Dear Pastor Whoever….
I have already written to you about how devastating your salary is to Christ’s Great Commission. Now I point out something equally nefarious: Your salary devalues the relationship between Lord Jesus and His people. Bear with me as I unravel my position. And keep in mind it’s no easier to write than it is for you to read. Okay?
When you became salaried you became elevated, special, not from Christ’s perspective, of course, but that of your brothers and sisters. You went from one of the guys to ‘the man’. From ordinary to official. From ‘brother’ to ‘reverend’. From influential to powerful. From follower to followed. From mere attendee to boss. And you became lord of the pulpit. In short, you replaced the lordship of the Holy Spirit with yourself. You garnered (unintentionally?)loyalty intended only for Jesus. You replaced Lord Jesus as decision-maker, comforter, counselor. Your salary did all this.
Had you lived by contributions (subsidized by outside wages?) you would have remained ordinary, one of the guys, a team player,respected but not acclaimed. Were it not for the salaried, Jesus would be the hub of the local church, and all others spokes in the church wheel. Also, others “who labor in the word and doctrine” -the sunday school teacher, the evangelist, the FB preacher, the missionary – would not be disadvantaged; they too would receive contributions, freeing them to serve Jesus more effectively.
Jesus ministers to His people through the Holy Spirit. “He [the Holy Spirit] will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears [from Jesus] He will speak.” The Holy Spirit, in turn, wants to minister to the christian through christians. Not through a singular christian, but several. Your salary has seriously limited the Holy Spirit; people turn to (rely on), not Him and Jesus who sent Him, but to the one they have hired. Thus your salary, while elevating you, has weakened the grip christians have on Christ and Christ has on christians. Very not good.
Your brother-in-Christ, Larry Jones