“But Paul said being paid is justified! And what about the building fund?! We have to keep the lights on! This is God’s house!”

Jesus made it very clear that in the new covenant the true temple of God is the human body. Not buildings.

Please don’t misunderstand, certainly there is value in having a building, a sanctuary, where God’s people can come together and assemble in one place, and worship God together, and teach one another, and admonish and exhort one another.

But how often have you seen “admonish and exhort one another in love” and actually, literally, materially caring for one another being done in such a building as a large church structure? Could it be that by stuffing so many people into one place and requiring a podium and a microphone, you have thwarted some possibilities of the body of Christ to intermingle as body parts? True, there are some churches that come together in such buildings that do utilize them as community centers where small groups can meet and where individual needs are met. But most churches meet on Sundays and get spoon-fed a musical concert, a monologue, and an opportunity to give back to the building fund and/or staffers, and then are sent away, many without a single interaction with another human being and most without any opportunity to share God’s word themselves.

You do not need an expensive, glorious temple made of brick and stone nor of cement and steel to bring the glory of God to a neighborhood. What the King desires is that His people come together in unity and support and disciple one another as a family

Now as for Paul. It is true that more than once he mentioned in his letters to the churches that it is appropriate that he be paid when he comes to visit. Fred, understand clearly: this is the same as Peter realizing he must allow Jesus to wash his feet. We must all care for one another. And Paul underwent great turmoil and hardship to spread the gospel all throughout the land. And by turmoil and hardship, by that is meant he was multiple times flogged, beaten, shipwrecked, and constantly on the move on his own two feet. He was justified in being given financial support because he was quite literally a kingdom worker hero.

The reality that so many people don’t seem to recognize is that through all this Paul made tents and supported his own ministry financially by being industrious with his own hands

None of this is to suggest that salaried clergymen are automatically wrong or living in heretical sin. Not at all! Rather, the point to be made is that those who would serve the kingdom of God as laymen, who pursue their secular careers but then turn those resources around to benefit the kingdom, such people can just as surely be your pastors and kingdom workers as salaried clergymen. Do acknowledge that salaried clergymen undergo dedicated training in studying God’s word in seminaries to know it more so than a typical person would. But in truth anyone in this day and age has access to the Holy Bible, and indeed anyone who calls upon the name of Jesus and who confesses their sins and asks God to come into their hearts and transform them, any such person has direct access to the throne of Jesus. Anyone and everyone who comes humbly to Jesus as their king has direct access to the throne of Jesus and can learn of Him and from Him directly. This is why Jesus told his disciples, “Do not call yourselves ‘rabbi’, for there is only one Teacher.”

Therefore, dear reader, Fred, think about how you spend your free time. Are you spending it pursuing God’s kingdom? Are you studying His word? Are you spending time with Him? Are you reaching out to your neighbors and being salt and light to a dark and dying world that needs Jesus? Or are you spending your time watching Netflix or playing video games? You can be someone Jesus knows and in obedience to Him be enabled to feed His sheep, His temples.