Menno Simons on ... support of the ministry

Say, kind reader, did you ever read in the Scriptures of any proud, avaricious, unclean, lying, inebriated and idolatrous prophets, apostles and shepherds who were pleasing unto the Lord? Or of such who, to please the world, have adulterated, changed and abused the word, ordinances and commandments of the Lord? Or, of such who said to cities, districts or towns, If you will give us so much money or income, we will teach you the word of the Lord? O no reader, no. It never was nor never will be the way of the holy prophets, apostles or servants of Christ. Of this we are sure. [p. 267]

The apostles ordained, at all places where they had begotten churches, such bishops and teachers as were unblamable both in doctrine and in life, and have never mentioned annual incomes, benefices or rents. For they were men of God, servants of Christ, full of the love of God and their beloved brethren, who labored, taught, sought, pastured and watched through mere love, urged by the Spirit, not only for one, two or three hours a week, in the synagogue, but at all hours and places, in synagogues, streets, houses, mountains and fields.

And, as they had received the knowledge of the kingdom of God, the truth, love and Spirit of God, without price, so they were, again, prepared to dispense it diligently and teach it without price, to their needy brethren; and, as for the temporal necessaries of life, the begotten church was sufficiently urged by love, through the Spirit and word of God to give unto such faithful servants of Christ, and watchers of their souls, all the necessaries of life to assist them and provide for them all such things they could not obtain themselves. [p. 341]

All excerpts are from The complete works of Menno Simon (Elkhart, Ind., 1871).

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