Sunday, January 31, 2016

Free from All Men, a Slave to All

Today I announced my impending departure as pastor effective March. After being freed from the shackles of church employment, I preached one of the most powerful messages to date on the grace of God towards sinners. It went for 30 minutes but the Spirit moved mightily. As I am now freed from receiving a salary, I could speak with absolute freedom, not that I tried to please men previously but being in employment with a church, there are things that are difficult to enunciate with some leaders having in their minds that the preacher is their pastor paid from the church coffers. No wonder Paul refused to accept money from the Corinthians lest they thought Paul was beholden to them and they be Paul's benefactors. Paul wanted to be free from all men so that he could a slave to all. He could speak the unvarnished truth knowing that the hearers would not have to think the one speaking was beholden to them. Money is a sensitive issue in any age and in church it is more complicated than what usually goes on in the world.
The world normally pays the worker wages according to his worth and he can take it or leave it. But in the church, some people are worldly and it is toxic mix of godly and worldly thinking that makes it so cumbersome for church employment. Some for instance still think the pastor only gets an allowance and not pay or salary. It is as if the pastor lives according to the generosity of the church and not paid according to his worth or work in the ministry. So today I freed myself from accepting money from the church and that gives me immense freedom to speak even on money matters since money is taken out of the equation when one is not longer bound by it. If one reads the long chapter of 1 Cor 9, Paul makes several arguments why preachers of the gospel must be respected and remunerated for their work, yet Paul refused such right in order to be free from all men and become a slave to all.

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