Moochers Who Mooch

There are a lot of moochers who mooch off ministers and their ministries!

Mooch

To obtain something without paying for it.

Moocher

A person who lives off others without giving anything in return.

These moochers literally suck the life out of the very person who is serving them life giving spiritual food!

Paul the apostle, who supported his ministry by making tents so that he would not financially burden the churches he founded and ministered in, taught the importance of not mooching off ministers and their ministries. In other words, Paul chose not to practice what he preached!

He said, “Do not muzzle an ox while he is threshing.”¹ This was a direct quote from Deuteronomy 25:4. Immediately following that Old Testament quote Paul clarified what Moses meant when he said not to muzzle an ox. “9 God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?”

Paul is clearly revealing that what God said through Moses in the Old Testament was an analogy for Christian ministers and their ministry. In other words, the ‘ox’ represents those called to carry the burden of feeding the people of God spiritual food. God’s burden bearers should never be muzzled while they are working. To muzzle means so much more than to silence. It means to silence through starvation. What Paul is saying is that it is not God’s will for those feeding us not to be fed by us through their material support.

Paul also said this about being a burden bearer. “17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”² Again, Paul equates feeding and financially supporting the person laboring at preaching and teaching God’s Word to God’s people.

Look at what Paul says about bearing burdens in the context of his personal ministry. “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.”³ This statement followed an extensive listing of his spiritual resume of suffering extreme opposition to his ministry.

There is extreme pressure on everyone whether they are in market place ministry or preaching and teaching ministry. But the added pressure that is placed upon those who accept the call of God to feed the people of God life giving food is extremely difficult to bear, especially if those carrying the weight of that responsibility have to scrounge for food and finances to pay their personal bills.

I discovered the following verses many years ago and was, and continue to be convicted by them. They are found in 3 John 1 – “5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.”

John is writing to express his pleasure in the saints who worshiped in Gaius’s home. These saints had the reputation of radical generosity toward those ‘strangers’ who came in the Name [of Jesus] bringing life giving words on behalf of the Name. He is speaking of Christian ministers who itinerated among the various local churches in the various regions that had been evangelized.

And he says, “You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.” In essence John is saying the way we treat God’s messengers should be no different than the way we would treat Jesus if He was personally teaching us. They came in His Name, as His representatives, and God’s people should honor God by honoring them. That is a lofty responsibility! At least that is how I view that statement.

John continues by saying these burden bearers of the Good News do not look to the unsaved population [Gentiles] for their support. They are depending totally on the radical generosity of the present recipients of God’s goodness to send them to their next assignment fully fed and funded so they will be strong and able to fully deliver fresh food to the people they are ministering to when they leave.

John concludes by stating that when God’s people fund God’s ministry through His burden bearers those who generously financially support them are fellow workers, or co-laboers, in the truth with them. This is a vitally important truth. The funders get the same credit in heaven as the feeders! If they do not muzzle them by withholding food and finances.

With the explosion of social media and other ways to communicate God’s truth [His Word], there are a lot of people feeding from the food of God’s ministers without paying for that food. They read posts, blogs, watch or listen to live streamed messages, archived teachings on YouTube, Facebook and other places where kingdom food is prepared and presented. And they never financially support those who work hard at preaching and teaching. This is the reason we at Bethel Church in Brunswick, GA never invite a minister to our ‘house’ and charge them for coming by deducting lodging, meals and travel expenses from the love offerings received. In fact, we have always given the Sunday tithes to our guests too. When you sow into the lives of the guest ministers who minster to us, every penny goes directly to them. We take, “send them on their way in a manner worthy of God seriously.

Bethel Church, Brunswick, GA is no moocher!

Maybe you are one of those people who mooch off God and His ministers. If you are not then you are to be celebrated.

Are you a moocher who is muzzling the very ‘ox’ that is feeding you? From heaven’s perspective you would do well if you unmuzzled the minister and ministry that is feeding you spiritual food.

Keep His Faith! Keep His Passion! Keep HIS Purposes!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

A Hisstorymaker

¹ 1 Corinthians 9:9

² 1 Timothy 5

³ 2 Corinthians 11:28

False Ministers

False ministers ~

Jesus said to be aware of them not to be afraid of them!

~ Matthew 7 ~

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

In this text Jesus, the Head of THE church said, “It is possible for illegitimate ministers to get legitimate results from their illegitimate ministry.”

You need to know that God can honor work done in His Son’s name without honoring the one who does that work!

There IS power in the name of Jesus!

They “appear” to be in the Kingdom, to represent the King of the Kingdom, and even to be advancing the Kingdom. In reality, they are not, nor ever will be in the Kingdom. Nor do they represent the King of the Kingdom!

~~~ They are advancing their own kingdom ~~~

He goes on to say, “You will know them by their fruits.”

THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Fruit here is not the supernatural results of their ministry!

It is the fruit of their character. Do they submit to real authority? Do they remain in healthy environments and relate to healthy [not perfect] leaders? Do they find fault easily?

This fruit Jesus said to inspect is not the supernatural activity in His name. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, or actually, the absence of the fruit of the Spirit.

These false ministers masquerade as sheep but are actually ravenous wolves.

A ravenous wolf is interested only in themselves. They “appear” to be beneficial to the sheep but their motives are impure and their agenda is self-centered.

They are devouring in their divisiveness. Outwardly they have the lingo of the Kingdom. Even to the point of being authentic! Inwardly, their reality is virtual, not real. Imagined, not substantive.

These ravenous wolves syphon off resources from legitimate ministries.

They are after resources, not the heart of God! The relationships they develop with Kingdom people and leaders are for the purpose of gaining access to the resources of the Kingdom!

They are greedy and cowardly!

These resources can be finances and or people. They are hungry for acceptance and support, both with money and people’s adulation. And they will do whatever they need to do to get both. They are not interested in what is best for the community of believers.

They are interested in what is best for themselves! “Buyer BEWARE!”

They have the “look at me” syndrome. They are typically self promoters or they align themselves with people who will promote them because of their gifts and charisma, not their character.

They migrate to weak people and weak leaders. They do not handle loving confrontation well. They “hear the Lord say”, ‘It’s time for you to move on because these people do not really love you, nor are they truly for you.’

“I’m led of the Lord” is their mantra but in their wake is usually many casualties of their self-centered lifestyle. They cannot stay in one place very long and they typically leave multiple places in controversy or conflict.

It does not matter what environment they are in. It is always the environment’s fault. They never realize they are the only common denominator in all of those environments, until they are confronted with that truth. Then they move on to another unsuspecting place with unsuspecting people.

These wolves can keep on operating because in our modern, post-modern, contemporary and relevant Christianity the leaders and people in the “next stop” never investigate why they left the previous stops.

Where are the true shepherds who will protect the sheep?

Unfortunately, it is not just the Catholic Church who allows predators to roam freely within their ranks. It is denominational and non-denominational Christianity as well.

Listen to the words of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, as He shuts the door in their face saying, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

“Practice lawlessness?” I thought they practiced righteousness. They prophesied in Jesus’ name! They performed miracles in Jesus’ name! They even cast out demons in Jesus’ name! What on earth does Jesus mean?

Their lifestyle is lawless. In other words, they are law breakers. I do not believe Jesus is talking only about the 10 Commandments. I believe He is also talking about violating the established culture set up by legitimate God-ordained authorities. “The law” does NOT apply to them! They do what they want!

If you listen closely these false ministers, these ravenous wolves, will give themselves away with their own words. At some point you will hear them say something to the effect of, “Part of my call is to ‘push the envelope’ or ‘stretch the limits’ of the culture.

If they “feel” safe in their deception they may even say things like, “I know those in authority want us to do it this way but I . . . . .” They then go on to tell you how they are going to do it, or how it ought to be done, how it could be done better, and how they would do it IF they were “IN CHARGE.”

Finally, Jesus says to these wolves, “Depart from Me!”

Holiness is being separated unto the Lord. Here the Lord is saying, “Separate yourself away from Me!” Or, “I do NOT want you around Me.”

This is proof positive they and their work is UNholy!

This is important because He will NEVER separate Himself from legitimate ministers and ministry. To those who use Him for selfish gain He says, “Remove yourself from Me.”

And He says, “I NEVER knew you!”

These wolves constantly promoted themselves as knowing the Lord. They had no qualms in using His name for self-centered purposes. But the Day will come when their gig will be up and they will be exposed for the frauds they truly are.

I NEVER! Not once! Not at all!

KNEW! You and I were never intimate! We were never connected in the Spirit.

YOU! I don’t recognize you, the real you. You are not the same person I created or called!

You are the person you created and called. You are the person who used Me, used My name, used My people, used My resources and used My legitimate authorities.

Now, who are you?

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Our hunger and thirst for God escorts us into deep satisfaction in God!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Hisstorymaker!