The Church’s Money

The Church's MoneyText: 1 Corinthians 16:2

Historically, this has been a controversial topic. But was all of this controversy based on a flawed assumption. What if there are no special rules concerning the collection? Let us consider five questions.

How Does the Church Raise Money?

  • Through the collection on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2) – a free will offering (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • This is the only authorized way – when God specifies something, everything else is excluded (cf. Hebrews 7:14)

Are We Giving to God?

  • We often make the comment that we are “giving back to the Lord” – is this accurate? maybe, it depends on what we mean
  • We have already given ourselves to Him (Romans 12:1) – this impacts what we give (2 Corinthians 8:5)
  • Yet we are giving to the church – funds collected/used under a common oversight (Acts 4:34-35; 2 Corinthians 11:8) – the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23) and submits to Him as the head (Ephesians 5:23-24); the church is doing His work, so in that sense we could say we’re giving back “to the Lord”

Are There Special Rules for the Church’s Money?

  • Individuals can give help to all (Galatians 6:10) – churches helped saints (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35; 11:29; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:12)
  • Families care for their own widows (1 Timothy 5:4) – churches care for “widows indeed” (1 Timothy 5:16)
  • Men work to provide for their own (1 Timothy 5:8) – churches can provide emergency help (Acts 11:28-29)

What May a Church Spend Money On?

  • Its work – this is the fundamental issue; evangelism (1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:8); edification (Ephesians 4:16)
  • Benevolence is authorized (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 1 Timothy 5:16) – but it is not an ongoing work; it is temporary and limited

Where Does This Lead?

  • If we say that the money collected by the church is no different from the money in our bank account, where does this lead?
  • What we have seen commonly – care for non-Christians, recreation, entertainment, etc.
  • What we could see – anything that individuals may purchase; gifts for children/members, business pursuits, etc.; if not, why not?
  • More controversies about money – may eliminate “brotherhood-wide” controversies; yet it will open the door to more fights at the local level (because there are more things that brethren want to spend money on but only so much money to go around); then, the standard to determine what will be done will not be the Scriptures (objective), but opinions (subjective)

Conclusion

  • We need to be careful as to how we use the Lord’s money – more than stewardship; about authority
  • More funds used for other things = less funds to use for what the Lord intends His church to do

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