Establishing Biblical Authority:

For the Meeting House

By Mark J. Ward

"Where is the Bible authority for the church to take money from her treasury and buy a meeting house to worship God in?"

The question above is a fair and reasonable one. Many churches today have spent money from the church's treasury and "own" their church building in which they meet to worship God. But just because some churches practice it, is NOT "automatic Bible Authority, properly established" for it, is it? Either there IS Bible Authority for the action of buying a meeting house for the church to worship in (paid for by church funds) or THERE IS NOT. In this article we will establish authority for this action.

Proper establishment of Bible authority for a church to procure a building with funds from her treasury would include (not exhaustive) the following:

Heb. 10:25 God requires the church, functioning as the church, to assemble for church authorized activities (direct statement). In Acts 20:7, God requires the church, functioning as the church, to assemble for scriptural observance of the Lord's Supper (approved example/account of action). In I Cor. 11:17-34, God teaches that the church is SUPPOSED to come together into one place, as the church, to scripturally observe the Supper (express statements, approved & unapproved examples, and unavoidable conclusions in this text).

2. The mandate/requirement for the church to assemble for authorized church activity necessitates "a place" (this is an unavoidable conclusion).

3. Properly understanding generic and specific authority, we understand/discern (
Heb. 5:10-14) that God did not "specfiy" whether to ~always buy a building~, ~rent a facility only~, or ~always get a free location~, etc. But a place is inherently authorized in the requirements of God to assemble for various church work and worship activities mentioned in the New Testament.

4. Therefore, the church has God's generic authority to spend her funds to buy, or rent, a place for scripturally authorized church activity. (Or she might even be able to get a place for no charge).




Hebrews 10:23-25

Provoke one another to love and good works, to not forsake the assembling of the church

A Place (is absolutely necessary to do this)

Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:17-34

The church is to come together to break bread

A Place (is absolutely necessary to do this)

NOTE: Please be mindful that the building that is bought and paid for with "church funds" is ONLY authorized to be USED for the scriptural worship and work of the local church. There is no authority for using the church building (i.e. one bought and paid for with funds from the church's treasury) for common meals, for Boy or Girl Scout meetings, for Aerobics classes, for Day Care (Monday - Saturday), for secular education classes, for weddings or funerals, or for other activities that might be alright for INDIVIDUALS to participate in, but that are not authorized "church activity" in the New Testament! Those who wish to use the church's building for the aforementioned activites would do well to try to establish Bible Authority for such! In the absence of such authority, let us not engage in those things. We can, and should, find "other buildings" to engage in "non-church activity". Brethren and friends, think on these things. If you disagree, let us hear from you in love.

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