Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Baptist Ministers Historically Unpaid

Recently, I began reading Religious Revolutionaries by Robert C. Fuller. Its a simplified history of religion in America. Fuller does an excellent job of simplifying and presenting the development of religion in America in an easy to read, yet logically organized manner. Best of all, the book includes little bits of American religious trivia, like the Pilgrims stealing food and crafts from local natives. One bit of trivia that surfaces in chapter 3, Sectarian Heyday, is:

"Baptists often paid their ministers nothing at all."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Living deep in the Baptist Bible Belt as I do and reading all the Baptist blog discussions on the proper selection and hiring of ministers, this long forgotten fact seemed almost like heresy. Baptist ministers were unpaid! Shocking!

Fuller informs us:

"Baptists and Methodists, on the other hand, relied upon clergy who were 'of the people.' They characteristically had little education, received little or no pay, and spoke in plain but forceful language."

Fuller follows a bit later with:

"Baptist ministers typically earned their living just like other members of the congregation six days a week and then voluntarily preached on the Sabbath."

Fuller then explains that this low overhead is what made the expansion of Baptists and Methodists through the frontier possible. I believe this has implications on the recent discussions among Baptists regarding their problem of declining baptisms and and shrinking membership. Just as a paid clergy was a drag on the early American Anglican and Congregationalist churches and led to their decline as majority denominations, so too the modern Baptist tradition of a paid clergy seems to be hampering Baptist evangelism and contributing to that denominations decline.

Personally, I have long seen a professional, paid clergy as somewhat unbiblical. Never in the New Testament do I ever find search committees, minister interviews, or mention of salaries. Nor do I ever find discussion of the same among the early Ante-Nicean Christians in the centuries that follow.

If any CAS readers are aware of any Baptist, or other Christian, apologetics for a paid clergy, please comment below. I particularly would be interested in the proof texts that support the modern Tradition of a paid clergy.

Source: Religious Revolutionaries

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Blogger Kyle said...

I don't know about a full scale defense of the practice, but here are the usual texts used to support it:

Luke 10:5-7
1 Cor 9:4-12
And 1 Tim 5:17,18

10:55 AM  

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