Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 25, 1961

Church Support Of Human Institutions

Roy S. Fudge, Belle Glade, Florida

First, I would like to point out two major reasons for this opposition. When God gave the church an obligation or work to perform, he intended for the church to do the work he gave her to do. To build a human institution to do this work, and let the church supply the monetary support would be shifting the responsibility to another institution. Then to have the church support a work that God has never given her, would be placing a burden upon the church which would hinder her from doing the work she has been given to do. In either case it would be wrong.

Since there is no command, approved example, or necessary inference in the New Testament of the church supporting a human institution to do her work, let us notice some scriptural reasons for not placing this burden on the church:

  1. Jesus never taught it. (Acts 1:1) Jesus began to do and to teach, but where did he ever teach this?
  2. The disciples of Christ never taught it. (Mt. 28:20) They were to teach all that Jesus had taught them, but where did they ever teach this arrangement?
  3. Peter, who had the keys, did not authorize it. (Mt. 16:19) We have much of Peter's teachings but not one word about human institutions.
  4. The Holy Spirit never taught it. (Jno. 16:13) The Holy Spirit was to guide us into all truth, yet he was silent about the church working through human organizations.
  5. You cannot speak as the oracles of God and teach it. (1 Pet. 4:11)
  6. Such is not in truth. (Jno. 17:17) It is not found in the word of God.
  7. Such does not pertain to life and godliness. (2 Pet. 1:3) We are furnished with all things that pertain to life and godliness.
  8. It is not a good work. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) The man of God is complete unto every good work.
  9. To preach such is to teach another gospel. (Gal. 1:6, 7) The curse of God is upon anyone who would teach this.
  10. Such teaching is an effort to please men. (Gal. 1:10) If we are pleasing men, we are no longer servants of Christ.
  11. Such did not come by revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 1:11, 12)
  12. Such is no part of the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27) Paul said he had declared the whole counsel of God, but nothing is said in his teachings about these human institutions doing the work of the church.
  13. Such is not according to sound words. (2 Tim. 1:13)
  14. Such is not in the better covenant. (Heb. 8:6)
  15. It is not of faith. (Rom. 10:17) Therefore we cannot hold to this practice and please God. (Heb. 11:6)
  16. It is not a blood sealed practice. (Heb. 10:28, 29)
  17. It is a doctrine of men. (Mt. 15:9) This would render our work in vain.
  18. It is an addition to the work prescribed in God's word. (Rev. 22:18)
  19. It is offering ''strange fire" (organization) unto God. (Lev. 10:1)
  20. To use such is not to abide in the doctrine of Christ. (2 Jno. 9)
  21. It is a will "worship" or work. (Col. 2:23)
  22. It is a substitute for the institution God gave. (Jas. 1.27)
  23. Such cannot be done in the name of the Lord. (Col. 3:17) All we do is to be done by his authority and he has not authorized this.
  24. Preaching such is not preaching the word. (2 Tim. 4:2)
  25. Such is not to be contended for. (Jude 3) We are to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, and this is not a part of that faith.
  26. One cannot walk in the light and support it. (1 Jno. 1:7)
  27. The practice of such departs from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3) God's plan for his work is simple, why should we try to make it complicated? If you notice the human arrangements of today you will see a very complicated affair.
  28. Introduction of it causes division. (1 Kings 18:18) Introduction of man's ways into the work of God has always caused division.
  29. Addition of another organization in the work of the church is a Presumptuous sin. (Dent. 18:20; Ps. 19:13) To presume a thing is right without any scriptural authority is always wrong.
  30. The only safe course is to leave it off. (Jno. 12:48) We will be judged by the words of the New Testament. If we add to them we will have the plagues written therein added to us. (Rev. 22:18)

I am afraid to change God's will in any way. Therefore I am opposed to the church supporting any human institution to do its work in evangelism, edification, or benevolence. Yet we have many human devised institutions to do all of these works. Let me plead with you not to support through the church treasury these things that cause division.

(These thoughts are not my own, but are taken from brother E. Nowlin's tract on Instrumental Music.)