Summary: Should we have to pay to use music which was written as a worship song to the Lord? I guess I could equally ask should Pastors be paid money to preach and minister in their Church or should they do that free of charge, as unto the Lord?
Part 8 - Matthew 10:8-10 - I AM NOT WORTHY.... OR AM I?
My wife once worked for a Christian Copyrighting organisation called CCLI (CHRISTIAN COPYRIGHT LICENSING INTERNATIONAL). It was established in Australia to provide churches with an easy and affordable solution to complex copyright issues. The law demands that Churches pay for the use of copyrighted material. Occasionally Pastors would ring up CCLI and say things like "You shouldn't have to pay money for songs that are written about the Lord". Now there's a question! Should we have to pay to use music which was written as a worship song to the Lord? I guess I could equally ask should Pastors be paid money to preach and minister in their Church or should they do that free of charge, as unto the Lord? Matthew 10:10 says that "A WORKMAN IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGES" but don't Christian songwriters fall into that category too? I think they do.
Matthew 10:8 (NLT) says "...Give as freely as you have received!" When Jesus sends me out with His kingdom resources, I am to share them freely. I can only do that because I have received them freely.
I have heard this passage used as a basis to say that no-one should take money for anything that is created for Christian ministry - we should all "walk by faith" which equates in their thinking somehow to "live in poverty". But I can't see that anywhere in this passage. Far from it. There's a balance. This passage doesn't say that I am to live in poverty. Like the principle of "SOWING AND REAPING" there is also the principle of "GIVING AND RECEIVING".
If I didn't receive from God, then I would have nothing from God to give to others and I could do nothing in His Name. If I don't receive financial and physical resources then I am severely limited with what I can give. My giving to others is enhanced on the basis of what I have received spiritually and physically. I can't give without SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL RESOURCES, but I am to trust in God's provision through others. Matthew 10:9-10 (NASB) says "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; FOR THE WORKER IS WORTHY OF HIS SUPPORT."
What is this saying to me? I guess the simplest truth is that I don't have to accumulate wealth in order to serve the Lord. I can step out with confident assurance that GOD WILL PROVIDE FOR ME. It doesn't mean that I will wear only what I have on. If it did I would need a lot of deodorant. What this is saying is that those receptive to my ministry will want to give towards it and I will be able to continue in the work God has given me to do. God's work is financed in God's way and my part is trusting in His provision for my life. Over the years I have received so much from God through the support of others whom He prompts to give.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (NLT) spells it out further "Don't you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it."
God bless you Church as you step out in faith today, knowing that God will provide for you. It is interesting to me that healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching that the kingdom is near is all considered to be WORK WORTHY OF SUPPORT.
Everytime I tithe my income to my Church, I am sending out a message that God's work and His workers are worthy of my support. Everytime I give an offering - that which is separate to and over and above my tithe, I am sending out the same message - that God's work and His workers are worthy of my support.