Church of Christ
Mission USA
Do We Have The Right To Know Where Brethren Stand?
(continued from last month)
by Perry Sexton

      Can you imagine sending your child to a college ran by brethren and they not answer your biblical concerns?  Or going to a preaching school and they not answer some of your sincere questions?  What about sending your money to support a work, but they are not willing to state their position on certain issues?  You should stop your support!  Better yet, you should not start such support until you have the answer to some very important questions.  It is a shame, but many sincere Christians have supported error unknowingly!  God forbid.  Following is a complete correspondence (by email) between David Amos of Truth For The World and me. 

Dear brethren,

      Does the church of Christ have the authority to accept money from a denomination [the organization] for the work of the church? 

Thanks,  Perry Sexton

Dear Perry, 

      There is no scriptural authority for a congregation to accept money from a denomination to be used in the work of the church!  To the contrary, please note in II Corinthians 8:1-3 that a gift of money given by the churches of Macedonia to be used for the ministering of the saints in Jerusalem was defined in Verse four as the two (giver and receiver) being in "fellowship."  Therefore, if a congregation of the Lord's church received money from a denomination, the two would be in fellowship, but in Ephesians 5:11, we are instructed to have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.  Therefore, we cannot do that which indicates fellowship with false religious groups, which would include accepting their money! 

Cordially,  David M. Amos

Dear brother Amos,

I appreciate your response and agree wholeheartedly.  May I print your response in our church bulletin?  Thanks. 

In Christ,  Perry

Dear Perry, 

Please use the response as you wish. 

Brotherly, David

      The same question was asked to other brethren as well and with similar responses.  However, some have not done so well as we shall see below.  We have seen the question and the very biblical answer from brother David Amos.  How does that compare with wishy washy brethren who will not state their position?  Or state their position in such a manner as no one really knows where they stand?

      I will now refer to a couple of brethren (they work together) who were not so co-operative as brother Amos.  The same question was asked and the first brother answered well in the first part of his answer, but in his second part he justified accepting funds from a denomination.  In his second part answer he gave no Scripture, but said “But now I think....”  Does what “we think” equal a “Thus saith the Lord”?  And God has spoken on the question at hand!  After our first letter exchanges he still had not cleared the matter up, so I wrote a second letter to him saying in part:

      “I would like to repeat my question to you with an addition in order to make it clearer:  Can the church of Christ accept funds from a denomination [the organization] for the work of the church?  I would like your answer in writing so that there can be no mistake where you stand on this matter.”  I further wrote:

      “Brother _____, I may be wrong, but I do not think it is comparable to the collection.  ..., it is a very serious doctrinal matter!  Where in the doctrine (II John 9) of Christ do we have authority to receive funds from a denomination in support of the work of the church?  And please explain the meaning of II Cor. 8:4.  Is it not fellowship, participation, to accept money from a denomination [the organization] for support of any work of the church?”  He never dealt with II Corinthians 8:4, nor any other verse I used.

      The brother wrote back without answering these and other questions, and still without giving one verse for his second part answer. He said in part: “If you will not accept my answer I see no further profit in our continuing a correspondence.”  Please note he said “my answer”: The brother never, ever gave one verse to support his second part answer!!!  Is he speaking “as the oracles of God”???

      I wrote the brother back on 4-26-08 and referred to I Peter 4:11, etc. and asked him several Bible related question, but he has not responded, at least not to me.

      I suppose I am not worthy to approach such an one and the Bible questions I posed were not worthy of his time.  I would love to know his thoughts on my questions.  You decide if the questions deserve a Bible answer.  I asked:

(1.) Is receiving funds for the work of the church a religious matter?

(2.) Is your second part answer from God or you?  Book, chapter, and verse? 
(3.) Is it pleasing to God to do that which is not authorized by God (Col. 3:17)? 
(4.) If we do not need Bible authority for this matter, do we need it for anything? 
(5.) Has God set no bounds for the funding of His work? 
(6.) Must we respect the silence of the word of God? 
(7.) Can the church accept money from a denomination by the faith
(8.) Is error fatal? 
(9.) Is the Bible specific as from where the funds for the work of the church come? 
(10.) Is there not a Divine pattern for funding the work of the church?
      His fellow-worker has done even worse at giving an answer.  Why?  They know and God knows, but it is not hard for anyone to figure out.  I know what they have written.  And I know that the first brother condoned a brother in accepting funds from a denomination for the work of the church.  I appealed to the second brother from the standpoint of unity (Eph. 4:3).  We can reason together (cp. Isa. 1:18; Acts 17:2) only if brethren will act like brethren and deal with the Scriptures, and answer Bible questions (Acts 17:11; I Thess. 5:21). 
      I have no ill will for these brethren, but I believe it is a shame that a gospel preacher will not plainly state his position on a doctrinal matter.  Something is amiss!  Pray for them as well as for me.
      You may also want to read the articles below: 
2008, 10 SW God's Perfect Plan For Church Finances
2008, 7 SW  PRIDE, A KILLER OF THE SOUL!  &  Has It Come To This In The Church of Our Lord???
2008, 5 SW  Is It Scriptural For The Church To Accept Funds From A Denomination For The Lord's Work?