Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Greed and Bitterness: Why Nobody's Got it Right About Money and The Church
This month's SynchroBlog is a variety of thoughts on Money and The Church. These are two hot topics. They both engender feelings of love and hate in people. Money is both needed and detested - loved one moment, and despised the nexxt. Church is increasingly becoming a topic like money - both loved and despised. Put the two topics together and it goes nuclear.
So here are some thoughts about paid ministry:
For years, the churches I have pastored have been rubbing shoulders with the House Church Movement. Many poeple involved in the House Church Movement believe that one of the primary problems with the IC (Institutional Church) is paid ministry. Now the logic involved in their opinions is clear, concise, persuasive, and not wholly Biblical - but not wholly unbiblical either. Paul's work as a tentmaker is used as a model, and his observations on paid ministry are often ignored.
Yet, the abuse of paid ministry positions in large churches, and television ministries has been a scourge on Christianity, adn greedy ministers have abused scriptural passages such as 1 Timothy 5:17 ("Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.") to justify living ostentatiously.
Somewhere between the two extremes is the answer perhaps, or maybe the answers are independently determined by human hearts. A bitter heart holding unforgiveness towards greedy preachers, and demanding a new law of financial accountability may be no better off in the eyes of God than a greedy heart looking for riches from the free Gospel of the Kingdon of God.
That's what I think. What about you?