Subscribe to our FREE daily emails below:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Bookmark and Share

August 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Books for the Journey:

Statistics, Feeds, Copyrights & Email:

« February 18th readings | Main | February 20th readings »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This morning I was totally awed by Aaron--the guy who not too long ago was making a golden calf and showing a tremendous lack of leadership--is now being ordained into serving the living God. He has been redeemed and is useful to God. Wow. What an encouragement that God is gracious and forgiving and uses flawed people for his holy purposes.

My thoughts on some of Mike's questions are in my trackback above.

I don't have a problem with pastors, teachers, apostles, evangelists, prophets,etc, being paid or getting compensation as you say. BUT...I came out of a Mega Church & have yet to go back into such an establishment. We are "the church" & some of us don't get paid with money for what we do in His Name (I teach, preach, prophesy everday day when given the opportunity), but our compensation will be Eternal (as theirs will be also). We as "the Church" will be compensated eternally & that is what I am looking forward to. Anything that lasts for eternity is better than receiving what is temporal in the here & now.

Some Mega churches are actually run as a business & that quinches the Holy Spirit greatly because everthing is run on "a program" & God forbid that you deviate from the program & let the Holy Spirit take over. I know this is not true for all Mega Churches, but it is rare if it does happen (forgetting the program & letting God be God & take over the sermon/actions/behavior of the day). Quenching the Holy Spirit is not something we want to do...none of us. I have often wondered how hard the pastor's heart has become that when the moving of the Holy Spirit is so evident & yet He is shut down because of time restraints...that is why I like the concept of the Home Churches that are becoming more prevelant as the days pass. In the End Times/Days...the Mega Chruches will not be standing, they won't be allowed too, most everything will be hidden & underground anyway due to the pressure of being recognized as a Christian...much the same in Acts/Jesus' Day.

Don't mistake what I'm saying here...every pastor of a church should be paid, they have to pay their bills also; it is the "big business" of the Gospel that turns my stomach.

This is very greivous to me & the Holy Spirit & it is hard for me to sit under ones ministry when this is going on...I don't. I can't imagine how greived the Holy Spirit is if I'm so grieved myself. It truly breaks my heart...think about His heart breaking in this issue/circumstance.

jan

Leviticus 7:28-9:6


Let the elders who perform the duties of their office well be considered doubly worthy of honor [and of adequate financial support], especially those who labor faithfully in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain, and again, The laborer is worthy of his hire. [Deut. 25:4; Luke 10:7.] (1 Timothy 5:17-18 AMP)


And,

For in the Law of Moses it is written, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn. Is it [only] for oxen that God cares? [Deut. 25:4.] Or does He speak certainly and entirely for our sakes? [Assuredly] it is written for our sakes, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking of the harvest. If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits? (1 Corinthians 9:9-11 AMP)

As I read today’s text, the thoughts that are expressed in the above verses came into my mind. God is concerned about those amongst us who are charged with Feeding His Sheep with Spiritual Food, the Word. No cheap pieces of meat were to be given for the support of the ministry and those assigned to minister. Only the best was to be offered, fine flour, the choice cuts of meat, fine linen.

Too often we give our leftovers, our rummage to those who are scraping together, working second and third jobs to provide for their families so that they can do what God has called them to do, minister the Gospel.

Jan, you speak of the compensation given to those who minister in so-called Mega-Churches. I don’t know of any church that at its roots, its beginning, started out as a Mega-Church. We speak of large churches as if we were walking by one day and, “Oops, where did that building come from with all those folks.”

I attend a church that 28 years ago began as a storefront with four members, the pastor his wife and two of their kids, membership is now 25,000 plus. It is a mega-church because the numbers showing up for worship began to exceed the number of seats available. Abuse of power or authority can happen in any church, even a house church. I live in Brooklyn, NYC, a borough that has as one of its nicknames, The Borough of Churches. I attend my church despite the cracks I see, the problem people, the things that “appear” to be abuse of power because the pastor is devoted to teaching the unadulterated Word of God. And like King David, if one is open for rebuke, God will send a Nathan to rebuke and correct, and if need be bring judgment.

Compensation is always a sticky item to discuss for ministry and paid staff because how much is too much or too little is all relative based on the person doing the evaluation point of reference and background. In the end the person will have to answer to God and those giving to a Church that is not a “Store-house” as stated in Malachi 3:10. The bottom line is this, no matter where you attend Church or have your fellowship, if you are giving to God He will reward you, if you are giving to the Pastor, the Church or a Denomination or Ministry, well, you will be looking toward them and not God for your reward.

There are great old edifices in NYC, magnificent buildings that once held thriving congregations over one-hundred years ago, that are now in disrepair because membership cannot sustain the ministry. Why? Why is it that a part of NYC known as the Borough of Churches, has a church where 25,000 plus people pass by on Sunday and Tuesdays on their way to worship? If you grow grass, the sheep will come, not grass no sheep or you have a congregation of week emaciated sheep. There are blocks in Brooklyn where every building on the block is a church, and across the street are three-four liquor stores. I dare say that people are looking for a “spirit” of some kind even if it is only “bottle spirits” but are they finding the true Holy Spirit?

If people are flocking to a church that is not of God, that is on them based on a passage in Jeremiah (14:16), because people who are being deceived are a party to their own deception. If one is looking for Truth, it will be found (Knock, Seek, Ask …). Truth cannot hang around deception or falsehood.

If leadership is demanding more then you think is appropriate, then walk, find another pastor. No one can do to you what you don’t allow. If you can’t see an accounting of how the monies are spent, run don’t walk to another sheepfold because the one you are in has a hireling for an overseer.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Leviticus

Leviticus 8:33
"Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days." (NIV)

In John 20:26 the original greek says "after eight days" Jesus reappeared to the apostles where Thomas gets to see Jesus.

I like to think that Jesus spent the intervening seven days in Heaven before the Father receiving his ordination for being our "High Priest".

Just as Jesus himself fulfilled all the Passover requirements as our sacrificial Lamb, He also fulfills a priestly requirement for ordination set out in Leviticus.

Compensation for Pastors,

I guess I am lucky. My pastor's designated function is to "teach" the Word of God. The church is run by us (the body of Christ). Elders and Deacons meet and make decisions and take paths - we the church body vote to affirm or deny those paths. Perhaps this works, because we are relatively small to medium sized church.

I go to this place to worship: because they do Teach the Bible, I feel God in our midst during worship, and the leadership has been touched by God for their roles. (above three are my perceptions).

That being said, as I stated earlier when asked about "offerings". I give. The leadership utilizes. If it is not utilized correctly, that is between them and God. On my part, I give because I am instructed (by God) to give back a portion of what was his from the beginning.

Ramona,
You add to the Timothy passage meaning that isn't present in the original. It's a stretch too far to say the honor ("time" in the Greek) accorded those who care for ("proistemi") their fellow saints is a wage of some sort. The words of the period used for pay are not present here. Also, Paul uses the same word, time elsewhere in this letter and again in his letter to the Romans (12:10), saying we (i.e. all believers) ought to honor one another. Surely this doesn't mean we ought to pay one another. This is the analogy Paul is making. the working ox : food :: the laborer : a wage :: the elder : honor and respect. Also, the notion of an offical "office" of some sort is wholy absent from the Greek. Paul is using functional language; not positional.

Regarding the 1 Corinthians passage, Paul is speaking of the plowman and the thresher not the shepherd. He is talking about the evangelist and the apostle, those like him who sow the seeds of the Gospel and establish new churches in an area; not the shepherd who cares for the flock he or she is among.

As always, thanks for the comments everyone! I'm glad I'm not blogging alone here... your comments add so much more to this overall ministry for the 2,300+ participating - thank you!

Off the subject of today's comments, one of our participants sent me this cartoon, related to our Leviticus readings, which is copyrighted so I can't put this cartoon on the blog, but I can link to it here -

http://www.reverendfun.com/?date=20060109&language=en

Good clean Bible fun there! :) I haven't seen this reverendfun.com website before. It's part of Gospel Communications, so I'd trust that it's not going to go too far w/ it's humor. I probably will subscribe to the daily cartoons via email on their website.

Mike

Cory,

Both times Paul quotes from Deuteronomy regarding muzzling the ox. So if we want to pull straws then no matter how you break up the Greek word used, is Paul talking about Oxen in his reference to the passage in Deut.? Are you saying that a pastor is supposed to take a vow of poverty or not be compensated for overseeing the Sheep of God’s house? Note that when I wrote my comments I wrote them independent of reading anyone else’s’ comments.

As I stated at the beginning of my comments, those verses came to my mind while reading today’s Old Testament passage. Notice thatI do a lot of free association or brain storming, out loud.

Ramona and Cory,

I think you are both right.

It is not a stretch to include the idea of a "price" in the Gk. word "time"

1)a valuing by which the price is fixed
a)of the price itself
b)of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
2)honour which belongs or is shown to one
a)of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds
b)deference, reverence
http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=5092

Certainly Cory's comparisons make sense, except that the food and wages are "Tangible" and the idea of honor and respect is "intangible".

Matt 15:6 uses a derivation of "time" to talk about "honouring" parents. In 1Co6:20 and 1Co7:23 Paul uses "time" as "price". Also in other places in Acts, so it is not without precedant, although most of the time it is used by Paul as Cory stated. (no pun intended)

David Jeremiah has talked about double honour as being both honour and financial compensation. A portion of "honour and respect" and a portion of "financial compensation". Ergo a "double honour".

If I go to a restaurant, I will pay for my meal (physical nourishment). If I am fed spiritual food at my place of worship, I have no problem with compensating the provider.

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b] Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

I Corinthians 9:7-14

In response to Cory, both here and in comments on my blog post:

I appreciate that viewpoint, but I think the entirety of the passage (beginning in verse 7) supports what I've said. To wit: Paul uses several "worldly" examples to support a Spiritual principle.

The soldier, the sower, and the shepherd all have a legitimate expectation of a material return for their labor. The Spiritual analogy applies to all three: those striving in Spiritual battle for Christ, those who plant the vineyard, and those who tend the flock.

All are servants of the Gospel, to be sure; but it is certainly supported Biblically that we should support them financially.

very interesting stuff to think about

I don't want anyone to think I'm launching some sort of hit-and-run. I realize this is a sensitive issue, especially since the vast majority of professional ministers/clergy are (1) sincere in their faith, desire, and sense of calling; and (2) vastly underpaid for the work they are expected to do. I considered keeping my mouth shut, but without dialogue, how do we grow?

Ramona,
I understand you were the first to comment and take a position. I wasn't "calling you out; just responding. I also understand yours was a "first-thoughts, thinking-out-loud" type of comment. It sounds like I came off as aggressive; my apologies. That said, there's value in dialogue (even if we aren't immediately - or ultimately - persuaded to the same postion,) so in that vein I responded once and am back to continue what I hope is a conversation and not a sparring match. So...

Yes, Paul is using the Deut. passage, which talks about oxen, as the foundation for his analogy. Where I think we go off, in in the application we draw from Paul's analogy.

About pastors and poverty: Those who by virtue of their spiritual wisdom and maturity are recognised as overseers among us ought to work just like everyone else in the body. The NT knows nothing of a professional pastorate. (We must not confuse apostolic church-planting with oversight and shepherding within a church.)

Finally, I appreciate you "pushing back." It helps me to think thru things more fully. It is a gift to me. I hope others are benefiting as well.

John,
Looking thru the NT usage of "time" again, I can give you a meaning of value (and in that sense price,) but I can't go all the way to wage, particularly when Paul uses a more immediate term ("oyonion") for wage elsewhere, even within 1 Cor. So, the passages you mention refer to the great value - the honor of Christ - which was given for us. We can only press wage into this meaning if we use an accounting metaphor to understand the work accomplished on the Cross. (I'm not saying that this isn't a potentially useful metaphor; just that it is only a metaphor, one of several that can be useful.)

I think the Paul's metaphor continues well: The ox and laborer perform physical labor, but the overseer performs spiritual labor. I realize that Paul makes a jump from spiritual labor to physical harvest in 1 Cor 9., but there Paul is talking about himself and his fellow apostolic workers; not the elders and overseers within a particular church.

Chip,
Again, I think we are wrong to extend Paul's language and lump local overseers in with extra-local church-planters. The "we" here is Paul and his fellow apostolic workers. It isn't the elders and overseers within the Corinthian church.

Cory,

Let us then agree to disagree. I have been journaling and questioning God long enough to know that when I'm wrong in the understanding of His Word, He comes in and the most unusual times (unusual for me but always on time for Him, too kind of bop me on my head.)

Ramona,
I've received my share of knocks on the noggin as well ;)

Be God's

Hi Cory,

Not sure if you're still coming back to this day's comments, but in case you are...

Here are the first and last verses of the I Cor. 9:7-14 passage I quoted. I'm interested in your thoughts:

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?

and

14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

My understanding of this passage, "book-ended" by these two verses, is that anyone who makes a full-time occupation of the ministry has a reasonable expectation to be supported in his ministry.

I actually say this as one with a calling similar to Paul's, in that I know I am called to full-time mission work, but God led me first through engineering school in order to develop a means to support myself (tent-making just doesn't cut it anymore...) :)

"The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives."Psalm 37 Verse 23. This verse really touched me today as it made me realise the Lord's presence in my life...nothing is insignificant to him! I am a fairly new Christian but I can totally relate, Mike when you said you feel like you're going with God's flow! The last 4 months since I gave my heart to the Lord I have been feeling this supernatural push in certain directions and I'm enjoying the journey by just letting God do its work on me...going with His flow!
I agree with John in that whatever the clergy does with the tithes is between them and God! I am more than happy for them to get paid for their work. Luckily at my church we are given total account of where all monies are spent!I think that's great!

CB,
I'm still here :)

Here's where I think I'm coming down differently than you. To whom is Paul referring when he talks about "those who preach the gospel?" I think Paul is talking about those in the apostolic ministry, such as himself, Timothy, Titus, etc. But that's it. He only has in mind travelling (apostles = "sent ones") church planters.

I don't think he's talking about those who minister within a church, as I suspect you do. The NT knows nothing of full-time vs. part-time ministry, (I think my language might get confusing here, since I'm using two distinct meanings of the word "ministry." There is the apostolic ministry of establishing a new church, and the mutual ministry of edification among believers within a church. I'm talking about the latter now.) for we are all called to be ministers within our own church... and full time ones at that! (This last remark isn't a call for every believer to enter paid, professional ministry; but rather an expression of the depth of our calling to one another in Christ.)

Hi Cory :)

I think the phrasing of "those who preach the gospel" is important - especially in light of the "worldly" examples given at the beginning of the passage.

I think Paul had in mind anyone making a full-time occupation of "kingdom work". As you rightly say, we are all called to minister to one another, and that ministry is a separate thing from full-time "ministry work".

Wasn't Paul the one who planted the church at Corinth? He was also the one who established that church, staying a couple years in Corinth, teaching the new Christians.

To whom, then, is Paul referring when he says, "if others have this right of support from you..."? I know Apollos came later, and Paul also makes reference to Peter (Cephas) having some influence in Corinth.

But, is it not conceivable that "others" could also refer to the established "leaders" of the church in Corinth?

The original question posed another way: what Biblical support exists for the idea that full-time ministers should *not* be financially supported by the church?

CB,
I'm on my way out the door home, and I'll try to come back to this later this evening; but let me answer your question with another: What evidence is there for the existence full-time ministers within a local church? I'm not talking apostoles, such as Paul, who visited for a few months or a couple years to plant a new church or strengthen one already in existance. I'm looking for ministers from within a particular church.

Paul's was a part of the church at Antioch, the one who sent him on his apostolic missions. He wasn't a part of the church at Corinth.

This feels incomplete, but I have to run. In the words of Ah-nold: "I'll be back." ;)

I know we haven't quite gotten to this psalm yet, but I think it is appropriate here:

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
~Psalm 42:2 (NIV)

We've never known a time we couldn't just approach God, so reading about these offerings is hard to fathom. But that psalm reminded me that there WAS a time that people just couldn't approach God. Sadly, I take this gift fore granted, but I have humbly been reminded of what it could have been like.

As promised... or threatened :)

Mike,
let me know if you want CB and I to continue this elsewhere. It's your house. If you think the conversation is disturbing the other guests, I'm happy to move out to the front porch so to speak.

CB,
Yes, Paul planted the church at Corinth, remaining for about 18 months (Acts 18). The "others" to whom Paul refers would be Apollos and any other apostles (not meaning the 12 whom Jesus called, but any you had been sent out to plant churches) who may have visited them. I keep coming back to this: Paul's context here is his apostolic work, not the church's ministry. (Using "work" vs. "ministry" will hopefully avoid the confusion I was afraid of in an earlier comment.) The "we" of this section refers to Paul and his companion, Barnabas, not the elders in Corinth.

As for not supporting full-time church ministers: There is no reference to them ever receiving support, or necessarily existing. Paul's letters are addressed to churches as a whole not the elders. This is even true of the letters to the church at Corinth depite the great troubles there. Certain individuals are mentioned by Paul, typically in his closing remarks, but I don't think we can extrapolate full-time ministers from this.

We create confusion when we equate the apostolic work of Paul and others with church ministry. Apostles, certain individuals who were sent out to plant new churches and tend those that they had previously planted, had a right to be supported. (This is the right which Paul talks about in 1 Cor. 9, and which he did not exercise.) Believers within a church, all of whom have the responsibility for ministering to one another, did not. This mutual ministry was the ordinary experience of Body life.

Cory,

Well, one answer off the top of my head: Paul passed on the "mantle" of "leadership" to local leaders when he left, by laying on of hands and praying over them. (My mind is telling me there's an example in the latter part of Acts; I'll have to look up the exact reference later.)

I would assume that he passed on to them the role of shepherding and teaching the local church, as he had done for a significant period of time before moving on?

Also, wouldn't Antioch be an example of full-time ministry in a local church? Unless we want to view Antioch as some sort of "super-church" or "mother church" (some sort of first-century Vatican), then Antioch wouldn't be a "special case" of some sort.

James, Peter, and others were full-time minsters of the church at Antioch, weren't they? In that role, they were not acting in the same apostolic ("sending") role of seeding other churches - they were ministering to the local church body.

I could be mistaken, though...

It's past my bed-time; I'll come back to this tomorrow!

Thanks for carrying on the discussion. :)

Cory / CB - feel free to keep the discussion going here. It's intriguing to read your comments and I think we're all learning something / thinking more about this important issue. Thanks! -Mike

Cory and Chip (CB),

I have this "strange" feeling this entire discussion is all about a denominational preference and as such unless one of you two switch denominations this will always continue. But it is nice to see folks debating graciously.

I don't have a denomination; I just think it's an interesting discussion. :)

The underlying assumption you're questioning, Cory, is the existence of a full-time local ministry. I admit; I'd never questioned it - which is why I'm finding the conversation most interesting!

To me, if a full-time local ministry is appropriate, then it is likewise appropriate to be a body-supported ministry, based on Paul's words.

However, I'm willing to accept that our model of the church body is not as was originally intended. Though, I'll have to give it more thought before I make up my mind about it.

WARNING: VERY LONG

Ramona,
Without context affects approach; though, like Chip, I have don't have a denominational affiliation (or background).

Chip,
Evidence for paid local ministers doesn't appear until several generations after the NT. The first Christian appeal is found in Cyprian from the first half of the third century, though the idea didn't gain serious momentum until Constantine a century later.

Returning to your previous post, let's survey the church at Antioch. Here's my research:

* The first NT reference to the city is in Acts 6. Nicolas, one of those chosen to administer the distribution of food to widows, is a proselyte (lit. "newcomer") from the city. Since Nicolas was likely Greek (Though Antioch is located in modern day Turkey, it was founded as a Greek city in the fourth century BC.) the descriptive "proselyte" may mean he is either (1) a convert to Judaism and subsequently Christ; or (2) an expatriate who has relocated to Jerusalem (There doesn't appear to be an intrinsic religious conotation to the Greek.); or (3) both. Either way, he was a member of the Jerusalem church; not a visitor.

* Skip ahead to Acts 11. The church at Antioch was established when the church at Jerusalem was persecuted and scattered following Stephen's execution. These transplanted believers first preached Christ to the Jews of Antioch and then the Greeks.

When those who had remained in Jerusalem heard the news from Antioch, they sent (Grk = "Exapostello") Barnabas. Barnabas took in the scene, encouraged the chruch, and then left for Tarsus to find Paul. The two then returned to Antioch, settling there and joining the church.

They met with the church and taught there. (Notice, no mention of oversight of shepherding.) They were chosen to deliver to the elders in Judea the money collected for the relief of the church. (The already poor church was in no position to weather the famine prophesized by Agabus and others.) Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch, bringing John Mark with them. (Acts 12)

* Acts 13 reinforces both their membership in the church at Antioch and their ministry within that church: teachers and prophets. (Again, not elders or overseers.) While ministering to the Lord (I take this to mean to the church, Christ's body.), God speaks to the church via the Spirit and calls Barnabas and Paul to apostolic work. The church prays for them, commissions them, and sends (Grk = "Apoluo") them.

* While on this first trip, word must have filtered back to Antioch, because Jews from the city met up with the pair in Lycaonia, where Paul was stoned and left outside the city for dead. After this, the two doubled back to the cities in which they had previously planted churches on their way home to Antioch. On these return visits, they encouraged the churches and acknowledged (Grk = "Cheirotoneo," lit. "stretch out the hand") the elders who were emerging from among the brethren. (While often translated "appoint," the word better reflects the idea of acknowledging someone already recognized. The only other NT use is in 2 Cor. 8, where Paul talks about Titus, reinforcing his status as a fellow apostle appointed by God and acknowledged by the churches.) Barnabas and Paul then spent a long time in Antioch.

* Acts 15 brings Barnabas and Paul back to Jerusalem to get guidance on the controversy over circumcision. (Remember that it was from the church at Jerusalem that the church at Antioch was born. the apostles to Antioch called Jerusalem their home, so it makes good sense that the church at Antioch would seek their council.) Once a decision had been reached, Barnabas and Paul returned to Antioch with a letter of instruction and the apostles, Judas and Silas. Barnabas and Paul continued life in Antioch, teaching and preaching. After a bit, they decided to return to the churches they had planted on their first trip, had their falling out over John Mark, and finally headed out with new companions: Barnabas & John Mark; Paul and Silas.

It was on this second trip that Paul picked up Timothy and planted the churches we know best: Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus. From Ephesus Paul returned home to Antioch with a brief stop over in Caesarea. (Acts 16-18)

That's it for Antioch in Acts.

* Antioch gets a brief mention in Galatians 2, when Paul relates his admonishment of Peter, who was a bit two-faced on a visit to the city.

There was a second city named Antioch, and it looks like this is the one referred to in 2 Timothy 3.

So, getting back to your post. It looks like Paul didn't acknowledge (appoint) leaders in the churches he planted until a return visit. After the initial visit, Paul left them to minister to one another; by his return elders and overseers, men with wisdom and discernment had begun to emerge.

As for Antioch: It wasn't a super-chruch; just Paul's home church. If he wasn't willing to take financial support from those among whom he planted the Gospel, I think it unlikely that he took financial support from the brethren among whom he lived and ate and ministered.

As for James, Peter, and other apostles from Jerusalem, they were never residents of Antioch, but apostolic visitors. They returned to this church, which had been born from Jerusalem, much as Barnabas and Paul returned to the churches which had been born from Antioch. They returned to teach and preach, but not to lead.

OK, this took all night. I'm done for now.

The comments to this entry are closed.