An imaginary response from Paul the apostle to an imaginary letter sent approximately two millennia ago (read previous article):
Marcus of Antipratis:
Thank you for your letter inviting me to participate in your business strategy. My reply is an emphatic “no”.
My precious brother, the truths of God are not to be marketed alongside fish and cattle and spices. Believers are not to be charged for Christ’s spiritual goods. The Father gave His Son and His Son gave His life. Christ was our example when He walked among us, and our example did not sell.
Can’t you see how your trust in business and profit has corrupted your perspective?
Would you approach the mother of Jesus with your business plan, suggesting she testify of her miraculous impregnation and her life with The Holy One? Surely her testimony would be more lucrative than my letters.
Do you really think Peter would accept a salary to feed the Lord’s lambs? Or John would market the keen insights received from the Holy Spirit? Or the others would record for gain the many adventures with their Master? Can you really visualize the noble centurion profiting from his servant’s healing?
On two occasions the twelve witnessed Jesus thoroughly enraged by the money-changers in the temple and the religious leaders who profited from their wicked expertise. And all twelve heard the Lord Jesus plainly instruct, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Honest business is honorable. But business often becomes an idol, something more attractive than Christ. I encourage you to be a part-time businessman, not a part-time disciple. Busy yourself laying up treasures in heaven. Do not be enticed by what our High Priest called “the deceitfulness of riches”.
Ministry can never be lord. Compromise, always a temptation, brings dreadful consequences…. always. Should generations after us stagger in unbelief and compromise, let it not be because of our immoral precedent. He commanded “freely give”, “freely give” is easily understood, “freely give” is what we must do.
Paul of Tarsus