Question:

I have a concern over a recent request from a brethren who is a church leader of the congregation where I was baptized years before. He was asking me to help financially support the church planting mission being undertaken by the missionary training academy established by the congregation over the years. The academy has it's own treasury apart from the congregation's. The academy, every year, supports and trains up to six church members to do missionary work. I know that some funding for the academy is also being sought outside the congregation, from individuals, and from another church. Over the years, I have doubts the congregation is doing things not authorized, or without scriptural basis, regarding the academy. Thus, I am concerned of granting their request. I would appreciate for your advice.

One more thing, the congregation has no eldership but "leadership" instead. Is this scriptural?


Answer:

I assume the congregation has "leaders" instead of elders to claim that these leaders do not have to meet the qualifications set forth by Paul in I Timothy 3:1ff and Titus 1:5ff. Jesus set up the leaders of the church and their qualifications (Ephesians 4:11-12). If a leader is not among those Jesus established, then they are adding to God's teachings. If a leader is among those Jesus established, then they ought to call them by their scriptural names.

God gave the responsibility of training teachers and preachers to the preachers in the church. "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (II Timothy 2:2). A church does not have the right to establish another organization to do its work or the work of its members. To do so is essentially a claim that God didn't know the best way to handle the spreading of the Gospel. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10).

So not only is an unauthorized institution established and the real work of the church and its preachers being push off onto this institution, the church through its leaders has become a fund raiser for this man-made institution. Again, there is no teaching by God that authorizes the church to function in such a capacity.

It sounds to me that you need to find a church which loves God more than their own ideas. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3).