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Thursday 23 March 2023

Pastors Should Not Live Like Kings


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Pastors should not live like kings.

Those who teach are worthy of double honour, which means a generous stipend. But there's generous and then there is excessive.

The ancient Benedictine monks that converted the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in early England took a vow of poverty so the Saxons would not think they were fleecing them. Even the wealth they earned in their work they didn't flaunt or display. They lived humbly, often giving away their excess to the poor.

This earned the Anglo-Saxon's trust. It worked well because it was wise and trustworthy.

The prosperity gospel, the idea that great men of God will be greatly endowed with wealth was always going to do massive damage to the Church, especially in our nation. When pastors live large, people think something is off. It often is when they do.

It's as damaging to the church as corruption, sex scandals, and other issues. Because there is inherent in every person an innate distrust of someone who lives off donations and appears to be living large. This innate distrust can be trained out of people, many believers have had it conditioned out of them. In fact, many Christians have their danger radars for many things switched off by conditioning for various reasons. But for those not so conditioned it appears off. It can only appear off, because it is off. As Jesus says the people of this world are shrewder when it comes to money...he was wise to this.

Churches which present an air of wealth among their leaders may convince some believers, not all, but it'll always be a stench to most of society. It always has been, and the medieval Church took steps to either avoid this happening or corrected it when it did. To avoid giving off this stench.

The Australian Church is learning again the hard way what history already had written for us if we'd have been willing to listen. To be fair many of us did. But many have not.

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