“A conflict of interest in the workplace is when an individual can personally benefit from their professional position. Rather than making decisions for the betterment of your business, the employee might make decisions based on their own personal gain. It can lead to unethical behavior, ruined reputations, and lost business. Financial conflict of interest: If an employee personally gains additional money“. source: https://www.patriotsoftware.com/blog/payroll/how-deal-conflict-interest-workplace-business/
Paid religious professionals have a financial conflict of interest that prevents them from interpreting the Bible correctly. They interpret through a lens that filters out things that could potentially damage their revenue streams. Thus, the desire of religious leaders and organizations to obtain money has caused the practice of Christianity to become much less than what God intends.
The dynamics of a conversation with Christians are very different when a paid religious professional is present, versus when one is not present. Paid religious professionals are not open to allowing the Bible to speak fully, because of their constant vigilance to protect their livelihood, position, power and organization. Paid religious professionals become defensive whenever any topic that threatens their money stream is brought up. The “offensive” topics may have nothing to do with money, but may be perceived as getting close to issues that could threaten their power. The conversation can become volatile quickly.
In contrast, I’ve noticed that Christians who earn their livelihoods through working at secular jobs do not get defensive so easily; they are willing to fully consider the scriptures and to let the scriptures speak.
Thus, Christians need to stop relying on paid religious professionals. Instead, they should figure out how God wants them to serve other believers and do it with all their strength, without charging any money for their service. All believers should look to other believers for ministry and encouragement. God desires to work through all believers to build His Church.