Fire The Clergy!
Cease the Fleecing of the Flock!
Mark Smith 1973, 1999
to Fire The Clergy
Documentation of How Wealthy Churches Really Are:
The Wealth of Churches
Won't Preach Without
Current Hall of $hame
Quarter Million Dollar a Year
Bible Answer Man" @ C.R.I.
|From reading an article in Christianity Today (August
2003), I see that the almost inarticulate Hank (may I call him
"HandyGRAFT"?) Hanegraaff has managed quite well to stuff his pockets in
his current gig at the Christian Research Institute, which he weaseled
himself into after Walter Martin kicked the bucket. CRI (i.e. Hank, let's
not pretend) has bought for Hank a brand new Lexus sports car for $66,000
(which I'm sure Hank will NOT use to haul around his brood of 9 kids during
his current middle-age crisis, and yes, I know that Hank got rid of it after
the shit hit the fan), a new floor for his home office for $8,000, two
months of country club membership dues for $3,100 as well as his annual
salary, which in 2001 was
Just to give you some idea of how BIG a salary that is, translating
that into a normal 40 hour work week, "HandyGRAFT" got paid $121 per hour
to sit on his ass and talk into a radio microphone. And of course, on top
of that HUGE salary, he doesn't even pay for his own housing and cars!!! I
wish MY job did THAT for ME!!!! And oh, by the way, he also had CRI pay
his wife $87,600 for her "job" which, somehow, few people at CRI even knew
Excerpts from Lyrics
|"Now there are some preachers on TV, in a suit and a tie
and a vest.
They want you to send your money to the Lord,
but they give you their address."
(The American Dream, song & lyrics by Hank Williams Jr.)
The New Testament teaches that only Apostles
had the right to be paid by the church
for their preaching.
Table of Contents
If you are like most people, you have always felt a bit queasy about the way
money & religion has been mixed together. When your preacher gets up and begs
for money like some (well-dressed) homeless bum outside a 7-Eleven, deep in your
gut you have felt that something wasn’t right. You have known instinctively all
these years that money and religion don’t mix. Guess what? You were right!
You probably also felt queasy when you learned how much some of these
preachers and religions were taking in. To really put the following paragraphs
in perspective, keep in mind that the very first Christian preacher, the Apostle
Peter, was broke- not even a thin dime to his name (Acts 3:6). Things have
really changed over the years!
The PTL Club
: Reverend Jim Bakker, and his clown-clone of a wife
Tammy Faye, were paid $1,600,000 for the year of 1986. And if you’ll recall,
in almost every single broadcast, they would boo-hoo about how they were broke
and needed even more
money "for the Lord’s work". Even the assistants
to these frauds were making a killing. Richard Dortch, David Taggart, and two
other administrators all pulled in more than $350,000 each, in 1986. (#17)
Jim & Tammy lived it up for many years- wearing gold and diamonds, while
driving Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce and Corvette cars. They bought a house in
Palm Springs for $449,000, and paid $375,000 for a condo in Florida. (#19) The
thing to remember about this whole PTL scandal is that these people, ridiculous
as they were, were heroes to the flaming fundies. Everybody else could see,
before the scandal even broke, that these people were frauds. Even after all the
facts came out, many of their true believers still refused to believe- gold
plated bathroom faucets and air conditioned dog houses notwithstanding.
The Worldwide Church of God: In 1979 the leadership of the Worldwide
Church of God was actually sued by the state of California for pilfering church
funds, selling off assets for personal gain, and "living extravagantly". More
than $80 million in assets were at stake. The church’s weekly take from
donations alone? (Use your best Dr. Evil impression): One million
dollars. Total revenue amounted to nearly $70 million per year. (#18)
Churches in General: Churches now own about 25% of all the
real estate in America. In Los Angeles county alone, the churches own $1.3
billion dollars worth of real estate. And according to the IRS, the donations
made to churches average $19 billion
dollars a year. (#20)
If in spite of all the above, you gave money to a church anyway last Sunday
to help support a clergyman, because you were told the Bible says to, you were
swindled, per the dictionary definition:
: 1. To cheat or defraud of money or property..obtain by
fraudulent means. (#11)
And if you believe the Bible, then you also believe that no one who swindles-
even preachers- will inherit the kingdom of Biblegod, per 1st Corinthians 6:10}
…nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor
swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (#3: NASB)
Those people that took your money are swindlers. They have twisted the Bible
to suck money out of you. You have probably been swindled like this week after
week, going on many years by now. Those uneasy feelings you’ve always felt
regarding "the offering" are correct. Yes, you are the victim of a fraud.
: Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to
part with something of value. (#15)
This weekly rip-off known as "the offering", used to support professional
pulpit-pounders, isn’t even authorized by the New Testament, but rather is
plainly condemned. No where is to be found even a hint that "the offering" is to
be a part of a "worship service", nor that this money should go to "the
minister". The swindlers who perpetuate this fraud twist the Christian
scriptures for the purpose of wringing ever-increasing profits from unsuspecting
saps. As the Apostle Paul said,
|"Such teachers are not working for our Lord Jesus, but
only want gain (i.e. money) for themselves. They are good
speakers, and simple-minded people are often fooled by them." (#6: The
Living Bible, Rm 16:18)
This study will build a case, verse by verse, brick by brick, which will show
that your beloved clergyman is just another form of con artist- tricking you out
of your money. But some will say, what about his motives? What if he doesn’t
know he is ripping you off? What if he is ripping you off because he thinks it’s
the right thing to do? For you Christians who believe in an absolute morality,
you believe that the end (however noble) doesn’t justify the means. Therefore,
even if he is ripping you off "for a higher good", he is wrong to do so. What
about if he doesn’t know he is doing wrong? As the old saying goes, "ignorance
of the law is no excuse". Regardless of his words, his actions do not follow
what he hypocritically tries to force everyone else to follow- the New
Testament. The bottom line is, if he were really a man of honor, motivated by
good intentions, he would quit his deceptions and get a real job.
I intend to show that the New Testament teaches only Apostles were authorized
to get paid for preaching and teaching. There are no Apostles alive today, and
therefore no one today should be getting paid to preach. The whole subject of
Apostles, however, is another booklet, available from the author. If I manage to
convince you within this booklet that only Apostles had the right to be
professional preachers, then your next step is to research Apostles. Ask for my
booklet "Authority in Church Government." Here, it is enough to show you
that only Apostles had the right to be paid by the church for their preaching.
I know that after my departure savage (burdensome- #4:
CLNT) wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw
away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night
and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with
tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able
to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are
sanctified. I HAVE COVETED NO ONE’S SILVER OR GOLD OR CLOTHES. YOU YOURSELVES
KNOW THAT THESE HANDS MINISTERED TO MY OWN NEEDS AND TO THE MEN
WHO WERE WITH ME. In every thing I showed you that by working hard
in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. (#3: NASB)
As seen from context, Paul is contrasting himself against the "burdensome
wolves" to come to the Ephesian church in the future. These "burdensome
wolves" would burden the Ephesian church by being supported by the church. If
my theory is true that the early church only
supported those it thought to be Apostles, then
those that would seek to burden the church would first
have to pass themselves off as Apostles. In other words, if my theory is true,
then the Ephesian church would eventually have men who would falsely claim to
be Apostles. Is this in fact how it turned out? Did the Ephesian church
eventually have men who tried to pass themselves off as Apostles? Indeed they
did, thus confirming my theory 100%. Listen to what the Apostle John wrote to
the Ephesian church years later, while he was on the Island of Patmos:
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot
endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves
Apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.
(#3: NASB, Rv 2:2)
Thus history has confirmed what my theory
predicted. My theory predicted false Apostles, and sure enough,
false Apostles appeared in the Ephesian church. In science, it is extremely
strong evidence when a theory is able to correctly predict how events will
False Apostles are easily able to be detected- back then, as well as today.
The signs of a true Apostle are miracles. If a man claims to be an
Apostle, but can not perform public miracles, he is a
liar. As the Apostle Paul said:
The signs of a true Apostle were performed among you
with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (#3: NASB, 2C
These men coming to Ephesus were going to burden the church.
From the context, and the meaning of that word in the Greek, it becomes clear
that the burden was a burden of being supported by the church. These "wolves"
would let others support them, instead of supporting themselves, thus
"burdensome wolves". Paul on the other hand, left the example of being
self-supporting at the Ephesian church, to contrast himself to the ones coming
in the future who would be mooching off of the church. Thus in deeds,
as well as words, Paul warned against having a professional
clergy. And the clergymen of today- "burdensome wolves" all, go to great
lengths to discount and discredit what Paul said and the example he set.
Most translations, done as they are by professional clergymen, do not
translate "bareis" in this verse as burdensome. They try to hide its
meaning behind such words as savage, oppressive, grievous, vicious, or
ferocious. But how well does their reasoning hold up? "Bareis" is also used in
1Tm 5:16. Let’s see how it looks through their
"If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, let her assist
them, and let not the church be burdened
(savage? oppressive? grievous? vicious? ferocious?)…."
It is easy to see that for the clergy the end (keeping their
clergy jobs) justifies the means (mistranslating the Greek).
When the situation means losing their jobs, these "burdensome wolves" adjust
their ethics to fit the situation- thus they all have situational ethics.
Matthew 7: 15,16
Be on your guard against false religious teachers, who come to you dressed up
as sheep but are really greedy wolves. (#25: Phillips)
We just got done reading about "burdensome wolves", and now we run into
"greedy wolves". I see a common theme here! Jesus and Paul both
warn against a professional clergy. The Greek word, here translated "greedy",
is "harpax," which means a robber, an extortioner.
: "To obtain from a person by force or undue or illegal
power or ingenuity." (#15: Webster’s)
Note that Jesus compared these false teachers- as did the Apostle Paul- to
wolves. He did this because wolves, like the clergy, make their living by
feeding off flocks of sheep- except the wolf has more honor than to hide its
true mission under a religious cloak.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
1 You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a
2 We had previously suffered and been insulted in
Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his
gospel in spite of strong opposition.
3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error
or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you.
4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God
to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God,
who tests our hearts.
5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put
on a mask to cover up greed— God is our witness.
6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from
you or anyone else. As Apostles of Christ we could have been a
burden to you,
7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring
for her little children.
8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to
share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had
become so dear to us.
9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and
hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden
to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy,
righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a
father deals with his own children,
12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live
lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (#16: NIV)
(#4: CLNT) For neither did we at any time become
flattering in expression, according as you are aware; neither with a pretense
for GREED, God is witness; neither seeking glory from men, neither you,
nor from others, when WE COULD BE A BURDEN AS CHRIST’S APOSTLES.
(#7: NWT) Neither have we been seeking glory from
men, no, either from you or from others, though WE COULD BE AN EXPENSIVE
BURDEN AS APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
(#8: KJV) ...when we might have been BURDENSOME, as the
APOSTLES of Christ.
(#14: TCNT) ...although, as APOSTLES
of Christ, we might have BURDENED you with our SUPPORT.
|Paul comes flat out and says that a paid preacher is a
not a help, to a church. This, of course, runs contrary to what
you’ve been told all your life by paid preachers. They tell you the exact
opposite- of how much a church is hurt by not having
a hireling like themselves. They will try to convince all who will listen
of how much they are needed by the church, of how much they help the
church, and how essential they are to the well being of the church.
"Bullshit!!!" Paul might say, "Paid preachers are a burden, not a benefit,
to a church, weighing it down, stunting it’s growth, and making it harder
to convert people." Or, as the Church of Christ scholar James A. Harding
"The pastor is not a necessity. He is a fungus growth upon the church,
the body of Christians, dwarfing its growth... and until the church gets rid
of him it will never prosper."
Paul has written enough to put every clergyman on this planet to shame- and
out of a job. One thing that stands out is that Paul was "entrusted" with the
gospel by Biblegod himself. This is one of the main ingredients to being an
Apostle. A good comparison of an Apostle would be a modern day ambassador-,
none of which are self-appointed. The clowns who are manning the pulpits
nowadays have no such mandate. They are all frauds.
|In verse nine, Paul points out that in addition to working
DAYS, he also worked NIGHTS. And he is talking about REAL
work- working with his hands building tents. And as if that wasn’t enough,
on top of working nights AND days HE ALSO PREACHED to the Thessalonians-
month after month after month. He did all this so that the church there
wouldn’t have to pay a cent to hear the gospel preached. Contrast
THAT behavior with the modern clergyman- Rev. Cream Puff. Rev.
Puff has lily white uncalloused hands, manicured nails, a $200 hair cut,
and expensive Italian suits. Even if he wanted to, he’s not allowed to mow
his own lawn! Too "degrading". Too "blue-collar". And too damn "humble".
As far as getting a real job, he’d rather continue to suck pension money
away from lonely old people who don’t know any better. It would be so nice
to see a dirty, sweaty, haggard Apostle Paul walk up to one of these smug
lazy-ass over-paid pulpit-pounders doing their shtick, and "shtick" their
collection plate where the sun don’t shine.
Paul also mentions that he wasn’t hiding greed behind a false front. His
motivation was not to suck money out of these people, even though "AS
APOSTLES" they had every right. "As Apostles", and not as anything
else. Evangelists did not have this right, preachers did not have this right,
pastors did not have this right, and you the reader do not have this right.
This right to be supported by the church for preaching the gospel was reserved
only for the Apostles.
It should also be noticed that Paul does not
equate working with preaching the gospel. The two activities are clearly
separate in Paul’s mind. This pulls the rug out from under those who say their
preacher works when he preaches the gospel, and is therefore
entitled to be paid for his working.
The word translated "burden" in verse six comes from the Greek word
"Bareis". All too often in Bible translations, you will see this word
butchered- by clergymen with a vested interest, bent on protecting their
livelihood rather than promoting the truth. Having these
people do Bible translations is like asking the wolf to guard the hen house.
The word means "burden", and is translated as such most of the time- EXCEPT,
that is, when it becomes a threat to the cushy jobs of the clergy, as it does
in verse six. In such cases, the word is magically transformed in all sorts of
fanciful ways- without any justification whatsoever. In verse six, it clearly
means "financial burden" but is seldomly translated that way. The rank
hypocrisy of the Christian translators in regards to the word "burdensome"
really shows thru after studying various Bible translations. One notices that
the word gets mutilated in verse six, but somehow the exact same word survives
intact in verse nine. The only difference is that in verse nine, it is less
threatening to the job security of the translators. To demonstrate this, and
show you to what lengths the clergy will go to protect their livelihood,
several of the more dishonest MIS-translations this word "burdensome" has
suffered are here tabulated for your enjoyment:
Translation of Exact Same Word
|Smith & Goodspeed
||Stood on our Dignity
|Green���s Literal Translation
||Weight of Glory
|New American Standard Bible
||Asserted our Authority
|New Revised Standard
||Stood on our Dignity
|Amplified New Testament
||Asserted our Authority
|Emphasized New Testament
|The New Berkeley Version
|The Living Bible
|The New English Bible
||Made Our Weight Felt
You have to admit- some of these "translations" are really stupid!
Their intention is obvious- their over-riding concern in translating here was
not translating, but MIS-translating- to deceive their
fellow Christians in order to protect their cushy profession. After all, how
horrible would it be if these people with all their useless theology degrees
had to go out looking for work- there are only a limited number of burger
places out there!
Religionists protecting their sacred cash-cows is nothing new. Even ancient
pagans had a similar need, as shown in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter
19. It seems that a certain silversmith named Demetrius, who built idols for a
living, saw his income threatened by the (then) new-fangled religion of Jesus-
which had no need of idols. Like all good religionists, rather than compete
fairly against the other religion in the open marketplace of ideas, Demetrius
instead resorted to threats and violence to try to get his way.
These men are grumblers, dissatisfied with life. They go where their passions
lead, their talk is arrogant and they cultivate people in the hope of gain.
But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought
you could obtain the gift of God with money!’ (#3: NASB)
(#6: The Living Bible) ...thinking God’s
gift can be bought!
Christians believe that the gospel is Biblegod’s free gift to the world.
Imagine how upset a god would be to find preachers have turned around and sold
the gift so freely given them- a gift that cost the life of the god’s son to
acquire. These clergymen have taken what was freely given them, slapped a
price tag on it, and sell it week after week for a pay check. Peter condemned
one who tried to buy; how much more those that would try to sell!
|Of course, there are some naïve readers that are thinking
to themselves "Oh no! Our minister isn’t in it for the
money! He just looooves the Lord!" Let them try this experiment:
stop paying the preacher. See how long he sticks around being unpaid like
the Apostle Paul. See how much he "looooooves the Lord" when he isn’t
getting paid to "love the lord. Tell him he can still
preach, but in addition to his preaching he’ll have to get a real
job like the Apostle Paul did. I guarantee you, 99.999% of all preachers
will be out of there, scrambling for a new pulpit to fill. "Looooves the
Lord" my ass! It’s that damn paycheck that he’s loyal to, and if your
church won't pay him, he’ll whore himself to some other church that will!
"...her priests instruct for a price..."
Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe,
her priests instruct for a price, and her
prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord saying, ‘Is not the
Lord in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us.’ (#3: NASB)
Anyone who is so gullible or naive as to think that their
preacher doesn't have a price tag stuck on his ass, or is not in it "for the
money" is invited to try this test: stop paying him, and see how long he
sticks around "just because he loves the Lord". I can guarantee you, the VAST
majority of whores (religious or secular) both abide by this
No Pay, No Play
1 Timothy 6:5-10
And constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of
the truth, WHO SUPPOSE THAT GODLINESS (i.e. religion) IS A MEANS OF GAIN.
But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by
contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot
take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we
shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a
snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and
destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by
longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with
many a pang. (#3: NASB)
(#6: The Living Bible) These arguers—their minds
warped by sin—don’t know how to tell the truth; to them the Good News is just a
means of making money. Keep away from them.
(#9:Amp) …men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of
the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of
profit—a money-making business, a MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD.
From such withdraw.
In the clearest of terms, the Apostle Paul condemns those who have turned
preaching into a full-time paid job. He condemns those that have made a career
out of it. He condemns those that have turned the gospel into "a means of
livelihood". In short, he condemns
Why haven’t you heard this before? Why hasn’t this doctrine of Paul been
shouted from the rooftops, and echoed from pulpits across this land? Why have
the clergy consistently avoided preaching on verses like these? To even ask
such questions is to answer such questions. The reason the clergy have engaged
in such a massive conspiracy of silence on this issue is because they
themselves are the target of Paul’s wrath. They are the ones guilty of having
turned preaching into a full-time job. For them to preach this from their
pulpits would be to commit economic suicide. They have been forced to choose
between their god, and mammon- and they’ve chosen mammon. They have been faced
with the choice of picking what they love more- their paycheck, or the truth;
and truth has lost out. The very people who are in the best position to inform
their congregations of the truth of this matter, turn out to be the same
people who have a vested interest in hushing this up. Indeed, the wolves have
been placed in charge of the hen house, and are doing their best to keep the
hens ignorant of the slaughter of truth going on.
The clergy of your city have turned religion into a "means of livelihood".
A clergyman is a professional religionist- one who gets paid to preach. And,
as we’ve seen, is unequivocally condemned by Paul in the clearest of terms.
Anybody who can read the verses of Paul above, and go away with any other
conclusion, is retarded, or a clergyman with a vested interest to protect.
Just like the tobacco lawyers- trying to blind others to the dangers of
cigarettes- so also clergymen have blinded their congregations to verses like
the above. The day they start to deal honestly with verses like the above,
will be the day they quit their jobs. So don’t hold your breath- they have
shown a much stronger desire to paying their debts to bill collectors, than
paying their obligations to Biblegod.
The original Greek word here translated "contentment," in the primary
A perfect condition of life, in which NO AID or SUPPORT is needed. (#1:
In other words, if someone in our era really wants to preach the gospel, he
has to be able to support himself with a real job, so that no outside "aid or
support is needed." He should not be sponging off of the church. The same
Greek word is also used in 2C 9:8, where Paul says we all should be taking
care of ourselves, and not mooching off of others (such as clergymen do):
And God is able to make all grace, every favor and earthly blessing, come
to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and
whatever the need, be SELF-SUFFICIENT—possessing enough to
require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work
and charitable donation. (#9: Amp)
2 Corinthians 2:17
For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from
sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in
the sight of God. (#3: NASB)
(#10: RSV) For we are not, like so many,
PEDDLERS of God’s word...
(#6: The Living Bible) ...we are not like those
hucksters—and there are many of them—whose idea in getting out the Gospel is to
MAKE A LIVING OUT OF IT.
(#4: CLNT) For we are not as the M A J 0 R I T Y
ANY preacher, regardless of how popular he is, how handsome he is, how well
he tickles the ears of his groupies, and regardless of how good an orator he
is- ANY preacher that makes his living from a church is
nothing but a crook. Nothing could be more obvious as Paul himself condemns
those who "make a living" out of preaching the gospel. And was that the
M-A-J-0-R-I-T-Y, or minority of preachers, who are, contrary to plain
Bible teaching, making their living from peddling
the gospel???? I believe Paul said that it was the
majority. And guess what? It’s the same in our era as
well! 99.999% of all clergy have managed to turn their religion into their
livelihood, in clear and direct violation of this verse. Yet these same
hypocrites have the audacity to stand in their pulpits and condemn others for
ignoring the same book they themselves ignore. And their stupid brainless
sheep keep putting up with it, gladly submitting to being sheared of their
The word "peddling" that was used in this verse by Paul to describe the
professional clergy of his age is a very pregnant word, full of meaning.
Thayer defines the word thusly-
"A petty retailer, a huckster, peddler, to make money by selling
anything; to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base
gain." (#1: Thayer’s)
I can’t think of a better word to describe most modern televangelists! What
is really interesting is that this word, in the Greek, has it’s root in the
practice of some of the wine dealers of Paul’s day. Their practice, in order
to sell more, would be to dilute their wine with water.
Paul chose an appropriate description of gospel peddlers. In order to please
more hearers and thus sell more gospel, they dilute the message. Paul knew the
time would come when the people would not listen to real gospel preaching, but
wanting their ears tickled, they would hire their own teachers, putting them
on the payroll- where they could be controlled.
Notice also Paul describes his group as being "from
God." The very word Apostle, if you’ll recall, means exactly that: "one
sent." Apostles, having been sent by Biblegod, were the only ones authorized
by Biblegod to accept support. Non-Apostles, i.e. those men not
sent by Biblegod, are not authorized to accept money from
others for their preaching.
|And He said to them, ‘It is written, "‘My house shall be
called a house of prayer;’" but you are making it a robbers’
den! (#3: NASB)
For there are many (Note: MANY) rebellious men, empty talkers
and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced
because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not
teach, for the sake of SORDID GAIN. One of themselves, a prophet
of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ (#3:
This word that Paul used- "sordid"- just what does that mean? It is not
commonly used much anymore.
"Sordid: dirty, filthy, marked by baseness." (#15: Webster’s)
It should be noted that it was the "gain" these men were making, that is,
the profit, the fact that they were profiting off the death of Jesus, and
not the money itself, nor the teaching, which was sordid. Their
teaching was of course "something that should not be taught," but the money
was just common everyday money. It is the profiting off the death of Christ
that is being objected to. Even if they were teaching things that were 100%
true, they would still be in the wrong for "doing a Judas", i.e. making a
profit off the Christian prophet.
Notice that Paul also calls these men "lazy gluttons". The fact that they
were "lazy gluttons" has alot to do with the profession they picked.
Ministers, contrary to their constant public protestations, are in reality
some of the laziest people around. It is certainly the dream-job for a "lazy
glutton" to have.
Another occupational trait Paul brings up is the fact that professional
clergymen are full of hot air. They can just go on and on spinning a yarn. It
does seem to make sense that an empty talker and a deceiver could really
profit in this profession.
2 Thessalonians 3: 6-15
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our lord Jesus
Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly
life and not according to the tradition which you received from
us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example;
because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat
anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship
we kept working night and day so that we might not be a
to any of you; not because we do not have the right
to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a MODEL for you, that you
FOLLOW OUR EXAMPLE
For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: If anyone
(Note: includes preachers too!) will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear
that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at
all, but are acting like busybodies. Now such persons we
command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to WORK in quiet
fashion and eat their OWN bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow
weary of doing good. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this
letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he
may be put to shame. And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as
a brother. (#3: NASB)
The key word here is "burden". The Apostle Paul, whose every burp & fart on
paper is, to the Fundy Christian, directly inspired by Biblegod, has here
clearly labeled the professional clergy not a benefit, but rather a
burden; not a help, but rather a hinderance.
Picture tying 50 lb weights to your legs before a race- that’s a paid
clergyman to a church. Whatever benefit might arise from having a hireling
whore preach the gospel to your church every Sunday is, according to the
Apostle Paul, far outweighed by the burden he places upon the church by doing
so. This is not what I’ve said- this is what your own Bible says!
Once again, Paul manages to hit the nail right on the head. As already
seen, Paul pegged the professional clergy as being lazy and full of hot air.
In this section, he condemns their acting like "busybodies". They make it
their job to busy themselves sticking their noses into the business of others.
They oft times end up acting like self-appointed "moral police", busying
themselves with the private affairs of others. The root definition of
"busybodies" sheds even more light on the matter:
To bustle about uselessly, to busy one’s self about trifling, needless,
useless matters. Used apparently of a person OFFICIOUSLY
inquisitive about others’ affairs. (#1: Thayer’s)
Paul busted his ass working not just one, but TWO
jobs, while on top of that continuing to preach, never once complaining or
taking even a nickel from them for preaching. In light of this, I tend to
laugh at lazy preachers publicly complaining they don’t have
enough time or money. Let them try to get some sympathy from Paul! Paul
suffered all these troubles for just one purpose and one purpose only: to
leave an example to be followed. He even clearly labels it: "as a
model for you, that you might follow our example." Paul goes out of his
way to make it clear that there are NO exceptions to this rule, that it
applies to "anyone" which certainly means clergy as well. But what do
modern clergy do today in response to that? Not a damn thing. They totally
ignore applying Paul’s example to themselves. They have a vested interest in
NOT applying it to themselves. As the author Upton Sinclair said,
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends
upon his not
understanding it." So they will look at clear passages like this, and pretend
to not understand how it could possible apply to little ol’ them. They make
themselves completely blind to this whole section of the New Testament, as if
it doesn’t exist. I have actually witnessed this from a pew, listening to a
clergyman dance around this section, careful to avoid any areas that might
nail his ass to the wall. Such verbal tap dancing seems to be a
skill of both the clergy and politicians. The clergy loudly point to Paul’s
right to be supported, while ignoring Paul’s example
being supported. They play "smorgasbord restaurant" with the Bible, grabbing
what they like, ignoring what they don’t like.
Of course, clergymen are going to say that none of this applies to
them. That’s a given. They are special. It applies to you- the scum of
the earth- not to him. Remember- he’s special. His shit doesn’t stink. Well,
Paul would disagree. Paul says that this applies to EVERYBODY: "if
anyone will not work" neither let him eat." I think "anyone" would
include "everyone" which includes your lazy ass preacher as well. In fact,
Paul himself was a preacher- and PAUL WORKED- real jobs, at
that. This passage proves that Paul did NOT equate preaching with working. And
since this applied to Paul, and Paul was a preacher,
then it certainly applies to YOUR preacher as well- even more
so. They are to work REAL jobs to support themselves, do their preaching for
free, and not take even a nickel from the churches they preach at. As Paul
says, "if anyone does not obey our instructions in this
letter… do not associate with him." (v. 14). That "anyone" includes "everyone"
which includes your preacher.
1 Thessalonians 4: 11,12
And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your
own business and work with your hands, just as we
commanded you; so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in
any need. (#3: NASB)
(#8: KJV) ...and that ye may have lack of nothing.
(#10: RSV) ...and be dependent on
And let our own people really learn to apply themselves to good deeds—to
honest labor and honorable employment—so that they may be able
to meet necessary demands whenever the occasion may require and not
be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives. (#9:
Has the "ministry" earned a reputation for honest labor, lack of idleness?
On the contrary. Literature for the past thousand years or more has recognized
the slothfulness, the laziness, of full-time religionists. Paul rightfully
refused to equate preaching with working. Preachers should find honest,
honorable employment- i.e. a real job, and not be free-loading
off of a church, for which they have no right to do so anyway. Paul not only
commanded this of Christians, but even set examples several times, to back up
his words with deeds. It is high time the clergy start following Paul’s
specific examples of working a real
job, while preaching on the side.
1 Corinthians 4:12
And we toil, working with our own hands. (#3: NASB)
Acts 28:30, 31
He (Paul) lived there (in Rome) two whole years at his own expense
and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching
about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (#21: NRSV)
Paul refused to accept a salary from the church at Rome, and instead, paid
his own bills with his own earned money. Paul did not mind being helped on his
way by the Romans, (Rm 15:24) but he, unlike the clergy, would not impose upon
their hospitality to the extent that he would let them support him like he was
some kind of deadbeat. Paul, even though he had the right as an Apostle to be
paid for his preaching, usually declined. He knew it would set a bad example.
How seldom, if at all, does one hear of any clergyman in our era working a
real job to pay his own way, having turned down a salary from a church.
But Peter (to a beggar) said, ‘I do not
possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus
Christ the Nazarene—walk! ‘ (#3: NASB)
Peter was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. By the time Peter was
confronted by this beggar, his church had grown to over 3000 members (Acts
2:41). It would be very improbable for a modern day minister of such a large
congregation to have no money, to be flat broke. Yet this is one of the things
that separates the modern day professional clergy from their forefathers. A
minister of such a prestigious church in our era would certainly have a pocket
full of money. He would also probably have a new car, a gold watch, a pension
plan, stock options, and a nice house in a nice gated neighborhood- where such
beggars as Peter ran into are not even allowed.
Peter was flat broke because he was not siphoning off church money into his
own pockets. His church supported those that were truly
in need (Acts 4:35, 6:1), and not those who put themselves in need by
refusing to get a real job, such as clergymen. In our era, if money were being
handed out at a church, clergyman would have already pushed themselves to the
front of the line beforehand, with whatever’s remaining going to feed the
For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or
quick-tempered (i.e. taking pleasure in personal combat, belligerent) or
addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain
These twelve Jesus sent out (i.e. Apostlized them) after instructing
them, saying, ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city
of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And
as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick,
raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received,
freely give. Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper (i.e. money) for
your money belts; or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or
a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. (#3: NASB)
Jesus commanded them not to sell what they had gotten for free. "Freely you
received, freely give." Yet in direct violation of this, the clergy have made
a full-time business of selling the gospel message. For x amount of gold or
silver every week, your church can buy a clergyman who will sell you what
Jesus gave freely. This is such a blatant hijacking of Jesus’ intent,
Christian’s should be out rioting in the streets- yet nothing happens. The
sheep continue to act like… sheep. They continue to get sheared at every
Preachers who have been sent by Jesus (i.e. made into Apostles) are allowed
support. It is their right. The Bible here says "These twelve Jesus SENT
OUT ..." Jesus sent these men, thus making them Apostles. Your minister is
NOT an Apostle, thus has no right to be supported. All of the real Apostles
died out over 1,900 years ago.
The word translated "support" means, in the Greek, "food, nourishment.’’
(#1: Thayer’s) The same word in the Greek is used in Acts 2:46; 9:19; 14:17;
27:33,34,36,38. All it means is food. Not money, houses, medical care, late
model cars and ad infinitum. You might get fat from such support, but you’d
never get rich. In fact Peter, one who was sent by Jesus, said that he had no
money at all (Acts 3:6). More than likely, the Apostles in the early church,
when being supported by the church (i.e. food, and a place to sleep), received
their food the same way the widows did:
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a
complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native
Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of
food. (At 6:1)
If anyone can prove he has been sent by Biblegod or Jesus, then you may
support him. Let him humbly sit in with your widows in the daily serving of
food. Give him a meal, and a corner he can sleep in.
After these things he (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a
certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy
with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave
Rome. He came to them, because he was of the same trade, and he
stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they
were tentmakers. And he was reasoning in the synagogue
every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timothy
came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word,
solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. (#3: NASB)
Paul at first did not make use of his apostolic right (1Th 2:6) to burden
the church while at Corinth. Instead, he worked at his trade, which was
tentmaking, and preached on the weekends. Paul continued this until his two
friends arrived with support from Macedonia, to give Paul, at which time he
quit working and then lived off the money from Macedonia. As Paul says
…and when I was present with you (Corinthians) and was in need, I was not
a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia, they fully
supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to
you, and will continue to do so. (#3: NASB, 2C 11:9)
This is a good example of Paul’s right as an Apostle to get money for
preaching. More light is shed on this in the next section, in which Paul
proves to the same Corinthians that because he had this right, therefore he
must have been a real Apostle.
1 Corinthians 9:1-18
1. Am I not free? Am I not an
Apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work
in the Lord?
2. If to others I am not an
Apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my
in the Lord.
3. My defense to those who examine me
|Author's Note: Please notice
all the words here I've marked in red. It is obvious that Paul is
proving his right to support by proving not that he's a
preacher, but rather that he's an Apostle.
4. Do we not have a right
to eat and drink?
5. Do we not have a right
to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the
Apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6. Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right
to refrain from working?
7. Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own
expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a
flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
8. I am not speaking these things according to human
judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?
9. For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall
not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is
10. Or is He speaking altogether for our
sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the
plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the
11. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too
much if we should reap material things from you?
12. If others share the right
over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right,
but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of
13. Do you not know that those who perform sacred
services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar
have their share with the altar?
14. So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the
gospel to get their living from the gospel.
15. But I have used none of these things. And I am
not writing these things that it may be done so in my case; for it would be
better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
16. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to
boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the
17. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward;
but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
18. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the
gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make
full use of my right in the gospel. (#3: NASB)
"The LORD directed those that preach the gospel" of verse 14 should
be the big hint here. The only
ones "The Lord" has commissioned, directed, and sent out to preach the gospel
are the Apostles- who are ALL DEAD NOW. Before any
discussion takes place on this chapter and paid preachers, it should be made
clear that unless "The Lord" is the one who has commissioned and sent out
those that are preaching the gospel, unless those preaching are Apostles, they
have no business turning preaching into a business.
Now for some background on this chapter. Paul, the Apostle, had a hard time
convincing the church at Corinth that he was enough of an Apostle to be worthy
of the right of Apostolic support, even though he had no intention of using
said right. So why the concern with proving his right to Apostolic support?
Because, if he could prove his right to support, he also proves at the same
time his Apostleship: Support = Apostleship. Thus, Paul’s logic behind this
whole chapter directly supports my basic thesis that: only Apostles had the
right to be paid by the church for their preaching, and if you could prove
your right to be supported for preaching, you also proved your Apostleship.
Some of the people at Corinth thought Paul was not
accepting support because there was something "wrong" with Paul’s Apostleship.
The very fact that this was the case totally supports my thesis. Paul defends
himself by showing that he is just as qualified to these rights
as the rest of the Apostles (thus proving his Apostleship), but has decided
not to make use of said rights.
1-2 The questions asked refer to Apostleship.
Some had doubted his being an Apostle.
3 Paul is defending his Apostleship. But how
does he defend his Apostleship? He defends his Apostleship by proving his
right to be supported. Now why would he do a crazy thing like that, unless my
thesis is correct? He used that line of defense because only Apostles could
lawfully burden the church in exchange for their preaching. Example: A man
claims to be a tax-collector. You doubt him. For proof, he could show you his
right to "take your money." Likewise, Paul. Now modern clergymen claim the
only qualification to get paid for preaching is… to preach. But if that is the
case, then Paul only had to prove his being a preacher in order
to prove his right to burden the church. Dear clergy, pray tell: how could any
one save a fool doubt that Paul was a preacher, and as
such, if your thesis is correct, entitled to support? But they
could, and did, doubt his being an Apostle: a preacher sent by Biblegod. And
apart from this tidbit of knowledge, this chapter makes no sense whatsoever.
4-6 Paul is asking them if Barnabas (also an
Apostle- Acts 14:14) and himself have these rights to free food & drink. He is
comparing Barnabas and himself with all the other Apostles. But why only with
Apostles? Why not preachers, if one only had to preach to have this right, as
the clergy claim? It is clear to Paul’s readers that only Apostles have these
rights, and that this whole discussion is on apostolic rights.
7 Who owns the army? Who owns the vineyard? Who
owns the flock? In the Kingdom of Biblegod, Joe Hovah is the owner, and if you
are going to be supported by Biblegod’s army, you’d better have authorization
first from "the captain of salvation." And if you are going to be eating in
the vineyard, you better have permission from "the lord of the vineyard." And
if you will be feeding yourself from the flock, you better be a friend of "the
great Shepherd of the sheep."
8-10 Again, if a stray ox wanders in and starts
to eat, will the owner let it stay? Will the owner let just any ox do the
threshing? Of course not. Only the Apostles have Biblegod’s permission to feed
off of the church. Notice also verse ten. Paul says Biblegod is speaking
"altogether for our
sake." Who’s sake? The class of people of whom include Paul and Barnabas. What
are Paul and Barnabas? "But when the Apostles, Barnabas
and Paul, .... " (At 14:14). Biblegod is speaking altogether
for the sake of Apostles. That leaves everyone else out.
11 Once again, remember, it was Apostles doing
12 The others, to whom he refers, are probably
Apollos, Cephas, and "they." (lC 1:12; 15:11) The reason that Paul is more
deserving is because "I labored even more than all of them." (lC 15:10) Paul
thought that being a burden to the church would also be a burden to the good
news. Paul thought that being "full time" was a hindrance,
not a help, to "the power of God for salvation to every one who believes."
Most clergymen in our era want you to believe that being full time is the best
way- the only way. And you are going to hell if you disagree with their
theory. Their real motivation in calling Paul a liar is to protect their
livelihood, their cushy job. Most of them have training for nothing else, and
it’s a bitch to start from scratch on a career path. Therefore, they will do
whatever deed, and tell whatever lie is necessary, to keep their jobs. In
their actions, they show- according to Paul, that they don’t put the gospel
first. They don’t mind hindering the gospel to help their wallets. Paul,
unlike your clergy, put the gospel before an easy job. The clergy claim that
being full time is a help to the gospel. The Bible- the "inspired" Apostle
Paul in particular, calls it a hindrance. Choose you this day which side
13 Could just any Joe Blow be a priest in the
temple? Of course not. Only Levites were allowed to become priests, and then
only after meeting many requirements, and only then after being duly
authorized. Going through the motions were not enough. A priest had to be
approved of by Biblegod.
14 The Lord directed for the support of the
preachers which he sent out. The tenth chapter of Matthew has the account. It
must be remembered that Paul, in this ninth chapter of 1st Corinthians, is
making a defense of his Apostleship, and not of his "preachership."
This 14th verse must not be isolated and ripped out of context to change it’s
meaning. For example, Acts 16:31 ("Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved…"), when isolated, refutes any tract on baptism. 1P 3:21, when
isolated, refutes any tract on faith. In fact, even lC 9:14, when isolated,
would mean that female preachers would also have to be supported, along with
any one else who wanted to preach- Christian or not. Hell, even Gorilla’s that
can communicate via sign language could apply for the job! But we know better
than to rip verses out of their context, we know that other verses bear on
this verse, to mold and make clear it’s meaning. And so also we can see, from
the careful way that I have walked you thru this entire 9th chapter of 1st
Corinthians, that the context supports my conclusion. The context shows that
it takes more than just being a preacher in order to qualify for support, i.e.
preaching in and of itself is not the only prerequisite required for getting
paid to preach. One must be a preacher sent by Biblegod himself, an Apostle.
Non-apostolic preachers are not sent by Biblegod and are
not to be supported.
15-18 The "reward" Paul speaks of is to offer
the gospel free of charge. Paul’s reward was not money. In fact, Paul makes it
clear that he would rather die than take money from them for preaching.
Preachers are always overlooking this fact in their rush to find anything to
justify their paychecks. As for the "boast" Paul mentions, I believe that the
boast is one of the following two: ‘’Therefore, if food causes my brother to
stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to
stumble." (lC 8:13) That is the boast if Paul was offered, as support, meat
offered to idols. The other possible boast is "...and in everything I kept
myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. As the truth of
Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in
the regions of Achaia." (2C 11:9,10) Paul also says that he had not written in
order to burden the church, which shows that he was
proving his right to support in order to prove his Apostleship, and not
in order to get their money. Paul, as being one sent by Jesus to preach, was
under compulsion. Because he was told to preach, he has no reason to boast,
for he is but doing as he has been ordered. But to accept support is in his
own power, he is free to accept or decline. And since he declined, he has
reason to boast. In preaching, he had no choice. In support, he had a choice,
and thus room for boasting. And this, offering the good news without charge,
was his boast. He also talks of his right in the gospel. This is
probably the right recorded in the gospel according to Matthew, chapter
ten. In this chapter, Jesus is recorded as giving this right to his Apostles.
Once again, we see that getting paid to preach is a right, for which no one
9th Chapter of 1st Corinthians: Conclusion
At first glance, the 14th verse of this chapter seems to support the
contention of the professional clergy that they deserve to get paid for doing
whatever it is they claim they do all day. And, if you are one to rip a verse
out of context, ignoring the rest of the chapter and Bible, they may have a
point. However, for the rest of you, it should be clear now that we’ve
completed a careful examination of this chapter. It should be clear that Paul
taught, and the early church believed, that only Apostles were authorized to
get paid for preaching. It is upon this belief the entire argument of Paul
within this chapter rests. To claim as the clergy do, that the only
requirement to get paid is to preach, is to make total nonsense out of this
entire chapter. The only way this chapter makes any sense at all is if, as my
"The New Testament teaches that
only Apostles had the right
to be paid by the church
for their preaching."
2 Corinthians 11:6-15
But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact,
in every way we have made this evident to you in all things. Or did I commit a
sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel
of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches,
taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in
need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren
came from Macedonia, they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept
myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. As the truth of
Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of
Achaia. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! But what I am doing, I
will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an
opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are
boasting. For such men are false Apostles, deceitful workers,
disguising themselves as Apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even
Satan disguises himself as an angel (#1: Thayer’s: "messenger") of light.
Therefore it is not surprising if his servants (KJV "ministers:) also
disguise themselves as servants (KJV "ministers") of righteousness; whose end
shall be according to their deeds. (#3: NASB)
Paul implies that it is mostly the "ministers of Satan" who are getting
paid to preach the gospel. Paul also once again is having to explain his stay
in Corinth- why he refused to accept any money from them for preaching. As
you’ll recall, the Corinthians knew that Apostles got paid to preach. Paul was
not paid- at least not by them. Therefore, some reasoned, Paul must not be
a real Apostle, or at least not on the same level as the other Apostles. Paul
explains the reason he refused their money (not to be a burden to them), and
also says he’ll continue to refuse their money, more or less daring their
(false) Apostles (the "ministers of Satan") to follow suit. He knows they
won’t- just like your minister also won’t. They will all refuse to "put their
money where their mouth is" and instead will continue to pocket money that
doesn’t belong to them.
2 Corinthians 12:12-18
The signs of a true Apostle were performed among you
with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. For in what respect
were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I
myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a
to you; FOR I DO NOT SEEK WHAT IS YOURS, BUT YOU;
for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but
parents for their children. And I will most gladly spend and be expended for
your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? But be that as it
may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took
you in by deceit. Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any on
those whom I have sent to you, have I? I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother
with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct
ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps? (#3: NASB)
Once again, Paul is having to explain his actions to the Corinthians. Once
again, Paul himself combines the topics of Apostleship
and being paid to preach. Why would he himself keep connecting the two,
unless my thesis is correct? Paul also lays down a principle that destroys the
modern clergy system. Paul says that he does not seek what is theirs
(i.e. their money), but rather seeks them. He then backs it up with an
analogy, showing that if anyone is to be paid, the people in charge of a
congregation ought to be paying the congregation! Children, he says, are not
the ones who are to "save up" for the parents. Let’s see the filthy rich
televangelists try that shoe on for a change! Modern
clergy fear to tread the path laid down by Paul. They say (with words) they
will pay any price for Jesus, but with their deeds, they do the opposite. They
claim they’d "die for Jesus", but in reality they won’t even get a
job for Jesus! Lazy hypocrites!!!
And you yourselves know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the
gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter
of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift
more that once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the
profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full,
and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus
what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to
Cod. (#3: NASB)
And Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others
who were contributing to their (Jesus- an Apostle Hb 3:1, and the twelve, also
Apostles) support out of their private means. (#3: NASB)
If anyone is stealing he must stop it and begin using those hands
of his for honest work so he can give to others in need. (#6: The
A thief is defined as someone who is taking something that he has no right to
be taking. A clergyman has no right to be taking money for preaching. Therefore,
clergymen are thieves.
2 Timothy 3:13
Yet wicked men and swindlers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being
deceived. (#4: CLNT)
A swindler is someone who takes our money by fraud or deceit (#15:
Webster’s). Paul may have be talking about the false Apostles in the Ephesian
church, since some think that Timothy was in Ephesus at the time.
Such teachers are not working for our Lord Jesus, but only want
gain for themselves. They are good speakers, and
simple-minded people are often fooled by them. (#6: The Living Bible)
Little has changed since then. Look at the televangelists who rake in the
most money- they are excellent entertainers ("good speakers") while their
followers are "simple-minded people" who’d enjoy watching a Jerry Springer as
much as a Jerry Falwell.
Let's run a check list to see how closely modern televangelists match up with
those that the Apostle Paul condemned:
- They are teachers working for themselves, not Jesus
- They want gain for themselves
- They are good speakers
- They oft fool simple-minded people
As suspected, a perfect fit. Modern televangelists match perfectly the
description of those that Paul warned about.
2 Corinthians 8:12-14
If you are really eager to give, then it isn’t important how much you have to
give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven’t.
OF COURSE, I DON’T MEAN THAT THOSE WHO RECEIVE YOUR GIFTS SHOULD HAVE AN EASY
TIME OF IT AT YOUR EXPENSE, but you should divide with them. Right now
have plenty and can help them; then at some other time they
can share with you when you need it. In this way each will
have as much as he needs. (#6: The Living Bible)
One thing you will seldom, if ever see, is the above being carried out. It
will be a cold day in hell when the Bakker’s, the Swaggart’s, the TBN’s and
whatever start to give back as much as they’ve suckered in. And as far as
preachers having "an easy time of it at your expense", with the Bakker’s even
the good preacher’s dog got an easy time. Viewers may have gone
hungry, sending their food money to the PTL club, but god-damn! The Bakker’s dog
sure appreciated the air conditioning in his dog house that money paid for!
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your
neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his
donkey or ANYTHING (including his money) that belongs to your neighbor. (#3:
Does your minister covet, i.e. desire to have for his own, your money or your
tithe? Does he try to make you believe that your love for Biblegod is measured
in the dollars and cents you give to your clergyman? Paul, unlike the preachers
of today, did not desire your money—Acts 20:33.
Woe upon them! For they follow the example of Cain who killed his brother;
and like Balaam (an Old Testament paid preacher), they will do anything
for money, and like Korah, they have disobeyed Biblegod in the hope of
gain and will die under His curse. (#6 The Living Bible)
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets, too, in those days, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They
will cleverly tell their lies about God, turning against even their Master who
bought them; but theirs will be a swift and terrible end. Many will follow their
evil teaching that there is nothing wrong with sexual sin. And because of them
Christ and His way will be scoffed at. THESE TEACHERS IN THEIR GREED
WILL TELL YOU ANYTHING (even lies about the Bible saying they
should be paid?????) TO GET HOLD OF YOUR MONEY. But God
condemned them long ago and their destruction is on the way. (#6: The Living
2 Peter 2:14,15
...having a heart trained (at the seminary???) in
accursed children; forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having
followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of
unrighteousness. (#3: NASB)
(#6: The Living Bible) ...they train themselves to be greedy.
Come, beasts of the plain, beasts of the forest, come, eat your fill, for
Israel’s watchmen are blind, all of them unaware. They are all dumb dogs who
cannot bark, stretched on the ground, dreaming, lovers of sleep,
GREEDY DOGS THAT CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH. They are shepherds
who understand nothing, absent each of them on his own pursuits, each intent on
his own gain wherever he can find it. (#12: NEB)
For all, high and low, are out for ill-gotten
gain; prophets and priests are frauds, every one
of them. (#12: NEB)
2 Corinthians 11:20
For you endure it if a man assumes control of your souls and makes slaves of
you, or devours your substance, spends your money,
and preys upon you, or deceives and takes advantage of you, or is
arrogant and puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. (#9: Amp)
(#22: The Jerusalem Bible) …makes slaves of you, makes you feed him,
imposes on you, orders you about
and slaps you in the face.
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,
and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and THE POOR
HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. (#8: KJV)
In a listing of miracles such as this, they will save the most impressive
miracle for last. Did you notice, therefore, what was saved for last? It appears
that the greatest miracle of all these miracles is that the poor will have the
gospel preached to them! This even out-ranks resurrections!
Now the poor mentioned here- we are not talking American poor- you know, our
"poor" that have a house, a car, indoor plumbing, electricity, TV, heat, food
stamps, food banks, and most importantly welfare money with which to send to
televangelists. When Rev. Billy Bob gets 5 million "poor" suckers like this
sending in just $1 each per week, Rev. Billy Bob is set for life. No, we are
talking 1st century poor- no house, no food, no welfare, and zero money.
Starvation is a daily possibility. And the miracle in that someone would preach
the gospel to these people is the realization that someone would preach for
free, with no chance whatsoever of making any money out of it!!!!
Even in our era, someone preaching without getting paid is such a rarity as
to count as a true miracle. Even the most pathetic of churches seem to always
burden themselves with a full-time minister, regardless of the financial load it
places upon the church. For example, I was at the Nelson Street Church of
Christ, in Garden Grove, California in November of 1999. They have a building
that could seat maybe 200, but a membership of about only a dozen, and only
eight of those adults. Pathetic. But they have their full-time minister! Oh no,
can’t live without that! Heaven forbid that their minister should have to go out
and get a real job like the "laity" of his church!!! He can’t
stoop to their level- or to the level of the Apostle Paul, who supported
himself with a real job.
2 Timothy 2:6
The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the
crops. (#3: NASB)
Paul is not speaking of "paying the minister" but of eternal life. Once
again, notice the context leading up to verse 6: Verse 4- Please
Biblegod. Verse 5- Obey Biblegod. Verse 6- Harvest eternal life
1 Timothy 5:16-18
If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, let her assist them, and
let not the church be burdened, so that it may assist those who are
widows indeed. Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double
honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the
Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and, ‘The
laborer is worthy of his wages.’ (#3: NASB)
|You will notice that the main emphasis of Paul here is to
not burden the church down with unnecessary financial obligations. With
such an emphasis, it is surprising that some clergymen point to this verse
as a "proof text" to justify themselves bumming off the church. I guess
this shows their desperation and blindness- they’ve totally missed the
point of the passage! Using the same logic, a threshing ox could justify
moving into the Farmer's house and taking the Farmer's place in the
marriage bed! Fact is, Paul is being so fussy with even poor old
being supported by the church, it would be strange in the same breath
for Paul to be opening the feeding trough doors wide enough for
able-bodied clergymen as well. And, in case the clergy hasn’t noticed,
Paul isn’t even talking about them here- they are not even under
discussion. Paul is talking about widows, and church elders. He is not
talking about anyone else.
Some Greek lexicons define honor, in this
passage alone, as meaning money. The hired clergymen who wrote the lexicons, as
we all know, have a vested interest in preserving their jobs. But there is no
excuse for their inconsistent translation of the word honor in
passages. If honor really means money, as they claim, let’s be consistent
and "translate" it as such in the other passages where it’s used, to show these
men that honor means honor, and not money. You will see, (unless
you’re a hired gun for Religion, Inc.), that these verses, using their logic,
make no sense at all. Likewise, neither does rendering honor
into money, in 1Tm 5:17.
Rm 2:10 "
honor money, and
peace, to every man..."
Rm 13:7 "...fear to whom fear;
money to whom honor
Mk 7:6 "This people
me with their lips..."
Hb 13:4 "Marriage is
moneyable in all, and the bed undefiled..."
The Bible claims that church elders should, when deserving, be honored twice
as much. But certain hired guns (i.e. theologians) say that honor means honor in
all passages except 1Tm 5:17, where the word magically turns into money, which
ends up in their pockets. Which do you believe? And, in reality, what do the
clergymen really believe about this verse? If they really
believed that church elders should be getting paid, then church elders would be
getting paid. Do they get paid? No, they don’t. Therefore, by their actions, by
their refusing to pay the church elders, even clergymen agree with me on this
verse. Their actions speak louder than their words- as usual.
3 John 7 & 8
For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the
Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men (i.e. receive as guests),
that we may be fellow-workers with the truth. (#3: NASB)
The Greek word for support means "to receive hospitably, welcome." (#1:
Thayer’s) As you can see, the word "support" as used by the NASB, is deceiving.
John commends Gaius, to whom this letter was written, for his hospitality.
Others verses on hospitality are Rm 16:23; Hb 13:2; G1 6:10; 1Tm 5:10. As shown
elsewhere in this paper, hospitality does not mean making a habit of supporting
someone. (2Th 3:10)
For each one shall bear his own load (i.e. don’t let anyone- preachers
included- freeload off the church). And let the one who is taught the word
share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not
mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to
his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the
Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in
doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then,
while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those
who are of the household of the faith. (#3: NASB)
The word twisters, who get such a kick twisting the word "honor" in 1Tm 5:17,
also enjoy twisting this verse about. Here they claim the word share
means to pay a salary, a fixed compensation paid regularly for services
rendered. How about that?
I shall now attempt to show the obvious, that the word share means, of all
things, share! Please answer these questions:
Does "share all good things" mean signing somebody's paycheck every
Does "share all good things" mean sharing your good things with the
teacher in a give and take situation, lending and borrowing, or legally
paying him outright for services rendered?
If "share all good things with him who teaches" means paying
the one teaching a salary, and Sunday School teachers teach, then why
aren't Sunday School teachers paid a salary?
If "share all good things" means a weekly paycheck, would you hire in for
a job where the boss made no promise to pay, just to "share his good things"
Does "sharing all good things" with your son or daughter consist of
cutting them a paycheck?
Love your Maker with all your might, and do not leave his ministers without
support. Fear the Lord and honor the priest and give him his dues, as you
have been commanded, the firstfruits, the guilt-offering, and the
shoulder of the victim, the dedication sacrifice, and the firstfruits of
holy things. (#12: NEB, The Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 7:30,31)
True, this does say to honor the priest and not leave him without support. It
also says to give him the fair portion of your animal sacrifices. What? You
don’t do animal sacrifices? Well, if you were a Jew living before Christ’s time,
you might. That is when this was written, and who it was written for.
But give to all, for God will have us give to all, of all his own gifts. They
therefore that receive shall give an account to God, both wherefore they
received, and for what end. And they that receive without a real need
shall give an account for it; but he that gives shall be innocent. (#23: The
Lost Books… Hermas 2:7,8)
Would hunger caused by a self-imposed condition, such as being too damn lazy
or proud to get a real job, qualify as "a real need"??? If not, then clergy do
not qualify for support under these rules.
Anxiety on this very point meets us in Didache 11:6. The Apostle
(Note: Apostle, not preacher) traveling abroad is to receive only
bread when leaving a place, and only enough to enable
him to reach his next Christian night’s lodging: ‘But if he ask for
money, he is a false prophet.’ ��The Didache, in this connection,
takes such a completely different point of view that it considers a longer stay
for the Apostle in a given community to be especially improper:
he must stay no longer than one or two days at the most- otherwise he is a false
prophet who is trying to make himself comfortable at the expense of his
missionary task (ll:5f). (#24: Earliest Christianity, pp. 679, 680)
The one sure-fire way to tell if a man is a false prophet, is if he asks for
money. I repeat, if a man asks for money, there is no way in hell he is a
prophet of Biblegod. Do you understand the ramifications of this? This one line
is enough to damn 99% of all the clergy, for rarely does a week go by without
their explicitly asking the congregation for money. For televangelists, you’re
lucky to go 15 minutes without being asked for money. In fact, you’d be hard
pressed to find five clergymen in this entire country that don’t
ask for or accept money for preaching!
Notice also how stingy the churches are to be with those they do
support- they are to take in the Apostle for two days at the most!!! And, when
they kick the guy out, give him bread, and only bread,
enough to reach his next stop. No money, no car, no house, no retirement fund,
no medical, no nothin’!!! These preachers that scream for "that old time
religion", why, I can’t hear them on this part of "old time religion"??? We need
not wonder why- we all know they value their jobs and security more
than they value the truth and their gods. Die for Jesus? Hell, they won’t even
get a simple job for Jesus!
Yet another thing to point out, is that it is Apostles which are under
consideration for being supported. Not preachers, not teachers, not clergymen.
Apostles- just like I��ve said over and over. And notice- Apostles travel. They
don’t park their rear end in one spot, fighting off all attempts to pry them
out. The very word itself- Apostle- means one who’s been sent.
Agbarus, therefore, commanded his subjects to be called early in the morning,
and to hear the annunciation of Thaddeus; and after this, he commanded gold
and silver to be given him; but he would not receive it, saying, If we
have left our own, how shall we take what belongs to others?
These things were done in the three hundred and fortieth year. (#2:
Eusebius, p. 47)
The very thought of a modern clergyman turning down a kingly offer of solid
gold is impossible to imagine. The clergymen that suck social security checks
away from destitute lonely old people- turn down money on moral grounds? Ha ha
ha ha ha. Times have really changed. Once again, they want that "old time
religion", but not if it’s going to cost them any money.
And why should we say more? It is impossible to tell the number of the gifts
which the church throughout the world received from God, and the deeds performed
in the name of Jesus Christ, that was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and this
too every day for the benefit of the brethren, without deceiving any, or
extracting their money. For as she has received
freely from God she also freely
ministers. (#2: Eusebius, page 187)
What ever happened to this principle? Did the vaunted "absolute" moral code
the Christians claim to follow turn out to be mere situational ethics? This
moral code that Jesus himself first laid down: "freely receive, freely give"}
does it or does it not apply nowadays? If not, why not? Who changed it, and when
and why? Why do 99.999% of all clergymen in our era violate an ethic that cost
the early church so much to uphold? Have they no shame?
‘But who’ says he, ‘is this new teacher? His (i.e. Montanus’) works and his
doctrines sufficiently show it. This is he that taught the dissolution of
marriage, he that imposed laws of fasting, that called Pepuza and Tymium, little
places in Phrygia, a Jerusalem, in order to collect men from every quarter
thither; who established exactors of money, and under the name of offerings
devised the artifice to procure presents; who
for those that preached his doctrine that it might grow strong by
gormandizing and gluttony.’ Thus far concerning Montanus; and further on he
writes concerning his prophetesses: ‘We show, therefore,’ says he, ‘that these
same leading prophetesses, as soon as they were filled with the spirit,
abandoned their husbands. How then can they utter this falsehood, who call
Prisca a virgin?’ He afterwards proceeds again: ‘Does it not appear to you
that the Scripture forbids any prophet to receive gifts and money?
When therefore I see a prophetess receiving both gold and silver and precious
garments, how can I fail to reject her?’ (#2: Eusebius,
pp. 200, 201)
How can I fail to reject anyone that accepts money for preaching? It
can’t get any clearer than this. Only an idiot or clergyman could read the
above, yet fail to understand that money and religion shouldn’t mix. I don’t
know of any way to communicate the concept any better. What is being clearly
condemned here is a forerunner of every single clergyman alive nowadays that
accepts a salary. Would that the average Billy Bob Christian of our age share
the same moral conviction that, when they see a preacher getting paid to preach,
they could not but fail to reject that preacher. The question raised, "Does it
not appear to you that the Scripture forbids any prophet to
receive… money" is what this paper of mine is all about. Yes, it does appear to
me also that the Scriptures forbids a preacher from profiteering off the death
of Jesus. When Judas did that, people called him a scumbag. Why are they pulling
punches with their own clergy, who are guilty of exactly the same crime- selling
In another part of the same work, he adds the following, respecting their
boasted prophets: ‘If,’ says he, ‘they deny that their prophets took presents
(i.e. money and things), let them at least
acknowledge that if they should be proved to have received them,
they are no prophets.’ (#2: Eusebius, p. 202)
Both of these were disciples of Theodotus the currier, the first that had
been excommunicated by Victor, then bishop, as before said, on account of this
opinion or rather insanity. Natalius was persuaded by them to be created a
bishop of this heresy, with a salary from them of one
hundred and fifty denarii a month. Being connected, therefore, with them, he
was frequently brought to reflection by the Lord in his dreams. For the merciful
God and our Lord Jesus Christ, would not that he who had been a witness of his
own sufferings, should perish, though he was out of the church. But as he paid
but little attention to these visions, being ensnared both by the desire of
presiding among them, and that foul gain which destroys so many,
he was finally lashed by holy angels, through the whole night, and was thus most
severely punished; so that he… repented. (#2: Eusebius, p. 214)
(He) has now arrived at excessive wealth, by his iniquities and sacrileges,
and by those various means which he employed to exact and extort from the
brethren, depressing the injured and promising to aid them for a reward;
and yet how he deceived them, and without doing them any good, took advantage of
the rediness of those who were in difficulties, to make them give any thing
in order to be freed from their oppressors. We shall say nothing of his
making merchandise of piety; nor how he affected lofty things… (#2:
Eusebius, p. 305)
Not-So-Early Church History:
Paid Preachers Finally Accepted
Constantine Augustus to Caecilianus bishop of Carthage: As we have
determined, that in all the provinces of Africa, Numidia, and Mauritania,
something should be granted to certain ministers of the legitimate and most holy
catholic religion, to defray their expenses, I have given letters
to Ursus, the most illustrious Lieutenant-Governor of Africa, and have
communicated to him, that he shall provide, to pay to your authority, three
thousands folles (~ $10,000). (#2: Eusebius, p. 431)
We have now moved up in history closer to our era; to the era of the founding
of the Catholic Church. By now the apostasy is in full swing, and we have the
clear beginnings of the professional, full-time clergy. Christianity has never
been the same since.
Andrew, brother of Peter
James, son of Zebedee
John, brother of James
James, son of Alphaeus
(Acts 14:14; 13:2-4)
(1Th 2:6— trace the plurals, such as "we," "us," "our," from 2:6,
where it says "Apostles," back to where it tells who these plurals refer to-in
verse one, of chapter one.)
(Rv 2:13— the term "witness" is used in speaking of Apostles. Lk
24:48; Jn 15:27; At 1:8; At 4:33; At 10:39-42; At 13:31; At 22:14,15)
(Rv 11:3— the term "witness" is used in speaking of Apostles.)
(Rv 11:3— the term "witness" is used in speaking of Apostles.)
Andronicas, a relative of Paul
Junias, a relative of Paul
(lC 4:9— the term, "us Apostles," trace the plurals back to who the
"us Apostles" refers to- "myself (Paul) and Apollos" verse 6, chapter 4.)
("...was the first of the Gentiles that received of the mysteries of
the divine word from Philip. The Apostle, led by a vision, thus instructed
him,...") (#2: Eusebius, p. 50)
1) Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament,
Joseph H. Thayer, AP&A, Grand Rapids, MI (reprint of 1889 original)
2) Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius Pamphilus (~324 AD),
Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1971
3) New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, La Habra CA,
4) Concordant Literal New Testament, Concordant Publishing Concern,
Canyon Country, CA 1976
5) Today’s English Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN
6) The Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Il, 1971
7) The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures,
Watch Tower…, Brooklyn, NY 1984
8) King James Version, Church of England, 1611
9) The Amplified New Testament, Lockman Foundation, La Habra CA, 1958
10) Revised Standard Version, Thomas Nelson Inc., NY 1971
11) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third
Edition, Houghton Mifflin Co, 1992
12) The New English Bible, Oxford University Press, 1970
13) The Complete Bible: An American Translation, J.M. Powis Smith &
Edgar J. Goodspeed, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1963
14) The Twentieth Century New Testament, Fleming Revell Co., NY 1904
15) Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Co,
Springfield, Mass, 1965
16) The New Internationl Version, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand
Rapids, MI, 1976
17) The Albuquerque Tribune, Saturday, April 18, 1987
18) The Sarasota Herald Tribune, Feb. 24, 1979
19) The Orange County Register, March 29, 1987, page A-22
20) The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You To Read, Tim Leedom,
Kendall/Hunt Pub, Debuque, Iowa 1993, page 341
21) New Revised Standard Version, National Council of Churches, Oxford
Univ. Press, NY 1989
22) The Jerusalem Bible
23) The Lost Books of the Bible, World Publishing Co, New York, 1971
24) Earliest Christianity, Johannes Weiss
25) The New Testament in Modern English, J.B. Phillips, Macmillan
Company, New York, 1966
26) Gospel Advocate, May 20 1885
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