Peddling The Word For Profit?
“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.
P.s. I know that there are many sincere Clergy that really love the Lord out there, but I also believe they are sincerely wrong by becoming professional paid ministers. We are all called to be bondslaves to Christ and my friends slaves are not paid to serve.