Friday, December 12, 2008

Gainsaying, Priestcraft and Filthy Lucre

In a previous post I discussed that the Bible teaches that no one should preach the gospel for money. I talked about how the Bible teaches that the congregation should not be given power over the church leadership. I then explained that if the Pastor were voted in by a Council of Deacons, then there would be a conflict of interest in calling the Deacons to repentance. No such conflict is present if instead the Pastor is appointed by a hierarchy. If on the other hand, the Pastor owns the mortgage on the church there is another conflict of interest in calling the tithe-payers to repentance. Paul in his Epistle to Titus teaches against the Bishop or Pastor receiving money for the preaching of the word. After giving a list of attributes for a good Bishop, Paul says:
Titus 1: 9-16 [Hold] fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. . . They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Paul coins a new word here. He uses the word "gainsayer" and defines the word as an unruly person who is a vain talker and deceiver for money or "filthy lucre." "Filthy lucre" is the term for money obtained unethically or ill-gotten gain. Today, the word "gainsayer" just means someone who lies. But Paul seems to use the word in association with preaching for money or priestcraft.

In my opinion this passage of scripture is another example of Bible teaching that those appointed and ordained to preach the gospel should live the gospel and not make a living off the gospel (1 Cor. 9: 14 ). Or in other words, we should thank God for the prophets and not thanking God for the profits. I also like Paul's words here pointing out that a man can deny Christ by his lack of good works every after professing that they know God with their mouths.

Acts 20: 34 (33-34). Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
2 Cor. 11: 7. Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
1 Thes. 2: 9. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1 Cor. 9: 17-18 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. 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 comment:

Michael said...

You mean like John Bytheway or all those Meridian Magazine advertising companies that are pushing useless products on the LDS populace?