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Home The Light Articles from 1999 The Use of the Church Treasury

The Use of the Church Treasury

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The Use of the Church Treasury

by Raymond Stiner

The question has always come up in discussion between brethren about the use of the church money. What can it scripturally be used for? There are basically four things that it can be used for.

1. The upkeep of the church building

I believe by following the example of the treasury that was under the Old Testament that God would have us to use the money for the repairs and necessities of the church building. We find in 2 Chron. 24:1-9 some instruction regarding this usage of money. Also in 2 Kings 12:4-5 we read: "And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord, Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found."

So I certainly think that from example at least we can use the treasury of the church for the upkeep of the church building.

2. Widows who meet the requirements should be supported.

In 1 Timothy 5 beginning about verse 9 we are told of some of the qualifications that a widow must meet. And if she meets this criteria she is worthy of being helped or supported by the church. But if this widow has believing children or even distant relatives such as a nephew, they are responsible for them and not the church. We find this in 1 Timothy 5:3-4, "Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God." Also we read in 1 Timothy 5:16: "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed." And so we learn from this that there is a charge unto the church for widows that are widows indeed, but if there are any children involved then they are responsible for their mothers.

3.Those who preach the gospel are worthy of compensation.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:8-9 "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself."

In Philippians 4:14-19 Paul is commending the Philippian brethren for their help to him and stated that they had given unto him time and time again, and he was thanking them for it.

From these passages as well as 2 Corinthians 9:8-15 we know that Paul was sup-ported for the work that he did for the church in preaching the gospel.

We as preachers of the gospel shy away from talking about this aspect of duty because we don't want to leave the impression that we are out there just preaching for money. But those of you who know me know that this isn't the case and so I am not afraid to tell you that this is one of the areas where the church has fallen down in the support of men who would have been willing to go out and preach. People do not realize the expense involved in moving your family and living away from home for even a little bit of time. And if you look round about you, there are not many young men who want to start out in this endeavor. It is not that they are money hungry, they just want to make a living. I believe that if a man works for the church, preaching the gospel, he is worthy of the support of the church.

4. For the poor saints.

The churches of Macedonia were praised by Paul in 2 Cor. 8:1-9 for their generous gift to the poor saints who were in need of help. Paul was very fond of helping the poor. He wrote in Rom. 15:26 "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." Also in Acts 24:17 "Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings."

And so by example of the early church we know that the funds of the church can be used for the poor saints.

Other than these four things I do not know what the church treasury could be used for. These are the things which we find God approved of through the years and anything else would be a misuse of these funds.

I hope that this article has enlightened you with regard to our great responsibility to give as we have been prospered and to use the church funds scripturally.

—Box 4, Lecontes Mills, PA 16850



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