Does Acts 18: Authorize The Located Preacher?From Acts 18: thehe claim is that Paul authorized the located preacher over the flock by turning away from tentmaking and becomming a full time preacher in Corinth. Preaching is narrowly defined as commanded by Jesus "to preach what He commanded to be preached." Peter defines that as the prophecies about Messiah and His Kingdom both inclusively and exclusively.
Preaching for Pay
Preaching for Pay and Simony
Rubel Shelly: Was Timothy a Located Missionary? Does that justify located missionaries in the local established church? Paul tells everyone including Timothy that they should LABOR to provide CHARITY. In 2 Thess "if they WILL NOT work neither shall they eat." That's the law for the Timothy model.
The rise of the dominant preacher trained by "christian" colleges taken over by Post-Modernism means that many have become post-Biblical. Both right and left wings have a nasty habit of "taking away the keys to knowledge" as Christ understood when He fired the doctors of the Law.
The goal of the evangelist who plants a church is to help identify those senior males by pointing to those "already laboring to the point of exhaustion in preaching and teaching." There is no "office" or role for a preacher as the organizing head of a corporation-like church.
These are Paul's words. Let them, then, show us that they are ministers of the gospel, and I will have no difficulty in conceding their right to stipend.
The ox must not be muzzled that treadeth out the corn [1 Cor. 9:9]. But is it not altogether at variance with reason that the ploughing oxen should starve, and the lazy asses be fed?
They will say, however, that they serve at the altar. I answer, that the priests under the law deserved maintenance, by ministering at an altar;
but that, as Paul declares, the case under the New Testament is different. And what are those altar services, for which they allege that maintenance is due to them?
Forsooth, that they may perform their masses and chant in churches, for example, partly labor to no purpose, and partly perpetrate sacrilege, thereby provoking the anger of God. See for what it is that they are alimented at the public expense! John Calvin, Restoration of the Church
When Paul came to Corinth he did not have a salary or a "sponsoring" church. Therefore, he created credibility in the community by working just like most other people. He had no "sponsoring church" for his work.
AFTER these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; Acts 18:1
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. Acts 18:2
And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation (trade) they were tentmakers. Acts 18:3
Why did Paul reason in the synagogue? That was where the Jews and others met to read the Word and discuss it. Why on the Sabbath? That was the day they met in large numbers. They synagogue was a school and open to discussion.
And he reasoned (dialogued) in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Acts 18:4
Paul did not "preach" to them but reasoned with them:
Dialegomai (g1256) dee-am-ar-too'-rom-ahee; from 1223 and 3140; to attest or protest earnestly, or (by impl.) hortatively: - charge, testify (unto), witness.
However, when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia was pressed or compelled to expose them to the fact that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah:
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. Acts 18:5
To justify a located, wage earning preacher another translation reads:
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Acts 18:5NIV
But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus wasthe Christ Acts 18:5 ASV
This would not prove that this applies to the modern "office" of preacher. Because Paul did not need a wage for a household he could put more emphasis upon preaching the gospel than upon trying to reason with the people. Furthermore, others sent help to him
But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: 1 Thes 3:6
And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 2 Cor 11:9
Paul's mental condition is defined by the Greek word:
Sunecho (g4912) soon-ekh'-o; from 4862 and 2192; to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); fig. to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy: - constrain, hold, keep in, press, lie sick of, stop, be in a strait, straiten, be taken with, throng.
With his "support team" and help from others ouside of Corinth, Paul knew that it was time to show them about Jesus as their Messiah knowing that he would no longer have access to the synagogue. It is one thing to argue with the Jews from their own history; it is quite another one to say: "this is that" and that Jesus the non-clergy, non-priest was the Christ.
What did Paul do when he testified being in great anxiety that he was risking his life?
Diamarturomai (g1263) ee-am-ar-too'-rom-ahee; from 1223 and 3140; to attest or protest earnestly, or (by impl.) hortatively: - charge, testify (unto), witness.
The idea of witnessing is like the word "martyr." And so it was and so it is. You can speak smooth things and even "another gospel" and be popular but when you tell the truth about being a Christian you expose yourself to great danger.
Paul had reasoned with and pacified some of the Jews and Greeks. However, until his "team" arrived it was not time to tell them that Jesus was their expected Messiah. The response in the synagogue shows the reason Paul did not tell them "the rest of the story" until his team was collected and ready to leave the synagogue environment and able to support themselves.
And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. Acts 18:6
The synagogue was supposed to be a school of the Bible. However, it was often the local debating society. The people did not "worship" in the synagogue. Like too many churches it was "a cave of the bear clan" and if you didn't pass the sniff test the Alpha male would rend you. Paul knew that this would happen and therefore he dialoged with them. But when he was ready to depart, he "preached the gospel." After preaching the gospel he did not remain a "gospel preacher" in the classical sense.
And he departed thence, and entered into a certain mans house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. Acts 18:7
Worship is not a series of rituals but it is to give heed to God or keep Him in the mind with all reverence:
Sebomai (g4576) seb'-om-ahee; mid. of an appar. prim. verb; to revere, i.e. adore: - devout, religious, worship.
Baptism means that you are signing on with Jesus as your Master and Only Teacher. The Jews knew that. While they might dialog about Jesus they would never put themselves in an inferior position to a carpenter criminal.
When Paul told them about Christ He could not preach the "full gospel" without telling them to be baptized for the remission of their sins. This was not only a means but a test or mark that people revered Christ as God:
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Acts 18:8
This would cause even more anxiety in Paul's mind but:
Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: Acts 18:9
Phobeo (g5399) fob-eh'-o; from 5401; to frighten, i.e. (pass.) to be alarmed; by anal. to be in awe of, i.e. revere: - be (/ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.
For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. Acts 18:10
And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Acts 18:11
Paul did not just preach the "core gospel" in order to bring people to Christ. Rather, he taught and reasoned with people:
Didasko (g1321) did-as'-ko; a prol. (caus.) form of a prim. verb dao, (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application): - teach
Paul had something to say about "singing" in Corinth. Elsewhere, Paul commanded teaching be done through the use of the inspired Word of God:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col.3:16
Speaking one to another to teach the inspired Word is dialoging and this is why the process will not tolerate a "musical worship team" any more than it will tolerate a "one preacher" to usurp the role of the "one another."
Paul's first order of business was not baptizing people but bringing them to a realization of God's plan through teaching. As he did in the synagogue among the Jews and Greeks, he first reasoned before he "sprung" the idea that Christ was God Incarnate. Only by understanding the facts ABOUT the Christ would anyone be prepared to accept Christ as their Teacher and Savior.
Corinth was not a "church" but a huge city.
Corinth was the capital of the province of Achaea. It was also the crossroads of the north-south and east-west trave. People from all nations would pass through. Therefore, we cannot assume that Paul "hung out" in the office of one congregation. When Paul tarried in a location the whole province heard the gospel.
Many of the pagan religions believed that "going out of your mind" in singing, playing, dancing and taking drugs was the voice of the gods. Others beleived that one spoke to the gods by using certain approved barbarian tongues which were believed to have, like Latin or Hebrew, a magical power over the gods.
Later, when the Corinthians thought that it was very special to sing or pray in an unknown tongue. An unknown or barbarian tongue is defined by Clement:
[Obscure tongues]: The Greeks say, that among them are five dialects-the Attic, Ionic, Doric, Aeolic, and the fifth the Common; and that the languages of the barbarians, which are innumerable, are not called dialects, but tongues.
[Gibberish]: Plato attributes a dialect also to the gods, forming this conjecture mainly from dreams and oracles, and especially from demoniacs, who do not speak their own language or dialect,
but that of the demons who have taken possession of them.
It would not be insulting to a pagan to accuse them of being out of their mind or insane because this was their purpose. Even spinning around in a dance until you got dizzy and threw up would be proof that the 'gods' were inside of you.
Therefore, there is no "speaking in tongues" as insane ecstatic speech in an approved sense in the Bible. You might want to sing in an obscure, Mexican Indian dialect and Paul would give you that permission. However, he would say, "not in church."
The irrational creatures do not make use of an obscure intimation, or hint their meaning by assuming a particular attitude, but, as I think, by a dialect of their own.
And some others say, that if a fish which has been taken escape by breaking the line, no fish of the same kind will be caught in the same place that day.
[Obscure tongues]: But the first and generic barbarous dialects have terms by nature, since also men confess that prayers uttered in a barbarian tongue are more powerful.
And Plato, in the Cratylus, when wishing to interpreter (fire), says that it is a barbaric term. He testifies, accordingly, that the Phrygians use this term with a slight deviation.
Paul said that he could speak more of these tongues than all of the rest of the church. However, "in church" he would not speak a barbarian dialect which others did not know. This says in effect that Paul did not teach in a "local congregation" but out where he could meet the huge population.
The only conclusion is that Paul was an apostle who set the pattern for all to follow. He refused to accept a wage but did have help from outside of his present work pressed on him and he identified even that as robbery if the "many" in Corinth wanted to justify their wage based on their knowledge and speaking power superior to that of Paul.
There is no authority for a "preacher" class in the established church. The elders are pastor-teachers and if they are not competent teachers then they are not qualified as elders in any sense.
The rise of the preacher class takes away support for the honest evangelist who would love to go preach the Word without having to do church building before he does faith building.
Acts 18 does not approve of the located preacher. Certainly pastors (elders) were located and those who labored "to the point of exhaustion" were worthy of double honor. However, Paul totally denounces those who take more than the oxen's nibbling WHILE it threshes, the TEMPLE SERVANT who got onlly food and only when on duty or the soldier who received a daily ration of food and his clothing and other expenses. However, ONE soldier was never honored above the other.