Monday, September 29, 2008

Supporting the Church

September 29, 2008

Ever wonder about why they take up an offering in church. I mean, doesn't Paul say in the New Testament that he made tents so that people could hear the Gospel for free? What people do not realize is that Paul was establishing a church then and that was not the normal situation. In the Old Testament, people would bring their sacrifices to the temple where the priest would receive it for God. They were allowed to keep some and share some with the Levites, the workers. It takes a staff to run the temple and in Nehemiah's day a problem arose:

Nehemiah 13:8-11(DRC)
And I commanded and they cleansed the storehouses: and I brought thither again the vessels of the house of God, the sacrifice, and the frankincense. And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: and that the Levites, and the singing men, and they that ministered were fled away every man to his own country: And I pleaded the matter against the magistrates, and said: Why have we forsaken the house of God? And I gathered them together, and I made them to stand in their places.

Without a way to support themselves and their families they had to go back to work. And without a way to support themselves, the staff of any church (including the pastor) will have to turn to 'making tents'. While that is noble in getting a ministry off the ground, as long as we put an emphasis (as God does) on having a staff do the job, it is up to us to bring the sacrifices in so that they can be supported.

Read through the Bible in historical order
Nehemiah 11:1-13:31, Psalm 126
Malachi 1:1-4:6
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