Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Allen: voluntary clergy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
    Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
    For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.
    —2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 (NIV)
    Clerics often say that if voluntary clergy were admitted, the laity would cease to support stipendiary clergy, and that they would say, “We can get clergy for nothing, why should we pay for them?” That argument suggests that the laity do not want stipendiary clergy and must be compelled to have them against their will. Whatever truth there may be in it, and it is a very serious indictment of the present stipendiary clergy as a body, one thing is certain: we cannot make people want what they do not want by compelling them to pay for it.
    ... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Case for Voluntary Clergy, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1930, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 149 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have made your Gospel completely free.
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Blogger Unknown said...

The quotation shows that the Apostle Paul himself usually provided for his own needs (by tent making). However, during his imprisonments, he gladly received gifts from those whose lives had been transformed by his work of spreading the Good News.(Philippians 4:16-19)

As events evolved, ministers were paid salaries. Although there are those who see Christian ministry as a mere career choice, countless people have benefitted from what is termed "organized religion", of which such workers are a part. Only God Himself can probe the worker's heart. It is only God who can prepare other hearts to receive His Wisdom and Eternal Life, regardless of the inner condition of the one dispensing His prescription for the ills of humanity.

All connected to Christ should be "voluntary" missionaries, freely and gladly sharing the news of the reconciliation of sinners to God, as obtained by Christ, when opportunities are presented by the Holy Spirit.
I recommend what I call The Trinitarian Gospel, which is found in the New Testament book called Titus, chapter 3, verses 4-7. May you also receive and pass it along!

Jesus said that it is even more blessed to give than it is to receive - BUT - that implies that there is blessing in both!

6:45 PM  

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