Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 20, 1964


J. T. Smith

Sometime ago while I was in Cookeville, Tennessee, conducting a meeting, I encountered several persons who believed that a person who is not a member of the body of Christ may receive financial support out of the treasury of the church. While discussing this question with some of my life long friends who live there, I was especially impressed with one answer that was given to prove the theory. When asked for Scriptural proof for this doctrine, they said, "Galatians chapter six." We then turned to the word of God and began to read the sixth chapter of Galatians. When I asked which passage taught this doctrine, the reply came "verse ten." We began to read again Galatians six, and again I failed to find the church treasury involved. When I asked if they didn't agree that this was telling an individual Christian what to do, they replied, "Oh, yes, we know that this is to an individual Christian, and that the individual is to 'do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith,' BUT I can see in that same verse that if the individual Christian can not do this, that they still have a responsibility to this person, and therefore could go to the treasury of the church to obtain the funds."

Now, I hope that you will read that first paragraph again and note exactly what was said. With regard (or perhaps we should say without regard) to what was said or to whom it was said, the reply was, "I know who is under consideration, BUT...." When we have this kind of attitude toward the word of God, it is the same sort of attitude manifest by those in the denominational world. They say for example, when we are discussing instrumental music with them, "I know Eph. 5:19 says sing, BUT I can also see in that passage where it would be all right to use an instrument as an aid." Or, when talking with sectarians about baptism, they say, "I know Romans 6 and Colossians 2 teach that we are buried BUT I can also see where it might be expedient for us to sprinkle water on a person." Hence, they see these things because they do not have any Scripture that teaches their doctrine.

How can we hope to teach the denominational world anything about the Bible if we use the same method of what they would call "rightly dividing it"? We are just as much in error as the denominations are if we read a passage of Scripture and say, "I know that is what it says BUT" in order to try to justify our practice.

— 3022 E. Flora Street, Tampa, Florida