By Michael R. Baggett
All You Can Eat
with beef or chicken, cornbread or crackers, dessert and drink
Adults: $3.50 – Children: $2.00
Pints: $1.50 – Quarts: $3.00 – 2 Quarts: $5.00
Entertainment begins at 6:00 p.m.
The Wilborn Ashby Family
Fellowship Building of Ashland Church of Christ
(intersection of Highways 4 & 5)
All proceeds go to Magnolia Bible College
“All You Can Eat”
The fact that some churches are putting the Lord’s church in the “fast-food business” is clearly seen in advertisements from time to time. (The one above is taken from The South Reporter, published in Holly Springs, Mississippi.) Who would have dreamed forty years ago that a “church of Christ” would sell food to the public to raise money? Today, some seem to think that if it’s a “good cause,” any method of doing good is accepted with God; in other words, the end justifies the means.
It is not true that the end justifies the means. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. ” When Nadab and Abilm thought they could offer a “strange fire” to God, God showed his disapproval of their means when he consumed them with fire! (Lev. 10:1-2). The fire for burning incense was to come from the altar (Num. 16:46; Lev. 6:12-13). When God told Moses to “speak” to the rock to get water, Moses struck the rock with his rod instead! Moses’ method got water out of the rock, but he wasn’t allowed to enter the promised land because of his method! (Num. 20:8-12) Moses was punished because he did things “his way” rather than God’s way. Getting water his way did not justify the way he got it.
Today, Christ is not pleased when men choose to do things their way rather than his way. 2 John 9 says, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. . . ” This means that when churches practice things not found in Christ’s doctrine (the New Testament) they no longer have fellowship with God; instead, they have run off and left him behind! When churches raise money by selling food, having a car wash, or by entertainment, they transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ; therefore, they have not God!
Friends, the doctrine of Christ concerning raising money in a local church is a first-day-of-the-week contribution from each of its members (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7). Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay be him in store as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings (collections) when I come. ” This is God’s way for the local church to raise funds. It may not seem like an important point but, in the Judgment Day, someone is going to give an account for adding to God’s way (Rev. 22:18-19).
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 13, p. 405
July 2, 1992