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Online Articles

No Authority for Church Buildings!?!

"We all do lots of things that we don't have authority for." That's a response some of our brethren use when we challenge them to produce authority for the innovations that they have introduced into the work and worship of the church. (For instance, we might ask them for "book, chapter, and verse" for their fellowship halls, church kitchens, and gymnasiums. Or, we may request a scriptural explanation for their support of human institutions, the sponsoring church arrangement, or other "missionary society" type organizations.) "What about church buildings," they will continue, "there's no authority for church buildings, butwe have them anyway."

Let us try, once again, to put an end to this fruitless line of argumentation. First of all, do not forget that we MUST have Bible authority for everything we say and do. Paul commanded that "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of (by the authority of) the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17). To act without scriptural authority is a sin.

Therefore, if there truly is no authority for church buildings, then the right thing to do is to get rid of the buildings and repent that we ever had them. We definitely should NOT use one wrong thing to justify doing other wrong things. Would you tell the thief that, since he's already a sinner, he might as well go out and commit murder? Of course not! But that is exactly the perverted "logic" of those who use this church building argument.

In truth, there IS authority for church buildings. The authority is inherent in the command to worship (Hebrews 10:25). Since we are told to assemble, there must be a place for such assembly. Since the Word does not specify where to meet, we must employ sound judgment and good stewardship in making an expedient decision about a meeting place (1 Cor. 10:23). This is much like the command to "go into all the world and preach the gospel" (Mk. 16:15). We MUST "go" but the Lord did not specify HOW to go. Therefore we might choose to drive, fly, use the radio, etc. Expedient judgments are inherent in general (non-specific) commands.

Our brethren have simply missed it when they make this "no authority for church buildings" argument. By using it they are, in fact, admitting the sinfulness of their practices. Think!