St. Paul’s Teaching About Financial Support of Christian Workers, and His Own Example
[my professionally designed blog (Blogspot): 2009-2015]
I offer (as far as I know or have seen) the most comprehensive, wide-ranging, and detailed collection of Catholic and general Christian apologetics articles and books available online from a single individual (even more than probably almost all group sites that feature many writers). I designed my blog to be the “one-stop” place for Catholic apologetics. If you are looking for a topic in this area, chances are I’ve written about it, and all of my articles are always free of charge. As my own parish priest, Fr. Ed Fride has told me, “You’ve written about everything!” The total number is currently about 4,350 articles or web pages.
Unsolicited endorsing comments from Catholics, including fellow Catholic apologists, bear witness to this fact. Steve Ray wrote: “I am constantly sending people to your page to find answers for their questions and sources for their search.” Tim Staples stated that my blog is “a veritable treasure chest of information.” Mike Aquilina added: “If someone pitches a hard question at me, I go first to your site. Then I send the questioner directly to the page that best answers the question. I know it’s going to be on your site.” Al Kresta gushed: “Your website is incredible and I recommend it regularly.” Fr. Paddy McCafferty from Belfast exclaimed that my blog is “an inexhaustible fount of excellent material on virtually every topic and an invaluable resource of superb apologetics.”
The late Thomas Howard wrote in a letter to me: “Bravo to you for all that you’ve written. You seem to have read everyone and everything.” A Catholic layman wrote way back in August 1998, when my website was only a year-and-a-half old and had about one-ninth as much material as it does now: “There is enough information there to last me the rest of my life! I can’t tell you how great it is to find all the tremendous links you have.” And another wrote in February 1999: “My apologetical skills as a defender of Catholicism have improved 100% – due almost entirely to your site. Thanks to the ‘font of information’ which you have there, I can usually find almost anything I need to defend the Church against even the most obscure or bizarre charges.”
I’m just doing what I love, folks; the vocation God has called me to. As St. Paul wrote, “God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13, RSV), and “let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him” (1 Cor 7:17). Paul wrote about his own ministry as an apostle and evangelist: “necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). He also wrote in the same chapter: “in my preaching I . . . make the gospel free of charge, not making full use of my right in the gospel” (9:18). This is what I have massively done, too, offering all of my several thousand articles for free to the general public, and sixteen of my 54 books for free. I’ve even “made tents” as Paul did (Acts 18:3); that is, I have taken on four additional part-time jobs — including a large urban paper route seven days a week for a year-and-a-half, and moderator work at The Coming Home Network — since I have been a full-time apologist, these past nearly 22 years.
But note that Paul referred to his “right.” What he meant is that he and other Christian workers are entitled to be paid for their efforts:
1 Corinthians 9:4, 7, 11, 13-14 Do we not have the right to our food and drink? . . .  Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? . . .  If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?  Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?  In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
So (as I always try to do), I have sought to emulate St. Paul by offering so much for free, by “tentmaking” when financial necessity demanded it, and by not being afraid to also share his message that Christian workers are entitled to their wages, just like anyone else. Paul’s own voluntary renunciation of that did not nullify or contradict the general principle he laid down. He was exercising heroic self-sacrifice. At the same time, however, he was also supported — at least at times — by brothers and sisters in Christ (e.g., “my needs were supplied by the brethren who came from Macedonia”: 2 Cor 11:9). St. Luke wrote about how the people of Malta treated St. Paul and himself: “They presented many gifts to us; and when we sailed, they put on board whatever we needed” (Acts 28:10).
My friends, and esteemed readers, I need your help today to continue to do my work and fully devote myself to it (as I have for thirteen years). I have Social Security income now, and book and article royalties, but I also need (and have always needed) additional donations to complete my monthly budget. Donations are not my total support (and not a majority of it), but are a necessary support. Here is the information for donations, including 100% tax-deduction should you desire that.
You see the work I have already done. I only ask those to support my work who have been personally helped by it, or who believe it is a valuable and effective work of apologetics and evangelism for others. My desire to keep working as hard as I have been for these past 42 years of apologetics writing (the last 22, full-time) has not abated one bit. I truly consider my latest book on biblical archaeology to be the best of all my books. There is no “retirement” in view here. I don’t even know what the word means. Writing isn’t physically laborious.
Summary: Explanation of the rationale and need for funds to support Dave Armstrong’s full-time apologetics apostolate. Please seriously consider a generous donation today!