“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (Reference: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 )
Paul prided himself on the fact that he did not use any of the resources of the Corinthians but was simply with them to speak and teach of God and Christ. That is his boast – that his presence amongst them was blessed by God. Unlike others, he says, who try to equate their work with his. Not knowing what these “others” did, it is difficult to discern what affront they cause Paul. Or at least it was difficult before I consulted with Albert Barnes.
It seems that other “ministers” and “missionaries” were using their time in Corinthian to line their own pockets with the wealth and resources that Corinth had. I did not know that “evangelism” for money had such a long history. Finally, something to supplant my vent against politics! But alas, beloved, politics for money also has a long history; and those who enter religion for the money to be made also tend to stick their agenda and out-stretched hand into politics. Aren’t I cynical!
I have to agree with Paul though – which may be enough of a shift to excuse my cynicism. Such people – false prophets, money-eager preachers, and all manner of dishonest and abusive politicians – will get what they deserve. And I am quite content to sit back and watch that happen. Not, mind you beloved, that I will allow such people to harm the innocent, naïve, and vulnerable! But that those whose actions are clearly misaligned to God and Christ may continue to prophesy and speak all manner of false things. I am content to leave it to the Divine to administer their punishment. For God is much more, infinitely more, capable of meting out justice.
May you beloved have a front row seat when our Lord “corrects” those who have tried to use trick and deceive creation. Selah!