Church, A “Non Profit” for Profit Business

It's all business here.
It's all business here.

Many who attend religious buildings called “church” can accept the fact that their denominational entity is a religious "non-profit" religious charity, but will scoff when it is called “big business.” I think there would no doubt about it, if you wanted to find a way to make easy money, it would be starting a “legitimate” business called “church.” It would be very lucrative and easy way to make mammon for yourself.

The “gospel” of “church” is a business of acquiring money before the “work of God” can be done. If you think about it, apparently without the acquisition of mammon, the dispensation and outworking of “God’s plan” would not be able to be implemented.

How would anyone be able to do the “work of God” without the financed services of the “church?”

Without the direction of salaried ecclesiastical operators, the legalities of doing things in the “name of God” would be a “futile” endeavour, would it not?

Unfortunately, this is the thinking of those who partake in the business ventures of “church.” The “gospel” (business plan) is deemed as “moral” and “ethical” because the “laws” have been written in their favor.

Salaried mediators are required to bring “blessing” to those who attend their facilities of business (“worship”). Officials called “pastors” cater the service to loosen the purse strings of the members of the “non-profit” for profit corporate denominational entity calling the "worship" (business) meeting to order.

tax exempt
tax exempt
tax exempt, life is good
tax exempt, life is good

Registering as a Tax Exempt Non-Profit Entity

The foundation and cornerstone of the denominational “church” entity starts by applying for a registered name in the areas they plan to conduct business (the “gospel”). The “value” of the business is dependent upon how many shareholders (“church members”) are "spiritually" connected to fund the overhead and programs of the facility.

“Church” members love the idea of applying the perks of having “non-profit” status. They believe that this “gospel” they sell in the name of "charity" will benefit all of mankind. All that is required is mammon to finance the salaries of their ordained clergy to implement it. The hirelings feed the masses their denominational brand name propaganda and mandate their by-laws to herd the sheeple in the "spiritual" direction they want them to go.

Tax except status is a perk of the clergy class to make mammon called personal income that comes from donations (tithes) of the sheeple. The religious upper crust can easily “make a living” off of them as they give themselves special titles before their names giving them special status, privileges and entitlement among their membership. They devise many slick marketing money making schemes to stimulate more donations for the profit of their religious “non-profit” organization. It's a win win scenario every time.

Overseas investments
Overseas investments

Investment Strategies

Often the profits of the “non-profit” exceed expectations. Salaries can then be raised and more religious programs are devised to keep the sheeple busy. This is done to balance the expense side of the balance sheet. Esteemed programs called “missions” are a good way to hide mammon overseas as a “work of the gospel.” These types of programs are deemed as good investment strategies as funds can be placed in offshore accounts called the “mission field,” or a named “charity” (business) of their liking. The sheeple just love the power points their salesmen create for them advertising all the great things that “God” is doing “in their midst” and “overseas.”

You need no mediator, help directly to the ones in need.
You need no mediator, help directly to the ones in need.

Excess income in the world of religious “non-profit” for profit must fall under the guise called an “expense.” Top corporate religious leaders travel guilt free in first class to many exotic locations taking pictures of themselves with the starving and impoverished.

Without them telling us and showing us their propaganda, who would know that there are people starving and impoverished in the world?

All it takes is a little pulling of the heartstrings and the product is sold. A speech with “Jesus said,” or “God says” confirms their “divine” religious denominational corporate business agenda.

Who could deny their “truth?”

Marketing Startegies

The sincere simple folk listen, applaud and believe whatever their mediators tell them. “Business is booming!” and “who can deny “God’s blessings?”

Buying and selling commodities called “gifts” are the ears and mouths of to their “God” called mammon. New concocted scenarios in the name of “prophecy” are ways to control the sheeple. The product, the literature and the pitch are easily delivered. Selling is easy, and business is good.

Investments in social media, television and the Internet come to fruition in short time. Making merchandise of the people in the religious corporate “non-profit” for profit entity succeeds in making sincerely trusting biblically ignorant sheeple. More people in the building means more money in the bag.

Hiding certain words in religious terms.
Hiding certain words in religious terms.

The religious salaried elite must balance the profit (seeds) with expenses (marketing programs). Anything done in the name of “work” for the “gospel” is covered in “gravy;” it is tax-free. Offshore accounts and assets called the “mission field” maintain the “morals” and “ethics” of their tax-exempt status put into action.

The legalities of the business of mammon in the name of religion are done under the guise of “church.” Terms such as bonuses and retirement plans of the benefactors are replaced with more benevolent terms to conceal their true intentions and not to lose any “faithful givers.” After all, the “non-profit” for profit would not exist without honest, good and loving people who “sow good seeds” (profit) in “fertile ground” (“church”) for the "gospel "(business product).

Once the sheeple are sold on “sowing seeds,” they will just about accept almost anything their "shepherd" (business director) says.

A Rosy Picture, or is It?

The “fertile ground” they call “church” and the “mission field” (overseas assets) is all a front. The “pastor”(CEO) posing in a picture (propaganda) with impoverished children with flies on their face avoids any scrutiny from the sheeple. To question the "ethics" of their business means that you would be okay with letting little children starve in the streets.

When the “pastor” says, “We need to sow more seeds,” it is code words for “show me the money!” “Blessing” means profit by working (selling) the “gospel” message. Simply put, their “gospel” is a marketing tactic for the acquisition of mammon under the banner of “non-profit” for profit claiming to be doing the “work of God” (business).

The drugs sold in the religious corporate “non-profit” for profit system are gimmicks and clichés. The sheeple are addicted to them and fall for them every time as the bank accounts of the religious entitled elite get bigger and bigger. They say they have been “called to serve,” but this is just another funding arm for personal gain in the very lucrative business opportunities in the world of “church.”

Mammon

NO ONE IS ABLE TO SERVE TWO MASTERS, for either he will hate the one and he will love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve GOD AND MAMMON.

– Matthew 6:24

The word “mammon” is not particularly money in itself, but has a broader deeper spiritual meaning. It is something that is personal and seductive enslaving people through the medium of the monetary. It is an evil spirit behind the misuse of money, or assets.

Yahshua made some distinctions between what and whom people serve. Many will be led to their destruction in the “name of God” because they have fallen for the seductive and addictive power of mammon. The evil spirit enslaves the heart, which is why Yahshua made a point of talking about it as much as he did about the Kingdom of God.

How many call excessive profits and bonuses in the name of religion “blessing?”

The fact is, those who partake of the business of “church” are not blessed, but cursed because of their greedy ways. Greed under the banner of mammon is a work of the forces of the spiritual realm tailored to destroy those under its spell. On the surface their "works" seem holy, but they are actually profane in the sight of Yahweh.

Because to us the wrestling is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12

The Power of Mammon

yahshua knew the seductive power of mammon, and that is why he said it would keep many from entering the Kingdom of God.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. SELL ALL THAT YOU HAVE AND DISTRIBUTE TO THE POOR, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, FOLLOW ME.” – Luke 18:22

In this case, Yahshua recognized the spirit of mammon that was over the rich ruler. It had a grip on him. Unfortunately, he missed becoming a follower of Christ. On the other hand, Zacchaeus was able to break free from the grip of mammon and follow the way of Yahshua.

And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. AND IF I HAVE DEFRAUDED ANYONE OF ANYTHING, I RESTORE IT FOURFOLD.” – Luke 19:8

The spirit of our society is mammon driven. People are not content, but desire to store up more and more things for themselves. They do not think about the needs of others first. Media, television and advertising feed the desire to support greed. Wealthy religious celebrities show off their wealth for all to see to seduce others to follow after their ways. Their goal is to generate more spending to increase profits.

For what will it PROFIT a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? - Matthew 16:26

Mammon is a spirit of bondage that must be broken. It is a system that has been ingrained into society as being “normal,” but Yahshua Messiah is calling those who will hear to come out from this controlling power and follow him. Following him means to seek first the Kingdom of God, not man-devised money making schemes.

What are We Seeking First?

But SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD and his RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33

When Yahshua walked the earth, he called those he came across to change their priorities and to put trust in his Father first.

HE WHO SUPPLIES seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the HARVEST OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. – 2 Corinthians 9:10

It is interesting that connection between Mathew 6:33 and 2 Corinthians 9:10.

The corporate denominational “non-profit” for profit “church” are the kingdoms of men that many seek first. This is unrighteous behaviour no matter how many ways they want to spin and candy coat it. Unfortunately, most are walking the wide road that leads to destruction because mammon will never advance them, or anyone else in the Kingdom of God.

Greedy pursuit in the “name of God” is the business of “church.” Profits are a result of the commodities of trade by squeezing the almighty dollar till it hollers mammon in “Jesus’ name.” Mammon fools under the guise of being “anointed” luring people to trust in religious man-made moneymaking schemes to advance what they call the “gospel.”

The Vain Appeal for Mammon

The main resource you rely on that you believe will advance the Kingdom of God will make the distinction between what and whom you serve. Heavy reliance on the natural things of this world will affect your spiritual relationship with Yahweh. The schemes of the religious system rely heavily on the natural to get things done because the monetary is their only means of survival. It is materialism attempting to meet the spiritual needs of the sheeple.

The spirit of mammon will exude a certain lifestyle that takes focus away from worshiping God to a supporting a religious business that must draw off of carnal resources, rather than Kingdom "storehouses."

“Blessed are those who HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6

The religious “non-profit” for profit business called “church” hungers and thirsts for mammon. To deny this would be to ignore the vast administrative hierarchical structures that demands money to finance it. The many devices that they use to obtain money surpass even the sales tactics of a car lot. Religious facilities are built and erected for the praise of men, rather than the glory of Yahweh.

How do we know this?

Every denomination can be traced back to a particular man who founded their particular brand of doctrine to obtain greater wealth and power.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, THAT WE MIGHT NOT BE A BURDEN TO ANY OF YOU, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

Somehow this verse and other ones like it have been completely ignored.

If anyone claims to be a man of God, then why are they pandering to take resources from other people for their own profit and gain?

It is because the spirit of mammon is controlling them making selfishness and greed the cornerstone of their “work.” These men believe that God’s favor is a commodity that can be bought and sold on the market they call the “gospel.”

Many fall for the false “gospel” that God requires our money so that in return He will come through for us by meeting our needs.

Can you see the perversion in these words?

Out of the sheeple’s greed and desperation, they fall for the appeals of their salaried mediators. Words like "sowing seeds," “fundraising” and “mission work” are used as tools to sell their products.

When there is an appeal for money that promises something from God in return, it is a perversion of the Gospel. Do not buy into this bunk as it will always appeal to the tactics of greedy men.

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued not addicted to much wine, NOT GREEDY FOR DISHONEST GAIN. – 1 Timothy 9:11

How is it that most have ignored Christ’s words by not seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Does God’s faithfulness rest on the works of mammon?

God’s grace, mercy, provision and faithfulness can be neither be bought nor sold.

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD OBTAIN THE GIFT OF GOD WITH MONEY! – Acts 8:20

Those who put money in the offering plates will give with the expectation of getting something in return. If they don’t get the service or "blessing" they want, they move on to some other business to but what they want. The business of “church” is all about the precious building and buying the religious indulgences therein. Grace has been turned into the art of investment into carnal man-driven ideas. The “gospel” preached is a financial plea with the purpose of making merchandise out of each new member.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. - 2 Peter 2:3

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all COVETOUSNESS, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15

The motivation of greed must reign supreme when the “gospel” has become a business. This heresy is accepted as the norm, but Yahweh will not tolerate it and all those those who partake of it will face the coming judgment.

“COME OUT OF HER, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues – Revelation 18:4

Are You Part of the Religious Mammon System?

How do you know whether you are supporting the spirit of mammon that manifests in the religious “church” system?

Here is a list. If anything on the list is checked just once, you have been duped.

  • Non-profit status has been filed with the government.
  • Membership is an expectation.
  • People are hired to conduct affairs.
  • The necessity of collecting the monetary must be incorporated into every meeting.
  • By-laws, creeds and statement of beliefs must be written up to govern the people.
  • Corporate officers and board of directors will be assigned to direct the affairs of the corporation.
  • The corporation must be given a name.
  • An application and consultation with a tax lawyer and accountant to handle the affairs of the monetary.
  • A good understanding of the rules and guideline of tax except status must be upheld to ensure the best interests of the shareholders.
  • Confirmation of 501(c) 3 status for legitimate recognition.
  • Acquire a bank account and file returns with the government tax agency as a legal entity.
  • Find a building that is aesthetically pleasing and put a sign above the front doors calling it “church.”
  • Come under the umbrella of a denomination.
  • Put a unique personality upon the stage to draw in more potential members.

Faith and Obedience

Doing the work of God is never about taking people’s money to finance and fundraise under a religious business name. It is the spirit of mammon that demands finances before anything can be done in the “name of God.”

Being a part of expanding the Kingdom of God is not about pushing for pledges, donations, tithes, or whatever word is used to fill the coffers. Those who already understand Kingdom principles know that they always have access to the "storehouse of God." The resources have already been provided, it is up to us to walk in faith and obedience and see it come to fruition. Faith is not going out to “drill for oil” first. Our Father Himself supports His own work; it is not man's. To ask for money to do the work of God that is already supported fully by God is extortion.

We do not labour for the Kingdom based on the size of our pockets, but by the measure of our faith.

Do we put our faith in what man can do for us, or what God can do?

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is THE MAN WHO TRUSTS IN MAN and makes flesh his strength - Jeremiah 17:5

God's Resources, or Man's?

It is dead faith to believe in religious men who require your money from you in order to do God’s work. We have all the Kingdom resources available to us. Lobbying for the monetary and holding fund raising meetings are carnal ways that men rely on their own strength to get things done.

Is the work of God a business?

As followers of Yahshua Messiah we have access to Yahweh’s unlimited resources. The work of God is exactly what it is; it is the work of God. We do not need permission from a person who runs a corporate business called “church” to do God’s will beforehand.

We are causal agents for God to do His work. He does not need our money to do it. All we need to do is walk out our faith in righteousness and obedience. God is not dependent upon us, but we must be dependent on Him to be a part of expanding His Kingdom.

The Price has been Paid

The ecclesiastical men have become the religious appointed “gods” of mammon. They have made themselves the purveyors of “God’s work,” which is another term for buying and selling the wares of the “gospel” of their own making.

The price has been paid through Yahshua. Paying for something that has already been paid for is kind of ridiculous isn’t it?

Yet, many are continually unloading their purses and wallets to find man's agenda.

Are you in the business of “church?”

Is mammon is your god?

Repent, and seek first the Kingdom of God.

Are you involved in the business called "church?"

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Unfortunately, many people believe that the offering basket is a means of getting something you want from God via the business entity of "church." The following song in the video below is a good example.

It's not about money in the basket, but about righteousness and obedience. Big difference!

More by this Author


Comments Appreciated 17 comments

KingdomCome 8 months ago from those of the Ecclesia

PandN- Ever since the Catholic church came into existance they have been into it for the money. Today the Catholic church is filthy rich and very little is given to the poor. This applies to most man made churches we see today. They use charity for an excuse to obtain the 501 c3 Tax status so they can keep every dollar they get to enrich themselves even more. I have no respect for any man made churches we see today. The clergy are nothing but a band of thieves.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 8 months ago from Fontana

Christians should be good steward of God's money. Church's must have financial statement that show where the money comes from and where it goes Members must take the initiative to read and analyze them. If the shoe doesn't fit what the member thinks, move memberships. There are churches that are doing good things. Our church adopted the school next door. At the beginning of school they provide backpacks filled with school supplies. They provide shoes. Each visitor of the church gets a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a thank you. We have pumpkin give aways for Halloween, plant give aways for Easter, each year that is a change for what is given at Christmas. We have free carnivals, movies, concerts, etc. for the surrounding community. The give aways count at at least 5,000. Salaries are required for some people who work there 5 days a week. We have some retired professionals that donate their services. Members must be responsible for knowing where their money is going.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 8 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

KingdomCome,

The "church" system is a business period. Jesus did not come to turn the Gospel into a religious charitable business. Churches boast of their good deeds, but fail to recognize that the atheists, Buddhists, Mormons, Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims, etc do the same "good works" too to try to benefit society under the banner of a their business models.

The Gospel is not a business model, but about repentance and seeking first the Kingdom of God. The “gospel” that is preached in “church” has become no different from what the unsaved are preaching also. Any act of kindness that does not come with the Gospel message is NOT the true Gospel, nor is it evangelism.

Many people go out and help society so that their love and good works can shine in front of others. This is not the Gospel. The true Gospel is about confronting the sinful world about the destiny of their souls without Jesus Christ, and the judgement that is to come. The Good News is that Jesus Christ is a light that shines into the darkness of our sin that will change us through the conviction of the Spirit. It is a calling to repent and seek first the God's Kingdom and His righteousness.


celafoe profile image

celafoe 8 months ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

Another excellent article about the false church system. We have beat this subject to death and have nothingto show for it.

BUT it is now time to change directions and take the next step. time to stop talking and act. We must bring forth the LIGHT OF CHRIST. There is nothing else that can defeat darkness.

it is time to mnifest the power of Christ on the earth.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 8 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Diane,

I'm not sure if you understood the article. If find nothing in your comment that pertains to the Gospel. The Gospel is not an outworking of a business.

Can you tell me where the ekklesia has been turned into a business in Scripture?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where followers of Jesus Christ become members in denominational churches?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where "church" is a named religious facility?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where the followers of Jesus Christ celebrated Easter, Christmas and Halloween?

Can you tell me where in Scripture the followers of Jesus Christ used entertainment and carnivals as part of the Gospel message?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where salaries were given to followers of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel?

The world can do all the same things in the same way that you speak of. The Gospel does not conform to the traditions of man, nor is it a business.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 8 months ago from Fontana

I'm sorry. I read it some time ago. I rebriefed! As I stated we have some salaried personnel who are able to do their jobs because of their education and experience. Since we expect everything to run smoothly, we need to have qualified leaders. Oh Lord, I just thought about the presidential race - Lord help us!

We should give from our hearts. God blesses that. We have a responsibility still for good stewardship. In the traditional AA church, they have women's day, men's day, anniversary, missions day, etc. Most of those churches are going by the wayside because of poor leadership and not revamping the way they do business. Many churches are suffering that fate. Unfortunately, some people do see it as a way of having an income. Those that fall for it deserve what they get.

I have been involved with two churches that encouraged support of the ministry but did not have a money raising contest. They tell visitors that the offering is for members to support the church and they should not feel obligated to give. To keep people from feeling badly, attendance cards are placed in the same plate with money so that everyone has something to put in the plate.

When we give, the Lord returns to us in good measure, shaken together, pressed down, running over. Those who don't believe need to study.

I'm sorry Plank! I know you are always on point.


Neil Braithwaite 8 months ago

Aaron -

Great article! The angle you take of being "for" profit verses "non" profit is very powerful in light of all the scripture references you site.

I think I shared the link to an online book "Soul Rape" before, but I'll leave it again for anyone who hasn't read it yet.

http://www.dividingword.net/Institutional%20Church...

I also wrote a piece a while back dealing with "corporate" church. "Church Wars: The consequence of being out of God's will"

http://honorgodsword.blogspot.com/2014/08/church-w...

Keep exposing the lies and revealing the truth!

Blessings


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 8 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

celafoe,

To follow the example of Jesus Christ is to be men and woman man of action. When Jesus taught about the kingdom of God, it wasn't about him giving information to the people he came across, but applying kingdom principles in everything he did. In the same way, for us to be productive in the Kingdom of God means to follow in his footsteps and put the gifts God has given us into action.

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” - John 21:25

Jesus was such a man of action that books could not contain the account of all the things he did.

Jesus said, “Whoever comes to Me, and HEARS MY SAYINGS and DOES THEM, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But HE WHO HEARD AND DID NOTHING is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great” - Luke 6:47-49.

You are right, it is time to "stop talking and act."


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 8 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Neil,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and links.

God Bless.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 8 months ago from Fontana

Can you tell me where the ekklesia has been turned into a business in Scripture?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where followers of Jesus Christ become members in denominational churches?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where "church" is a named religious facility?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where the followers of Jesus Christ celebrated Easter, Christmas and Halloween?

Can you tell me where in Scripture the followers of Jesus Christ used entertainment and carnivals as part of the Gospel message?

Can you tell me where in Scripture where salaries were given to followers of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel?

It was not considered a salary at the time. Churches did support Paul and others traveling from church to church through offerings. The Bible doesn't state how much they were giving.

Ananias and Sapphira attempted to lie and act like they gave more than they gave. Things didn't turn out well for them. They lied and they died.

The one that gave all she had (2 cents?) gave more than the man who gave much more because she gave all she had.

The world can do all the same things in the same way that you speak of. The Gospel does not conform to the traditions of man, nor is it a business.

I think it evolved into a business as time necessitated. To fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 going out means something much bigger than it meant in 60 AD. It has to be a business to be done effectively. There are many trying to do church without facilities, training and support. I don't know of a church that is effective in missions (near and far) that does not have a "business" structure. The business must be that of spreading the Gospel.


celafoe profile image

celafoe 8 months ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

dianne- your perspective is clouded by your relationship to the churches of men. What you say is the standard "churchy} answer.

I personally know men, who work a job or run a business (as did Paul} and personally pay ALL expenses of their minstry to Christ around the world. yes they will accept donations but they are the ones that go to the places that HAVE NO MONEY, even paying for meals for the gathering from their pocket. True men of God do not need a salary because they HAVE FAITH in their God to supply. They will go and do what God asks of them regardless of where or when He sends them.

They care not for the accolades of man and live to serve and please God.

They go to the places in Africa that have never seen a man of their color, have never seen a man of God from another country. They go to places where it is illegal to be a Christian and such thing because they know their God will protect them wherever He sends them.

I know many Christians with NO connection to the church system that are free to hear for themselves and go around helping people in many different ways without thought of reward. And I teach every Christian I know to do the same. Christians have no business putting God's money in a (church) where it is watered down and maybe a small portion reaches those in need, after all the ""expenses" are taken out. They do it so they can take the tax deduction and feel good about doing something that costs them nothing. (after the tax credit)

Houses and buildings and boats and airplanes are not the responsibility of the saints.

Those things do NOTHING to advance the Gospel, they only siphon off money that could be used to advance the true Gospel.

The TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST is people, living flesh and blood people and that all that scripture tells us to supply, the NEEDS of His people.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 8 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Diane,

You said,

(("It was not considered a salary at the time. Churches did support Paul and others traveling from church to church through offerings. The Bible doesn't state how much they were giving."))

In the New Testament, Apostle Paul established a pattern of not asking, or demanding money from the ekklesia.

Or did I commit a sin in HUMBLING MYSELF so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you FREE OF CHARGE? I robbed other ekklesias by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I DID NOT BURDEN ANYONE, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. – 2 Corinthians 11:7-9

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: WE WORKED NIGHT AND DAY, THAT WE MIGHT NOT BE A BURDEN TO ANY OF YOU, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

…NOR DID WE EAT ANYONE’S BREAD WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. – 1 Thessalonians 3:8

The modern day “pastor” who stays in a fixed place is a financial burden on the people. It is simply assumed that a “pastor” must be salaried, but this is a tradition of man.

FOR WE ARE NOT, LIKE SO MANY, PEDDLERS OF GOD’S WORD, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 2:17

Paul always wanted to be in a position of always being able to give to others in need instead of always being on the receiving end.

I COVETED NO ONE’S SILVER OR GOLD or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.’” – Acts 20:33-35

And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to WORK WITH YOUR HANDS, AS WE INSTRUCTED YOU, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves AN EXAMPLE TO IMITATE. – 2 Thessalonians 3:9

How often is this imitated in the business of “church?” Never!

From the example of Paul and comparing it to the modern “church” system, it is non-existent. The early ekklesia leaders were not given a salary. Paul could have received money, but chose not to. He wanted to serve by not depending on the ekklesia for support.

What is apparent in the modern “church” is what is called a "pastor" will be chosen for his professional credentials. Before the advertisement is put out, the consideration of being able to support the hireling is first considered. Most religious men will not even consider their “calling” until the financial package is adequate in the business of “church.”

In Acts 20:35, Paul was an example by working hard giving is a model to follow.

What would be the point of this model if gifts from God are turned into salaried vocations where hirelings completely living off the ekklesia?

Gifts from God are not professions for hire. We should all work with our hands and provide for our own needs. Paul’s detachment from material gain is evident in the epistles and he never used ministry as a mask to cover up it up.

We are not to be financially dependent on one another, but rather put ourselves in a position to help the less fortunate by sharing in one another’s burdens. The major biblical qualification of a leader is a detachment from the love of money. Yet, among the many religious vocations today, a salary is the mandated requirement. Paul stated it is more blessed to give than to receive for a reason. The minister is to be a servant and a giver, not a taker. Any ministry is not legitimate without these important qualifiers.

Is the kingdom of God and the Gospel about material rewards?

Paul coveted nothing that was not his and did not avail himself to be maintained by SPIRITUAL WELFARE, but earned his living by his own labors (hands). Paul worked night and day so that no one would accuse him of depending on the hearers of the Gospel for his material needs.

Support (food and shelter) was a need for travelling apostles, evangelists and prophets, but not for what are deemed today as settled local “clergy” who are prominently and predominantly found in the apostate business called “church” today.

ACQUIRE NO GOLD NOR SILVER NOR COPPER for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for THE LABORER DESERVES HIS FOOD. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. – Matthew 10:9-10

And remain in the same house, EATING AND DRINKING WHAT THEY PROVIDE, FOR THE LABORER DESERVES HIS WAGES. Do not go from house to house. – Luke 10:7

Jesus set the precedence (law of first mention) of the “wage” of the Gospel, which is food, drink and shelter.

You stated,

((“Ananias and Sapphira attempted to lie and act like they gave more than they gave. Things didn't turn out well for them. They lied and they died.”))

The story of Annanias and Sapphira was about those among the ekklesis selling their material possessions and giving the proceeds to the apostles to be distributed to the poor, and those who may have lost their jobs because of their faith. It was not about the apostles, or anyone else receiving a salary to make a living off the Gospel from the proceeds. If it were the case, then they would have committed the same sins as Annanias and Sapphira.

You stated,

((“I think it evolved into a business as time necessitated. To fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 going out means something much bigger than it meant in 60 AD. It has to be a business to be done effectively.”))

This statement disregards the testament set forth in Scripture to the opinions and traditions of man to do the “work of God.” The Gospel is not a business. Paul did not peddle the Gospel and his example proved that God approved of him.

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as MEN OF SINCERITY, AS COMMISSIONED BY GOD, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 2:17

There is no biblical basis for comparing the ekklesia of Jesus Christ with a business. In Scripture, God is called our Father (not our CEO). Those among the ekklesia are called brothers and sisters in Christ (not employees) who all have shared responsibilities according to their gifting. We are said to have an inheritance (not a retirement program). Scripture speaks of family relationships that endure, not employees, or members who are hired, fired and retired.

The nature of the ekklesia and their resources are entirely different than that of a business. The business of “church” is a place of labor owned by someone else who is not Jesus Christ. When the Gospel is turned into a business, it will always be at odds with God’s design because it must impose worldly philosophies to maintain itself.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 7 months ago from Fontana

Plank, I admit that I have never really thought a lot about it. I am watchful for scammers with prayer clothes, etc.

I did look the subject up and found these passages:

The first passage is I Timothy 5:17, 18:

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

"For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.' "

The connection of verses 17 and 18 shows us how highly Paul valued the ministry of the gospel. He says, in effect, "So if even these deserve a fair wage, then how much is deserved by the one who works all the time in the highest and most important calling God gives? Certainly, his work is worth at least twice what other people get!"

First Corinthians 9:14 gives the church clear instruction: “The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

2 Corinthians 11:7-9

7 Or adid I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because bI preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was cin need, dI did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia esupplied my need.

1 Cor. 9:7

7 sWho serves as a soldier at his own expense? tWho plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 7 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Diane,

It is great that you are digging deeper on the subject, but the verses you quoted are the typical ones those in the “church” system will twist to support salaried hirelings.

You quoted 1 Timothy 5:17

"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine."

Earlier in the passage of 1 Timothy, Paul speaks of honoring widows, but this honor does not mean a paid salary. In the same way in 1 Timothy 6:1, a slave honoring his master is not giving him a salary either. It is true that good elders are worthy of double honor, but it is about honor, not salary. People in Bible times gave their lives for the gospel, but now hirelings demand payment for it and twist this Scripture verse for their own monetary benefit. If honor was a salary, then every widow in the “church” are entitled to half the benefits the pastor makes. I’m sure the business of “church” would go bankrupt on the widow’s wages alone because there are so many more of them.

Again, if we are going to associate honor with wages, then widows are entitled to be on half salary on the payroll within the “church” system too. I guess we can only imagine if the widows found out about this verse in the same way the clergy demand for their own entitlements, there would be a demanding outcry.

Let’s use Joel Osteen as an example. He apparently stopped taking his 200,000-dollar salary in 2005 (LOL), but nonetheless that is pretty typical annual salary for a large sized church for a “pastor.”

Now, if we calculate how many widows are in a typical congregation, there should be quite a large sum set aside for them. Lets say there are 1,200 church members with 15 widows. That would be 15 widows x 100,000 (half senior pastor’s salary) = 1,500,000 (1.5 M). Wow!

Do you honestly think that those running the “church” are going to approve the right for the widows to have a salary just as the pastor and the others on the payroll demand for themselves?

Moving on to the next verses,

For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." - 1 Timothy 5:18

It states the same thing in 1 Corinthians 9:9,

For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.”

In my previous comment to you, I referenced Jesus’ words (Matthew 9:9-10; Luke10:7) and Paul’s (1 Thessalonians 3:8) that set the precedence for the “wage” of the Gospel as food and shelter (hospitality).

In the verses in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians above, Paul is referencing Deuteronomy 25:4, which states, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.”

If you read a bit further down in the passage in 1 Corinthians 9:13-114 it states,

Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service GET THEIR FOOD from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should GET THEIR LIVING BY THE GOSPEL.

Paul was aware that Levite priests serving in the temple were allowed to eat the meat and the grain that was brought in for sacrifices. In 1 Chronicles 23-24 they were divided into divisions that served two weeks out of the year, but for the remainder of the year they worked with their own hands for the needs of their families on the land they were given (Numbers 35) tending to their own herds and crops. The Levites had an allotted time to serve in the Tabernacle/ Temple for two weeks, then dwelled and worked in the cities that were scattered around Israel. The Levites did not make a living from the tithes and offerings, but had their own vocations and worked as herdsmen, potter, textiles, etc… working with their hands.

By the time Jesus Christ walked on the earth, the priests lived and worked in the Temple and acquired real estate to grow the temple grains. They became wealthy by turning the temple into a place of trade by selling animals without blemish. It was clear what Jesus thought, and was angered by their behaviours because they were leveraging the Law to make money.

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. – John 2:14-15

“Churches” run as a business have their clergy who believe they are entitled to their enrichment on the backs of the people, but there is no Biblical support in either the Old Testament, or the New Testament.

I hope you can see that Scripture must be twisted to someone’s own presuppositions to fit a salary within the Scriptural texts you provided.

When we read the words of Paul, it is important to understand the context of his writing. He was comparing the apostles to borrowed oxen, or travelling soldiers who tending to something other than what was theirs. In likewise fashion, the apostles had to leave their homes and jobs to travel to other areas to spread the Gospel. If they were dependent on hospitality, the ekklesia gave them food, drink and shelter (the wage of the Gospel) when they were away from their families. Paul was a tentmaker and his profession allowed him to work with other tent makers on his travels to provide for himself without being a burden on others. Paul’s instructions to those who stayed in one area were to work with their own hands and not rely on aid from others to preach the Gospel.


KingdomCome 7 months ago from those of the Ecclesia

Diane. I recommend your research on google how much money a clergy or pastor makes in a year. The U.S. national average is just over $ 58,000 a year. There is no excuse for this. This, in no way includes those like Benny Hen, Cleflo Dollar , or T.D. Jakes who make millions for teaching false doctrine. And in most cases these indiviluals claim their's are a non-profit churches or ministries but much of the money goes into their pockets. Now tell me, what is non-profit about making $58,000 a year (or much more) while selling the gospel? To me, God's word is NEVER for sell. Many of these ministers who write books on subjects contained in the Bible do so because they claim I helps spread god's word. So the sell these books for a set amount. They SELL what they claim God had inspired them to do so. So, again how many books are writen and SOLD every year by those those who claim that the books THEY write will help others to understand the bible. So, what is being said by these individuals is if you want to understand the bible, then BUY MY BOOK or CD. So I ask you, WHY SHOULD ANYONE HAVE TO "PAY" TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S WORD? How many times have you heard on TV from a minister to buy this book or CD related to a sermon or teaching. "BUY"...................are you kidding me. These people have taken God's Word and made y business out of it. To me, that's is as low down as any human being can get.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 7 months ago from Fontana

I agree that there are many business aspects of church. I substituted as pianist for a church last week. They paid me $300. I gave them my personal check for $300 as an offering.


KingdomCome 7 months ago from those of the Ecclesia

Diane. This is why I KNOW these man made churches and those that are a part of them ARE NOT the BODY OF CHRIST. You can not sell God's word and be part of body of Christ at the sametime. Those who are part of the man made church system ARE NOT THE BODY OF CHRIST. Plain and simple.

With regards to the $ 300 they gave you, I would have thrown it on their worthless church floor and walked out.

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