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How (if at all) should the instructions about Levites and the inheritance of land and material things be applied to modern day clergy?

Does this mean clergy members today should have limitations placed on their material possessions?

Deuteronomy 18:1

ESV - 1 The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord 's food offerings as their inheritance.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 26 2018 Mini Timah Matika

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Biblical practices regarding the Levites would not be readily translatable to modern clergy. The Levites were designated by God Himself to be the sole custodians of Israel's one religion. They were not to have a separate land allocation of their own that they might use in providing for themselves, but were to live dispersed among the other eleven tribes, and to be supported by the offerings that God mandatorily required from those tribes. Descendants of those Levites would likewise become ministers themselves, based solely on their bloodline. 

In a modern democracy such as the United States, there are (even among Christians) many denominations and thousands of individual congregations. The denominations may own land and the churches built on that land, as well as parsonages and their fixed furnishings (such as appliances). Offerings by church members are voluntary and variable. Under such circumstances, I would say that ministers would have to be given the freedom to augment the disposable income that they do receive by investing it as they see fit, and to pass the proceeds from that activity on to their descendants, who might or might not choose to follow them into the clergy.

January 29 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
Although the Levites were not given land by lot, as the other tribes were, they were allocated 48 cities throughout Israel to reside in with their surrounding pasture lands (Josh 21:41). This way, offerings to the Levites would not necessitate a long journey to where Levites actually resided. Jerusalem was not originally one of these cities, even though it later contained the temple built by Solomon.

In 1 Tim 6:8 Christians are told to be content with food and clothing. As priests, (of the order of Melchizedek) all Christians are able to intercede with God in a way not available to the Jews at the time of the primitive church. The priestly function of both religions was never intended to be encumbered by worldly, material concerns. 

However, as Christianity developed and became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and other nations later, the distinction between clergy and laity also emerged. Judaism also has greatly changed to lessen its conflict with Christianity. These developments have been in line with the Will of God. (Rom 11:25). 

The way ministers are actually treated today largely depends upon the particular denomination they belong to. Generally speaking, ministers acquiring wealth are faced with the judgment of Christ in Matt 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." I see no reason for denominations today providing much beyond the basic necessities of life for ministers and their families, taking into account the culture and/or nation they live in.

February 03 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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