Beware The Way Of The Ferengi
Ferengi are aliens in the Star Trek universe that love money and all things mammon. It seems their purpose in life is to make a profit in anything they do. The way of the Ferengi is in direct opposition to the ways of Jesus. “For the love of money (mammon/stuff) is a root of all kinds of evil. And it is further written that, Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10) The desire for money is just not the way of the cross.
What does this all mean for people who make money off of the Gospel? I think it puts them in a place that God never intended for them to be. Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 2:17….”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 someone sent from God.” Seems pretty darn clear that making any sort of profit because of ministry is not God’s way. That certainly shows that all televangelists and prosperity preachers are in the wrong. Paul went even further in 1 Corinthians 9:12 where he basically said that getting paid as an apostle would “hinder and discredit” the Gospel of Christ.
From my study and experience it looks to me that ministers should not get pay for their gifts and service to the church. I know that sounds extreme, and perhaps it is, but it seems crystal clear to me. When I study the New Testament I see Paul tentmaking and getting a job whenever it is possible for him to do so. Sure there were, at times, love offerings and gifts to support him when he was in chains or unable to work. However, he NEVER took a salary to do the work of The Lord.
What does this mean to modern day Pastors and ministers “serving” the “church”. I am pretty sure that it means that they shouldn’t get paid… period! In fact if they are getting paid this is what Jesus has to say about it, He says, “I am THE good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” (John 10:11-13) To me this implies that Jesus is THE ONLY good shepherd and that all of the others are not so good, in fact pretty terrible much of the time. It definitely says that being a hired hand and getting paid to work with the sheep is totally wrong.
I have known some good Pastors over the years, but I still feel that their position and pay goes against God’s best will. Ministry is a calling and not a job or profession. Churches should use their resources for missions and to take care of widows, orphans, and others in need. Paying someone to lead in the church puts pressure and expectations on that person to perform, but it also takes pressure off those being served in the congregation and makes then passive spectators. The New Testament call is for every member ministry and paying Pastors and such tends to inhibit the Body of Christ in numerous very negative ways.
If the most excellent way is love, then we should all freely love and care for others. When one gets paid to love, it is called prostitution. Need I say more?
Love and …….
Kirk Out !