Monday, January 14, 2008

Lay Ministry: Cannot Serve God and Mammon

The true church of Jesus Christ has no paid ministry. The bishops, organists, teachers, chior directors all serve voluntarily. Why is this improtant? Imagine that a churches biggest tithing supporters happen to be living in an adulterous relationship. How many sermons on chastity and sexual purity do you think that pastor will give. I can't think of a worse conflict of interest.

In the LDS church, leadership is chosen from out of the congregation to serve for a period of time. During that time, the bishop continues to work at his regular day job. He is given 2 counselors like Moses was and like Peter was given to assist him. After his period of service, the bishop is released into the general congregation ready to be called to another calling.

Matt. 6: 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

But what about that scripture which says a servant of God is "worthy of his hire." What Luke 10 decribes is the calling of the quorem of 70 missionaries to be sent throughout the world. Missionaries are commissioned to be sent without "purse nor script." When they enter a house they are encouraged to accept food and housing. But they didn't have a purse to accept or carry monetary payment.

Luke 10: 4-7 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: . . . And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. . . And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire.

In fact Matthew clarifies this further by saying specifically:

Matt. 10: 7-10 And as ye go, preach, . . . freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Now your preacher will likely defend his salary by saying the Bible teaches to not "muzzle the ox." But isn't the labourer's reward in heaven and not on earth were moth and rust doth corrupt. True disciples of Jesus Christ would never make money (filthy lucre) off the death of Jesus Christ.

1 Tim. 5: 17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

There is nothing in the words "hire," "meat," or "reward" that suggests money and the accumulation of wealth. On the contrary, each passage strongly suggests the contrary.


Stephen said...

But don't you know, most people worship God so he will give them Mammon ... sigh.

Good points.

tiredmormon said...

I am not "trolling" or trying to fight here; I am but an honest inquirer.

But what about the multiple references to a paid ministry in the D&C? What about the salaries mission presidents receive (whether they accept it or not)? What about the 12 and 1st prez that live on the church's dime (no matter how meager you may claim it is).

Seriously, is this blog a farce or are you serious?!?

BRoz said...

Dear tired,

Yes, Full-time Elders/missionaries which include 12 Apostles (traveling witnesses) and mission presidents can receive a living stipend during their time of service. There are very modest and cover just basic housing and food costs. Most in these positions support themselves 100%. Luke 10, Matt 10, and 1Tim5 are clearly speaking about that Elders and missionaries are "worthy of his meat" and not local bishops.

Apostles, Elders, missionaries are traveling messengers who are not from the area they are serving and are not subject to the conflict of interest that local church leadership is if they were dependent on local members for their support. Missionaries were expected to offend people and be many times be thrown out of houses and cities because of their message.

Kathleen said...

Aren't the GAs paid, though?

BRoz said...

Some GA's are paid a very modest living allowance. However, they are traveling ministers like missionaries and are not local leadership that could be affected by a conflict of interest. GA's when calling the church to repentance are not worried about offending people.

tiredmormon said...

Modest? You may want to fact-check that, oh wait, you can't because the church won't say.

Did you know that MP kids go to BYU for free? Full ride scholarships. MP's have free rent, cars, insurance, travel food allowance? On top of that they get paid?

If you are going to throw stones at paid ministers, maybe you ought to take the mote out of your eye

BRoz said...

Mr. tired,

Yes. fulltime general authorities who help run the church at the central level; most of whom are retirement age; do get a living stipend including a very modest benifits package. Due to LDS subsidies, BYU tuition is no more than a state school.

My point is that local leaders do not get paid at all and General Authorites only make enough to live on and support thier families. General Authorites do not make enough money that they are acquiring wealth (no purse or script).

tiredmormon said...

Your distinction between local and higher up church authorities is unconvincing. AND you are ignoring scripture, and thus not teaching LDS doctrine. Why don't you get off your high horse and check D&C 43:12-13; 51:13-14 which clearly state a bishop ought to be paid. Spin that...

Pay Lay Ale said...

What about the $10 Billion Mall of Mammon in SLC?

"general get a living stipend including a very modest benifits package."

What's modest? How come LDS Inc REFUSES to publish finanical statements? What are the afraid of?

BRoz said...

Why do you care to see them? The LDS church could burn my tithing for all I care. It's Gods money and they alone are responsible for the proper disposition of the tithes.

Many want to see what the LDS church is spending its money on so that they can double count it to satisfy their rich guilt. Thats the same as liberals when asked if they help the poor say they pay their taxes.

However, Christ taught the rich young man who he asked to sell all he had and come and follow him that the 10% is for the building of the kingdom, the other 90% is for taking care of the poor. We still retain that responsibility and shouldn't be looking to our church and government to do our work for us.

Jason said...

It use to bother me that GA's and other leaders get a living expense, until I thought about the people I knew for REALITY sake and what they gave up. My Mission President had a engineering company and was doing great when he got his call to be a mission pres, he gave it all up and served. Another mission pres that I know sold his house he had lived in for 26 years left his cushy byu job and went to Australia. What about the many heart surgeons and lawyers that are part of the tweleve? Hmmm... I am sure if they had a choice they would rather be doing what they studied half their life, but the Lord called them and they are doing what he wants instead of what you would think is a waste of time. These men and women are not one bit worried about riches, they are just blessed, I assure you that their goal was never to make a living off of the church. Come back to church and stop being a Debbie Doubter and lets build Zion.

I am glad that we have smart industrious leaders who have invested the church money wisely in shopping malls, cattle ranches, and etc. Read the parable of the talents sometime. Matt 25: 13-30.

Fear not only believe.