Straining Out Gnats and Swallowing Camels
Luther W. Martin
The above facetious title is being applied to the verbal antics of the 'liberal' young preacher for the church in Rolla, MO., in his vain efforts to establish scriptural (?) authority or proof for his teaching or practice.
Although he stoutly refuses to affix his signature to propositions for either oral or written discussion, so that one can be sure as to just what he DOES believe, he offered to engage in a private exchange with me, if I would get the elders and deacons of two sound congregations in this area' to meet with a few men of the church for which he, Jerry Jones, preaches, but no specific, definite subject would have been dealt with, since he just won't sign any firm proposition.
The latest pet exegesis that brother Jones has espoused, is in a vain effort to teach that the church is to engage in "general benevolence," i. e. that needy sinners are to be supported or aided from the church treasury. He uses (misuses) II Cor. 9:13 for this purpose. This passage relates to the contribution that Corinth was making up, for the needy SAINTS at Jerusalem. Verse 13 reads: "Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all . . ." "To them" no doubt refers to the needy saints at Jerusalem, while "to all" in accord with the context, refers to needy saints in other places.
II Cor. 9:12 uses the expression . . . "the needs of the saints."
II Cor. 9:1 says . . . "this ministry to the saints."
II Cor. 8:4 says . . . "in the support of the saints."
I Cor. 16:1 says . . . "the collection for the saints."
Romans 15:26 says . . . "a contribution for the poor among the saints."
The foregoing passages from the Scripture should be sufficient to establish that the New Testament church aided needy saints exclusively. And, although the following quotations do not constitute any authority, they do serve to show that the use brother Jones attempts to make of II Cor. 9:13, is quite new and modern.... being hastily done in a vain effort to underwrite an unscriptural practice that has crept into some congregations and which appeals to the emotions of socially-minded church members.
Lard's QuarterlyOct. 1864, Page 66
"What does the apostle mean . . . speaking of the same thing in the thirteenth verse, as above, he styles it 'their contribution for them (the poor saints in Jerusalem), 'and for all' other poor saints."
David Lipscomb Commentary on 2nd Corinthians, Page 1 25
"Seeing their obedience and fidelity to the gospel of Christ, and their liberality to the poor saints in Jerusalem in the offering they made, prompted them to glorify God for their professed subjection to the gospel of Christ, and their beneficence to all men, for their liberality showed that they excluded no Christian from their fellowship." (Underscoring mine. L. W. M.)
McGarvey-Pendleton Commentary on 2nd Corinthians, Page 219
" . . . Now the apostle felt confident that a liberal gift from his Gentile churches would bring about a better understanding, and would work wonderful changes in the thoughts of Jewish ChristiansIf the attitude of the unchristian Jewish mind (Emphasis mineL. W. M.) toward him was still relentlessly hitter, it must be borne in mind that he took no collection for them, and that they were in no manner in his thought in this connection." (Emphasis mineL. W. M.)
We again stress that the views of Lipscomb, Lard, McGarvey and Pendleton, carry no authority whatsoever. But we have demonstrated that the latter-day efforts of 'liberals' to distort and misuse Scripture passages to bolster their own pet projects, is a "Johnny-come-lately" thing, and was not shared by brethren a few decades ago.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 7, pp. 14-15 April 1966