[Biblemat] S> And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

ZekeFlores1 at cs.com ZekeFlores1 at cs.com
Mon Sep 27 08:40:24 CDT 2004


Greetings brethren,
       Here's another lesson on liberalism. Old saw, same tree. 
Unfortunately, still needed.
       Zeke Flores
       Rio Grande Valley church of Christ
       Belen, NM
********************************************************************

"And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors"

Intro   Last lesson (Orphan Hater) focused on one facet of 
       division begun in 30's-60's in churches of Christ regarding orphan's 
homes. 
       A.   The whole thing was over whether a church can support 
             a human institution (orphanage) from its treasury.
             1. Both sides claimed authority & battle raged 
                   heatedly and bitterly until division split many churches.
       B.   The real issue is actually much older.
             1. In 1849, Christian Missionary Society was founded.
                   a.   Alexander Campbell was founder & 1st president.
                   b.   Solicited $$ from churches in order to fund 
                         missionary work. 
                   c.   Its support was actually made a test of fellowship 
                         in some areas.
             2. The Missionary Society thus became the impetus 
                   for other organizations formed to do the work of 
                   the church.
                   a.   Today some churches act as the 
                         "Missionary Society.
                         1) Solicit $$ from other churches in order 
                               to undertake some evangelistic effort 
                               they couldn't otherwise afford.
                         2) Thus, they are called the "Sponsoring Church"
                   b.   People asked, "What's wrong with that as 
                         long as people hear the gospel?"
                   c.   They asked the same thing about orphanages, 
                         hospitals, and nursing homes.
                   d.   Remember, the real issue: A "middleman" 
                         organization standing between the church 
                         and the work.
       C.   Today, we'll look further into the "sponsoring church" 
arrangement.

I.  The Sponsoring Church Arrangement - A Brief History
       A.   Broadway church of Christ - Lubbock TX
             1. After WWII, there was tremendous interest in 
                   evangelizing Germany, the nation defeated in the war.
             2. Broadway church elders solicited money with 
                   the intent on having the oversight of the work 
                   in Germany.
                   a.   Thus, you have churches sending $$ to a 
                         church that will oversee work in another 
                         country!
       B.   Union Ave C of C - Memphis, TN
             1. About same time, Union Ave church wanted to 
                   do the same thing with evangelism in Japan.
             2. The same thing happened: One church eldership 
                   overseeing the work of many churches in a 
                   foreign country.
             3. The same pattern replicated over & over throughout 
                   the 20th century.
       C.   Some may ask, "Well, what's wrong with that?"
       D.   Remember the need for authority
             1. 2 Tim 3:16-17, Col 3:17, 2 John :9
       E.   Further, there are boundaries given to the oversight 
             of an eldership. Elders are limited.
             1. Acts 20:28
                   a.   Ephesian elders were to oversee the 
                         Ephesian flock.
             2. 1 Peter 5:1-2
                   a.   Notice again the limitation in oversight. 
                         "The flock of God among you"
             3. The Broadway and Union Eve elders were 
                   NOT limiting themselves to the oversight of the 
                   flock among them.
                   a.   They overstepped and took on more than 
                         what God had given them as elders (2 John :9)
       F.   Notice also the divine pattern for supporting evangelism:
             1. Local church selected preacher - 
                   Acts 11:22-24
             2. Local church sent preacher forth - 
                   Acts 11:22, 13:1-3
             3. Local church supported preacher directly - 
                   Phil 4:15-16, 2 Cor 11:8-9
II. Consider some other examples with a slight twist
       A.   "One Nation Under God" Campaign
             1. Sycamore church on Cookeville TN wanted to 
                   send out literature to every home in the U.S.
             2. Original goal was to collect $17 million, then $10 mil.
       B.   The Herald of Truth
             1. Highland church in Abilene, TX solicited $$ 
                   for radio & television.
             2. Interesting sidenote: At first, preaching on 
                   Herald of Truth was very doctrinal, then got softer 
                   & softer focusing on a more positive self-image. 
                   As result, preaching in churches got softer & softer.
       C.   In Search of the Lord's Way
             1. Edmond C of C solicits $$ for national TV show.
       D.   Worldwide Evangelism Satellite/Cable TV Network
             1. Liberty C of C - Dennis, MS solicited $$ for a 
                   worldwide TV network teaching the truth on salvation.
             2. Diverse programming from sermons to puppet shows
       E.   Again, what's wrong with that?
             1. After all, didn't the churches in Macedonia & Achaia 
                   send to the Jerusalem church?
             2. Yes, BUT the church in Jerusalem was IN NEED.
             3. By and large any of these churches previously 
                   mentioned are not needy. Most, if not all, are 
                   large churches with huge contributions.
                   a.   Edmond church alone averages over $20K/wk!
             4. The problem is churches & their elderships taking 
                   on work that is too big for them.
                   a.   Sponsoring church arrangement cuts the autonomy of 
the local church.
                   b.   The local church is sufficient for its own work.
             5. The largest scope of pooled funds is that of the 
                   local church's treasury - 1 Cor 16:1-2 for the needy 
saints.
       F.   Remember the question?
             1. Where is the authority (CENI) for any local church 
                   to send funds to any "middleman" organization, 
                   institutional board or sponsoring eldership?
       G.   There is a pattern whereby we can know what is right.

Conc.   Let us always choose God's way in performing the work He's given us.
       A.   INV
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