Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 28, 1959
NUMBER 4, PAGE 7b,14b

Sunday School Contribution

Ralph D. Gentry, Pensacola, Florida

Among some churches of Christ there is the practice of taking up a collection in the Sunday morning Bible classes. Usually this is limited to children's classes. Sometimes this involves a separate treasury and the money is spent under the oversight of the teachers of the respective classes for room supplies, decoration, picnics, etc. In other cases the money is put in the general fund of the church each Lord's day. This article calls in question the practice even though a separate treasury and organization is not formed.

Refutation Of Arguments Favoring The Practice

1. We are asked, "Where is the chapter and verse against it?" It is in the same book (3 Peter 5) that says thou shalt not play instruments in worship, conduct raffles and observe the Lord's supper on Tuesday. Brethren are obligated to give chapter and verse authorizing this practice before it is justified. If brethren who condone this practice would apply the same principle contained in arguments against the use of mechanical music and a host of other denominational practices, they'd stand self condemned.

2. We are told, "Some of these children are not from Christian homes and will return home as soon as classes dismiss. Thus, they will not have opportunity to give during the worship service". Then why not let them have the Lord's supper too? You say, "0, that's for members of the church". Well, so is the contribution. The same authority exists for both. "Let everyone of you (Christians, RDG) lay by him in store . . . ." (I Cor. 16:2.) "When the disciples (Christians, RDG) came together to break bread . . . ." (Acts 20:7.) If their parents are not members of the church, why solicit contributions from them? It is far better to permit the parents of these children to see the difference between the church and denominationalism respecting efforts to raise money.

3. Still another says, "We are to teach (train) the child to give and it is best learned by doing or by practice". Training them doesn't involve their engaging in acts of public worship belonging to the Christian, such as: Giving, communion, acting as elders and deacons, etc.. . Or, should we now advocate organizing "little churches" in which youth may "learn by doing"?

Considerations In Opposition To The Practice

1. Where is the authority for it? Scripture please!

2. If it is justifiable among children's classes, by what principle is it condemned among the adult classes? If not wrong in the adult classes, why is it excluded?

3. Is it wrong to have the general collection twice on Sunday? If so, then the Sunday School collection is wrong, for it is the second collection in the worship hour to those who gave in the classes. If it is right to have the general collection at the night service, why isn't it done in churches of Christ? If you say it isn't necessary and that one collection is sufficient to meet all the demands of scriptural giving, I agree one hundred per cent and answer that for the same reason the Sunday School collection is ruled out as altogether unnecessary and out of place.

4. If the Sunday school collection is scriptural, then we may "pass the hat" at all of the services on Sunday. If not, why not?

5. Denominations reject the Lord's supper on each Lord's day but seem to find plenty of reason (but not scripture) to have the contribution every time opportunity is given. Churches of Christ having Sunday School collections are doing the same thing in principle. "Get the money" is their aim.