Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Given to Filthy Lucre

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. — Titus 1:7

They must be no strikers nor brawlers: they must not be like soldiers or contentious men, who are always ready to fight and wrangle; this fault must be corrected also: neither must they be given to filthy lucre; they must not be covetous. The minister that seeketh to enrich himself by his office, will not do his duty faithfully. He will put a gloss upon the Word of God and . . . he will endeavor to ascertain in what way he can make it most advantageous to himself. Therefore, if covetousness reign in ministers of the Word, they will undoubtedly prove to be false teachers, whose chief study will be to pervert good doctrine, and turn the truth into a lie. (John Calvin, The Mystery of Godliness and Other Sermons, “The Character of the Faithful” [Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Ministries] 160)