Paul's Pattern

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

In a discussion with Gordon Brewer, preacher for the liberal church in Streator, Illinois, concerning cooperation among churches, he indicated that churches may turn their funds over to a sponsoring church even though there is no pattern for such activity. He reasoned thusly:

1) The pattern for the use of church funds is for benevolence (I Cor. 16:1-3).

2) But Paul accepted wages from churches (Phil. 4:15, 16; 2 Cor. 11:8), through that is not a part of the pattern of I Cor. 16:1-3.

CONCLUSION: We may use the church treasury even though there is no pattern for our usage.

Isn't that rich?! Paul used the church treasury for wages when the pattern of I Cor. 16:1-3 does not authorize it, so we may use the church's treasury as we see fit. Brother Brewer failed to note that Paul's act is the pattern. Paul's ways were "in Christ" (I Cor. 4:17), and "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do" (Phil. 4:9). Asking for Paul's authority or pattern to accept wages from churches is about like asking for Philip's authority to take the Eunuch down into the water and baptize him. That is the pattern!

Such reasoning (?) efforts are akin to sectarians who say we can give "personal experiences" since Paul gave his "personal witness and testimony" in Acts 22:1-22, and "He didn't quote 'no' scripture." Why, Paul was speaking Scripture! (Cf. I Cor. 14:37; I Thess. 2:13)

May 20, 1971