Is Supporting Evangelistic And Benevolent Institutions All Right If Done As Individuals?
We have been saying for a long time that if an individual wants to give his money to support a human organization to do teaching, or benevolent work, it's his business, and Scriptural. Is it? Who really knows this? How does he know it?
If an individual functions in either work through an organization, is that an individual work? And if a Christian gives or works through an organization, does he have the God-given right to ignore God's only organzation on earth? What right do we have as Christians to give and work collectively in any group or unit besides the church?
I remember a man's trying to get me to join the Odd Fellows in Georgia. He said that there was a sick man whom his preacher (a Baptist) and the preacher who had preceded me, had visited often and regularly. But, said he, the man was in need of more than soul food. So he and others from the Odd Fellows, as he put it, "brought home the bacon" to this man and his family. Then I asked how many Odd Fellows were members of each congregation represented by the preachers. He said nearly all of them. Then I wanted to know why they gave the Lord's money that rightfully should have been given into the Lord's "store" (1 Cor. 16) to the Odd Fellows in the first place. If the money that brethren give to human organizations of all kinds were given into the Lord's treasury, there would be plenty to care for the needy and preach the gospel, too. It is beneath the intelligence of any capable gospel preacher or adult Christian to say that Acts 11:28-30 was strictly individual giving. All giving is individual basically. Does Ephesians 3 apply here? What right have we to ignore and short-circuit Christ's church in doing "the work of Christ?"