On funding local pastors

Paul repeatedly insists that local pastors, particularly those devoted to preaching, be paid (1 Corinthians 9:9, 1 Timothy 5:18, Galatians 6:6). Yet he forgoes the right for himself, an apostle

Mormonism reverses this, paying its apostles and mission presidents, yet “muzzling the oxen”, the bishops, refusing to compensate those appointed as local leaders. This is unthinkable to Paul (1 Timothy 5:17). He simply assumes some of the local pastors will labor in preaching and teaching so intensely that it will be appropriate to compensate them.

The LDS Church has not here restored the normative original order of the early church. For Paul, to not pay one’s devoted pastor is not worth bragging about. Mormons “glory in their shame” and even violate their own scripture (D&C 42:71-73) when they boast about not paying their bishops. Not to pay one’s devoted shepherd is cause for embarrassment.

So if you want to “ex-Mormon even harder”, and double-down on actual new Testament Christianity, find yourself a church with a preacher that you want devoting his week to prayer and the word. And if your LDS friend accuses your pastor of gaining “filthy lucre”, cheerfully give even more. Fight against your flesh and against cynicism. Set aside an uncomfortable amount of money to give so that it stretches you. Unapologetically give to the general budget of the local church.

Aim to give your preaching pastor-shepherd a salary above the median income where he lives, so that he can buy a house for his wife, so his wife can stay home with the children, so that he can avoid being entangled in secular employment, and so that he can be hospitable and generous to others.