Peddlers of God’s Word

Our faith and fellowships (here in Singapore) has been getting much attention this past week – with news of a few of our brethren being found guilty in CBT in the management of funds within a local congregation. The long drawn episode of the trial and conviction elicits much derision and disparagement from unbelievers, self-examination by both believers whether directly associated with the local church or by fellow believers and probably even analysis and assessment by many others. The press and many others revel in developments and flooded the media with their input and postulations (pontifications?) The prompting (temptation?) to insert my thoughts is compelling (see next blog), albeit narrow and different. Meanwhile just to continue where I left off from… before my next blog.

I blogged about Motives and Methods in Ministry (see blog entry on June 2013). It is with the same frame of mind that color my view of this episode. I am beginning to wonder whether I am being too self-righteous or too suspicious. I pray that I will have the right spirit, and reflect the heart and mind of my Lord and Saviour Jesus.

Following the previous blog (Consumer, Customer or Communer – for lack of a definitive word), I had searched about “peddling” God’s word from 2 Cor 2:17 –
“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”

Googling turned up two noteworthy entries which are worth considering –

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.sg/2005/07/peddling-word-of-god-for-profitshould.html?m=1

http://www.ukapologetics.net/moneymen.html

While both the above are hard-hitting towards many ministries which involved soliciting for donations, merchandizing and monetizing of teaching or sermon materials, the conviction might be broad-brushed. Nonetheless, as I strongly believe we have to be ever careful to ensure purity in our message, in our motives, in our ministry and in our methods.
One responder to the first article, commented.

Christopher Pavlou22:42
In Greek usage, the word “KAPELEUO” (“corrupt”) denotes the selling of teaching for money, the merchandising of God’s Word for sordid gain (Ac 8:20 and 20:33). What Paul called the corrupting of God’s Word was the offering of the Word of God for money, the selling of it, peddling it, and retailing it. This is distinctly different from the principle of receiving gifts as a result of having sown spiritual things (1Co 9:11 and 13-14).

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