Frequently Asked Questions
Is it ok to eat in the Church building, fellowship hall, multi-purpose room or any room purchased with offering money?
The most obvious answer to this question is found in 1 Corinthians 11:22 & 34.
Corinthians 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye
the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall
I praise you in this? I praise you not.
Corinthians 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not
together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
But most people do not accept this verse to mean you can't eat in the Church building. Like most traditions of men the "it's a good thing to do" over- rules God's word. How do we determine what can be done in any Church matter has to be based on God's authority. God's authority comes from direct command, example, and necessary inference. Where is the authority to have a church building much less to eat in it? A church building is an expedient. An expedient is something used as an aid to fulfill a direct command, example, or necessary inference. An expedient has guideline as Paul has explained to the Corinthians.
1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Here we find an expedient must be lawful, this means not to add or remove from the command. The expedient must not be bound or made into law and it must edify, this means to build up or help.
In the cast of a building and the land purchased with money collected from our offering, we are fulfilling the command to come together.
Acts 20:7 ¶ And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
What commandment is fulfilled by using the building for recreation. Can you find scripture from singing, praying, teaching, giving and partaking the Lord's Supper? Sure you can. These where things the early church were doing in buildings. The purpose for the building is to serve God not mans fun and games.
example we have of the first church meeting was in Solomon's porch.
5:12 And by the hands of the
apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were
all with one accord in Solomon‘s porch.
Paul preached in Acts 20: 7-9, there were many lights in the upper chamber,
where they were gathered together and Eutychus fell down from the third loft.
Also we have examples of disciples meeting in homes. (Romans 16:5 &
1Corinthians 16:19) The commandment in Acts 20:7 is to come together to break
bread on the first day of the week. Combine these examples with the commandments
to meet and then read 1 Timothy 5:18.
Timothy 5:18 For the scripture
saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that threaded out
the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
verse is telling us the ox (a tool needed in order to perform a duty) is not to
be muzzled or is allowed to take some corn. Meaning the Tools we need in order
to perform a commandment are allowed to come from the money we collect in church
on the first day of the week. The same verse is the authority we have to
pay a preacher. (And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.)
In order to follow the above example and
commands, we need a place to come together. At first a house may be sufficient,
but as the numbers grow a need for a building becomes necessary. We have
authority to purchase from the collection to do the work of our Lord. We can now
necessarily infer (conclude) it is acceptable to purchase or rent a building to
follow these example and commandments. But to use the building for just anything
we want is an abuse of God's authority, and a misuse of the offering. Unless we
have a necessity such as a diabetic, baby, or small child, eating a common meal
in a building purchased with the money collected on the first day of the week is
considered recreational. People think fellowship is food and frolic. True bible
fellowship is singing, praying, lifting up one another as we serve God. Now
let's see how easy it is to answer a question about what can be done in a church
building. Can we have a bingo, dance, or have a common meal? - No. Preach,
teach, sing, pray, give and take the Lord's Supper? - Yes. The difference is,
one is mans tradition and the other is the apostles traditions.
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