Money and the lust for it has always been a problem, and to have it surface early in the establishment of the church was obviously a major hindrance to the ongoing of the ministry. It was addressed numerous times in the Scriptures because it had a tendency to affect the attitude of believers each to the other.
We read, “For a love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, young man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:10, 11)
Every now and again, I encounter someone who proceeds to defend exceedingly high paid clergy, saying, “they are worth it.” Sometimes I have been told that had these men been in the secular field they would be worth far more. I smile, wondering if there is justification for such conduct on the part of any of us who have been called of God to preach the gospel. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not need proper reimbursement for service rendered, but if it is to be judged by the secular field, I question such a position.
The Apostle Paul presents with clarity how we are to: “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and you make good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Timothy 6:12-14) It is imperative that we address this teaching with the total verses that are hinged in context.
Oh! How the seed of greed can “justify” deed!