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Does it Take Money to Spread the Gospel?

 

I run a ministry website at www.escapeminitries.net and if you go there you will see our vision statement on our home page. In the next day I will be adding your article " Does It Take Money to Spread the Gospel?" to our articles page and the link on our page will take the reader direct to your ezine articles.

I want to say I loved your article and agree with two hands clapping. I also would like to say that I love to read articles that I want my readers to read, but instead of taking an hour to write, I simply have to spend ten minutes and create a link to the article. I find that the more good articles I find by other people that line up with our vision the more credibility it will give James and myself.

I met a modern apostle once and I saw him come to our country three times and never ask for money. He came to my families church and each visit spent a week there ministering. One of the people from our church sees him overseas very often in Indonesia, where he does most of his preaching and takes money from the people who love him and want to give him gifts each visit if there is any money.

One day this apostle had been ministering in Asia and was due to fly out the next day to the next country to minister to another church when the Lord Jesus put it on his heart to give $8500 Australian dollars worth of money to the the pastor of the church he had just been ministering in. The Lord said the pastor needed money for his church's needs, for some personal needs and needed money for a holiday to have a well earned rest with his wife's family that they hadn't seen in years on another Island. The apostle told his personal assistant and interpreter that the Lord had asked that he give all his money away that he needed for the next two weeks worth of ministry, and she cried and cried and begged him not to give it away. He told her, What can I do, the Lord has told me to give it to him, the Lord will have to provide for us. He gave the money to the pastor with the word of knowledge saying the pastor needed a holiday with his wife's family, and the pastor broke down in tears and had a hard time accepting that the Lord of the Harvest had answered all his prayers as he was very poor.

The friend from our church arrived to meet the apostle a couple of hours before he was due to fly out to the next country, and he pulled out an envelope with $10,000 worth of love gifts. One person that I know had felt led to clean out his bank account and give it to the apostle, and now works part time simply to fund the apostle. Another person that I know was all set to buy a trail bike ( motorbike) for $6500 and was ready to draw the money out of the bank to buy it for fun, and the Lord told her to not buy the bike but to send it to the apostle as he had a need for it.

The apostle smiled as he got the love gift and was very happy with his beloved friends in one small country city in Australia and happy with Jehovah Jireh his provider. The personal assistant/interpreter cried tears of repentance to her Lord and her maker for her lack of faith and was reported to be happy later on that God really is a great provider.

I just thought I would share that with you.

I love you dear brother and I will check out your other articles and post that article on my website in the next two days.

M

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I am confused; all these people seem to know is “wives be in subjection to your husbands” and don’t forget to tithe while you’re at it. Daystars group even suggested the sum of $5,000 a few weeks ago. There happens to be a few instructions for a christen life between these two passages. If you want to know what they are, you had better dig in and find out what they are for your selves. Find a good teacher or pastor you can trust of course, but God’s Word gives us “rest” not confusion.

How did they come up with the sum of $5,000.00? What’s up with that? Luke 9:1-6 says … Jesus sent his disciples out without money … nor two coats apiece.” Do you think these peacocks will read this passage?

No, I do not believe your pastor should walk around with holes in his/her shoes, nor should he/she be living in a box under a bridge somewhere; but why in a palace? Jesus lived well before He was crucified; but He did not live in a palace; He left that to Pilate and Herod.

S

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Thank you for shedding light on this subject matter. It is so helpful. I am a homemaker with limited family income but still try to give something from the heart. One of the ministries I went to overseas that I support has a minister that claims to be a Man of God and lately he has been asking for his members overseas to pledge a $1000.00 for a building fund in another country. He even said that "We are not asked to give so we can lose money but so that we will be blessed again and continue to live in an open heaven." This bothered me so I researched about preachers asking money and your article is the very first thing I saw. Thank you for writing this as it has enlightened and taught me some truths.

Thank you for sharing this and God bless you!

P

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Dear Bode,

I have enjoyed your website and appreciate the phenomenal work you have been doing.

However while I agree with much of what you say about the extremism of the Prosperity Gospel and the mess that is seen on most of Christian TV, I am somewhat bemused about your thoughts on whether it takes money to spread the Gospel.

http://www.lordsquill.com/Articles/Reformational/Does_it_Take_Money_to_Spread_the_Gospel.htm

You seem to elevate the Scriptures where Jesus told the disciples not to take money as they went forth on missions, taking it out of context by making it of universal applicability for all times and all contexts of Christian ministry, and therefore erroneously conclude that no money is needed to spread the Gospel.

And Paul saying he was not receiving money from the churches for his ministry suggests more particularly that this was the standard practice, but he personally chose not to receive his income from them. But he had the right to do so. Just as he had the right to get married but he chose not to do so. Does that therefore become a Pauline doctrine?

Evidently you have never been a full-time evangelist without a secular job nor have you gone as a missionary with your wife to live in Pakistan and minister amongst those poor peoples for 10 years.

For instance, if you are going to publicize and gather people in a crusade ground for three days to preach salvation, is there zero expense for this?

You exegete the Bible passages to come to the conclusion you wish. In so doing, do you not become equally as culpable as those you critique? And this seems to include the view that no vicar, minister, clergyman or pastor should be salaried by the church? Evidently you get your income and living from being a journalist or whatever profession you are in.

I remain extremely bemused. I hope we can engage in some fruitful dialogue if time permits on both our parts.

Anyway, God bless you.

In Him,

O

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My Response:

Hi Bro. O,
 
Thank  you so much for your comment in general about my writings, and in particular about the article referenced above. 
 
I believe that you misunderstood somewhat the main point of the article, which is not to say that you don't need money to spread the gospel. But that you don't need the people's money, especially raised deceitfully to spread the gospel, which is what most preachers do. 
 
If you look at the letter of the article, and not the spirit of the article, it will seem as if I'm saying that no money is needed whatsoever. That's not what I'm saying.  To say that, is to say that it didn't cost the disciples anything financially to follow Christ.  The fact that they left their occupations to follow Christ cost them some financial gains.  Even Jesus going from town to town, and Paul travelling from coast to coast, cost some money too -- their personal money and VOLUNTARY contributions from the people.
 
So, in that sense it does take money to spread the Gospel.
 
However, in the sense where many preachers try to make it seem like without money they cannot spread Gospel, all in an effort to make people part with their money, no it does not take money to spread the Gospel.  All it requires is our willingness and boldness to open our mouths as the Spirit leads.  That is, contrary to what many preachers would like us to believe, LACK OF MONEY IS NOT A HINDERANCE TO THE SPREADING OF THE GOSPEL.
 
Also, the other misunderstanding of the article is the idea that I said (or wrote) that pastors should not be salaried.  I did not write that or even imply it.  I'm all for pastors or evangelists being on salary.  I have an idea of what it takes to be a pastor/evangelist or what's required of them.  Again, I kind of have an idea of what pastors do on a daily/weekly basis, from putting together sermons at least twice a week, preaching 3-4 times a week, counseling, funerals, weddings, hospital visits, to name just a few.  And in order for them to do their jobs effectively, I believe that they should be on salary.   I'm not in favor of part-time preachers.  Being a pastor is and should be a full-time job.
 
Now, you suggested that I took scriptures out of context. That's not true.  Generally, I present issues as I see them in the Bible, based on my understanding of the Bible.   And, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I do believe that the Lord has given me insight into His Word, especially on issues I write about.  Besides, my overall summation of the fact that it does not take money to spread the Gospel is scriptural, and rightly divided.  And it's not just based only on the scriptures I used in the article.  Rather, it's based on my overall knowledge of the logos of God's Word.  If it takes money to spread the Gospel, in the general sense, then the excellence of spreading the Gospel will be of man, and not of God.  God can and does spread the Gospel without money!
 
What am I saying?  That in the context in which I wrote the article, my assumption that it does not take money to spread the Gospel is scriptural!
 
You brought up another interesting point about having a crusade, which costs money.  While I'm all for crusade.  The idea of raising money for a crusade in itself is not scriptural.  There were several 'crusades' in the Bible.  For instance when Jesus fed the 5,000 and 3,000.  And when Peter preached his first sermon at Pentecost or when Paul addressed the people at the Areopagus.  But in all these instances no one raised money to host the event. 
 
And even though it may take a lot of money to organize a crusade, God can move upon the heart of a rich man/woman to pick up the tab for the crusade.  We have no idea what God can do.  But rather what we do, in our limited knowledge, is preempt God by thinking that we have to raise money to cover the expense.  
 
I'll be interested to dialogue with you on this issue, but it doesn't seem as if I'll be able to change your mind or you change my mind on the subject.  And that's okay, we can agree to disagree.  But rest assured that what I base my writings on is the precedence set in the Bible, and not by man. That is, you'll never find anywhere in the Bible where people begged for money in other to spread the Gospel.
 
Interestingly, however, what I've found in the Body of Christ is that we do a lot of the things not because they are scriptural or saw a precedence in the Bible, but because we saw our so-called spiritual fathers  or people we glean from, and do them.  And often times they are wrong -- sincerely wrong!  My former pastor often makes a statement that I believe is true.  His statement is that, "If we do not see Jesus Christ do it, we are not subject to it!"  That is, Jesus Christ is our ultimate example. And I don't see anywhere where Jesus asked the people for money, even though it did take money to do some of the things He did.  And that's the main point of my article.  When and where it requires money to spread the Gospel, in the general sense, God always moves upon the hearts of the people to give, without the preacher/evangelist resorting to tricks and gimmicks to get people to give.  
 
That's the way I see it.
 
Again, thank you for taking the time to comment on the article, and to read this response to your comment.
 
May God's peace continue to abide with you.