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Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple Church Minute 10--clergy salaries

10—clergy salaries
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute
            Paul was the human writer of much of the New Testament.  In Philippians, chapter 3 verses 5 and 6, he tells us of how exactly he lived his life as a Pharisee before his salvation.  He was part of the Jewish religious system, and had become will known due to his education and zeal.  Historically, the Levites were dependent upon the tithes of the rest of Israel for their living.  Israel many times walked away from God’s direction, and failed to support them.  As such, the Pharisees instituted a tradition that every Pharisee was to learn a trade, just in case.  Paul came from a rich family, and didn’t need a trade, but as part of the process, learned to be a tentmaker.  When Paul came to faith in Jesus, had time to grow to Christian spiritual maturity, and prepared to spread the truth of Jesus to Gentile lands, he was prepared to not need financial help to live.  The church of that time had no professionals.  Paul taught that the church should support those who went out to spread the Gospel, and in later parts of his ministry was voluntarily supported.  It is even more amazing what God did through Paul, given that he could only minister part-time during the earlier part of his journeys.
            Today, many church leaders expect a salary.  The most extreme offense is from some denominational leaders and professors who do not believe, teach new leaders to not believe, and expect believers giving to support their salaries, to administrate against the true church.  Further, many traditional pastors are under pressure to avoid teaching all of God’s Word, as there is a person who potentially has a finger on his salary, that is offended about some point in the Word.  The pastor has no idea how to support his family if he loses his job, and doesn’t have a skill, even if he has a graduate degree.
            This is one of the results of one unscriptural practice after another.  What can they or you do now, if somehow tomorrow the traditional church was no longer allowed to exist, as has happened in other countries?  Few traditional churches have a plan.
            You can email me at simplechurchminute@gmail.com.  For more info on organic church*, see http://www.simplechurch.com/ or locally, (local website).
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.”  While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better.  I comment on that in blip 94.

An excellent book on the role of vocation in the Christian life is "The Other Six Days" by R. Paul Stevens.  While I do not believe I quoted Stevens in this blip, his thoughts have definitely affected mine on this subject.



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