Emotionalism Moves Many To Support Preachers
Volume IX ~ Issue XVIII ~ January 25th, 2009
By: Brian A. Yeager
(To open this article in PDF - Click here)

Not long ago I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to send me some money since he read a letter I sent out trying to raise financial support for my work in the Lord here in El Paso. Yet, he was not calling on the merit of my stand for the truth or the work I have done here and elsewhere. He was moved by learning that Katrina suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis and that we do not have insurance for her to have medical care. As we talked and I brought up spiritual things, he was not interested. He was much more interested in rescuing my wife by sending her to doctors. First, we wouldn’t want the treatments the Rheumatoligist would offer. Secondly, even if someone paid for a visit to the doctor that would not be all that would need covered. There’d be test upon test and medication adjustments over and over again (like sister Edwards goes through). Finally, I was not looking for help for medical bills, but for support to cover my expenses to allow me to continue being busy in the Lord’s work (II Corinthians 11:8 and Philippians 4:15-16).

Brethren, we need to be moved more by the work of our Lord and the Gospel than we are by sad stories of pain and affliction. We cannot think with our hearts. Notice: “
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered... Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Proverbs 28:26 and Jeremiah 17:5).

We can learn to be more capable servants of our Lord if we learn to bring our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5). When supporting Gospel preachers or helping anyone financially, we need to assure that they are worthy of such. For a Gospel preacher, is he really doing the work of a preacher (I Timothy 4:13-16, II Timothy 4:2-5, and Titus 2:15)? Is he preaching the truth (Titus 2:1)? As for helping anyone else financially, you have to know whether or not they are lazy bums not willing to work (II Thessalonians 3:10) and that they are not liars, etc. (Matthew 7:15-20). The truth helps us in these choices.


Being Led By The Truth


What moves you? The fellow I opened this article with made it clear that he was moved by his emotions. A sad story would cause him to act. Was he led to make a phone call because a worker of the Lord needed financial support to continue preaching truth? NO! If I wrote letters looking for support wherein I talked about Katrina’s health and Taylor’s autism rather than where I stand, brethren I would not struggle so often with support problems. I have seen a preacher who has many children write letters for support where he focused on his children and he gets a lot of support funds. Scott Parker (
who is now in MANY errors and has not repented; 9/2015) wrote letters for support in Michigan and received little in response. Yet, when the story about him losing his leg after getting hit by a truck was published far and wide, the monies came rolling in. Truth says if a man is faithful to the Lord he is worthy of support (I Corinthians 9:6-14). Yet, if your story is not as emotional as others you are out of luck. I for one refuse to try and raise support by using the emotions of others.

Another thing I have seen on this same subject is a willingness to send monies overseas to support preachers rather than here in the U.S. People here see pictures of people being baptized in water. They hear how these preachers in the Philippines are baptizing hundreds per year. Their emotions kick in, but they fail to make a righteous judgment (John 7:24). Why has it never dawned upon people here that if hundreds are being converted to Christ these preachers would have ample support? In fact, I receive letters from the Philippines often. They always talk of their many conversions. Yet the reports speak of how few members there are. Is this truth in judgment? NO! If hundreds are being immersed every year, then very few are ever converted. Monies are being supplied to support the work of getting people wet, rather than in Christ. Young men are seeing that preaching is a lucrative career move and all they need is contacts here and a digital camera to draw sympathy. Brethren, we are suppose to examine those whom we have fellowship with (I John 4:1). Financial support towards preachers is fellowship (Philippians 4:15-16). We cannot have fellowship with those in error (Ephesians 5:11). Reason and truth must be used before checks are written. Pictures can be falsified and reports can be embellished. Having received some outside support before moving here and since working here, I have seen some wild standards.

The Standards Are Not Of God

Some churches care so little about the truth, but they have their pet doctrines which decide who they will support and who they will not. If you are opposed to Florida College’s Bible department and lectureship since God does not authorize human organizations to do such works (Ephesians 5:10), you can forget most “Non-Institutional” churches helping you. (It’s kind of silly to identify yourself as “Non-Institutional” when you really stand for human institutions doing work given to the divine organization of the church - I Timothy 3:15.) Other churches want to make sure you line up with their group of preachers. Some churches want to know about the church you are working with. I suppose brethren have not come to realize that preachers are the ones in need of financial support rather than the local churches they are working with. When will brethren use the Scriptures to decide who is worthy of financial support (Galatians 2:14)?

Conclusion


“Before we decide to support you, we’d like to know if you make your view on MDR a fellowship issue?” This is a real question I received three years ago. The real question should have been, “do you teach the truth on MDR (Matthew 5:31-32, Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Romans 7:1-3, and I Corinthians 7:1ff.) realizing that fellowship is determined by God (I John 1:3-7) and we cannot be in fellowship with you if you do not teach the truth on this and ALL other matters (II John 9-11)?” Brethren have long failed to use the Scriptures. A moving story is more effective in raising financial support than standing for the truth will ever be. Thus, I assure you I will not ever be “fully supported” from outside sources.