Sunday, June 25, 2006

1 corinthians chapter IX

11 comments:

jON said...

what to say about this chapter? i enjoyed how paul stressed the fact that those who proclaim the gospel have the right to live off of that. and that he also felt that though he shared the gospel, since he had no choice but to preach, preaching itself was nothing to feel good or boast about. but rather, he chose to find his joy in being able to offer the gospel to others for free. and enduring whatever hardships that choice brought about.

i see a profound wisdom in this. when others offer you monetary means of survival, you become subject to them. but when you do not become dependant on them, you are free from them. paul, by living in such a manner, was not responsible to any party for his survival, or needing to keep said party happy with him in order to continue the flow of financial support. paul simply trusted god and was responsible to no one but god. there is, to me, as i said, profound wisdom in this.

i also really enojyed, as i always do, his approach of becoming all things to all people. i find it edifying and encouraging.

Susan said...

V.14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights ...

So what happens to those who do need to use these rights, presumably Peter and the other apostles v.6? I agree there is wisdom in not being dependant on those you are serving but in practical terms if Paul had a wife and children to support, he may have had to be dependant on them. And of course today we have many in full-time ministry who do have families to support. And it is a problem because some congregations begin to see themselves as the employer and the pastor as the employee which can then easily lead to "keeping said party happy in order to continue the flow of financial support".

I don't know what the solution to this is. Any thoughts?

Wendy ftfs said...

I think all pastors should make their own living or at least partially .... being out and involved with the world and what is really going on out there as Jesus was, sitting among those who needed a physician. This would be an excellent example to their parishioners to reach out and not close in as present day churches are today.

19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

Wonderful strategy by Paul. Be all things to all men... this requires a deep leading by the Holy Spirit to really understand another individual or group of people. An example that comes to mind is David Wilkerson...of the Cross and the Switchblade... He was led by God to the street kids of New York and through what he thought was his bumbling and getting on the front page of the newspaper by getting himself into trouble with the authority of the court, it opened the door wide for him to minister to these kids...they welcomed him with open arms because he had gotten into trouble for them. Teen Challenge evolved from that and is still an effective Christ Centred drug and alcohol abuse treatment centre today. They take no government funds to stay free to give the Gospel to those who have come for their help.

Have you read that book Susan? :-)

Trent said...

David Wilkerson is a great example of a pastor who has followed God's leading into all sorts of new and creative ways of reaching people where they're at. However, he has rarely went a day of his adult life without the financial support of a church congregation, or since the 1960s, the support of multiple congregations and individuals. If Wilkerson had not had the Biblical freedom to live off his proclamation of the gospel and related pastoral and ministry activities, Teen Challenge, Times Square Church, and a host of other fruitful ministries would not be in existence today.

As one who has been in bi-vocational ministry and who has overseen those who are, it can have it's positive aspects. However, what most often happens is men and women frustrated at a lack of time and opportunity to fully exercise their gifts and callings because of commitments to jobs. Is there ministry in the workplace? Certainly, but it often does not allow for pursuit of pastoral, teaching, prophetic, and other gifts to the extent the bi-vocational person is seeking to accomplish. At the same time, work schedules often prevent the same from happening within the church context unless the bi-vocational person is willing to consistently work 70-80 hr. weeks. That's fine if you're single, hell if you're married, and downright wrong if you have kids.

Well, as one of those who makes my living off of others, I'm off on 9 days of vacation. I'll bring you a souvenir or two when I get back...

Wendy ftfs said...

I realize that he had the support of others but there is one difference ... he went out of his way. He didn't settle for the comfort of the church congregation and when he felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to get out there, he went. Most pastors live their lives never getting right out there in the faces of their community. Never going out to sit with the sinners as Jesus did and finding a common ground to share the gospel with those who need it most. Donning some blue jeans and looking a little less clean cut to reach the lost ... this is just an example ...

why?

Susan said...

Hi Wendy, I can't remember if I ever read the book or not. I think I may have seen the film.

jON said...

i know i saw the film. although i have never read the book. a great example of someone going out and doing something else... not simply sitting in the pew and waiting for people to come to him. or coming up with a new program to bring people in. going out and meeting people where they were at and accepting them just as they were at that moment. the whole time knowing it could lead to his death. and stepping out anyway. a state of being that has begun growing in me and that i know needs to continue. to be willing to lay down my life should it be asked of me.

"everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die."- david crowder

Tessa said...

Wendy, im certaintly not argueing that pastors like this exist. I know the type you are talking about. Big fake smiles and synthetically sincere prayer voices. ish!

But it hasn't been my experience. trent is my father and consequencialy my pastor, but that certaintly doesn't bias me for or against him as i probably see him more as a human than much of our congregation. I certaintly have negative things i could say about him, and he to me, thats part of being family. I have never felt obligated into attendign the church he pastors. Now that i have recently graduated ive had a lot of people say to me "I hope you stick around" but the thought of leaving my spiritual family has never occured to me...

However, the point i am making is that ive seen him fish people out of crack houses to bring them to our easter dinner table. He often does services at our local homeless shelter by himself. It is a service anyone from our church is welcome to help out with but many often have "better" things to do that night. (myself included) He has had long and sustained friendships with people who do not attend our church, or even have a faith in God. Long and meaningful friendships with people in prison! (more than im willing to say i would do) He is not the kind of pastor you are talking about in your post.

and maybe you're post wasn't meant to be taken personally at all. But your consistant contradiction to his responces is the exact thing you yourself have asked him to stop doing to jon. Maybe instead of looking at it from an "our side vs. your side" perspective you could take jons advice (and hopefully he can take his own advice) and find truth where truth is to be found instead of getting tied up in where that truth is coming from.

I know im not the most vocal member, but i read this blog religiously. (almost daily) Often in my blogging discussions (and hell, in real life as well) i often get stuck playing the role of peacemaker. I certaintly hope you don't take this post to mean that i myself am taking up a side. I am posting this with the hope that you will abolish these imaginary sides. You guys are comming from the same place of Gods love. There is no harm in healthy discussion with those of differing opinions to yourself. Iron sharpening iron.
of course if you're made of a weaker metal you should examin your hearts.

I'd like to leave you with this passage, from The Message, Romans 14: "Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with-even when it seems they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently."

I'd like to see both "sides" use a little more of Paul's advice in attitude and action. Thanks.

jON said...

amen, tessa. thanks.

Wendy ftfs said...

No problem Tessa ...

I will do my best to be harmless as a dove and wise as a serpent ...

Just a side note about iron sharpening iron ... have you ever heard that? It is an unpleasant sounding high pitched shrill assault to your ears. It makes for one sharp sword, though.
I hope everyone here is made of that kind of metal. :-)
Congratulations on your graduation.!!

Tessa said...

Thankyou Wendy.

and no ive never been present while a sword was being sharpend lol. I truly do think we are all speaking from places of love and a willingness to serve God. The focus should always be him and less on ourselves and our eathly disagreements. I really do love comuning with all of you here!