KY and TN.
Doc, we were probably saying basically the same thing with different words. I would take a little issue with the use of the word "tithe" for the NT church age because the tithe per se was a part of the Law. I do however believe that every believer is to give cheerfullly and proportionally on a regular basis. As you say, it is out of those monies that the church is to be run and supported. There is a group of people out there who do not believe in professional pastors. They think they should all be laymen. They take that 1 Cor 9 passage to refer only to apostles. However, that seems to limit the context more than is supportable.
</font>[/QUOTE]I know many pastors who now are "bi-vocational", meaning they work both for the church as the Preacher and then have an outside job. I did this as an assistant pastor for my tenure in the church there, and also when I was an interim pastor. I believe it was common then for pastors to do so, and I truly believe that now it can and possibly should be done so that many of them can remember what it is to really work in the outside world. Seems many of them lose touch with what is real and live with an overly sheltered view of the world.
A pastor is supposed to support himself and his family the same way the rest of us do: with a job or business that is unconnected to the congregation. The same way Paul did with his Tentmaker business. That alone, should be a sufficient compass for this subject.
Pastoring is not SUPPOSED to be a career. It’s SUPPOSED to be a “calling.” The idea of a "professional pastor" is revealing (Proverbs 23: 23).
There is no possible reading of 2 Cor. 9 which can lead one to the conclusion that a pastor is entitled to a paycheck, a 401k plan, a free car, insurance, housing, and family support. Such lucre lust in the heart of the modern day pastor is common, and it is a bold violation of the 1 Tim. 3 standard (be not covetous, be not lovers of filthy lucre - v3) – and Titus 1: 7.
Do “professional pastors” believe that they ALONE can “minister” to the Saints? That’s what ROME believes about their brood. The Bible says that ALL Christians are fellow workers and labourer’s together (1 Cor. 3: 9, Phil. 4: 3, 1 Tim. 5: 18, etc) – not only a pastor. Should every member of the congregation get "paid" by the congregation for their service and ministering?
Similarly, the Biblical phrase, “the labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Tim 5: 18) includes EVERY Christian as the labourer, not just a pastor, and this is plainly stated in (1 Cor. 3: 9, Phil. 4: 3, Philemon 1: 1, 24). Again - should EVERY Christian receive ongoing monetary upkeep for their ministering along with the pastor? Certainly not! (and neither should the pastor).
Why is it assumed that the word “reward” in 1 Tim. 5: 18 means “monetary reward.” Why not "spiritual reward" for service acceptable to GOD? Isn't Paul's "tentmaker" business illustrating this?
Do pastors violate 1 Tim 3:3 (the de facto standard on the qualifications of a pastor) the moment that they make their hearty plea for a “compensation package” from the congregation? I feel that the breakdown of 1 Tim 3 would, in and of itself, disqualify the pastor from being a pastor in the first place! Where in the Bible does it state that a pastor may “request” ongoing monetary upkeep for himself and family from the congregation? Please cite chapter and verse.
Phil. 4: 18 illustrates that Paul rarely received from the congregation (so rarely, that he actually mentions the receipt of a gift in his letter). Phil. 4: 16 states plainly that Paul received gifts on TWO occasions – and those were of absolute necessity -not a weekly, yearly, for the rest of your life compensation package like the modern day pastor desires. Paul made his living by working OUTSIDE of the congregation. Why not follow his example?
The beautiful language of 2 Cor. 6: 3-10 hardly reflects the spirit of a “professional pastor.” I see only un-Biblical SELF-service in the philosophy of the “professional” careerist pastor.
The scripture simply does not support you. What does "Those who preach the gospel are to live of the gospel" mean to you? Pastors do get their living support just like everyone else ... by working a job. What do you think the pastorate is? I agree that there are many lazy pastors, just as there are many lazy people in other careers. However, that does not mean that there are no working pastors. The vast majority probably work harder than you do and are on call 24 hours a day. Speaking from personal experience, I work 7 days a week in most cases. I probably shouldn't and sometime in there I try to take a half day or something. I have church commitments at least 3 nights a week.
And as for the pastor being greedy for asking for pay ... do you have any idea what pastors make? If they wanted to make a lot of money they would be doing something else with a lot less headache and a lot more money.
Paul himself said that he had every right to ask for support but decided not to do it. You want a chapter and verse that says the pastor should be paid? 1 Cor 9 is explicit. And they should be paid commensurate with the size of the church and what the people in the church make.
The reality is that most churches (with the exception of small rural churches or churches with not desire to grow) cannot really be pastored as it should be with a bivocational pastor. It takes 50-60 hours or more every week to pastor a growing church, to prepare to deliver solid biblical messages, disciple people, share the gospel with people, administrate the church. I think most people have no idea what a pastor actually does. I know I didn't.
So I would encourage you not to be so harsh. Maybe sit down with your pastor (if he is fulltime) and talk about his average week. Then talk about his salary. And see if it is something you would do for the money involved. We do it because we love the ministry, we love to minister the word. I don't want to do anything else.
[ July 28, 2002, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
You are wrong, and the Biblical standard, which is evidenced by Paul's conduct, proves this to be so. My comments below are in addition to my prior comments on this subject, to which you did not respond.
1 Cor. 9: 18 is crystal clear that the reward for “preaching” the gospel is to do it WITHOUT compensation. There is no possible other reading of this verse. In addition, the verse says, explicitly, that it is an ABUSE of power to do otherwise (i.e. to be compensated for it). In fact, Paul said he would rather DIE than to receive compensation for the Gospel’s sake (1 Cor. 9: 15). Proverbs 23: 23 bear’s him out.
When Paul says, “But I have used none of these things,” (v 15) it does not mean that you CAN, as you suggest. Quite the opposite; Paul has provided the NEW MODEL for you to follow – which is the way that Paul himself did it - and the way ALL congregations are expected to do it too.
[ July 28, 2002, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: latterrain77 ]
Nothing to beat a little grace in your speech eh???
What do you think the "full use of my right" is? Paul plainly says in the passage that those who preach teh gospel have a right to live of the gospel. Not vv. 14-15: "So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things." So it is the Lord who directed that those who preach the gospel have the right (not necessarily the obligation) to get their living from the gospel. But Paul did not use that right. How in the world can you argue with that??? Consider v. 11, that those who sow spiritual things among you are not wrong to reap spiritual things. In v. 6, Paul question if it is only Barnabas and himself who do not have the right to refrain from working, indicating very clearly that the other apostles did. When you read the whole context, it is clear that Paul is arguing that those who preach the gospel have the right to gain a material living from the gospel.
What verse are you reading?? I don't see this in that verse. Paul says he does have the right but did not use it.
So when Paul says that the Lord instructed him that those who preach the gospel are to live of the gospel, are you saying that Paul misunderstood the Lord or that the Lord was wrong? This whole passage is so unbelievably clear it is amazing that there can be any debate. Have you read the whole passage? I don't mean to be offensive but I don't understand what passage you are reading and arguing your point from.