Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 31, 1955

What The Church Supports

Judson Woodbridge, Mulvane, Kansas

Recently, I read some writing of brethren, which when summarized, their reasoning was as the following:

1. The church is composed of individuals — those purchased with the blood of Christ.

2. Individuals are to give glory to God in the church.

3. Therefore, if a college or project is unworthy of the support of the church it is unworthy of the support of individuals.

This is saying that anything the church cannot do, the individual Christian cannot do; or anything the individual Christian can do the church can do. All will agree that the church is composed of members, and that glory is to be given to God in the church; but the conclusion does not follow: what is worthy for the individual to do is worthy for the church to do.

Allow me to group some questions:

1. Can the individual own a business?

2. Can the church, as the church, own a business?

1. Can the individual marry — rear children — educate them — play with them, etc?

2. Can the church, as the church, marry — rear children — etc.?

1. Can the individual eat ice cream — play ball — give a party?

2. Can the church, as the church, eat ice cream, play ball, give a party?

These questions can be multiplied; but I am sure all can see that the first ones in the group are to be answered in the affirmative, and the second ones in the negative. That is, we can see it, if we know the mission of the church. The primary mission of the church is to teach the gospel and provide spiritual needs. There arise circumstances and conditions when it has benevolent obligations. But there are many worthy projects that the church, as the church, cannot support. Schools are good institutions, but the church is not in that business. Ice cream is good to eat, but the church is not eating it. Are we going to allow such thinking to put the church in the secular educational, social, political, vocational, and recreational activities? Surely, members know too much Bible to be swept into such movements. OR DO THEY?