Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

"So Straight That They Lean Over Backward

Pryde E. Hinton

We are often very strict about something that's based on mere custom. For instance, every church MUST have a "full-time preacher." We can make it for a little while with some preacher who makes his own living; but just as soon as we get strong enough financially we MUST get a full-time preacher. Do we mean one who preaches every day, or night? No!

A preacher may live and work with a congregation, and labor under the direction of its overseers; Timothy obviously did: 1 Tim. 1:3; 5:1-20; and all of both epistles to this young evangelist. Titus labored with a congregation that had no elders or bishops: Titus 1:5.

Churches not only may, but MUST, according to their abilities and opportunities, support the preaching of the gospel of Christ: Philippians 4:1-20; 1 Cor. 9:7-14; 2 Cor.11:1-9, etc. But WHERE each shall preach or be sent is "generic." I know Mark 16:15. But neither one church nor one preacher can cover all of this territory; so we MUST choose the territory. It might be right where our own congregation is situated.

How long may or must a preacher stay in one place? That's also "generic."

However, no Scripture teaches that a preacher may be a modern-day pastor. Though some pastors in Paul's day were public proclaimers of the gospel: 1 Tim. 5:17,18.

It's the responsibility of the preacher, as a Christian, to visit the sick and others in need; but no more his responsibility than other Christians', according to the abilities and opportunities of each. When most Christians learn this, we may get on with "the work of Christ" that He's planned for the churches.

Scripturally, preachers are not masters of ceremonies when other evangelists visit the church for a "gospel meeting," etc. He MUST mention and compliment all of "the gospel preachers" present. How we love to honor publicly our gospel preachers! Why? Would 1 Cor. 12:14-27 help us? "Nay; but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations (denominations), and that our king may judge us, and fight our battles" (1 Sam. 8:19,20).

-Dora, Alabama