Monday, January 30, 2012

Should Pastors Be Paid?

1 Corinthians 9:13-18, "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as seen, he is referring to the Main-Stream, Corporate Entity, Institutional 'Church' System we are all familiar with in our day and age. When he renders the word in all lower case letters, (church) he is referring to Christ's Authentic, Home based model, which still exists today.

Should Pastors be paid a living through the tithes which are collected in their congregations? We have many synonyms for the word 'paid' we could use for this article. Compensation, support, salary, offerings, and the like come to mind, but what I want to get across to the reader is, shouldn't we be questioning this way of thinking? Is it supported by Scripture or tradition? Should our pastors be paid? Most do not want to broach this subject for fear that it will unravel the delicate structure the clergy has so feverishly tried to Protect. I mean, we're threatening their livelihoods when we bring into question the source of their income, especially when we view the tithe in light of Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. As I've already stated in many posts in this blog, I Protest the Profits and Proceeds, Propagated by the self-Professed Professionals of the 'Clergy' in today's Institutional 'Churches'. The reason? Because most saved people belong to an enterprised entity, which masquerades as Christ's assembly. They are, unwittingly, the victims in one of the biggest and most successful organizational money scams in history. The sad thing is they willingly do it because they've been conditioned to believe they are doing God's will. The truth of the matter, as we shall see as we read further, is that the average good-hearted Christian has no idea that they are being manipulated into supporting a man (or woman) in the position of 'Church' leadership through the mis-use of Scripture, and more specifically, the false teaching derived from the false doctrine of Income tithing.

In my unpublished book, 'Bucks, Bandits & the Bride,' I make the assertion that pastors and elders are not to derive a living from tithes collected from the congregation, nor are they owed any compensation in monetary terms period. History has made the office of a bishop a Profession. Scripture shows us a different model for pastors a.k.a. elders, shepherds, etc... We will look at this subject from several points of view to give a clear picture of what is true and what has been fraudulently imposed upon unsuspecting Believers. In a nutshell, pastors are not supposed to be living "of the gospel." Why you ask? Because they are pastors, not missionaries or evangelists. Pastors hold a local and stationary position. As we'll see later on, they can (and should) work a job in their local area in which they have set down roots to support their families. In verse 14, Paul was writing about those who were on the move with the gospel, not a local, stationary, permanently placed minister. Pastors today mis-represent this verse and say that it is the proof text that support the notion that they should be paid a living through the church. As an old preacher friend of mine would say, "Pass the bread; the Baloney has already been around!" Paul himself, when writing 1Cor. 9 wasn't a pastor! He was an Apostle, church planter, missionary to the Gentiles. Being a stationary pastor, as we see pastors today wasn't even a part of his mission. He wrote about pastors (bishops) to Timothy and Titus using his authority granted him as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, but he himself was not one.

Only missionaries and evangelists qualify to receive sustenance from those they minister to. Does this disqualify pastors from taking a salary from income tithes (or in any other form) from their congregants? Sure does! Why? Because they aren't the ones who live of the gospel! To do that, they'd have to be in the mission field; and as already stated, pastors are stationary! Their congregation is supposed to be the saved believers only. That is what forms a church: believers! Not a combination of the saved and the lost. This is Christ's model for a New Covenant ekklesia, not what we're used to seeing on today's street corner. I'll explain. Today we assume that pastors are defined as living of the gospel. That's a big assumption because the only ones who live of the gospel are those who take the gospel to the lost.

A pastor's function is not to draw people into the church, but they are like all believers, supposed to go out to the people with the gospel. So, why are they supposed to get paid a salary as unto today's standards, and folks like us who go soul winning get bupkiss? A pastor's basic function is to read, pray, guide, feed and Protect his flock from false doctrine. That's it! As a matter of fact, churches are not supposed to have just one senior pastor. Recently, I had an old associate pastor learn of my blog and the first thing he did was give me the third degree by asking, "Who is your Senior Pastor?" It was ridiculous! It sounded like he was a cop or something ordering me to "Spread 'em!" Churches are supposed to have a plurality of pastors who make decisions based upon consensus; not a glorified Potentate who dictates policy.

If the flock is made up of believers, then why would a single pastor be preaching the gospel to the saved within the church? The church doesn't need to hear the gospel repeatedly! We are already saved! It would be extremely redundant to preach the Gospel to an assembly of saved people, don't you think? As a matter of fact, preaching is supposed to be a positive activity aimed at the lost. It should be the 'good news delivered in a good way', where the lost would want to hear of what Christ did for us. Preaching is not supposed to be an aggressive, negative side-show put on for reproof or entertainment purposes aimed at a congregation of believers. Today's "preachers" have it backwards! Pastors should be training the flock to deliver the Gospel to the lost in a non-threatening cheerful way, and should be teaching them how to win souls. So should experienced church folk; but, we don't ever see common church folk get paid a salary, do we? Why? Because we're not in the 'Clergy Club.' For that, we need a De-Ploma from Bible college! What a joke!

The church was never meant to become the circus side-show it is today. We get fliers, and mailers. We see big colored ads in the phone book and on billboards to draw people into their facility to "hear the gospel." Why? Because they figure they can bring more people in at one time and accomplish in one day what would normally take them months to accomplish on foot. The Problem with that is, they are overstepping their boundaries as to what a church's function is. They are just finding short cuts to grow a 'Church's' membership roll. It has become a membership campaign. It's a numbers game! I know of some 'Churches' that genuinely and honestly go out and have a positive outreach to the homeless and hungry. I commend them for their efforts. But, their guidance is lacking. Their understanding of how to reach is clouded by their misunderstanding of Scripture and blind follow-ship of a man (pastor) who seems to have a personal vision. I know of a 'Church' who ministered to the homeless for 15 years, until the police came and took all of the homeless in that area away. Now that 'Church' is wondering what they're supposed to do now! Are they supposed to wait for their Senior Pastor to have another 'vision?' People are supposed to be approached with the gospel, not drawn into a 'Church' building with Promotions to hear the Gospel. Why not just give them a ticket, have an usher sit them down in a stadium style seat, give them a big box of popcorn and tell them to 'enjoy the show' while we're at it? Jesus' model for preaching the Gospel is to go out to the lost, not draw them in like a car lot with music, streamers, balloons and a giant inflatable gorilla.

The church shouldn't have one lost person in it. If there is a person who is lost, then they can be dealt with on an individual basis. But by and large, the Gospel is being used as just another 'attraction' to lure people into the Institution, and a lot of times it is mis-handled. We should only have the saved being trained to deliver the Gospel outside our confines, then add those who get saved to the assembly through baptism. You say, "Isn't that what the 'Church' is doing today? What's the difference?" To that I say, Thank the LORD that folks are getting saved, but the ends don't always justify the means. That's not how missionaries and evangelists are designed to do it, and they're the ones who live of the gospel, not pastors.

We've put a modern day spin on not only getting 'em saved, which eases our conscience, but we also get an added benefit; more members equal more tithing dollars, which funds the industry. The only good thing in this equation is that folks are getting saved in some (not all) Institutional 'Churches.' Praise God for that! But, it isn't because of the Institutional 'Church' model's concept. It's because Jesus made sure that the Gospel was no longer hidden from the common man on the street. Who hid it to begin with? The Institutional 'Church' Fathers, including their offspring, the clergy.

Today's Main-Stream Protestant 'Churches' are just an extension of the old Religious driven, people controlling, class dividing Roman Catholic 'Church' system. The only major things most Independent Baptists have over the Catholics is they present the Gospel correctly along with other basic fundamental behaviors. But, regarding the other issues, including the clergy versus laity classes and tithing, we see the Catholic Institutional 'Church' model's DNA all over them. The Gospel being preached in 'the Institute' today wasn't a matter of the 'Church' obeying Christ's model, but Christ infiltrating the Institutional 'Church's' model by infusing the Gospel within the public's consciousness. When the printed and published Word of God came around, the Institute had to adapt and accept the preaching of the real Gospel to appease the public. Otherwise they'd lose their controlling grip on them. As time went on, and the people became indifferent or conditioned by their leaders as to accepting a new version of the Gospel, many stayed because of the fear of being shunned, banished, excommunicated or even put to death. This is why so many 'Churches' are houses for the 'living dead.' They just found another way to suppressed the Gospel before the Great Awakening arrived.

Evangelists and missionaries are the ones who 'live of the Gospel' and can accept sustenance from those they minister to on the road. Pastors do not qualify. If they give out the gospel; great! But, that is every believer's duty. Why should a pastor get paid for obeying the same command to evangelize that a layman does who doesn't receive pay? Where does that entitlement come from? I know it doesn't come from Scripture as we'll cover in more detail below. Enough introduction for now. While we are considering these things, let's move on with our lesson.

First: In our modern day Main-Stream 'Church,' most Pro-Tithing supporters contend that the tithes rendered in the O.T., which are given to the Levite, and then 10% of those tithes given to the priests, somehow magically transposed over from that era to the New Covenant 'Church.' To support the clergy's claim they say that Christ meant to transpose activities and people from one point in history and splice it with another. They separate these points in history from the Bible and call them dispensations. (To back up their stance they make things sound so scholarly, don't they?) It seems the longer the word, the more credibility they will attain. Their so-called Proof text is contained in 1 Cor 9:13-14, which are connected by the words, "EVEN SO..." These two words connect verse 13 to verse 14, which seems to give the idea that Paul is connecting the Levite priesthood of the Mosaic Law with modern day pastors, elders and bishops in the New Covenant church. Some call it a "eternal moral principle."1 This assertion appears to claim that modern day pastors receive financial support as a reward for applying their vast education, studies, organizational skills, administrative skills, preaching, teaching and counsel from their pulpits, classrooms and offices. It would seem that they have had their ministry morphed into a Profession. We don't think twice about a doctor receiving his degree from medical school to be deemed a Professional in his field of expertise. The same can be said for Attorneys, Educators and Architects. So, if a pastor receives a degree from Bible College, why should we think differently about their claim to receive compensation in their field of expertise? There is a simple answer. Authority! Where is the Scriptural authority?

The doctor is required, by man's law, to obtain and maintain a license to practice medicine. For pastors, and others in the religious workforce, degrees or diplomas are sought after to show some sort of credentials. To be competitive for these jobs, (just like our secular Professional friends) those who wish to enter into a position to oversee a Corporate, Business entity Institutional Church,' will have to show off the old sheepskin. One may not actually need a degree to be voted in as a Senior Pastor, but it sure does look 'purty' on an office wall. It'll make a pastor look like he knows what he's doing. Some may not have noticed, but 'Church' has become a BIG business industry! The only Problem with this is, we are not supposed to be a business! We are a ministry. To that end, there are those with certain talents, which God has bestowed upon them to be apt to perform in whatever capacity necessary to accomplish His will. They don't need a degree for that! Not being a novas and having a degree from Bible College does not translate automatically as being the same thing. There are many no-vases in the ministry, but if they are doing what God wants them to, that's okay with me, And, they don't need a diploma on their wall to prove it or give them some visual distinction. The argument that having a Bible degree to validate a paycheck is Biblically errant.

Proponents of this Levite/Priest/Pastor succession claim that they should receive support the same way Levites and Priests ministering in the Temple did. Does 1Corinthians 9:13-18 really support such a doctrine? Daniel Mynyk, in his book, FREEDOM TO GIVE - The Biblical Truth About Tithing:1 Chapter 18 asks and comments on this subject. "Does this prove that God ordained tithes and offerings to be administered today as they were back when Moses penned this law? Before we can answer this question for sure, we need to examine the context of this passage. We need to define several terms. Who are "they which preach the gospel?" What exactly does "even so" imply? What is the overall emphasis or "principle" invoked in this passage according to context? The answers to these questions will determine if this passage proves the modern monetary income tithe doctrine."1

Do N.T. gospel ministers hold the same "office" or replace the bloodline of the Levites? Is that what Paul was trying to convey? What were the functions of the Levites and priests, and do N.T. ministers fulfill the same functions? Where did this idea come from? Thomas Aquinas claimed that "the clergy are the successors of the sons of Levi in the New Testament. Therefore tithes are due to the clergy alone."2 Clearly this is a Catholic doctrine imposed upon its unaware and unlearned laity. The truth is, the descendants of Levi included the priests, which were decedents of Aaron. None of the Levites could own Property. They could own a house, but not the land for commercial use or to inherit. They were basically sharecroppers who could farm the land or tend their livestock fifty weeks out of the year. Two weeks out of the year they would minister in the temple either in a manual labor capacity or as a priest (if they were sons of the house of Aaron). They only lived in Levitical cities called, 'suburbs,' (Numbers 35:1-7). There were 48 in number scattered throughout the other tribes of Israel, and only within the borders of Israel. These suburbs were separated outside the other tribe's cities by four walls of two thousand cubits each. In essence, they lived and communed as Levites in compounds. The people of the other tribes owned the land, but the Levites resided in these 'suburbs.' The Levites could sell their houses but could not conduct other transactions in Property (Lev 25:32-34).1

[If] the Scriptures link the so-called "clergy" of the church to the Levites and priests of the O.T. the "clergy" in parallel should not be allowed to own Property (land holdings). We see many big name pastors owning vast and expensive Properties throughout our nation, claiming a Prosperity gospel as their justification. Millions of dollars of tithed monies are used to purchase such holdings, yet the other specific portions of the same law are ignored, and more importantly, not divulged to the public. To be consistent with Scripture, we cannot pick and choose which part of the law we can observe and disregard the rest of it. To do so would invoke God's curse upon us. Galatians 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." According to this verse, "For as many ARE OF the WORKS of the LAW"; that is to say, if one continues in the law, even by their own choice, such as tithing, then one MUST apply that law as prescribed in the law (not in part, but as a whole) or be cursed. Another set of Scriptures state, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and do so, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty."-James 2:10-12.

May I ask, [if] you're a faithful tither, do you own land in Israel? Do you only tithe Produce or livestock from the land of Canaan? Do you give ten percent to Levites, and the poor? Do you obey the tithe cycle which commands to tithe once a year on years one, two, four and five? Do you obey the command not to tithe every seventh year? In the third and sixth years do you give the whole tithe away to Levites, widows, orphans and strangers? In the other years do you partake in your own tithe? If the modern day 'Church' member represents the Israelite, and the ministers and pastors are likened to the Levites and Priests, who do you give your tithe to? If you think giving it to your pastor is akin to an Israeli national giving their tithes to the priests, as the Thomas Aquinas doctrine claims, then you've already broken the law because only the Levites can give their tithe to the priests. Do you know any Levites, let alone a of son of Aaron? According to the Bible, if you answered "No" to any of these questions, you are cursed with a curse in the mind of God. De 26:13, "Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:" Couple this passage with Gal 3:10 and we can see there is no escape for those who try and rationalize themselves out of their own painted corner. Also, we can see, there are certain conditions which MUST be met if one is to tithe. If we think that tithing is just a matter of giving ten percent of our income, we need to go back to school, because it just ain't so. 

Second: Which "clergy" or staff member at your 'Church' fulfills the equivalent tasks of the Levites and which ones perform the functions of their priestly brethren? The idea that the Levites, priests and pastors and staff are equal in their positions is just that; an idea! It is an assumption. It is not Scriptural. A worker in the 'Church' may pass for a Levite doing manual labor in the temple, if we were to stretch this as far as our imaginations allow. But, saying that a pastor is equal to the tasks of a Levite Priest is absurd! Other than the Labor Day 'Church' Picnic, when was the last time you saw your preacher officiate and perform a burnt sacrifice at an altar? I mean a real, honest to goodness, blood-spilling, portion-cutting, fire-heaping altar, or is it a local park's BBQ pit? Does he perform this once a year as commanded by Scripture, or does he also perform this on Memorial Day and the 4th of July? Does he wear the priestly attire, or just an apron that says, "Kiss The Preacher?" Does he burn all of the fat and organs which are separated for the LORD? Does he perform this in the Temple within the boarders of Israel? Is he a son of Aaron? Does he minister in the Temple only two weeks out of the year as prescribed by Mosaic Law? 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 refers to "they which wait at the altar," which only the priests could do under penalty of death!1 Does he farm and live in his Levitical suburb the other fifty weeks out of the year; and if so, which one of the forty eight communities does he reside?

C'mon! You tithe don't you? It's part of the Law, isn't it? (Hebrews 7:5). Shouldn't we know this stuff? Why ignore these other commands and only adhere to the made-up one, which is tithing off of your income? None of the Israelis tithed off their income! They tithed off the increase of the land year by year. Only crops and herds were accepted as a tithe. Money was a common source of trade, even back then, but it was never commanded to tithe money; only food from the boarders of Canaan. Why? Because God controlled the climate and the weather so that crops could grow. Money doesn't necessarily show God's blessings. But, you take away good weather, with timely rains and sunshine, we have a whole new ballgame. The increase of the land would be controlled by God and Him alone. Whatever the increase in crops would be miraculous. I don't care how much money one plants, it still doesn't grow on trees. The recipients of God's blessings on the land could not be denied or explained away as from any other source. Money doesn't grow. It is mined, melted and molded. Take away food and money doesn't hold it's value. This is why the tithe was always food derived from the land of Canaan. God wanted the credit all to Himself. Fish weren't counted as a tithe either because, fish grew of themselves in the sea, rivers and lakes. There were no trout farms back then. Even if there were, there surely wouldn't be enough to feed a whole nation. They couldn't be considered a livestock tithe either! How many fish to you know that could pass under the shepherds rod? I can hear some Pro-tither arguing now: "Every tenth Lox that passes under the rod, whether good or bad, is the Lords!"

Mynyk states, "To argue that the "clergy" perform the same role that O.T. Levites and priests performed would also be to argue that one man, or a conglomeration of men, act as "mediators" between God and Christians. Scripture makes it clear Who our Mediator is (1 Timothy 2:5). Scripture makes it clear Who our Priest is (Hebrews 4:14-15). Scripture makes it clear Who our Advocate is (1 John 2:1). Scripture makes it clear Who is a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, Who has also eliminated the need for the priesthood of Aaron (Hebrews 7:11-25). The link between "they which wait at the altar" and "they which preach the gospel" clearly is not one of a succession of priesthood, but simply one of a principle of work and reward."1

Third: More often than not, the understanding of 1 Cor 9:13-14 is that "those who preach the gospel" are church elders or pastors. This assumption is widely received as a fact, but we shall see that this idea has been twisted throughout our history. It is true that pastors preach the gospel, but so do you. Every time we witness to an unbeliever, we are preaching the gospel. We have wrongly perverted the church into a 'Church Carnival.' The fact is, no one who is a Believer needs to have the gospel preached to them. Those who received the gospel were added to the church. The pastors and elders taught Believers the fundamentals of being Christ-like in the church and their community. To preach the gospel to them over and over was self-defeating and redundant. Today, we have turned the idea of church into a place where we bring people to hear the gospel, but the Bible shows us that those who preach the gospel aren't pastors in a church setting, but every believer who goes out, away from the church, into their area around them and even to a far country. Missionaries fit the bill here, not pastors in general.

Mynyk writes, "Paul is clearly referencing himself in the phrase, "they which preach the gospel." Verse 16 says, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" In verses 7-14, Paul Provides several analogies to Prove a point that anyone who labors does so in hope of a return from the labor. In verses 15-27, Paul declares that he is obligated to labor in the Gospel regardless if he receives a remuneration for the labor.1 Was Paul saying that he was a church elder? No. To be a church elder he would have had to minister in a church and stay there. Paul was constantly on the move in a missionary capacity. Elders were commanded to "feed the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:1-3). They were "to feed the church of God" (Acts 20:28). Were elders and pastors specifically "they who preach the gospel" in nominal terms? To determine who are "they which preach the gospel" we need to examine similar phrases and terms throughout the N.T. and observe their context."1

Here are some examples: Jesus "went about all Galilee...preaching the gospel (Matt 4:23). Jesus "went about all the cities and villages...preaching the gospel (Matt 9:35). Other verses with similar wording are Matt 11:5; Matt 24:14; Matt 26:13; Mark 1:14; Mark 13:10; Mark 14:9; Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18; Luke 7:22; Luke 9:6; Luke 20:1. The apostles also preached the gospel in Acts 8:25. Paul and Silas preached the gospel in Acts 14:6-7; Acts 14:20-21. Peter declared that the Gentiles..."should hear the word of the gospel" Acts 15:7. God told Paul to go into Macedonia ..."to preach the gospel unto them" (Acts 16:10). Other references include, Romans 1:1; 1:9-10; 1:15; 15:16, 19-20; 1 Cor 1:17; 2 Cor 2:12; 8:18-19; 10:14; 10:16, 11:4; Galatians 2:2; 4:13; Ephesians 6:15; 6:19-20; Phil 2:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:5-6; 1:23; 1 Thess 1:5; 1:8; 2:1-2; 3:2; Heb 4:2; 1 Peter 1:12;  & Rev 14:6.1 When the term "they that preach the gospel" is used, in every instance, it is referring to those who were traveling evangelists and missionaries - NOT Pastors! It meant that one was to remove himself from their home base and preach the gospel to those who have not heard.

"Preaching the gospel was associated with being a traveling minister. Those who preach the gospel are sent. They "go" into a region, a city, or a village and preach the gospel."1 When I teach at my church, I do not preach the gospel. That would be redundant. What I do is teach the Bible. When I go soul-winning, I preach the gospel to the lost. An assembly of Believers doesn't contain the lost. The 'world' contains the lost. Today, our idea of 'Church' has transformed its basic definition into a characterization of what we are supposed to be. Instead of going out to the lost, we invite them to come to 'Church' to hear the gospel. This is not Jesus' prescription.

"Those who preach the gospel are separated to a special work. They no longer act as a full-time member of a particular local church. They are separated unto a ministry of "preaching the gospel." The N.T. never refers to a church elder as one who "preaches the gospel."1 He rather is one who has authority over the people in church matters, making sure false doctrine doesn't creep its way in. His job is to feed the flock or feed the church and guide them into God's truth. He is to edify them in the faith. He is to baptize them. The assembly is a local body of believers who gather together for edification and worship. Personal evangelism is done outside the church setting. Once people are saved, they come to the fellowship to be edified, learn and worship. The church is suppose to send evangelists and missionaries to preach the gospel. Every Believer is commanded to preach the gospel. In other words, we are to deliver the gospel message to those who are lost. If we followed Jesus' model for His church, more people would be bringing the gospel to the lost and not hearing the baby steps of basic Bible teaching repeatedly as most 'Churches' do today. Preaching the gospel is not a unique job description for elders and pastors. It is universal for every Christian within and around their vocation.

Fourth: So, now that we have established who "they" are "who preach the gospel," we need to settle how they receive their reward. How did God ordain how they receive their support? Remember, we are talking about traveling ministers, not pastors. Paul was a traveling minister. He refused monetary compensation. He said, "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."-1 Cor 9:18. Paul didn't charge those who heard the gospel or those who sent him to preach the gospel. Did he receive support from tithes? No. Did he occasionally receive offerings from people he came in contact with? Yes. Did he seek out support? No (Vs 15). How did he get along then? He was a tent maker. He toiled day and night to support himself and those with him. An elder or a pastor should have a separate occupation to support himself and his family. That's how most start a new 'Church' anyway, isn't it? But they don't stop there. Pastors today go the extra mile and diversify! They work a secular job, until their support from the tithe equals their secular job's income. Then they quit the secular job and sit behind their desk at the 'Church' Office for good (or until support drops). Does this sound familiar? It may be familiar, but it isn't Scriptural. Double honor is dispensed with blessings from God in everything he touches if he is doing God's will. This however, does not mean he is to receive a salary for preaching the gospel or tending the flock. Preaching the gospel is to be done without charge and on the road as a traveling minister. It also doesn't mean he is to garner a salary for overseeing the church. He should have a job or other means to support himself and his family. But one might say, "He HAS a Full Time JOB! He's the Pastor!" May I have the Scripture for that please? This 'full-time job' thing is a tradition man made up. It's not Biblical. I'm sorry to tell you this, but your supposed Scriptural proof-text is about to deflate like a balloon in freezing temperatures.

Most who have labored in the 'Church' feverishly do so without the notion of being paid. I and others like me have spent countless hours working on Projects, grounds-keeping, interior upkeep and much more without receiving one thin dime. I was happy to do it. Sometimes, my time spent at 'Church' equaled or exceeded the time spent on my job. "No Problem," I thought. "My treasures are laid up in Heaven." Many others, I am sure, can say the same. I have preached and taught on many occasion and not once have I been paid to do so. My whole life was to serve Christ for His glory, where I believed He wanted me. Too bad I was laboring in the world's version of 'Church' rather than His. The elders and pastors in the Home-church I attend now receive no monetary compensation. Why? Because being an elder/pastor is not an occupation such as a doctor, attorney or computer Programmer. It is a labor of love to guide youthful Believers into mature Christians. It is done in our spare time and when we meet to be edified and to worship.

Paul never mentions the law on tithing for support. The only reference to the law he makes is that of not "muzzling the ox" (1 Cor 9:9). He makes is clear that if one works his job, he has hope in getting compensation for his efforts. An elder or pastor was stationary. He was able to establish himself in the local working community to obtain a living. No where in Scripture does it say that pastors are to be paid by the local assembly. The only time the elder/pastor preached the gospel was when he took evangelism outside of the local church. Churches who sent forth missionaries and evangelists did so with the idea that they would offer support - to a degree. Jesus sent forth missionaries on two occasions. On the first journey He told them not to take with them any money. They were to accept the hospitality of those they met on their journey that would offer such hospitality.  "And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." ~ Luke 22:35-36. What our Lord was telling His disciples was, that He would Provide for them whether they brought their own money or not. He didn't say that they would receive a guaranteed paycheck on their journey. He didn't tell them to go on deputation for two years until their monetary support reached a certain level. Paul and Silas sure didn't! Neither did Timothy. Pastors today take license about being paid and raising financial support when they ought not. And, so do the majority of missionaries for that matter!

As far as the 'Ox not being muzzled' defense is concerned, Mynyk states, "Since Paul as a traveling minister was Not working in a carnally working vocation, preaching the gospel would not literally Produce food as a return. However, since the people to whom Paul wrote became believers in the gospel through his work in the ministry, for them to repay his spiritual labor in them with physical sustenance was certainly not unreasonable."1 The only disagreement I have with Mynyk's statement is that Paul did indeed have a vocation he could lean upon. He made tents for sale. When he was locked up in prison, he was dependent upon his jailers for sustenance. At times he did receive sustenance from those he led to the Lord on his journeys. All three ways were Provisions from and by the Lord to take care of him. If someone he met gave him money, I'm sure he used it - but it wasn't from a tithe.

Fifth: "Even so..." There have been a lot of literary support for the idea that 1 Cor 9:14, "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel" means that  "Full-time Christians Servants" should receive monetary support from the tithe. There are several Problems with this. First is that it is usually pastors who spent hours writing treatises to maintain their position of tithe-based support. People like Jim Voss of the Fundamental Baptist Institute3 and A.W. Pink4 reinforce in their writings that "Even so" is a sort of bridge that says, Jesus ordained support from tithes. However, the word tithe is never mentioned in verses 13 and 14. Verse 13 reads, "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?"

The thing is, pastors do not live of the things of the temple, nor do they reside in Israel. Also, they do not wait at the altar! If we are to assume that pastors are to receive support the way that Levite priests did, then we'd have to observe the same exact Procedures they did. They'd have to accept their tithes in the form of food, grown or raised in the land of Canaan. They'd have to accept them only twice per year in a certain order. Pastors do not minister about holy things. It was mandated by God that the priests would have to do this as a requirement; and ONLY priests from the family of Aaron. In the past, to do so otherwise would result in immediate death. Where are the "holy things they ministered about?" They're in the Temple! Where is the Temple? It's supposed to be in Jerusalem. Is there one in Jerusalem? NO! There hasn't been one there since 70 A.D. Where is the altar they wait by? There isn't one! What does it mean to be "partakers of the altar?" It means that when the priests, the sons of Aaron, burnt sacrifices on the altar, they were to partake (eat) what was left on that altar. Do we see any similarities in today's Institutional 'Church?' I don't. The only resemblance I see is when a pastor oversees the BBQ pit at a 'Church' outing! Can we begin to see why spiritulizing and super-imposing Scripture is so perverse? It just doesn't apply!

If one is to tithe and even derive support from the tithe, then we must comply to what the law says about the tithe; Food, only from the boundaries of Israel, priests from the lineage of Aaron, Temple in Jerusalem, blood sacrifices, etc... If it is not done as God prescribed, we are cursed with a curse. All these things in the O.T. are connected one to another, however, to include people and positions in the New Covenant with the Old is deceitful. I'll say this again for good measure; One cannot superimpose and spiritually apply something from the O.T. into the New. They don't mesh. 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" is NOT a license to wrest the Scriptures to be molded into a certain pet doctrine and agenda.

Mynyk notes, "Clearly, Paul was referencing the Mosaic Law in his comparison of the Levitical priesthood (a function of the Law) to traveling ministers. If Paul was linking the tithes according to the Law regarding support for the Levitical priesthood to the traveling ministers, then the Main-Stream 'Church' is not following the Biblical mandate for the system in which God prescribed tithing. Tithes that went to the Temple were not a full tithe of the people of Israel. The people brought their tithe to the Levitical cities (Nehemiah 10:37), and the Levites brought one tenth of their tithes to the priests. Only a small portion of the Levitical and priestly tithes went to the Temple storehouse (Nehemiah 12:44). If the 'Church' is indeed the storehouse - which it is not - and all church members (Institutional or home-based) fulfill the same role as the people of Israel - which they do not - only one hundredth maximum - not one tenth - should actually go into the church. Otherwise, if the local church represents the local community bins for the Levites and poor - which they do not - a full tithe would go into the local church every third and sixth years in a seven year tithe cycle. Either way, no valid Scriptural support exists for a full tithe to go into the place of ministry at all times."1 

[If ]Even so..." implies "tithes" and '"they which preach the gospel" receive their support by "the same means and the same method," then the church must support traveling ministers with food, and this food must come from the boundaries of the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 12:1-22). Also, these tithes of food came in an intricate seven-year cycle. Every first, second, forth, and fifth years out of every seven, those who tithed came to the place of God's choosing, brought a second tithe, and ate their own tithes. While the families ate their own tithes, the Levites could receive sustenance by the people sharing it with them. If "even so" implies "tithes" and "they which preach the gospel" receive their support by "the same means and the same method," then the church must host feasts every first, second, fourth and fifth years out of every seven years in a place where God has approved, and the traveling ministers must go to this place if they wish to partake of the tithes. They would not receive the whole tithes, but would only get what the tithers shared with them in the feast. Whats more, every third and sixth year tithe was wholly given away to the Levites and poor. The people would deposit these third and sixth-year tithes in local communities for the Levites and poor to eat as needed. These tithes DID NOT go to the Temple storehouse, but to the "local storehouses." One last thought remains. In the seventh year, no one tithed! If the traveling ministers gained their support in the same methods as the Levites, then they'd have to understand that every seventh year they would receive no support."1

If all this isn't enough for you, there were strict dietary conditions imposed on who could eat clean beasts and who couldn't. If a person was deemed "unclean" he couldn't eat of the clean animals. The tithing law was intertwined with the Mosaic dietary laws. To do so meant severe penalty. Try that in your average Baptist 'Church' today! "Where is the justification for changing the laws in the Mosaic Law to one of wholly giving away a tenth of all monetary income at all times and ignoring the specifics of the Law? How does one justify totally changing the terms of the law and cherry-picking what applies and what does not? Obviously, Paul was not referring to tithing in particular; otherwise, the church today is in trouble for disobeying God's commands in the Law."1 One cannot attempt to live a portion of the Law, say we are not under the Law and be Scripturally correct. We can't have it both ways and stand on a firm footing.

"Given these analogies to Provide the thrust of Paul's message, these, along with the analogy of the priesthood in the Temple in verse 13, serve to clarify what Paul meant in verse 14. "Even so" does not mean "tithes." "Even so" means the principle of sowing and reaping. God has ordained that "they which preach the gospel" should receive physical sustenance from those who receive the spiritual ministry [away from their home church]."1

These traveling ministers were to receive whatever blessing God placed on the hearts of those they ministered to on the road. They do not include pastors. The traveling minister's reward came from the principles of labor, reaping from sowing, and from the kindness of those who they ministered to in their travels. Pastors who are stationary could work a primary job to gain sustenance for themselves and their families. 

So, why don't we see this today? For traveling ministers like evangelists and missionaries, it has become somewhat of a business as well. They will cultivate bookings to speak in corporate 'Churches' for a fee. They sell their wares for extra income. How can this be? Simple; they found a venue. They have a target audience and a niche. Those who do it honestly do not haggle over how much it would take to make the trip. They have no pretense. They just come and rely on the Lord's good graces. They stumble across other Believers while in the field winning souls. If we get right down to it though, missionaries and evangelists are supposed to "go out" to the lost; not to the saved. When a missionary or evangelist come to your town, who is it they visit; the saved or the lost? I do know several evangelists and missionaries that do it the right way. They don't make bookings to see the saved. They just go out to the lost. God bless them! But, I have also met a greater number who do not. God help them to see His way.

As far as our stationary elders are concerned, it is easier for these pastor-entrepreneurs to create and build a business of their own in the name of 'Church' then to actually go out and get a job to achieve the life-style they desire for themselves and their families. They have become entrepreneurs building an enterprise. They advertise it, Promote it, nurture it as their business deceiving themselves along the way. They convince themselves and others that they are doing it all for the love of God. Are they? 

The Problem this writer see's is that this 'Church' model is an 'IT.' It is a business entity for Profit. The potential for making more money as an entrepreneur is much greater than if he would work in a factory or other common occupations. What are they selling? Spiritual comfort, the ability to Promote and lead an organization and it's business concerns as its corporate C.E.O. From the 'World's' standpoint, everything is on the up and up. Why? Because it's the World's model for 'Church.' They address corporate things in spiritual terms. But now, the truth is being told. This breed of "pastor" is now exposed. Many are honest, just mis-led. Many are deceptive and need a new heart. Either way we slice it, Scripturally, pastors do not qualify to receive financial support from their local congregation, especially from income-tithing if they are to call themselves Christ's church. To do so is to pervert the Law by selecting one part and ignoring others relevant to those laws, thus bringing a curse upon those who wish to add to and take away from God's Word.  Does God blink at our ignorance? Yes. But what about after we know the truth? What then?

Now that we know about what God really says about financially supporting the "clergy," we have a responsibility to our Lord to obey Him. If we obey, we have our reward. If we do not, we bring a curse upon ourselves. All are accountable for their individual actions toward God. Whether stated in my book, Mr. Mynyk's or the Bible, one assertion is clear. Pastors should NOT be paid from their congregations, and especially not from a fraudulently conceived income derived tithe which has no Scriptural authority.

So, the question remains; 'Should Pastors Be Paid?' If we consider the arguments listed above as logical, we must also consider to whom we are addressing these arguments to. If the reader believes that the World Religion's depiction of a pastor is being addressed, I think they've missed the point of this message. The Institutional 'Church' is foreign to Christ's design for His church, therefore so are it's pastors. These guys are nothing more than administrators who are paid to run an Organization created by man, which they have falsely labeled God's church.

Yes, there are saved believers who are members of this false design, and have been deceived into believing that they belong there, but they need to be awoken to the truth that they are in a design not meant by Christ. If they want to remain in a Corporate based 'Church' Organization, and want to pay someone they wish to call a "pastor" to run it outside of the Scriptural boundaries, which the Bible clearly gives, so be it. Once they know the truth regarding this matter and choose to stay put, that's between them and Christ. They'll only answer to Him. But continuing on in this matrix would be equivalent to a Christian observing Mormon "pastors" being paid by their flocks. The LDS 'Church' is called a 'Church' in the academic sense; but, it isn't Christ's church. The same can be said for any Institutional 'Church,' even if it contains saved believers. If it isn't Christ's design, then we are not in His church.

When I got saved by Him, He intended me to be a part of His church. He didn't want me to get saved and be a member of man's design for 'Church.' He wanted me to assemble with His church and be guided by His design of pastoral leadership. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of thee," would seem to support the Institute. They are local and physical. They meet regularly and they do all of the business activities most any Organization does, but that does not mean it is Christ's church in the sense that it is His design to be run the way we've been conditioned to believe it has. It is no more Christ's church than the LDS 'Church' claims to be.

Those who are saved, but are a member of man's 'Church' are indeed going to Heaven when they die. In that sense, they are Christ's church because they are a part of His Organism. But in the Organizational sense, they are not. All the saved are a part of Christ's Organism, but none of us who are saved should be a part of man's Organization called an Institutional 'Church.' It would be the same as if I said, "Christians shouldn't go into Bars." Why? Because the two are contrary one to another. People can make any place sound spiritual if they put the right spin on it. "Hey, let's go to the Tavern of the Nazarene!" As long as they use an inference to Jesus, they can make any vial place seem like God Himself endorses it. I think common sense will tell us that He doesn't. Why then, after discovering the truth about His true church design, do His children stay in the Institute? Several reasons come to mind, but the two biggest are fear and belonging. They have become addicted to an Organizational system because it is a social club. What would their "dear friends in Christ say?" Oh, Brother!

Look folks, if we are members of an Institutional 'Church,' we are paying a Professional to run it ~ that's all. We are paying a 'pastor' of man's design. If we are saved children of Jesus Christ, then why are we backing a man-made system with our money when Christ has His organism set up where He paid for everything, INCLUDING His pastors? Again, being a pastor is not an occupation in Jesus' church. That title only exists in man's Main-Stream, Corporate-style, Business Entity Institutional 'Church.'

Jesus gave us pastors free of charge. Man gave us pastors who charge after they build-up the false income tithe doctrine to the point where they can dump their old occupation and glean from their new one as a Padre for Pay. Let's get this through our heads once and for all... Man's 'Church' is a BUSINESS and It's pastors are BUSINESSMEN! Your current pastor may love you, but for most of them, as soon as the pay decreases or stops, he is off loving some other congregation. It's a lot like love for pay. What does that sound like? In Christ's home-based design for His church, there is no pay for the pastors or staff. Their loyalties are to Christ and where He has planted them. Pastors are supposed to be home-grown. They are not "called" as so many claim. When the Bible says, "ye are called,..." all of His saved are addressed. Pastors are not singled out.

So, in this new light, should Christ's true pastors be paid? NO! If you're paying a tithe so that your "pastor" can glean a living, you're not paying a tithe to support Christ's pastor. He may be saved, but he doesn't deserve or require your tithing dollars. It is not a 'need,' but a 'want.' Your tithing dollars are yours to support your immediate family!

1 FREEDOM TO GIVE - (The Biblical Truth About Tithing). Daniel Mynyk, Chapter 18.
2 Thomas Aquinas, "Whether men are bound to pay tithes of all things?," Summa Theologia, Vol 2, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 2008), 315.

3 Jim Voss. "WHY I TITHE," Fundamental Baptist Institute, (accessed Dec 14, 2009). 
4 Arthur W. Pink, Tithing (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2007), 6-7,                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog as well. I plan on keeping up with yours from now on.

  2. "I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel"
    I just realized that part! good job!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Alyssa! Yes, "without charge" means FREE of Charge. Why? Because the price has already been paid by our Saviour. I didn't read about Him taking any money for dying for us. Why should we, or any pastor expect to be paid a wage by making Jesus, His name or His ministry merchandize or a service for hire? Some pastors will say, "Well, the preaching of the Gospel is without charge, BUT, the rest of the ministry comes with a price." To that I say, Pass the bread; the Baloney has already been around.