March 11, 2023
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 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.
To this day, there are still people who believe that priests should be poor. It’s just craziness, that idea. Remember this verse? St. John 19:23 – Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. In those days, a seamless garment was very expensive and a thing to treasure, no doubt given to Him by a follower. The money in Judas’ purse – no doubt given to the ministry by followers. Everyone loves the image of Jesus in the common clothes and sandals of that day but He was able to go places and do things; life has always been life – some things are free or freely given and some things must be paid for and that’s why Judas had a purse. The ministry of our Lord was run on the economy of the tithes and offerings of the followers who had an earthly as well as spiritual appreciation for Him.
We expect our priests to be on call 24/7/365 – do you know what that kind availability would cost you if it were from a doctor or lawyer or plumber? Makes my head spin to think about it. Priests have homes and families they have to run, just like everyone else. How can he cater to our needs when he’s got a big heating/cooling bill or the engine of his vehicle starts to act up or heaven forbid there’s serious illness in the family tapping his financial resources?
Make sure you attend the next Annual Meeting at your church. Listen very carefully to the Treasurer’s Report. Even small mission churches are able to upwardly adjust the priest’s yearly salary. How long would you work for a company if they never gave you a raise? Not very long, I’m sure. 1Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1Cor 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. And just in case you need more convincing, check out Luke 10:7; Matt 10:10; Leviticus 19:13.