Are Christians Required To Make A Financial Contribution To The Church As An Act Of Worship Every Sunday?
We see that this was the practice of the church from her beginning. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). This verse shows that the church was regularly engaged in various forms of worship, including “fellowship”. This term is often used in the New Testament in reference to the sharing of our finances to support the work of the church (cf. Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:13; Gal. 6:6; Heb. 13:16). The first congregation in Jerusalem presented their gifts to the apostles (Acts 4:34-5:2).
Later, Paul wrote, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). This was not an option but the “orders” of the inspired apostle. It was something that “must” be done “on the first day of the week” (i.e. every first day) by “each one”. The command is to “lay something aside, storing up” so that the monies would have already been collected when Paul arrived in Corinth. You can find no other way of financing the church that is authorized by the New Testament.
Wayne Jackson in the Christian Courier writes: “John Mosheim (1694-1755), widely applauded for his historical objectivity and scholarship, noted that the first-century church, ‘at the conclusion of [their] meetings, testified their mutual love, partly by their liberality to the poor’ (1.19). Justin Martyr (2nd c. A.D.) mentioned contributions being made on Sunday (Apology 1.67.6). In the Epistle of Clement (ca. A.D. 30-100), reference is made to ‘enjoined offerings’ to be made at the ‘appointed times and hours’ (40).”
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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