Church of Christ
Mission USA

Is It Scriptural For The Church To Accept Funds From A Denomination For The Lord’s Work?

by Perry Sexton

            If it is, I have never seen it!  I have been in the church since 1974 and everything I remember hearing from sound brethren and have studied from the Bible says NO!  Only in the past two years or so have I, personally, been hearing otherwise.  Since the spring of 2005 this subject has been on my mind a lot.  I have done much study on the subject and have sought the understanding of brethren more knowledgeable in the Scriptures than I consider myself to be.  Some of the ones I asked have condemned it severely while others have attempted to justify it.

            From my observation the ones who have condemned the accepting of funds from a denomination for the Lord’s work have made a far better case in every way.  Especially using Scripture – which is the right thing to do (cp. Acts 17:11; II Tim. 2:15; II Thess. 5:21).  Quite frankly I have been very disappointed in the very little, if any, Scripture that has been used [or misused] to justify the church of Christ receiving money from a denomination for the Lord’s work.  We, who stand against it, have received ridicule, but that is not an answer.  It is not even Christ like, but rather contrariwise (cp. Mat. 15:20; Psa. 22:7).  Some, evidently have thought it too unimportant to even give an answer, but that probably is not the real reason.

            The advocates of receiving the money evidently believe their “best” argument is that of passing the collection plate on Sunday and a denominational person may give something.  If one would read the question carefully it should be clear that that is not even the question.  The question under consideration is: “Is It Scriptural For The Church To Accept Funds From A Denomination [the organization] For The Lord’s Work?  Other questions do need to be asked and a Bible answer given, but let us stay with the question at hand for now.  In my studies of the matter I believe it is sinful for the church to receive funds from a denomination for the funding of the Lord’s work.  When I first learned of a brother who had accepted funds from a denomination [the organization] for the Lord’s work, my first objection was: It is wrong from the standpoint of fellowship which we are NOT to have with "the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph 5:11).

It Is Wrong From The Standpoint Of Fellowship

            There are many things to consider here which space will not allow.  Here are but a few.  The Greek word for fellowship is Strong’s number 2842.  Please note the Greek word and definition: koinonia, koy-nohn-ee'-ah; from G2844; partnership, i.e. (lit.) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:--(to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship.

            By example we have the saints (Acts 11:29) contributing to the church [the Lord] in order to help those in need: "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution [koinonia] for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem" (Rom 15:26).  Is not such commanded?  "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye" (I Cor 16:1).  Please consider: "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches [not denominations] of Macedonia;" (II Cor 8:1).  It seems to me that verse four makes it very clear that to receive funds from a party for a particular purpose makes them “partners” in that purpose: "Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints" (II Cor 8:4).

            Please note what Paul said to the Philippians: "For your fellowship [koinonia] in the gospel from the first day until now;" (Phil 1:5).  Compare: "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated [koinoneo] with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only" (Phil 4:15).

            When a denomination [the organization] gives money to the church for any work of the Lord, they are participating [see definition of koinonia] with the church of our Lord in that particular work.  It is amazing to me how some can say they do not participate!  The simple illustration of tug of war shows, of course, that they do participate!  We recognize participation [fellowship] in a particular area of work by money alone being given.  So do the denominations.

We Are To Have No Fellowship...

            Ephesians 5:11 is as plain as II Corinthians 8:4 above.  Note: "And have no fellowship [sugkoinoneo] with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph 5:11).  Please note Strong’s definition “4790. sugkoinoneo, soong-koy-no-neh'-o; from G4862 and G2841; to share in company with, i.e. co-participate in: – communicate (have fellowship) with, be partaker of.”  This is preceded by the negative “no.”  This (fellowship – participation) is what we are NOT to do.  I do not know how it could be any plainer!  But for those who are blinded (willingly or otherwise) to this particular truth are like those who are blinded to NOT seeing the truth on the kind of music God wants in worship to Him.  The same rules of interpretation apply to both does it not?

            We have the example of missionaries going "forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles" (III John 1:7). On the other hand John admonishes: "We therefore ought to receive such [missionaries], that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth" (III John 1:8).

What Part Do The Denominations Have With Us???

            There are multitudes of Scriptures and examples, from which we can learn (cp. Rom. 15:4) showing that the denominations have nothing to do with the Lord’s church.  Those organizations are not of God; they are not of truth; they are in opposition to the Lord’s church and His truth.

            We have no example or command (no authority, Col. 3:17) to receive funds from any denomination for the Lord’s work!  Has not the Lord instructed (legislated) how His work is to be funded???  Is our faith in God strong enough to follow His word in all things?

            If you have input on this matter please send it so I can consider it in next months publication.  Let us all wholly seek God’s truth. ♥
 See also:  2008, 3 SW 

Shall We Use Denominational Articles In Our Publications?

by Perry Sexton

            I cannot imagine how anyone “in Christ” would think such is right!  Would such not be the same as inviting them to speak in our assemblies???  If not, why not?  What part do they have with the church of our Lord?  They are enemies of the church and of truth!  Why should we give them any creditability at all?  Do we not have capable men among us to write about any subject needed?  I believe those who use denominational articles are doing more harm to the church then they can ever do good with other articles which “may” be sound.  It is a compromise of the integrity of the church!

            Have we given up on the Lord’s way and replaced it with our wisdom (cp. I Cor. 2:4ff)?  Do we think we must compromise to convert denominational people?  We may indeed convert them, but to what?  Not to the Lord if we ourselves have gone astray!

            Brethren, the Bible still teaches: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph 5:11).  Are we ready to say that the denominations are not workers of darkness?  Some have and do fellowship them, but shall we follow the erring brethren to destruction?  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor 6:14).  Let us truly be separate and distinctive as God commands and is becoming to the glorious church of our Lord (cp. II Cor. 6:17; I Pet. 2:9; Eph. 5:27). ♥