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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

Mark chapter 3 verses 33-35 make an impact on me each time I read it: "Jesus replied, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then he looked at those around him and said, "These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." This really sums up our earthly relationships! We need to relinquish control of family and rem we are a part of Gods family. Brother and sister in Christ. End of story. Although we hold tightly to our family connections. I've experienced this first hand and know God has bigger plans and can't wait for my earthly family to meet all my needs

I have enjoyed reading the things written in "One Year Bible Blog". There have been some posing questions asked, which makes one stop and think. What bothers, me, however, is....

If this Blog is for the purpose of opening our eyes to the truth, to set ourselves apart from the world, to witness to the lost so they can be saved, to minister to other Christians, to commit our lives to becoming better Christians and getting closer to the Lord, then why in the world is ungodly music being used? Today's music by Michael W. Smith just set my teeth on edge. Nearly all Contemporary "Christian" Music uses a BACKBEAT where the 2nd and 4th beats of the song are accented. This goes against almost all music theory AND the normal electrical impulses of our bodies. It was done on purpose by rock-and roll artists:

“I felt that if I could take a ... tune and drop the first and third beats and accentuate the second and fourth, and add a beat the listeners could clap to as well as dance this would be what they were after” (Bill Haley, cited by Charlie Gillett, The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, p. 14).

“I dig that rock and roll music; it has a back beat; you can't lose it” (Chuck Berry).

“When they play their music, ooh that modern music, they like it with a lot of style; but it's still that same old backbeat rhythm that really, really drives 'em wild” (“The Heart of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News).

“It’s the beat that gets to you. If you like it and you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it” (Elvis Presley, cited by Steve Turner, Hungry for Heaven, p. 35).

But even setting that aside (although I am not sure how you can) Michael W. Smith has not claimed in testimony or in his songs to be SAVED. In fact, during one interview he clearly stated that salvation is finding 'god' in ourselves and it is up to each individual person to find for themselves.

"SMITH: God -- I had to personally find him in myself... I think you have to go really work out your own salvation is what you have to do. And that's what I've done."
-Michael W. Smith & Larry King, "Interview With Michael W. Smith," Feb 10, 2006, retrieved Dec 6, 2014, [transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/10/lkl.01.html]

He has used runic demonic symbols and written his name backwards (a big deal with the occult) and stood with his arms making symbols highlighting man, nature, Norse gods, etc. He has hugged other women which not only upset his wife, but his children. He uses the same production company that produces ungodly music such as Prince. And women take off their bras and throw them on stage just like at rock concerts. CAN GOD BE PLEASED WITH THIS KIND OF MUSIC?

Smith is not the only one enveloped in this pop-culture. Third Day used the music of the Beatles who definitely oppose God and anything Holy. The other CCM artists are not set apart from the world. In fact, their philosophy the idea of being like the world to win the world.

There is a tremendous amount of Godly, worshipful, Christ centered, Biblical music out there that can be used to uplift. Why are they not being used?

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