Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lay By In Store...

Stephen Lord writes to the Church_Of_Christ group in Yahoo! Groups:
One [way to "cross the line" with regard to tradition in my view] I glean from Mk. 7--when a custom becomes sacrosanct, untouchable, confused with God-given doctrine and made a test of "soundness" and "fellowship". Example: we often hear how "God commanded that we lay by in store as we have prospered every first day of the week." No he didn't. The proof-text for that non-doctrine is 1 Cor. 16, wherein Paul is not speaking of a regular offering to support the work of the local church, but rather a "special contribution" for the poverty stricken church in Jerusalem (cf. Rom. 15; 2 Cor. 8-9). Once Paul arrived, that collection would cease, and he plainly said in 2 Cor. 8:8 that this collection was not a command. There is nothing wrong with providing the opportunity for assembled believers to share their material blessings on a regular basis, but it is not a command of God that we do so every Lord's Day assembly. Therefore, those who insist that taking up an offering is a required component of the assembly, one of the "authorized five acts of worship" that allegedly validate an assembly and make it pleasing in the eyes of God, have crossed the line from harmless custom to harmful "vain worship".

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