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Calm

Priestcraft

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From a closed thread:

Plus the preachers get payed for being servants of the Lord. It's called "priestcarfts." I am sure you have heard of that.

Just a quick comment. Not all who get paid for being servants of the Lord engage in priestcraft. If this was so, President Hinckley would have to wear this label since he was employed by the Church and even now has the option of getting a living stipend.

Priestcraft is the twisting of God's Word and Will to suit the desires (as opposed to the needs) of those one is supposed to have spiritual stewardship over for personal gain.

Those who chose the ministry as their career have multiple reasons for doing so, most very admirable and ones that we would wish to see in our own LDS members.

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No, the prophet does not get payed to be a servant of the Lord, but rather, so that he is able to be a servant of the Lord, full time.

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Agreed.

How is that inherently different from ministers in other faiths (especially Catholics), save in the one case where they choose the calling of ministry for themselves as opposed to being called by others? Pretty much like a young man turning in his missionary papers if you think about it.

Many a minister chooses the path of a full time career of church service so that he is able to serve the Lord 24/7. The income is supposed to allow him to do this (though unfortunately does not always as I know some ministers who have to take second jobs so their families can have food on the table).

Please don't think I'm trying to diminish our system of ministry at all. I think it's a wonderful system, the best system in my belief this side of the United Order. I just don't see any reason to condemn other systems that often are trying to achieve the same thing--for example the devotion of (most) Catholic priests and nuns who give up all in their commitment to God and their fellowman. Such pure humility astounds me.

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I have said this before. (If your intereseted). I have absolutely no problem with pastors and ministers getting paid to do their work. They have to pay the bills too. What I have a problem with is golden tiarra's, Priestly robes that cost more than my car, palaces for the priests, church imposed taxes etc, fleecing the flock, pastors of tiny church driving huge golden mercedes etc...

I once attended two other Christian church's down in Tempe Arizona one Sunday. I loved it. I actually didn't get the feeling at all that the pastor's were of the "priestcraft" sort. My hat's go off to them.

My idea of priestcraft personified was some guy I saw on TV once on latenight who called himself a preacher, but he didn't preach any form of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he wanted money. That is priestcraft personified.

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My take too, Programmer. For the most part. I do know many Catholics who see the expression of the wealth of their Church through the sacred clothing and buildings of their faith in the same way as LDS see the beauty of the temples. Which is, I hope, as an expression of their devotion and reverence for God and a desire to bring the heavenly experience to earth.

When I was in Russia, I went to a museum housing among other things clothing belonging to royalty and the Russian Orthodox Church patriarchs. The ROC apparently owed 1/4 of the land of Russia preRevolution and that included the peasants attached to the land. Well, the LDS have a lot of investments, but I haven't heard of serfs yet.

By their fruits...

If Catholics and others (including LDS) have joy in their tithing and donation, then the fruits will be good, IMO.

I don't see how someone who is a devotee of Priestcraft is going to produce too many good fruit. If they manage it, his 'flock' is going to seek God inspite of him, not because of him.

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From a closed thread:
Plus the preachers get payed for being servants of the Lord. It's called "priestcarfts." I am sure you have heard of that.

Just a quick comment. Not all who get paid for being servants of the Lord engage in priestcraft. If this was so, President Hinckley would have to wear this label since he was employed by the Church and even now has the option of getting a living stipend.

Priestcraft is the twisting of God's Word and Will to suit the desires (as opposed to the needs) of those one is supposed to have spiritual stewardship over for personal gain.

Those who chose the ministry as their career have multiple reasons for doing so, most very admirable and ones that we would wish to see in our own LDS members.

We pay many of our "servants of the Lord". And there is nothing wrong with that. We pay our mission presidents' living expenses, our general authorities' living expenses, our prophet's living expenses, our church employees wages, our teachers' wages, etc. The only people who we don't pay are our local leaders and our missionaries (the ones who do most of the work). The worker is worthy of his hire. No one should begrudge them their living expenses.

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Calmoriah said:

Priestcraft is the twisting of God's Word and Will to suit the desires (as opposed to the needs) of those one is supposed to have spiritual stewardship over for personal gain.

Where does this come from? Webster's says:

Priestcraft: n. the training, knowledge, and abilities necessary to a priest.

Doesn't say anything about personal gain.

Joe

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We pay many of our "servants of the Lord". And there is nothing wrong with that. We pay our mission presidents' living expenses, our general authorities' living expenses, our prophet's living expenses,

Expenses are not wages but nice try. Even when you are not bashing the church you always have to slip in disinformation. Makes one wonder why....

The worker is worthy of his hire. No one should begrudge them their living expenses.

Agreed. And no one should begrudge salaries when necessary. But living expenses are not "pay".

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Where does this come from?  Webster's says:

Priestcraft: n. the training, knowledge, and abilities necessary to a priest.

Doesn't say anything about personal gain.

Joe

Webster's does define priestcraft in negative contexts. This reference below has its source from Webster's.

Priestcraft definition from Dictionary.com

I also don't begrudge ministers in other churches being paid for their work. The ones I have been personally involved with in past years (before I converted to LDS) were very godly men, working "in the trenches" as much as any lay LDS home teacher. Televangelists, on the other hand, I view as practicing priestcraft.

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When a servant of the Lord is called full time and they do not have financial means that is a different story....

They are not living off in some elaborate house or anything of the sort.

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(2 Nephi 26:29.)

29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

(Alma 1:5-6.)

5And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.

6 And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.

12 But Alma said unto him: Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction.

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We pay many of our "servants of the Lord". And there is nothing wrong with that. We pay our mission presidents' living expenses, our general authorities' living expenses, our prophet's living expenses,

Expenses are not wages but nice try. Even when you are not bashing the church you always have to slip in disinformation. Makes one wonder why....

The worker is worthy of his hire. No one should begrudge them their living expenses.

Agreed. And no one should begrudge salaries when necessary. But living expenses are not "pay".

What exactly were you disagreeing with, Juliann? I didn't say we paid our mission presidents wages. I didn't say we paid our general authorities' wages. I didn't even say we paid our prophets wages. What I said was, we pay their living expenses. And it looks like you agree. So what disinformation did I impart?

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When a servant of the Lord is called full time and they do not have financial means that is a different story....

They are not living off in some elaborate house or anything of the sort.

Missionaries are called as full-time servants of God, yet they have no stipend. I doubt that "full time servants" is the criteria by which the church determines who gets their living expenses covered and who doesn't.

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I agree with calmoriah and Programmer, there is nothing wrong with paying ministers/priest/etc for what they do. (I also don't think there is anything wrong with doctors, mechanics, or atheletes getting paid for what they do, either.)

juliann wrote:

QUOTE (Blink @ Feb 13 2005, 02:42 PM)
We pay many of our "servants of the Lord". And there is nothing wrong with that. We pay our mission presidents' living expenses, our general authorities' living expenses, our prophet's living expenses,

Expenses are not wages but nice try. Even when you are not bashing the church you always have to slip in disinformation. Makes one wonder why....

QUOTE 

The worker is worthy of his hire. No one should begrudge them their living expenses. 

Agreed. And no one should begrudge salaries when necessary. But living expenses are not "pay".

juliann, what is the difference between being paid for 'living expenses' and a being paid a 'salary'? Isn't a salary used for the exact same thing as living expenses?

In what way are 'living expenses' not pay?

If I have a $125,000 salary, or $125,000 for living expenses, it's the same thing, isn't it? Are you referring to some kind of tax difference?

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Living expenses ARE considered pay and for tax purposes need to be reported as such. If you receive any compensation for work which you provide it is deemed taxable income by the IRS. It is pay.

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Dictionary.com gives this definition for Stipend:

A fixed and regular payment, such as a salary for services rendered or an allowance.

So whats wrong with clergy receiving reasonable compensation for their devotion full time to church service?

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When a servant of the Lord is called full time and they do not have financial means that is a different story....

They are not living off in some elaborate house or anything of the sort.

I have no problem with a (reasonably) paid ministry. It allows them to follow the scriptures and take no thought as to where they will get their food or the clothes on their back.

Who's to say other religions are not called full-time? Most of them do work full-time...and almost all of them do not live in an elaborate house......

I have heard the fund for the Prophet is in the range of $150,000 - $250,000, and I definitely wouldn't call him engaging in priestcraft. I would hope you would at least understand people who serve and get a stipend less than or equal to that as being ok.

Sam

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Living expenses ARE considered pay and for tax purposes need to be reported as such. If you receive any compensation for work which you provide it is deemed taxable income by the IRS. It is pay.

I am paid certain expenses in addition to a salary. They are not part of my paycheck. And anyone who would consider expenses to be wages is going to living in a shelter real soon.

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So whats wrong with clergy receiving reasonable compensation for their devotion full time to church service?

Nothing is wrong with it. Well..except those TV evangelists. That I would consider priestcraft.

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Before we get too side tracked into the difference between a salary and a stipend, lets remember that priestcraft by theological definition in the scriptures is a midset which sets up a man as an unhumble servant of no one.

Priestcraft , in my eyes, has little to do with the exterior trappings of whatever temple or church that man is representing. It has everything to do with political power, unrighteous gain, misappropriated authority.

I once heard my Mother's new pastor in Virginia preach a pretty nice sermon that I thought needed comment. After mass, I approached the priest outsside the church to thank him for his words ...he turned to me with cigarette smoke billowing from his nose and mouth. I stammered my comments...and he replied in a way that felt slimy and oily... if he is not practising priestcraft, he is on his way...

The Holy Ghost got up and fled. A pretty good sign of something not right

Jana

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Living expenses ARE considered pay and for tax purposes need to be reported as such. If you receive any compensation for work which you provide it is deemed taxable income by the IRS. It is pay.

As a tax prparer, this is incorrect. Living expenses for ministers are not taxed as income by the IRS.

http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq4-10.html

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To All,

I think everyone is trying to say the same thing. A devout, striving pastor is well worth the pay he receives. He is trying to be a hometeacher, bishop, Elder's Quorum president and everything else in the congregation. This is laudable. I don't think any on this board would disagree. I think when the person preaching is looking more for the aclaimation of the people, trying to make them his, this is priestcraft. I believe most tele-evangelists wouldn't start out as being considered as participating priestcraft. This happens after the money starts to flow. Jimmy Swaggart was a country preacher and singer who went from church to church in the south preaching God's word as he saw it. It wasn't until he tried to cover his vainity and sins that I thought he had lost it. I mean 75 million a year is what his ministry brought in in the 1980's. Jim Bakker wanted to make a theme park for God? This is what we are talking about. Not a priest living in the rectory of the parish or a pastor trying to help his flock. When the pastor needs three senoir pastors, six associate pastors and the flock is bigger than the town it is in, this is bordering on priestcraft (you know megachurches). This is My Frequently Disputed and Often Errorneous Opinion.

Dr Fatguy

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Living expenses ARE considered pay and for tax purposes need to be reported as such.  If you receive any compensation for work which you provide it is deemed taxable income by the IRS.  It is pay.

I am paid certain expenses in addition to a salary. They are not part of my paycheck. And anyone who would consider expenses to be wages is going to living in a shelter real soon.

Those certain expenses of yours... do they include car and driver? housing? electrical? gas? food? medical expenses? dental insurance?

When I'm on the road on business, I expense my meals and my hotel room. If I drive, I expense my mileage. If I fly, I expense my ticket. I do not expense my house payment/rent, my monthly food bill, or my medical insurance. Those are my personal expenses and I pay for them out of my paycheck.

What expenses does the general authorities' living expenses paid by the church include? Rent on an apartment or house owned by the church? Medical expenses? Bodyguard? Car and driver? Food? Electrical or gas?

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When I was in Russia, I went to a museum housing among other things clothing belonging to royalty and the Russian Orthodox Church patriarchs. The ROC apparently owed 1/4 of the land of Russia preRevolution and that included the peasants attached to the land. Well, the LDS have a lot of investments, but I haven't heard of serfs yet.

Yes it owned 1/4 of the land. Most of this land was given to it during the middle ages by landowners. For instance, if someone didn't have an heir the land might be willed to the Church. Over many centuries this can really add up. Also note, most of this land was occupied by monasteries. Basically when land was given to the Church it was for the founding of a new monastery, not some general donation. The peasants would have worked the land regardless of the owner. Their lives were not somehow worse working for a monastery rather than a noble. Also consider that these monasteries were responsible for considerable social work (feeding the poor, hospitality to travelers etc) during a time when there was no welfare system. It was not an inherently corrupt system like you seem to think.

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2 Nephi 26:29

29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

Does anyone think the following situation is priestcraft (or possibly priestcraft)?

SITUATION: The stake president, a religion professor at a local university, publicly announces that he feels his call as stake president is a partial response to the desires of his heart: to get his particular take on a gospel topic out to the masses (at least the masses in his stake). About a year after his call, the stake announces that, at no expense to anyone, every family in the stake is to be given a booklet containing the stake president's ideas, and every adult member is invited to take a class (one-time two-hour class) about it. At first the class is for the leaders only, then all presidency members, and then eventually all adults were invited (and encouraged) to take the class (offered once per month). A few months later the stake announced (via high counselors) that each person in each family in the entire stake (i.e., 8 years and older) was to have his/her own copy of the booklet (now in binder form). The stake requested a $5 per binder donation to "mostly" cover the costs, but everyone was told that if they couldn't afford it, it was fine. A few weeks later representatives from the stake were sent into each Elders and High Priest meeting in the stake because there was a serious shortfall in printing funds, and cash was literally collected on the spot and given to the gracious stake representatives (no receipts, etc.). Meanwhile, the class invitation expanded to include all youth. Then in January 2005 it was announced that there is now a second class (advanced) which all youth -to- ancient members were "invited" (encouraged) to attend.

I failed to mention: the booklet is mostly photocopies of General Conference talks on the topic the stake president is interested in; out of almost 150 pages there are approximately six pages of original material in outline form. The stake president made sure that the book is copyrighted with the warning NOT to simply copy it for additional family members.

I don't think the stake president is making ANY money on this, but some have expressed that this smacks of priestcraft.

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