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Author Topic: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?  (Read 18429 times)

Lieberman

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Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« on: August 14, 2004, 09:09:12 AM »
Hi again,
I have a question concerning Christian authors. Is a Christian who writes about the gospel and sells the book in order to make a profit in violation of God's laws? I don't mean just to break even, but to make a profit or earn a living. I have a Christian friend who tells me that this is making merchandise of the word of God. I had to admit that it does sound underhanded to me, but on the other hand there are many christians who do this. Is this a sin?

Candle

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2004, 10:21:49 AM »
      Hi Lieberman, I have had experience in buying from so called christian book writers, they had me so confused that I didn't know what to believe so in my view I think the Bible alone is enough.There is so many false doctrines out there today to deceive.To may a living off of these things I believe is wrong esspecially in Gods eyes.God has called us to him not mans books.Jesus says that we come to him without money and buy.We are not to become rich on this earth ,but only in Christ. I thank God every day that he took the blinders off so that I could see AMEN.Isaiah55:1 Ho ,Every one that thristeth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money ,come ye, buy ,and eat;yea,come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Amen. So then again I do not trust in man theology. Your friend in CHRIST ,Muriel(candle)
Psalms119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,and a light unto my path. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.John8:36 If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Warrior10v4

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2004, 02:50:40 PM »
Well, I look at it like this-- when you buy a book by a Christian author, the money you pay does not go solely to the author. It goes toward the cost of making the book, plus copyright stuff and publishing costs and stuff like that. The money that the pastor makes is simply his living. Also, remember that pastors (those who honor God, anyway) are not out there to make money and glorify themselves-- they're out there to teach the Word of God to us. And what fine teaching we see in many authors-- John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Philip Graham Ryken, etc.

Candle-- if you do not trust teaching from man, does that mean you do not trust a sermon you hear on Sunday morning? Aside from that, many books are written by godly men who correctly interpret the Good Book through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

"In Exodus, God spoke to Moses via a burning bush. Now, God doesn't speak to us via a burning bush-- He speaks to us via a burning Book. Jer. 23.29: 'Is not My Word like fire?'"- Lance Sparks

Constantly doing battle with my weapons-- the Word of God in one hand and my choir book in the other.

Pearson

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2004, 03:45:31 PM »
Hi again,
I have a question concerning Christian authors. Is a Christian who writes about the gospel and sells the book in order to make a profit in violation of God's laws? I don't mean just to break even, but to make a profit or earn a living. Is this a sin?

Your stipulation that you don't mean those who just break even makes it a slam dunk. Yes, there is no question that those who are out to make a profit at the expense of God's word are involved in a "BIG" sin. Anytime that you are selling the gospel for a living, you are doing a horrible and dishonorable thing. No one wants to say that out loud because their favorite preachers are "best selling authors." But you can't sell God's word as if it was yours, because it's not.

 Matt. 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Freely we have received the gospel, freely we give out the gospel. What could be so clear and plain. But so many people try to justify selling the gospel because they love these authors, and I find it just sickening.

The Church is supposed to take care of the pastor, and lacking that he should get a job. But he is not to earn his living by making merchandise of instruction on understanding God's word. A pastor who writes books and sells them just for the cost of making them I have no problem with. Because he's not making any money, he's still freely giving it. It is these people (and unfortunately some of them are reformed), who are in it to make a profit that have their heads in the sand.

So I have to agree with your christian friend, and maybe if we had more christians like him the world would be a better place. I have christian friends I would never recognize as christian if they didn't insist that they were. Count your blessings.


Pearson

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2004, 04:00:28 PM »
The money that the pastor makes is simply his living.


That's the whole point. A Pastor's living should not come from selling the gospel. The Church is to supply the pastor's needs, and frankly I'm sure these authors like John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Philip Graham Ryken that you identified would have no problem in that area. So really there is no need for them to make a profit off selling the gospel. There was no need for Paul to sell the gospel or for Peter to sell the gospel. When did the Church start making up its own rules about how to preach the gospel to the world?


Quote
Aside from that, many books are written by godly men who correctly interpret the Good Book through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

RC Sproul hardly interprets the Bible correctly, because the bible doesn't support preterism. The bible is there for the interpretation of the bible, so we really didn't need scofield's view did we? The reason we have dispensationalism as the greatest christian doctrine of the land today is because of authors hawking these books claiming to interpret the bible. The world would have been a better place without RC Sprouls writings pushing partial preterism.

I have a problem with any Christian author who is not accountable for the money he squeezes out of the gospel.

jd@

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2004, 01:57:12 AM »
Pearson:
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A Pastor's living should not come from selling the gospel

But that doesn't mean that pastor's shouldn't be able so live solely from their work as a pastor!  God's Word is very clear about this: "The Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."(1 Corinthians 9:14)  If they only break even their needs aren't going to be met! Many Christian authors need to make a profit to keep body and soul together!

Quote
There was no need for Paul to sell the gospel
Yes, but Paul was clear that his situation was not normative for ministers generally - he says (in 1 Cor 9) that he wasn't making use of this right.

I guess you need to clarify the difference between "selling the gospel" and "making a living from the gospel"! 


Pearson

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2004, 03:26:04 AM »

But that doesn't mean that pastor's shouldn't be able so live solely from their work as a pastor! 


You again? trying to make yourself infamous JD@? It is the Church's responsibility to support the pastor, not the sinners to whom he is to give the gospel freely, even as he received it freely.

 Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

A Pastor lives solely on his work by the congregation supporting him. But you always seem to twist scripture to suit yourself.


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If they only break even their needs aren't going to be met! Many Christian authors need to make a profit to keep body and soul together!

Boy I've heard you say some foolish things, but this has to rank up there near the top. To suppose that this verse gives justification to sell the gospel overriding God's command that freely you have received, freely give, is insane. None of the church has ever sold the gospel. Not the prophets, not the 12, and certainly not those of us who come later. It's just completely insane to have people pay in order to hear the gospel. But I've grown to expect that from you.


Quote
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There was no need for Paul to sell the gospel
Yes, but Paul was clear that his situation was not normative for ministers generally - he says (in 1 Cor 9) that he wasn't making use of this right.

You are not making any sense. From all the witness of scripture, the whole bible, there has never been one single witness of anyone ever selling the gospel. You think that's an accident? This speaks of the support that a minister should get from the Church, not from charging people money to hear the gospel. That's completely insane and diabolical to think that Paul is saying that we can sell the gospel. To think this means he is a special case because he doesn't sell the gospel is absurd. Maybe we should all just listen to anything you say, and then know that the opposite is probably biblical.




Robert Powell

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2004, 08:19:33 AM »
It is the Church's responsibility to support the pastor, not the sinners to whom he is to give the gospel freely, even as he received it freely.

 Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

I agree Pearson. It seems that today's theologians and christians are inventing justifications as they go along. Off the top of my head they've invented Justification for divorce, eccumenism, birth control, attending marriages of believers to unbelievers, preterism, women ministers, not keeping the sabbath, pictures of God, heresy, signs and wonders, the list is endless. I think that the best we can do as faithful christians is as you have done. Point out the scriptures for the sake of those who are simple and might be deceived by these christians, so called.

I think Paul would turn over in his grave to hear jd@'s interpretation of that verse to mean we can sell the gospel. And I thank God that when I first read a tract explaining the gospel that no one asked me to pay for it. Else I would have never heard it.

 Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

We ask for no reward for our labors because our reward is in heaven. I don't see much difference between selling the gospel and the Roman catholic doctrine of selling indulgences and prayers. Whether we ask money for the gospel or ask money for a prayer, it's the same thing.

Candle

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2004, 08:29:25 AM »
   Reply to #2 August 14,2004,03:50:40  from Warrior10v4 (Candle- if you do not trust from man does that mean you do not trust a sermon you hear on Sunday morning?Aside from that ,many books are written by Godly men who correctly interpret the Good Book through guidance of the Holy Spirit)  Warrior10v4, I do not go to church on Sunday morning because of the abomination and the hersesies abounding there. I trust the Lord and have church at home. I have been in these so called book stores and can't find any interpretatation from God in them.They have even gone so far as to just sell the NIV bibles and not many KJV'S. The book stores are becoming more worldly that Godly. They are also selling things that are more entertaining for the flesh than any thing.I guess that might be just my opinion but but I rather give glory to my King than to these men . Praise the God of the heavens and the earth Amen. Your friend in Christ, Muriel (Candle)
Psalms119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,and a light unto my path. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.John8:36 If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

jd@

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2004, 10:22:34 AM »
We must not think that the gospel is to be preached only to unbelievers.  Rather, a pastor who is teaching only Christians has an obligation to preach the gospel to them.  And they in turn have an obligation to support him financially.  Do you call this 'selling the gospel', Pearson?

Likewise, most of the authors mentioned on this thread write most of their books for Christians - to instruct, edify and encourage.  If John MacArthur is teaching me through his books, there is no reason why I should not be prepared to support him financially.

Jeff

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2004, 11:27:25 AM »
Candle, Bob and Pearson, I couldn't agree with you more on the scriptures you've presented. Some people (who shall remain nameless) seem to be attempting to rewrite the topic thread to read church support of Ministers, which has nothing to do with what Lieberman is asking. But did you expect anything less? But we know that freely you have received so freely give does not mean that we freely received but give if the price is right, or if the sinners or saints can afford to hear it. I don't know what's wrong with the world today, but their priorities are getting all mixed up. The purpose of the gospel is not so authors can make a living. Don't they know that?

 He. 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

I would rather be a poor unpopular minister like Stephen, or Peter preaching the word of God faithfully, than a rich popular minister today compromising and selling the gospel that I might make a profit. I would rather have fifty people in my congregation than 100,000 there because I preach and write entertaining the people as the world does.

It's one thing for a minister to be supported by his church, it's another to go out selling the gospel for a living. We know some people will try to confuse the issue, but the distinction is clear to me. As you say, the early church never sold the gospel. It would be unthinkable to them. But now it's just taken for granted just like divorce. They treat it as just a fact of life that you live with rather than a sin that should not be accepted.

So I know you guys/girls get a hard time from some of the christians here, but I appreciate your insights and willingness to stand up and be counted against wrong doing when no one else around the web is willing to do that. Or maybe they wouldn't be permitted to do that?  :-\

Blessings upon you.
Jeff

Deuce Johnson

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2004, 04:47:27 PM »

 1 Pet 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.


It seems to me the example the modern Christian is setting is preaching the gospel for filthy lucre's sake, or sordidly, like Reverend Ike uses it. Like Christians with the "name it and claim it" gospel. They believe that the gospel is an opportunity to make money or to get gain. And I'm afraid that many Reformed authors use it the same way, but without all the glitz.


John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.


Maybe Jesus should have said, sell wheat and grain to my sheep? Because it seems the gospel is not something that people believe should be freely given anymore. They feel it's their work, not Christ's and thus can be sold.

I'm on another reformed forum (I won't give the name because I'm sure I'll be banned) where this issue was addessed recently and they pretty much had the same view. They totally ignored the fact that the bible never speaks of anyone selling their teachings of the doctrines of God, they just keep repeating that man should be paid for his work as if that justifies all. In fact one person said that anyone who doesn't work so they can afford a bible, shouldn't have the gospel anyway. I find that the prevalent attitude by a lot of conservatives. When I said that is close to having a system to merit receiving the gospel, I was almost banned from the forum. Satan is working hard deceiving those of the church today, I'm sure of that.


bloodstone

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2004, 04:47:17 AM »
 1 Cor. 9:16-18 "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

That last line I think says it all. Preach the gospel without charge. I don't know how these authors get around scripture, but they do. As far as I'm concerned, it's cut and dried. You don't sell the gospel, or make money off your understanding of the gospel. I don't see how any Christian can debate it.

Daniel

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2004, 10:16:13 AM »
1 Cor. 9:16-18 "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

That last line I think says it all. Preach the gospel without charge. I don't know how these authors get around scripture, but they do. As far as I'm concerned, it's cut and dried. You don't sell the gospel, or make money off your understanding of the gospel. I don't see how any christian can debate it.


I find it abominable, they twist the scriptures to suit themselves.  Our Lord in the Gospel of John said to Peter "feed my sheep", He did not say "feed my sheep and charge 5 dracmas"  The church is in a sad state.
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Jeff

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Re: Is Selling Christian Books Wrong?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2005, 06:28:50 AM »
Quote
1 Cor. 9:16-18 "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.


I find it abominable, they twist the scriptures to suit themselves.  Our Lord in the Gospel of John said to Peter "feed my sheep", He did not say "feed my sheep and charge 5 dracmas"  The church is in a sad state.
Thank God for this website.
                                                     Dan


Hi again guys. I think that we here are in the minority when it comes to objecting to selling the gospel. I am on another forum where this topic came up and it was almost unanimous that there was nothing wrong with not only making a living from selling books preaching the gospel, but that there was nothing wrong with making huge profits off it. I don't get it.

We are told to preach the gospel without charge. Sure, there is the scripture that says the laborer is worthy of his hire, but that means that we should support ministers and pastors, not that we should make a profit from selling the gospel. It's funny how these two different issues get lumped together.

 


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