Churches in Barbados are at each others throats over the offerings being asked for by visiting pastors from overseas, and some local pastors. They are accused of merchandising the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In an article in the Advocate newspaper - March 04, 2011, entitled, "Reverend Watson: Gospel not to be merchandised", church leaders have been warned to desist from the practice of "merchandising the gospel". Individuals were essentially charging members of the congregations for acts including prophesying over lives and praying for healing, Vice-Chairman of the Pastors Prayer Fellowship Network (PPFN) Reverend Paul Watson said.
Reverend Watson was speaking in a press conference called by the PPFN at the Restoration Ministries International Church, Britton Hill, St. Michael, whose pastor is Senator Reverend Dr David Durant.
In a report in the Nation Newspaper - March 04, 2011, entitlted, "Pastors' code of conduct", Senator Reverend Dr David Durant was quoted as saying "Many of us have the gift of healing, the gift of prophecy, and the gift of miracles. When you pray for a person and they are healed, you don't necessarily have to call them and ask them to bring money ..."
In another article in the Advocate newpaper - March 20, 2011, "No, there should be no law", it was mentioned that Mr. Morris, who is leader in the Anglican Church, was speaking out against those "other churches" in Barbados. He is claimed to have said that government should protect individuals from themselves, and create laws against other denominations.
Most Pastors are "Merchandisers of the Gospel"
The waters in Barbados have certainly been stirred and the question that remains is whether it will be for the healing of the church and its overall betterment, as pastor throw stones at each other. It has often been said one should be careful in throwing stones if one lives in a glass house.
Tithing is on of those glass houses in which many pastors live. Pastors claim that because Abraham gave Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, a tenth of the spoils of war, which was a one time event, today they should receive a tenth of each members'income until death. Where in the bible does it say that?
Pastors would quickly mention that Christians are no longer under the Law of Moses, but are now under Grace of Jesus Christ, yet they would go to the Old Testament to used tithing to "merchandise the gospel." The bible states at Matthew 23:23 that tithing way a part of the law. Why then do pastors who are throwing stones insist that the congregation pay them tithes? Is it to "merchandise the gospel", should the law of the land protect us against them?
Was the Prophet Elijah Merchandising the Gospel?
In the bible we are told of an event in Israel where Elijah prophesied according to the word of God that there would be a drought in the land. During the drought God provided for Elijah, and in one instance sent him to a widow who had her last meal which she was about to eat and then die, because there was no more food.
The prophet, however, commanded the woman to first bake him a cake of the last she had, and then prepare of what was left for her son, and herself. What is the value of a persons last meal, which prevents you from dying? Was the Prophet Elijah Merchandising the Gospel? Pastors today would have ostracized Elijah for even thinking such a thing, furthermore doing it.
Because of the widow's faith in what the prophet had said a miracle occured and her barrel did not go empty for many days.
Those who have an ear to hear let them hear.