The Subject Of the Preacher

James C. Curtis
Athens, Alabama

To deny that baptism in water is to the penitent believer for the remission of sins, is to deny the inspired word of God. Because Acts 2:38 declares in no uncertain terms, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

I contend that baptism for remission of sins, is no plainer taught in the new Testament than the financial support of the one who preaches the word of God. To deny this is to deny plain Bible teaching. Paul states in I Cor. 9:14 "even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel." But says someone, who denies that fact? I answer, sad to say; some poorly informed Christians. Yes, I have seen people who would argue long and loud that a penitent believer MUST be baptized (and rightly so) to be saved, Mk. 16:15-16 and then turn around and deny I Cor. 9:14 by saying a preacher ought to work as hard as anyone else. Work as hard as anyone else? Why! he ought to work harder. Doing what though? preaching the Gospel, of course. The preacher may insist on his receiving support just as anyone else may insist on baptism will save one. I Pet. 3 :21

Now I want to give attention to some objections (?) offered by those poorly informed Christians mentioned earlier in this article. The first one is; Jesus said, "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses." Matt. 10:9. When one tries to use Matt. 10:9 in such a way, they have no right to tell our Baptist friends that they are perverting John 3:16. Again, they must not be aware that this passage has reference to what's known as the "Limited Commission. "This was before Christ was crucified on the cross, and arose from the dead. When he came forth from the grave He said, "Go make disciples of all nations." Matt. 28:19. Now consider this command, "Go teach ALL nations," with "Go not into the way of the gentiles," and you have your answer. Jesus simply meant that while they (the disciples) were in their native land, as small as that country was, they would not need to carry so many things with them as one would have to carry going all over the world. Jesus indicated that these disciples would be supported in the statement he makes (for the workman is worthy of his meat, Matt. 10:10) so that objection (?) won't hold water brethren.

Again the objection is raised, "Paul worked with his hands." The passage that is used by many to sustain (?) their contention is Acts 20:33. But again if one tries to justify such position with Paul's statement in Acts 20:33, he would be guilty of perverting the word of God, and thus cursed. It might become necessary in some instances for Gospel preachers to work at a secular job and preach. If the preacher decides to give his whole time to the preaching of the Gospel, he certainly may (has the scriptural right to forbear working. (I Cor. 9:6-7) As for Paul teaching that a preacher must work at some secular vocation to earn his livelihood while preaching; he taught just the opposite. If not what meaneth this: "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." (Ga. 6:6) If a preacher does not have a scriptural right to ask support for his family, what on earth did the Holy Spirit mean when he said "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, is well is other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? (I Cor. 9:5)

I have known of Gospel preachers going to places to preach a "try-out" sermon, after which brethren would approach him (the preacher) and say that was a good lesson, we would like to know if you could work with us for a year or more. In some instances not even say a word about how much they could give him to support his family, and if you ask them "how much can you support me"? you are at once "Kaput." Isn't that shameful brethren? Why, of course it is. Such constitutes a transgression of God's divine will, and John says that this is sin. (I John 3 :4)

Now what about the expenses of the preacher? Have you ever stopped to consider just how heavy a preachers expenses are at times? Oh! Yes, I mean a busy one! When you begin to count up his expenses be sure to allow for just about everything, not just gas. Some brethren are wont to think about the only expense preacher has is gas. This is a sad mistake. Gas is only one of the things to be counted. I'll just name a few things that the average gospel preacher has to confront him touching expenses, you can name more I'm sure. These are the main ones I'd say. A car, gas bill, tires, up-keep of car, books, dry-cleaning bill, and that doesn't even touch the hem of the garment. Oh! Yes I forgot to list oil for the the car when I mentioned gas (and this gas bill "AIN'T hay). Maybe your car doesn't use oil. If it does use oil and perhaps worn out you best be careful brother if you don't anticipate buying another, you will get "Down the road" from some of the brethren. Of course it is alright for some of the other brethren to buy new cars occasionally, but not the preacher, No! No! that's wrong.

Brethren I have no ax to grind with anyone anywhere on this subject, but these observations are worth thinking over. Let's be prayerful, keep the Gospel preacher preaching, and let's see that he gets supported while he is engaged in the greatest work in the whole world. (Matt. 28:19, Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 1:16, 1 Cor. 1:21).

Truth Magazine III:2, pp. 22-23
November 1958