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Peddling The Word For Profit

May 1, 2015

Greetings,

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.  And who is equal to such a task?  Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.  On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”   2 Corinthians 2: 14-17

Here we go again.  God always leads us forward in victory because of Christ; and through us His presence is tangible.  Meaning you can smell, taste or feel it.  Jesus makes a noteworthy difference in the lives of those who truly follow Him.

On our own we are never up to the tasks He sets before us, but in Christ we accomplish much in His name.  There are MANY who present the word of God for monetary gain.  They share the Gospel for money, salary and profit.  Friends we are not supposed to be paid for sharing Jesus Christ with others. Doing so is contrary to the message and against everything that is true and right.  To me getting paid for loving others is like a warped form of prostitution.

We are supposed to speak and live without blemish or having our message tainted by receiving money or profit.  People that are truly sent by God are sincere and they do not compromise the truth by receiving pay.  Paul wrote, “We do not peddle the word of God for profit.” The word “peddle” here in the Greek means “retail.” Those who were in the gospel business were charging full retail to the saints of God… God’s word with a mark-up. How generous!  When Jesus sent out the disciples after empowering them He said, “Freely you have received, freely give.”  Well, so much for the generosity of Christ in today’s church system. If you buy a book or tape wherever “Christian” books and paraphernalia are sold, you are going to pay full retail plus unless it is at a secular book dealer and only there can you expect a mark down.

Or how about this passage where Paul is addressing the leaders of the church of Ephesus?

“I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you 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.” (Acts 20:33-35 KJ2000)

Paul not only worked to support himself with his hands, but he also supported those who travelled with him and told them that it was THEIR job to support the poor and the weak, not the other way around. Paul continues,

“For you remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be a burden unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and just and unblamable was our behavior among you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:9-10 KJ2000)

Paul tells us that to labor with our hands and to preach the gospel without charge is a sign of a true minister having an unblamable behavior among the saints of God. How rare this is in the Laodicean church age we are in where we boast in our Spiritual blindness, nakedness and earthly riches while we leave Jesus locked outside the doors of our “churches”, never allowing His Spirit to get a word in edgewise in our services. We would do well to heed Jesus plea, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent… He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:19-22 KJ2000)

I realize that this message indicts most of the “Church”, so I do not share these words lightly.  However, I share because The Spirit leads me and I want the Church to be effective and free.  Just because the Church has been doing it the wrong way for centuries does not make it right.  Things that have become “Church” traditions since the time of Constantine have infected the Church and it is time for the Church to be freed from the bondage of years past.  For many that is happening now.  I know of 100’s of Churches and thousands of Christ followers that are free and open and have no Clergy or church buildings.  They are using their resources to transform their communities and start other free, relational, Spirit led fellowships around the globe.  Please pray and think about it?  Are we where The Lord would have us, or do we need a total change?  Perhaps these are the days that we will finally complete the Reformation?  That’s right, Luther stopped WAY short by keeping the Clergy intact.  I am not the first to pen words like this and I most certainly hope I am not the last.  I don’t enjoy having to say difficult things like this, things that offend and can bring backlash; but I must and it is what it is…

Love and …….

Kirk Out !

P.s.  Thanks to Michael Clark from whom I borrowed a few of these words and concepts.  He is a true brother in Christ.

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12 Comments
  1. Great post. Sadly this is all too true about those who merchandise the sheep and think nothing of it. The is part of the Nicolaitan error and has been perpetuated for centuries.
    May the Lord Jesus bless you,
    SCarlett

  2. Chad permalink

    Thanks for the post brother. This is a big reason why I left vocational ministry 11 years ago. I could not articulate it as well as you, but my conscience could not take receiving that salary any more. It does feel good now to be the giver rather than the receiver, and actually having some money to give since none of my money goes to pay for salaries or buildings 🙂

  3. daryl permalink

    Agree with the post…yet not without difficulty.Have family members who are in ministry as their occupation and know of many good pastors who I would never view as those that peddle the Word for profit.They love the Lord,love people,and are hard working and regularly sacrifice their time helping others. i feel they are genuine people ,and certainly not trying to steal from others or purposefully mislead others. Sadly,that is not the case with many. As you said the church has been doing it wrong for centuries,and when that happens,”wrong” becomes accepted as “right”. I feel much of the wrong thinking in the Church is due to a misteaching of Ephesians 4 and wonder if you or others find that to be true. Certainly change will not happen over night,but I think it can happen…as we prayerfully speak the truth in love.

    • daryl, I have many dear friends and a few relatives who are Clergy and most of them are quite sincere and helpful to those they serve. However, most of the time they are still placing themselves in the role of Mediator between God and those they seek to serve. Christ is the ONE and ONLY Mediator and whether they mean to or not they damage and severely hinder the Body of Christ by serving in a position that is NOT of GOD at all.

  4. Sadly it seems that so many are showing their “profit” of this world as a classification in today’s church.

  5. Yep…things they are changing brother!

  6. Thank you, Chris. Anymore, I just let the blind guides lead their blind followers knowing that the only cure is His divinely located ditches which can be wonderful teachers to those who can not be awakened any other way. Not one who belongs to Him will be lost. Praise His name.
    Love you, my brother,
    Michael

  7. Ramma permalink

    You know my brother……..honestly……tonight( Sunday) around 8:00pm we rounded the corner about 3 blocks from our home and found neighbors that we and never met or spoken to before putting things away in the dark from a yard sale that they were opening on Saturday morning early when we left for California. We had passed their home and saw 2 bongo drums that I told my husband that I wanted, but we didn’t go back. We stopped to see if they sold them and yes, they had sold them. We started talking and the next thing you know we are in a circle in prayer for the needs of their lives and ours. We shared for about an hour and went home. The exciting burning in our hearts and the joy in the middle of our trials is being filled with Jesus love! We had “church” tonight in the middle of a driveway, blessed and bonding with His children. Give me this “church: any day!! No clergy, no tithing, no rules and regulations, only Jesus free and open. Praising Him always for showing us freedom!

    • "BK" permalink

      Wow, Ramma, the only word for this is awesome! Praising Jesus with you, “BK”

  8. "BK" permalink

    Daryl, I do so agree with you that many of the professional clergy do so because of a deep love for God and wanting to serve His people with this equating to ‘entering the ministry’. Yes, I agree it is because of the total misunderstanding & mis-representation of Eph 4. Having said this, I also honestly have come to believe that receiving money isn’t always merchandising or peddling for profit. Great post and comments, “BK”

  9. I don’t know really what I think….I see what you are saying but what of Smith Wigglesworth, A W Tozer, C H Spurgeon, or Billy Graham….great men of God. Ministers…..if any of them received any form of a financial blessing or paid by the church they shepherded it seems to me how wrong is it???? These men had such Spirit lead lives and have won so many souls for the kingdom. As I said, I have mixed feelings on the subject and Chris you are more than welcome to address it.

  10. Angie, to me it is very clear in NT scripture, especially in Paul’s writings, That taking pay for ministry is very wrong. Paul even said that taking pay actually “discredits (or hinders) the Gospel”. Tentmaking, or holding a secular job, seems to be the NT standard. However, love gifts are allowed in the NT and perhaps even encouraged. Such gifts are very different than taking a salary from the “church”.

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