A Christian leader has the right to receive his wages from the Christians whom he serves. He also has the right to refuse any payment from them. He is free to do whichever the Holy Spirit guides him to do.
God gave his law to teach his people. Its rules contain lessons that are important for us today. One rule is about the strong animal that farmers used to prepare their grain for the store (Deuteronomy 25:4). The rule says that the farmer must not cover the animalís mouth. Its work is hard and it may want to eat some of the grain. The farmer must allow that.
That rule is not just about animals. It is really a lesson about people. If an animal deserves food for its efforts, then clearly a workman deserves his wages. It is wrong to refuse to make the proper payment for the work that someone has done. That is the real meaning of the rule. Whatever task a person may carry out, he should receive his wages.
That too is a lesson for us. Even as there is work for us all to do, so God provides the harvest for us all to enjoy. He wants everyone to know joy and satisfaction because of the wonderful things that he provides.
So of course good church leaders should be able to benefit from the work that they do. Their real work is in matters that have a relationship to peopleís spirits. But although that work does not really belong to this world, they still need to earn something in this world. In fact, they deserve their wages even more than other people do. Other peopleís work cannot last (Ecclesiastes 2:17-19). But the work that God is carrying out by means of church leaders will last always (3:10-15).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.