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Paid Ministry — Section 31

Do the scriptures justify and authorize a paid ministry?

Representative of a Christian church:
If I am not mistaken, it is the belief of the Mormon Church that paid ministry is unscriptural.  It is our belief that a paid ministry is very much supported by the holy scriptures.  The Apostle Paul said, “…even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.”  (1 Corinthians 9:14)  The scriptures also state that “the laborer is worthy of his hire”. (Luke 10:7)  How do you justify your beliefs in light of these scriptures?

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
Christ said, “The laborer is worthy of his hire”, but the laborer was to carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes, and salute no man by the way.  (Luke 10:4)  He was to enter the homes and “heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, ‘The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ “.  (Luke 10:9)  Thirdly, the recompense was not in money nor material goods, but those that were to be worthy to receive of her goods were to remain…eating and drinking such things as they give…”, not passing collection plates at Sunday sermons and receiving a portion of all that was given by the church membership.  The apostles worked for their food, and yet they preached and blessed and labored.  Paul was a tent make IActs 18:3), Peter, James, and John and other of the apostles were fishermen, Matthew was a tax collector, and so forth.  Paul said only a few verses later in the scripture you quoted, “What is my reward then?  Verily, when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the Gospel.”  (1 Corinthians 9:18)   Additionally, in Matthew 10:8 it describes the powers Christ gave to his apostles, and Paul said preaching without charge was the correct way and method not to abuse these God-given powers.  It appears to us that you preach for a charge, and such is not justified in the scriptures.

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