THE KING’S BUSINESS
Paul had a perfect right to forbear secular labor and to claim support from the church, but he would not exercise this right out of regard for the Corinthians with whom he labored. Paul appeals to the Old Testa ment to prove that he had a right to claim that which out of Christian love he would not claim. The law spoke of the rights even of the ox that trod out the grain, pro viding that they should not be muzzled as they went through the grain, but should have the opportunity to eat of the grain as they passed through. But while God had a care for oxen and all animals (Ps. 26:6; Matt. 10:29) it was the rights of man
he had first in mind and it was “by all means” (rather than, “altogether”) “for our sake” he said it. Paul would not have the church treat its ministry as a rule in the way in which for special reasons he himself chose to be treated. The one who plowed and the one who threshed in the field of Christ should plow and thresh in the hope of partaking. It is right sometimes for the minister to forego his rights in the matter of support, but it is not right for the church to ask the minister to forego his rights in this matter. The former is quite Pauline, the latter is altogether plain disobedience to the law of God.
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