Vol.VII No.XI Pg.4
January 1971

Gods Cooperative

Robert F. Turner

Is the local church a divinely instituted organization — Gods plan for the collective action of saints? Is it, when a plurality of saints makes it possible, a relationship of saints and means of functioning that is God authorized and bound upon all who would follow the precepts and approved examples of the New Testament? Yes, Yes!! We have repeatedly offered scriptures for these affirmations.

Now some seem to have made it a special project to belittle the local church — going much further than correction of abuses, and misuses of terminology. Some of the attack upon a church treasury (and they almost spit when they say it) is fundamentally an attack upon the whole idea of collective, or church action. We have long fought churchanity as opposed to Christianity, and plan to continue this battle. But we are far from rejecting the local church as a God — approved organized entity.

We like the way it was put in the Aug. 24, 61 issue of the Gospel Guardian — a five page article called How Churches Work Together — Christian Church Style. Note a few quotes.

How similarly do many brethren today dispose of the local church as nothing more than just one of several means Christians may use to do spiritual work! (There follows a quote from a 59 A.C.C. lecture brochure —).

Then, So, according to our brethren who conduct these lectures, the local church is nothing more than one of the many ways to get the job done; not a mandatory, God ordained cooperative of his chosen people, but only an expedient, and that on the level of those devices of mans ingenuity. Shades of the Christian church!

On the next page, Men need to realize that the independent action of each congregation is the direct result of Gods wisdom and planning; they need to realize that the local church is Gods ordained instrumentality and is the most efficient, practical, and productive organic structure capable of being devised. If there were a more proficient, practical, and productive organization capable of doing the work God wanted done, God would have devised it and set it in motion by his word.

And in the next column, How to work together will never be a problem for people who let God do their thinking for them through his Word; who submit their wills in complete subjection to the will of the Lord. People who feel intensely responsible to God for their conduct will not be quick to exalt their wisdom above the wisdom of him to whom we all shall give account in judgement. The Lord demonstrated his wisdom in setting forth the congregation in each locality to be the unit of working together. The local church is Gods cooperative through which combined energies of many individuals produce to the glory of God. But to form cooperative agencies larger than, smaller than, other than, or to form cooperatives consisting of Gods cooperatives (the local church) is wholly without scriptural precedent of any type or form from Gods Word.

The author? Bro. Harold Spurlock