Money for the Ox?

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Does this scripture justify salaries for ministers?

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1Tim 5:17

For the scripture says, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1Tim 5:18

For those who need a paycheck, the answer is yes.

Here is another related scripture:

For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 1Cor 9:9

Who goes a warfare any time at his own charges? who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof? or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock? 1Cor 9:7

Or says he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that plows should plow in hope; and that he that threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 1Cor 9:10

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Take a closer look:

The oxen gets to eat some of the corn he is treading.

He has helped plant the corn, and now he eats from it.

So God provides for the oxen.

Those that plant a vineyard get to get the fruit.

Those that feed a flock, get some of the milk.

What is planted is FOOD.

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Two Points

(1)

Now what are ministers supposed to plant?

Food?

Money?

Or

The Word of God?

Logic

The harvest in ministry is not money, because they do not plant money.

The harvest in ministry is not corn, because they do not plant corn.

The harvest in ministry is not food, because they do not plant food.

The harvest in ministry is SOULS, because they are supposed to be planting the Word of God.

If ministers are to plant the word of God, then they should enjoy the harvest of souls, which is the fruit of their labor.

The minister is also NOT an ox.

Bingo!

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(2)

Double honor does not mean double money.!

Many ministers live richer than their congregation, thinking they are worthy of double money AND honor.

And they get the money from the tithes and offerings, which is supposed to go to spreading the gospel, and helping the poor.

Most preach to the same saved people every week.

Where is the honor in this?

Preaching dead bread, or keeping people in the milk of the Word.

Most do not evangelize and reap new souls, although the ones that do still should not be paid to do it.

There could be an offering for the activity, but not for a salary.

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The apostles took no salaries.

Neither did Jesus.

Jesus is the light of the world.

Follow him, not the world.

See also

arguments-for-and-against-pastor-salaries

priests-for-pay

seed-time-and-harvest-false-doctrine-of-money

naked-seed-vs-dead-seed


16 Responses to “Money for the Ox?”

  1. Thank you Marianne for shedding scriptural light on this subject. I have been in earnest prayer/study concerning tithing seeking the [real] Truth of what God’s Word says & will continue. I was formerly persuaded or demanded to believe, as many of us, otherwise. Looking forward to the input of others.’
    Bless you~

  2. i agree that people male or female that preach the gospel should not be paid unless it is their only source of income. i think you know what i mean. i really hate it when i see someone on the television preaching gods word and boasting about all the fine clothes they have been given by god for spreading his word, the same with those who have mansions and multiple cars and even their own jets. that’s just nuts ! i believe i can say safely; they have already earned their reward, so they should not expect another reward in heaven.

  3. Interesting and fascinating, for then only two nights ago I had this dream on Oxen. In my case, it was that several oxen were goring up with their horns whoever they came about and one of them close to me, a brown one in my case, presumed to gore me down by his horns. I was by a pillar of a house and was able to circle round and twist off the oxen’s feet, felling him down, and on his back, and helpers came to help me keep him down. Then I noticed that the same had happened with other ox around, and then also, that these helpers were slitting the throats of the oxen. My particular ox gushed a jet of blood so big and high, and everone afraid of getting soaked in the blood let go of him and moved aside. In choler the bull arose and sought to fight those who had held him down, and so we all ran and others ran faster and earliar than me. As such I knew the bull was chasing me, and would in no time either fall dead of the slit throat, for which I now already felt pity, as I happen in life to be vegetarian and had not anticipated that felling the bull was to lead to its slaughter. Anyway, there was a kind of large square granary of the african kind, thats built on poles with its floor raised in a way that one may get under it, and I sought to hide under it so as the bull would pass without locating me. But seemingly, the bull had my sight, or scent, for it came exactly where I was hidden, under the granary structure, and instead of goring me up this time, or either falling dead, it just pitifully laid its head on my arms and there the dream ended.

    So for the most morning I kept wondering, and failed to make any sense of the vivid dream. I even wondered whether I was being warned against witnessing certain mysteries in my bestowment to the world, for I first presumed that these were the red bull, and once I felled him, then others may evilly destroy him , rather than utilize them for good, and it all would be my causing.

    However, before midday yesterday, I recieved a call, after almost another year, from the lawyer with whom I’d lodged my wrongful termination from employment and I which my former employer had mischeviously dismissed me without a single benefit, even retaining my pending leave days pays, and all that without cause, and completely against the labour relations etiquetes and laws of the land. Now four years since, and presumed the case lost in the curruption of the system, and had let go in my mind. So when the lawyer called to inform me that now the hearing date is set for the 10th of this month, and was asking me to attend, then I knew what the dream was meant to guide me of.

    For indeed all labourers are worthy of their hire, and employer ought not to keep from the labourers their worthy dues. For that is evil and wrong in the sight of God. Oxen is symbol for works achieved, and these ought to be paid for, for then when the oxen is muzzled so as he does not eat, where from is he to obtain the energy with which to continue working? If God’s servants on earth are defraided of their dues by evil employers, where will they be sustained of in terms of the necessary funding, for livelihood, and for missions that God plans to send them on? For God will not that his children beg of the unbelievers, nor solicit funds from such classes of jesters, wherefore God has appointed that the oxen be not muzzled when he treads the corn, and gives all believers employment from which to subsist their livelihoods on and further to support the missions He appoints to us.

    In my case therefore, I know of my dream that God has appointed this time frame and will guide the judgement in my four year industrial case, and also that it has its reason and purpose also in time, and therefore I learn that its His will to follow up with the matter.

    So just the second day thereafter, and from heavenawaits I catch the heading on bulls and money and I’m astounded. I know I should share that testimony, and such is that.

    Its therefore my renewed understanding that the scriptures are not talking of labourers in ‘ministry’ to earn salaries and amass wealth, but rather of all children of God, and of men, that wheresoever they labour and are employed, they should be given their just renumeration.

    In ministry, we all are labourers, as believers, called of God. God is our employer and not men. We sow in truth, and what grows out of truth is greater and more truth. And eventually the truth will lead us to the due reward of eternal life, hid in Christ Jesus.

    Our employer, God, as long as we keep working in his employment, is promising us this, that we are worthy of our hire, not only in the eventual destiny of eternal life, but also in daily sustenance, and thetefore whosoever presumes to defraud us and abuse us in nominal employments upon earth, the Lord will trim all such to compliance, and my! Is He able!

    For even the Serpent He would command for our sakes, and Leviathan He would bind by the nosetrills and cast him down for the maidens, his maidens, to make a banquet of him.

    I find not how this scripture can support self enrichment of self appointed ‘ministers’ . For do not the same ministers teach that the ordinances of Moses were fulfilled at the cross? There is therefore no more Levitical order, for all was fulfilled when the eternal High Priest took over, and him being eternal implies super- Priest also wherein He requires no assisting priests and Levites. If anyone solicits money based on the Levitical order, then he must also return to the Mosaic sacrifices and ordinances, and is anti-Christ, for then such jests upon the salvation ministry of Christ.

    Lastly, of tithes and offerings, even in the Levitical order, these were supossed to be given to the poor, orphans, windows and the Levite. The Levite also owned nothing in worldy material and hence was among the beneficiaries of the tithes. Jesus himself clearly taught of the need to help the poor and all in need.

    But the wolves come about, overturn the word, imply their out of context expositions and threaten the laity to concede and pay up or face damnation in case they default or attempt to understand concerning tithing in any other setup other than what themselves prescribe.

    But what God gives each one of us is what He will require of us to be stewards of. When any resigns any of their talents to religious corporations of deception and that talent is misused, God requires of us why we lost that talent, rather that utilize it in His house. The buck therefore stops with each one of us, and not the corporations that decieve us to defraud God to enrich them. We choose these corporations over God, and these shall only give us just more lies and eventually death. For all they sow is more and greater deception and one is the father of both lies and death.

    Beware.

  4. Good article here! Well, here’s my take on all this, for what it’s worth. I study Church history. A LOT. And it seems that the only ones whose ministry ‘jobs’ required constant travel (ie, apostles, evangelists, some of the prophets, and perhaps some teachers), were totally supported by offerings. Local leaders (pastors, teachers, etc) usually had businesses that already supported them, and their congregation all shared, to help each other.

    Until the ministry became hierarchical and ’empty-religious’, local pastors/elders and teachers were mere members of their congregation… there were no “career” pastors, as ministry was shared also (“..each one has a hymn, a song,…”). Churches were families – organisms – not “organizations”. Non-Jews wouldn’t have tithed, and there is no early Church/NT mandate for a tithe; Paul taught GIVING in several of his letters. **The tithe supported the OT system of professional priests…was the ‘welfare system’ for the poor…and part of the ceremonial law that was fulfilled in Christ. WE are the priests, we are ALL to provide for the poor in our immediate circle, and we GIVE as Holy Spirit tells us (it takes more faith to hear what to give, than to do the math). I know that’s gonna shock some folks off their computer chair, but there just isn’t anything in the NT that directs us on this side of the cross to “tithe” (it’s a good thing to do..just not an expectation); we are to give – II Cor 9:7 – “…AS HE PURPOSES IN HIS HEART..”

    The whole assumption that churches need professional staffers and pastors, is a hold-over from the Medieval Church. The Reformers never got around to re-learning church structure from the NT…and retained the OT style of “church”, w/ paid pro’s doing the work of the ministry.

    The NT Church was mostly HOME CHURCHES, and did not occupy large buildings until the emperor Constantine restructured the Church to suit his politics. We have never gotten over this, and have a structure that God in His mercy has been putting up with all this time… but does this not explain the huge growth of home churches in these end times?? I attend a “micro church”..we do rent space, but to accommodate our Healing Rooms public ministry. Before we opened, we met in Pastor’s home. Sorry for such a looong response!! 🙂 …lots to say about this…

    • Cindy,I agree with your study ALOT! It compares with mine.
      Interestingly enough I saw a fairly recent poll on job satisfaction, of all on list the highest rated= ministers. Hum, I wonder why?😦

  5. Thanks for your comment/reply. The evangelical church is more of a non-profit organization than a fellowship of like minded Believers as members of His body.

    This will change very soon.

    Blessings
    Psalm 20

    • Unfortunately, DJ, I believe you’re right. And myself, and many in my circles, are praying that the current move of God’s Spirit will remedy this. I really don’t think most of those caught up in “insitutional church” do it consciously: it’s all they know. And apparently there is some disconnect in seminaries and Bible colleges: surely they study early Church history; but the mindset keeps them from seeing how the Church NEEDS the structure our first siblings had. I cringe to think how much “fund diversion” is happening, for upkeep and paychecks in modern Western churches that should be used caring for the poor. I personally know of large church that sends some members to other organizations for help w utility bills….but those members sure are pressured to ‘tithe’ in their poverty, or they’ll be taught they’re “cursed” and maybe turned down for help. But each of their full time staffers live in nice homes (the loans for which are co-signed by the church; not sure if they’re still doing this, we left there a few yrs ago) . *sigh* Revive us, Oh Lord!

      • Hi Cindy,

        I think this “mindset” comes from a “Biblical hermeneutics” approach to reading, studying and comprehending the Word of God.

        This approach is taught in bible college and seminaries. I heard a presentation on this approach at a local “mega church” with their 4 million dollar annual budget a few months ago. I’m not a member but visit the men’s bible study on Thursday mornings where they serve milk not solid food.

        The Evangelical church deliberately applies a “Christian Biblical hermeneutics” approach.

        What is Biblical hermeneutics?

        “Biblical hermeneutics is the science of properly interpreting the various types of literature found in the Bible.”

        Did you catch that word? “Science.”

        Oh! The Bible is also considered types of “literature” within a cannon (collection).

        You can read more at:

        http://www.gotquestions.org/Biblical-hermeneutics.html#ixzz36JQQWVqH

        Do you know the foundation of hermeneutics?

        Greek Philosophy!

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hermeneutics/

        Hummm? Does this make sense?

        Let’s apply human wisdom (philosophy) to the study of God’s word, Scriptures.

        The Scriptures are described in Proverbs chapters 2-4, which includes wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fear of the Lord (respect), might/power, and council.

        The Scriptures are beyond literature and philosophy – so I think we can perceive the root cause to the modern Evangelical church’s problem. They are spiritual blind and deaf.

        Found this article several weeks ago, posted it somewhere on Heaven Awaits and I think you may appreciate the message.

        “Would the Modern American Church even be recognizable to early followers of Jesus?” by Marcus Yoars

        “By today´s standards in the American church, Jesus wasn´t cut out to be a pastor, nor would His ministry be highlighted as a model for church planters.

        Consider these facts:

        Jesus had the greatest preaching, teaching and healing ministry in history. Thousands came to hear Him, followed His every move and lined the streets to get a glimpse of Him or simply touch Him.

        Yet amid His rock-star popularity, He intentionally offended religious leaders, challenged potential mega-donors and weeded out casual followers with tough teachings. Not exactly the textbook strategy you´d find today to grow your church…

        After Jesus spent three and a half years ministering to thousands, His church consisted of only 120 disciples gathered in the upper room (Acts 1-2). And even that was a low turnout, considering He had appeared to more than 500 people after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6).

        But we know the rest of the story: how the 120 [12×10], quickly became 3,120 and grew daily to where even unbelievers credited Jesus´ followers as those “who have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

        The truth is, we know that Jesus´ divine church-growth tactics surpass all others-with the proof being a global church that, 2,000 years later, refuses to die while it works to fulfill His Great Commission.

        Why, then, do we in the 21st-century American church focus on all the elements that Jesus didn´t?

        A) He focused on training and equipping 12 disciples; we focus on growing our crowds and spheres of influence, regardless of whether those people follow Jesus.

        B) He preached an uncompromising message of truth; we sugarcoat the gospel until we´re saccharine-high on deception.

        C) He walked among His enemies in love; we ostracize our enemies by blasting them for all their sins.

        Indeed, most of the U.S. church is enamored with size over substance and microwave growth over true reproduction.

        Research shows that while 235 million people call themselves Christians, only 40 percent of those meet regularly with fellow believers and only a fourth (at most) read the Bible on a regular basis.

        It´s time we discovered the marks of the real church, measured by Jesus´ standards rather than our own trendy metrics. So what are those elements?

        Here are just a few.

        1) Love.

        Jesus defined a premier characteristic of His church in John 13:35: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

        If we can´t even love fellow believers-if we skewer each other (Denominationalism) over theological differences -how can we expect the world to want what we have?

        2) Prayer.

        Jesus was constantly communicating with the Father, listening for His thoughts and seeing where He was already moving. Luke´s Gospel shows that little happened in Christ´s life without Him first praying.

        Why, then, do most church gatherings today focus so little on prayer?

        In trying to be culturally relevant and seeker-sensitive, we´ve conveyed that this essentiality of our faith-both individually and corporately-is secondary. That can´t be if we want to mimic Jesus.

        “Most Americans worship their work, work at their play, and play at
        their worship.” -Al Whittinghill

        3) Persecution.

        We in the West equate religious freedom and the lack of persecution with blessing. Yet when you look for the most powerful churches in the world, where the Spirit moves freely and in fullness, you´ll always find persecution. (Church in China).

        It´s time we wake up and realize that persecution galvanizes and unifies the body of Christ like few other pressures.

        Remember, Jesus promised persecution to those who truly follow Him (Matt. 5:11-12; John 15:20).

        When was the last time you saw this promise fulfilled in your own life or church?

        4) Power.

        Jesus also promised that His followers would do greater works than He did (John 14:12)-a promise sealed by the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us. Wherever the early apostles and church went, the miraculous followed. Though there have been seasons of Holy Spirit revival in our nation, even charismatic churches today are
        de-emphasizing such things as praying for the sick, demonic deliverance or the prophetic.

        Making room for the Spirit´s supernatural movement isn´t an option; it´s the mark of those who truly follow Christ.”

        -Source- http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/church-ministry/20299

        Cindy, if I relied and reminded in the Evangelical church and reminded under Biblical Hermeneutics (I attended Emanuel Christian Seminary – a Disciples of Christ & Independent Christian Churches graduate school), I would not comprehend or have applied Mark 16:17-18 a few years ago – experiencing deliverance (expel demons), ministering deliverance, and helping others to do the same.

        The church is spiritually asleep and time is very, very short.

        You may find these pages within Heaven Awaits interesting –

        https://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/the-lost-ark-god-forbid/

        https://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/armor-of-god-prayer/

        https://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/signs-in-the-heavens/

        The model prayer for us – I think it is found in Colossians 1:9-12.

        Blessings
        Psalm 25

        • I think hermeneutics is a good starting point, if you don’t stop there. that way you don’t end up with really crazy interpretations….

          the spirit of the Lord should be used in evaluating the meaning of all scripture.

          also dialogue and prayer are important, to sift out hidden meanings..which is what I encourage here

        • I’m very familiar w/ everything you’re saying here, DJ…and am blessed to be in a circle that is always resisting and exposing that “Greek mindset”, among many other things that are hindering the modern Church. We don’t claim a corner on truth, but purpose to keep God OUTSIDE the box, and let Him have His way w/ us. As this move of God’s Spirit gains momentum, the Cessationists will finally be face to face w/ miracles they cannot explain away, and preparing ourselves for the fallout. We live in a very “religious” little city in central TX..founded by humanist Free Thinkers from Germany; so there is a lot of intellectualism and carnality in the Church here..along w/ a lot of confusion and division. …Ps 25, indeed!

  6. i remember back in my late 20’s i went to a couple of meetings with my then pastor, all of the men there were ordained (by men). and both times the subject was brought up by the so called head of the pastors that quote; “we want to remind everyone that these meetings are for ordained ministers”. that was very awkward for me, because i was the only one there that was not ordained by “man”. but i held my tongue. i sure wanted to stand up and say; i did not know that god made men to decide who he has called into the ministry, and did god give all of you here a piece of paper stating; minister of god, signed by god./ just a thought about some of the stupidly of men.

    • there is only one anointed ONE

      all the rest of us are servants…..

      the hierarchy you saw and still see is the Nicolaitan method of rule over the laity that Jesus hated…

      • marianne; this is not in reply to the above. it is about the discussion about is all scripture inspired by the holy ghost. first corinthians chapter 7 shows where paul is speaking not by commandment, then he makes it clear a few verses down that it is not he speaking but the lord. (holy spirit) the whole chapter is a good one for people to understand that sometimes it is just an opinion, not the lords command. i think this is useful for those who question is everything stated in gods word commands by the holy spirit, or are there instances that it is an opinion of the person writing.

  7. Greetings, All.
    Before I start, let me clarify three things:
    1. The “Mad Ray” moniker. Years ago I had a supervisor that called me “Mad Ray”, not because I was angry but because my thought patterns were different than anyone she ever knew. Think Mad Hatter or mad scientist.
    2. This post troubled my spirit. The direction it takes is quite alarming.
    3. I’m not going to address organized religion because that would double the size of my response.

    I’ll start with the first question:
    Does this scripture [muzzle the ox] justify salaries for ministers?

    My response would be this is misapplication of scripture. I’m confused how the “don’t muzzle the ox” passage triggered a “pay-for-pastors” post. I’m alarmed it remained the discussion center without anyone citing passages pertaining to pastor/evangelist compensation. John’s (the responder, not the apostle) alluded to it but he didn’t quite get there.

    Most arguments against pastor compensation bring up the manner of Jesus and the apostles ministries. They never sent out tithing envelopes or marketed prayer shawls. Yet, Jesus told the disciples as He sent them out:
    “Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.” Matthew 10:9 – 11 (KJV)

    The disciples still needed food and lodging. “The Way” was just spinning up so there weren’t any local churches the disciples could use as a base.
    Likewise, how was Capernaum Jesus’ base of operations when He didn’t own a home? He lodged with people who knew Him. Various suppers, “five loaves and two fish”, and the “upper room” were provided by someone. God’s provision came through people that welcomed them, and they in turn, were graced with Jesus’ or the apostles’ presence, words, and blessing.

    I suspect the Church at Corinth had the same discussion we are having now. Paul addresses this in First Corinthians 9:13 – 14 (KJV):
    “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel?”

    I think Paul not only parallels the Levite’s provision but also cites Matthew 10:9-11 when he says, “that the LORD ordained…” Paul goes on to say:
    2 Corinthians 11:7 – 9 (KJV) Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.”

    Few consider that Paul’s journeys were not a series of “one week revivals” but often he stayed for months. Where did he live and how did he eat for the year-plus he spent in Corinth? He tells them he did not exercise his right to provision because didn’t want to be a burden on them but his provision had to come from somewhere. Macedonian churches had sponsorship him. Pricilla, Aquilla and Paul made tents as bivocational pastors. But that didn’t excuse the church for providing support for those who minister.

    Answer: Yes, a pastor is worthy of his/her keep. Should they be salaried? I think so, but I won’t elaborate now because that would be a separate comment concerning organized religion.

    Concerning:
    Two Points – 1: What are ministers supposed to plant?
    I admit I’m lost on the logic provided that ends with “a minister is not an ox”. But since I’m confused on this application of the “muzzled ox” from the outset, I ask your forgiveness.

    To answer the question, ministry is serving believers whether it be as a congregation or one-on-one. How they do this, lies in God’s call upon their lives to plant seeds of the gospel, live it, and do it in love (First Corinthians 13).

    Two Points – 2: Double honor does not mean double money!
    This part didn’t confuse me… it alarmed me:
    I don’t know what “double honor” looked like in the first century church but do you know for sure it doesn’t mean double the money? If the ox grazed while threshing, did he forfeit his evening hay? I don’t know.

    The bitterness bottled up in this post explodes in this part as MOST ministers are judged as thinking they are worthy of double money and honor, non-evangelical, preach to the dead, and, shouldn’t be paid. Do you know that for sure?

    Would you be surprised to know the Apostle Paul addressed this to the Church of Philippi?
    Philippians 1:15 – 19 (KJV) “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,”

    There is more scripture supporting name-it-and-claim-it than the power of the Holy Spirit faded with the first century church. If people are bragging about what GOD gave them they are acknowledging God is the Provider.

    I believe Paul is telling them (and us) GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON! We don’t know their heart and we are on a slippery slope when we judge them as evil and greedy because they have a $5 million communication center, 20,000-seat sanctuary, or a ministry jet.

    Stating that the money would be better served “caring for the poor” rings in my ears as John 12:3-6:
    “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (KJV)”

    Answer: Not necessarily, the pastor’s salary is typically set by a committee, the panel of elders, or a board of directors. A pastor without oversight is a scandal waiting to happen. Also, a pastor doesn’t reach into the offering plate and pull out what he wants. If he does that in a 503(c) and doesn’t claim it as income, is an embezzler!

    Look into the Mirror

    We see mega-ministry pastors in thousand dollar suits bragging about how God has made them rich. Why are you offended? This can reveal your heart. Who died and made you the standard? Do you believe anyone with more than you must have stolen it? Is anyone with more than you greedy? Do you think if they had less you’d have more? Does this mean God loves you less?

    Many hide personal greed and envy by pointing at God’s blessing on someone else as illegal or immoral and/or should have been spent on the poor.

    So what are we to do? I think the principle behind johnwaltz777’s use of Jesus words in Matthew 6:5 is spot on:
    “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!”

    Like prayer, if someone’s ministry is all about them and what they can get, they have received their reward. Don’t worry about someone elses ministry, focus on your calling. God’s a big God and He will take care of it.

    However, I think johnwaltz777’s confidence that minister’s cars, mansions, and jets, mean they have “nothing in heaven” is extremely dangerous. Matthew 7:1-2 says “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (KJV)

    Criticizing someone elses stewardship puts yours under a microscope. Unless you take time to investigate a mega-ministry for impropriety, you should just pray people are being reached for Christ and move on.

    If that isn’t scary enough, the article finishes with “the apostles took no salaries” and “Neither did Jesus”.

    Do you want your life compared to Jesus or the apostles?

    Conclusion:

    I started this comment confused over what a muzzled ox had to do with pastors salaries and perceived ministry excesses. As I wrap this up, my confusion may be lifting. If “don’t muzzle the ox” means don’t begrudge anyone anything, it is a warning to not make snap judgments and trust God to raise up His true workers and humble the fakes.

    If you have time to worry about someone elses ministry based on a 10-second sound bite, you’re probably neglecting your own.

    Thank you for your patience and consideration.

    • dear mad ray

      The topic was selected because this “ox” passage is one used to justify pastor salaries in most churches.

      so the passage was analyzed in this light.

      it did not justify logically the use it had been given.

      what should be alarming is the misuse of the passage for personal gain, not the analysis of it.

      across america, and maybe much of the world, pastors are paid well, and with double honor, meaning the “committees,” not god, decide how much they get paid, and it is usually a percent of the tithes, along with a base salary. and double honor results in the pastor getting 2x the average salary of the congregant. so if the average member earns $30,000 a year for full time work, the pastor gets $60,000 a year for part time work.

      first of all, god did not say to pay pastors

      jesus did not get paid, and the apostles all had jobs…..they had a no work, no eat policy.

      pastors work on sunday, and maybe a few hours on saturday to prepare a sermon…..this does not merit a full time salary.

      and for those who claim a full time schedule, if one analyzes it, it is not occupied with preaching to the lost, but doing administrative tasks, like meeting with building fund committees.

      I understand that you said you support pastor salaries….I am just saying there is no true scriptural support for it in the new testament….the old testament priests really were full time, with all the daily sacrifices of a large group of people….modern pastors do not work that hard in comparison.

      also the ancient priests were not allowed to own land or houses….for their 24/7 work….modern pastors get a housing allowance to pay for their homes, in addition to their salaries..

      the bible says we ALL have ministries and a calling to preach the gospel…ministry is to be a calling, not a paid profession.

      pastors tell me that church is a “business now,” and this makes me sad

      I wrote this post, not out of bitterness but disappointment in the babylonian system present today in the church…and also because of a sincere belief that NO ONE should make money off the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

      I am here almost 24/7….from 5:30 am to past midnight, and sometimes in the middle of the night as well…..I answer emails, prayer requests, talk to troubled people on the phone, send help or arrange for help of various kinds, write posts/bible studies/sermons…..constantly…I must put in 60 – 80 hours a week and I do NOT ask for money.

      I am here because God called me to do this….and it was understood between Him and me that “the Word of God is free.” this “motto” is at the top of the page and I have been faithful to it.

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