The Instigator
DAN123
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
annanicole
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

debate on church cooperation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
annanicole
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,516 times Debate No: 24540
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

DAN123

Pro

Full Proposition:"It is contrary to the Scriptures for churches of Christ to contribute funds from their treasuries in support for TV programs, Radio Programs and publications like Spiritual Sword and gospel advocate as means of cooperating in accomplishing the mission of the church."

Ist round: acceptance of proposition or revisions of the proposition
2nd round-5th round: arguments, rebuttals, actual debate.

I hope my opponent will accept this debate
annanicole

Con

The proposition reads, "It is contrary to the Scriptures for churches of Christ to contribute funds from their treasuries in support for TV programs, Radio Programs and publications like Spiritual Sword and gospel advocate as means of cooperating in accomplishing the mission of the church."

Of course, I am affirming the opposite, i. e. "It is consistent with - in harmony with - the New Testament for churches to contribute funds from their treasuries to support the accomplishment of the Great Commission by contributing to the Spiritual Sword, Gospel Advocate, television programs, radio programs, area-wide meetings, and the like."

My position is that there is no specific pattern in the first place: the choice of expenditure is an expedient based upon good judgement. We all know what the Commission says, "Go ... preach ... " How? How does one go? By foot? By mule? No, the going encompasses all methods of going, including any that may be designed in the future. How to preach? How to make disciples? Again, it's an expedient. As there are examples of many different types of cooperation, I shall insist that no pattern exists. The commands "Go" and "Preach" are generic: the method(s) are unspecified. Likewise, cooperation in some manner is exhibited between churches, churches and needy members, certain disciples and elders, and among individuals. I shall also request proof that any church ever expended any money from its so-called "treasury" for anything other than "benevolence", if it be insisted that we stick to a rigid pattern. How is an anti- preacher even paid, if we all stick to a rigid NT pattern?

That will be my position, and I state it in advance, and I await the 1st negative.
Debate Round No. 1
DAN123

Pro

I am glad that we are having this religous debate and may we discover truth in the area of church cooperation in evangelism. I will gladly present my first affirmative shortly but before that let us define the proposition.

By the Scriptures, I mean the 66 inspired books of the Bible particularly the New Testament of God's Word. By "contrary to" we mean out of harmony with, not in agreement with, the scriptures. By "churches of Christ" we mean congregations of the Lord's people, Christians, using the term in the same sense as it occurs in Romans 16:16. By "in support for TV programs, Radio Programs and publications like Spiritual Sword and gospel advocate as means of cooperating in accomplishing the mission of the church." we mean that congregations can contribute to these organizations to accomplish the work of evangelism.

First Affirmative

What is not the issue
The issue here is not whather churches can cooperate or not. The Scriptures clearly teach so. The issues are not over methods and arrangements whereby local churches do their own work of preaching the gospel. Also, local churches
keep each other informed about their own affairs without violating the independence of the local church. The church in Jerusalem had a keen interest in the church in Antioch, and vice versa, and they exchanged news with each other (Acts 11:19-30). It is indeed scriptural for congregations to exchange bulletins or newsletters as a means of keeping each other informed about one another’s affairs, and we should be interested in the work of the Lord in other localities.

Furthermore, a local church may invite members of other congregations to come study the Bible with them. The church in Jerusalem welcomed Barnabas and Paul from Antioch to consider the question over circumcision and the keeping of the law (Acts 15:1-22). When a local church has a gospel meeting or lectureship and sends invitations to other congregations, inviting their members to attend, no autonomy is sacrificed.

What is the issue

Each local church has equal responsibility in the work of evangelism, commensurate with its own ability (Matthew 28:19-20). Thus, when churches send funds to another church to do the work of evangelism, the oversight of the work of all the churches involved is within the receiving church. Sending churches sacrifice oversight of part of their work and give up autonomy.

In essence, there is one pattern (the autonomy of the local church) with two applications (cooperation for benevolence and for evangelism). This is not hard to understand. We often preach on “God's Two Laws of Pardon.” God has one plan of salvation: by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). But there is one set of conditions for forgiveness of the alien sinner and another for pardon of the erring child of God. One pattern - two applications.

When many churches send to one for the work of evangelism, since the elders of the receiving church are overseeing a work that pertains equally to all the churches, a collectivity of churches precisely parallel to a Baptist association is created, something unknown to the New Testament. This is not true in benevolence, since the sending churches simply help the receiving church do its own work. [1]

Furthermore, my opponent has said, "My position is that there is no specific pattern in the first place: the choice of expenditure is an expedient based upon good judgement. We all know what the Commission says, "Go ... preach...""
Grant, for argument's sake, that "all churches are under the great commission." Indeed, this would authorize churches to "go" and "preach." If it authorizes each church to go and preach, then each church must do so, but Annanicole's scheme has some churches funding the work and others overseeing and doing it. The great commission does not authorize an inter-church organization. It would simply authorize each church to "go" and "preach."

Consider the Spiritual Sword arrangement. Many churches contribute thousands of dollars under the direction and oversight of the Getwell church in Memphis,Tenessee. Spiritual Sword does the "going" and "preaching" while the contributing churches do the funding. Where does the great commission provide for that? In the New Testament, each church, under the oversight of its own elders, went and preached (Acts 14:23; 20:28; 11:22-24; 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 5:2).

Do not forget missionary societies. If a church can "go" and "preach" by sending money to a sponsoring church and allowing it to employ the means and methods of preaching, why can it not send money to a missionary organization and thereby "go" and "preach"? True enough, We are at liberty to go in any expedient manner and we are at liberty to use the best possible avenues of evangelistic opportunity, but centralized control, the modern sponsoring church arrangement, as typified by Spirtual Sword and the like, is an organization, a conglomeration of churches that must use means and methods. There is no denial of the tenet that churches may employ expedient ways to go and preach. The sponsoring church plan is an organization, however, that must itself select the manner of its operation.

Conclusion
Maybe Annananicole can enlighten for us. But for me I will stand by the Bible for it is what sets us free. May God bless this debate and may one of us will see the truth in the light of the Scriptures.

[1] http://lavistachurchofchrist.org...



annanicole

Con

My opponent's position, if I understand it properly, is:

There is one instance with two criteria in which one congregation can send assistance to another congregation. These criteria are:

A. When the sending congregation is in abundance or relatively affluent in physical matters (food, clothing, shelter), and

B. When the receiving congregation is in need of physical assistance (destitute).

That's it! Now I submit that if the foregoing is correct, no passage can be supplied which teaches such a thing. Such a teaching, if correct, also has some very necessary implications:

It would be a misuse of funds to (and this is a partial list):

A. Send Bibles to another congregation.
B. Send tracts to another congregation.
C. Same for songbooks, filmstrips, videos of sermons.
D. Conduct county-wide meetings in which one congregation handles the business details.
E. Conduct radio/television programs as a means of spreading the gospel in which one congregation handles the business details.
F. Loan chairs for a meeting to another congregation.
G. By extension, may only supply the physical needs of members of the church - never to non-Christian needy. "Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matt 5: 16)

Now these implications (and the premise) can be denied. But if true, I'd like to know where it stops. I can suggest where such a "logic" patterns should "logically" end: (1) rejection of Sunday Schools, (2) rejection of multiple communion cups, (3) rejection of church support of Bible colleges, (4) rejection of support of orphan's homes, and (5) rejection of located, paid preachers. The reason is this: all of the above are defended upon the grounds of expediency - a lack of a specific pattern. And the lack of a specific pattern for contributing to the Spiritual Sword will logically take you into "one-cupperism." If not, you'll use pro's arguments when needed to defend multiple communion cups. I'd like to know how one decides enough is enough? When does one bail out?

** "But there is one set of conditions for forgiveness of the alien sinner and another for pardon of the erring child of God. One pattern - two applications."

You are comparing apples to oranges: for the parallel to be sustained, you'd have to find two sets of conditions for the same subject (i. e., for an unsaved person). I have:

Congregation -----------> money $$$$ ------------> Congregation (evangelism, edification - spiritual)

or

Congregation ----------> Bibles purchased with $$$ ----> Congregation (evangelism, edification)

and

Congregation -----------> money $$$$ ------------> Congregation (food, shelter - physical)

Congregation ------------> Food purchased with $$$ ----> Congregation (food, shelter - physical)

Yet you counter with a false parallel - and it's easier to separate a Catholic from the pope than to wrest false parallels from an anti:

Unsaved person --------> trust, repentance, baptism ----> pardon
Saved person ----------> prayer ---------------------------> pardon

Find a parallel with the same subject and stay consistent. You are attempting to effect the same result upon two separate categories of persons, unsaved and saved. Also, if it is wrong to send the Spiritual Sword to another congregation, then it's just as wrong to send them Bibles.

** "It is indeed scriptural for congregations to exchange bulletins or newsletters as a means of keeping each other informed about one another's affairs"

Thus, a congregation may SPEND its own money - paper, ink, printing, postage - to satisfy the nosiness of a distant congregation, yet if it SENDS the money itself to aid with printing costs of the Spiritual Sword for evangelism/edification, some grand principle is violated? How about if one congregation just sends the other a couple dozen Bibles? Would that work? What if it simply sends a check for the eldership of congregation #2 to purchase Bibles?

Note your words: "as a means of keeping each other informed about one another's affairs." Hmmm. Suppose the bulletin contains the plan of salvation, and some poor pagan happens to read it. Your position does not allow for sending a "bulletin or newsletter" for any purpose other than general nosiness of what's going on. You can send them a bulletin with birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming events, schedules of services - but can't send them a couple dozen Spiritual Swords on "Why I Am What I Am' because on page 44 is an article "Why I Obeyed the Gospel". The bulletin is "in", but the Spiritual Sword is "out" on that grounds?

** "a collectivity of churches precisely parallel to a Baptist association is created"

Huh? That's quite a stretch - the two are precisely perpendicular, not parallel. What's more disturbing is that when a "collectivity of churches" sends money/food to one needy congregation, the same situation exists - if such a relationship existed in the first place. You'd have a "Benevolence Society" - would that be ok?

** "This is not true in benevolence, since the sending churches simply help the receiving church do its own work."

Nope, it's just as true in benevolence. The admonition is "feed the hungry." If one congregation sends money to another which is in position to "feed the hungry", then both congregations are participating, although one is doing so indirectly. If one congregation sends money to another which is in position to "edify the church", then both congregations are participating, although one is doing so indirectly. Same difference.

** "Spiritual Sword does the "going" and "preaching" while the contributing churches do the funding. Where does the great commission provide for that?"

At the same passage that justifies Sunday Schools, multiple cups in communion, and located paid preachers. If I wanted to oppose Sunday Schools, I could do so with your arguments with little modification. The Spiritual Sword, Sunday Schools, etc are expedients.

** "If a church can "go" and "preach" by sending money to a sponsoring church ... why can it not send money to a missionary organization"

Because a missionary society, as such, is a creature totally unknown to God's word, period. That's the difference.

Congregation #1 --------------> money --------> Congregation #2 -----> evangelism
Congregations #1 and #2 --> money --------> "Missionary Society" -----> evangelism

Above, congregation #2 is a fully authorized, scriptural entity. The "Missionary Society" is a totally unauthorized, unscriptural entity. Therein lies the difference. If you think Congregation #2 and the Missionary Society are parallel, then you imply that Congregation #2, like the Missionary Society, has no scriptural right to exist.

Also, there is really no such thing as a "sponsoring church". The appellation is jibberish invented by antis in order to try to divert attention from the fact that a local congregation, such as Getwell, is merely ... a local congregation, nothing more and nothing less.

I have not included the various examples of cooperation among disciples from the Bible. I assume you are familiar with them: (Acts 15: 1-32, II Tim 4: 9, Rom 16: 1-2, II Cor 8: 9, I Cor 16: 15, and Acts 11: 26-30. In Acts 11, the Antioch church supplied the need of other congregations victimized by a famine. In this case, the relief was sent to the elders by means of two messengers, Barnabas and Saul. Now is that your specific pattern? The recipient congregation

(1) must have a physical calamity? If so, must the physical calamity be a famine? Or are other physical needs grand-fathered in?
(2) must have elders?

I will close, and I await my opponent's reply.
Debate Round No. 2
DAN123

Pro

Thank you for my opponent's reply. Sorry, for my late response

Does the Bible authorize one congregation to send money to another church for evangelism? Discussions about the sponsoring church led to this debate, so my thoughts and applications center there. Does the Bible authorize the sponsoring church arrangement? Annanicole says “yes” and it is my task to examine her arguments.

First, my opponent writes about "one-cupperism". Yet I have never made an argument about that. I never defended "one cupperism" and this debate is not about it. She furthers states that “there is no specific pattern" concerning that matter. She is sadly wrong. These passages teach a pattern for scriptural congregational pattern for evangelism: (Acts 11:22-23; cf. 13:1-3; 4:21-23, 26-28; 15:22-31,40; 18:22; Colossians 4:16). A local church may send scriptural teaching to any person or group of people anywhere (1 Thessalonians 1:8). When a local church sends a teaching paper to other churches or pays a preacher to hold a gospel meeting for a small congregation, this is scriptural congregational cooperation.

Each church may support an evangelist to work with it (2 Corinthians 12:13). A congregation may act alone in supporting a preacher in another place (Philippians 1:3-5; 2:25,30; 4:14-18. Or, several churches may independently and directly support a preacher working in another place (2 Corinthians 11:8-9).

Furthermore, my opponent argues that I had a false parallel between a saved and unsaved person. Well, I don't see any problem with it. And i can stay consistent with it; read my first affirmative. yet my opponent contradicts herself by setting a parallel between the Bible and the Spiritual Sword. First, the Spiritual Sword is not as infallible as the Bible. Second, my opponent's logic would lead us to believe in the "end justifies the means" ideology" and to think that we can send Jehovah's Witnesses literature to congregations. I have also shown in my first affirmative that it is not wrong to send Bibles. What I'm opposed is one a congregation sending money to a giant church (the sponsoring church) that will oversee the evangelistic work of many churches.


Furthermore, Annanicole twists my arguments by saying that as if I was arguing that it is a sin for pagans to read church bulletins especially if it has the plan of salvation. Well, to twist my arguments that is necessary but I don't affirm such thing nor teach it. Of course I affirm that if churches finished reading those bulletins it can also be passed to non-Christians. The point of my argument is to see that no autonomy is violated. Now, my opponent just wants to turn the heads of the readers to what she calls truth (?).


"collectivity of churches" sends money/food to one needy congregation...You'd have a "Benevolence Society"

You are surely mistaken. The reason for this is not true in benevolence since the sending churches simply help the receiving church do its own work. The Scriptures teach that churches can cooperate as long as we must follow its pattern (each contributing congregation must send directly to the church in need) and not violate it (create a collectivity of churches or a church supported benevolent society).

“The Spiritual Sword..[Is] an expedient”
Sure it is. As long as it follows the New Testament pattern. See my argument above.

Above, congregation #2 is a fully authorized, scriptural entity. The "Missionary Society" is a totally unauthorized, unscriptural entity. Therein lies the difference. If you think Congregation #2 and the Missionary Society are parallel, then you imply that Congregation #2, like the Missionary Society, has no scriptural right to exist.

Absolutely. But the local, Scriptural, church can. Again my opponent is applying the “end justifies the means” ideology by saying that an unscriptural missionary can exist but an unscriptural “sponsoring church” can.

“there is really no such thing as a "sponsoring church"”

Oh really? Doesn’t the getwell church sponsor the Spiritual Sword? You only need common sense to see that. Are you familiar with the “Banner of truth” they openly admit that in their November/December 2008 that the powell grove congregation will sponsor the said publication.

Concerning the Antioch church, the main thrust of the passage there was each church contributed to a needy church in time of need or calamity directly not to some sponsoring church.

QUESTIONS TO MY OPPONENT

(1)Where is the direct command for one church to send money to another church for evangelism? (2)Where is the example of one church sending money to another church for evangelism? (3)Where is the necessary (essential) inference (implication) that one church sent money to another church for evangelism?

Conclusion

You can easily observe that Annanicole didn’t use any scripture whip out the ones she used later in her first negative because those were my scriptural proof. Yet, she affirms that :"It is consistent with - in harmony with - the New Testament for churches to contribute funds from their treasuries to support the accomplishment of the Great Commission by contributing to the Spiritual Sword, Gospel Advocate, television programs, radio programs, area-wide meetings, and the like."So, where are the passages you’re talking about annanicole?

if I have any unanswered arguments, just infom me.

annanicole

Con

My opponent is concerned - most concerned, I think - with what he terms "autonomy". Well, I can solve that for him: (A) would it be perfectly scriptural if contributing churches simply make out their checks to Judge Alan Highers - the Tennessee judge/preacher - who edits the Spiritual Sword, then he could use it as he pleases to write/edit/publish the periodical? That way, you'll have the churches sending monies directly to an evangelist so that he can evangelize. Will that work for you? Remember, you correctly said, "Or, several churches may independently and directly support a preacher working in another place (2 Corinthians 11:8-9)."

I submit the my opponent can find no flaw at all in that "pattern" - and that little point illustrates the silliness of his position: if the check is to the "Getwell church of Christ", a grave error is committed; if the check is to "Judge Alan Highers", all is perfectly fine. Blah. That gets rid of his misnomered "sponsoring church" arrangement, doesn't it? Same work, same periodical, same "evangelism", same mailing list, same articles, same equipment ... just change who or what is on the line after "Pay to the order of." Of course, we'll by-pass the divine 'checks and balances system' of a plurality of elders examining and overseeing the work, but that's a small price to pay, I guess. (B) Can you further clarify your position, and point out the error in this logic?

*** "First, my opponent writes about "one-cupperism". Yet I have never made an argument about that. I never defended "one cupperism" and this debate is not about it."

No, you didn't defend it. Nor did you defend the anti-Sunday school folks. But you can't logically oppose either one, either. For the life of you, you couldn't defend separating folks into classrooms for teaching purposes without invoking the same arguments of "expediency" that I do in this discussion.

*** "yet my opponent contradicts herself by setting a parallel between the Bible and the Spiritual Sword. First, the Spiritual Sword is not as infallible as the Bible."

Nope, although neither is fallible or infallible, nor can they be. I said the same "logic" that forbids sending money to another congregation to purchase/publish the Spiritual Sword will necessarily prevent the same congregation from (1) sending monies for the purchase of Bibles or (2) Bibles, period to another congregation. (C) True or not? You didn't dispute it, either. The accuracy of the material is not the issue. Loss of autonomy, in your view, is. The two (the Bible and Spiritual Sword are not parallel, except in the sense that you teach that one congregation cannot send money to another congregation to publish/distribute EITHER ONE.

*** "Furthermore, my opponent argues that I had a false parallel between a saved and unsaved person. Well, I don't see any problem with it."

No, I said that you did not even start with the same group of people under consideration in your two parallels. In the point under consideration, we are both beginning with the same organization (the church), then proceeding onward. In your "parallel", you commence from the get-go with a saved person, then try to complete the parallel by .. what? flipping to a different starting point: an unsaved person. And I might point out that the results aren't really the same, either.

*** "and to think that we can send Jehovah's Witnesses literature to congregations."

Why, certainly you can, if used properly. "Jehovah's Witnesses literature" is technically in the latest Spiritual Sword under the article commencing on page 34, "Why I Am Not a Jehovah's Witness." What of it? So, as per my opponent, not only can we not send money to (1) fund Bible purchases, but also we can't send it to (2) oppose error. (D) True or not? What a plan!

*** "The point of my argument is to see that no autonomy is violated."

Will my opponent affirm that it is indeed in harmony with the Bible to simply change the "Pay to the Order of" on the check to Judge Alan Highers and LET HIM DO IT? Will you say that? I doubt it. Yet you'd have one congregation simply sending money to an "evangelist" who in turn uses the money "to evangelize". How about that? (E) Further, could Judge Highers simply contribute his "support" to the Getwell church so that they can publish the Spiritual Sword? I want to know what "autonomy" is violated by such a scheme.

*** "The reason for this is not true in benevolence since the sending churches simply help the receiving church do its own work."

Notice my opponent's false distinction:

Congregation A ---> $$$ (physical aid) ---> Congregation B ---> Congregation B simply "doing its own work" - no autonomy violated --> no Benevolent Society implied

Congregation A ---> $$$ (spiritual aid) ---> Congregation B ---> Congregation B simply "doing its own work" - autonomy grossly violated and Missionary Society implied

Now if anyone can figure out why such a bipolar difference based solely upon gross assertions which would differentiate "physical aid" from "spiritual aid", then I confess I have met my superior in logic.

Of course, the truth of the matter is this: if the Highland church sends monies to the Getwell church to purchase/publish/distribute the Spiritual Sword, then BOTH are involved in evangelism through that work. Same with benevolence. If the Highland church sends monies to the Getwell church to supply the needs of the destitute, then BOTH are involved in that work.

*** "Concerning the Antioch church, the main thrust of the passage there was each church contributed to a needy church in time of need or calamity directly not to some sponsoring church."

Well, if you follow the example - if that is the exclusive divine pattern - then

1. (F) One congregation may supply physical needs only in cases of famine only, right? That's your example.

(G) What happens in cases of a flood - and I call for a passage, by your logic, that calls for one congregation supplying funds to another congregation in cases of flood or hurricane?

2. (H) What happens if one anti- church desires to send food to relieve another little anti- congregation during a famine, and the recipient congregation has no elders? What do you do? "Which they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul." (17: 30).

3. Would not it be most scriptural to utilizer two "messengers" to send this relief?

You see, if you apply your own rules - your idea of an exclusive pattern - you don't follow it, either! And no wonder! I wouldn't either! I simply happen to get off of that bus one step earlier than you do.

Now, the questions:

"(1)Where is the direct command for one church to send money to another church for evangelism?"

There is none. It is an expedient under the Great Commission.

"(2)Where is the example of one church sending money to another church for evangelism?"

There is none. There are multiple examples of church cooperation - so much so that there is no specific pattern. It is an expedient.

"(3)Where is the necessary (essential) inference (implication) that one church sent money to another church for evangelism?"

There is no such necessary inference. Maybe an assumed (unnecessary one), but not a necessary one. Again, it is an expedient governed by common sense and good judgement.

I'll flip the questions, exactly - and I'd love to see your defense:

(I)Where is the direct command for the separation of persons by age or sex for teaching purposes.

(J)Where is the example of such?

(K)Where is the necessary (essential) inference that such occurred? And, to top it off,

(L)By what authority do you do it?

Now you have the questions, identified A thru L.

I'll will pause, and await my opponent's reply and answers to the questions. It should be interesting.
Debate Round No. 3
DAN123

Pro

Thank you for my opponent's reply.

My opponent writes that I am most concerned with autonomy. Well, of course, and so do you. And if it weren't for church autonomy the church of Christ would have been a full-fledged denomination right now.

First of all, my opponent's reasoning is illogical. She implies that I was inconsistent by saying that contributing churches can contribute directly to Alan Highers who edits/publishes the Spiritual Sword. However, would not the money eventually go to the Getwell congregation or the Spiritual Sword? I suppose this answers questions A-B.

Furthermore, Annanicole still pursues her argument about "one cupperism" can't she take the answer: "no, I don't teach that"? This debate is about church cooperation, may I remind you.

A shocking revelation
My opponent admits that the Bible -though I find the Spiritual Sword as fallible- is FALLIBLE. She admits that the Bible is NOT INFALLIBLE! I don't need any explanation concerning her declaration but let the words from what she wrote speak for themselves.

And how many times do I tell my opponent: IT IS JOT WRONG send bibles. What my argument is all about is that the Spiritual Sword is unscriptural in teaching (in terms of support and practice of sponsoring church agreement). Now, i think my opponent will agree that supporting an unscriptural material will be as condoning error. This is an answer to letter C.

In an effort to dodge my argument about Jehovah's Witnesses she has to resort to somewhat different. Consider the following statement in an answer if we can send Jehovah's Witnesses Literature:

"Why, certainly you can, if used properly."Jehovah's Witnesses literature" is technically in the latest Spiritual Sword under the article commencing on page 34, "Why I Am Not a Jehovah's Witness."

You can see the silliness of her response. And I was not referring to the "if used properly" but I was referring to the materials like "Watchtower" and "Awake".

*** "The point of my argument is to see that no autonomy is violated."

Will my opponent affirm that it is indeed in harmony with the Bible to simply change the "Pay to the Order of" on the check to Judge Alan Highers and LET HIM DO IT? Will you say that? I doubt it. Yet you'd have one congregation simply sending money to an "evangelist" who in turn uses the money "to evangelize". How about that? (E) Further, could Judge Highers simply contribute his "support" to the Getwell church so that they can publish the Spiritual Sword? I want to know what "autonomy" is violated by such a scheme.

-Will my opponent also affirm send money to another church and do its work; to oversee its money? I don't think an individual can violate any other church's autonomy. Answer to letter E.

"if the Highland church sends monies to the Getwell church to purchase/publish/distribute the Spiritual Sword, then BOTH are involved in evangelism through that work. Same with benevolence. If the Highland church sends monies to the Getwell church to supply the needs of the destitute, then BOTH are involved in that work."

Well, if that's the case then, doesn't the getwell church oversee the money of Highland church? Doesn't that violate autonomy? Can a congregation oversee the money of another congregation. If a congregation oversee a “little money” of another congregation can it oversee its whole treasury? If not, why not?

“*** "Concerning the Antioch church, the main thrust of the passage there was each church contributed to a needy church in time of need or calamity directly not to some sponsoring church."

Well, if you follow the example - if that is the exclusive divine pattern - then

1. (F) One congregation may supply physical needs only in cases of famine only, right? That's your example.

(G) What happens in cases of a flood - and I call for a passage, by your logic, that calls for one congregation supplying funds to another congregation in cases of flood or hurricane?

2. (H) What happens if one anti- church desires to send food to relieve another little anti- congregation during a famine, and the recipient congregation has no elders? What do you do? "Which they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul." (17: 30).

3. Would not it be most scriptural to utilizer two "messengers" to send this relief?”

I don’t how did my opponent come up with these questions or did she really responded to the statement: “the main thrust of the passage there was each church contributed to a needy church in time of need or calamity directly not to some sponsoring church."But the answer is in this statement but my opponent just wants to stretch my arguments.

Now concerning the questions she answered(?)

"(1)Where is the direct command for one church to send money to another church for evangelism?"

There is none. It is an expedient under the Great Commission.”

Not sure if she had read my first affirmative but I have already proven that it is not an expedient for it will violate God’s pattern on church cooperation. Remember, the great Commission only authorizes each church to go…and…preach, not an inter-church organization.

"(2)Where is the example of one church sending money to another church for evangelism?"

There is none. There are multiple examples of church cooperation - so much so that there is no specific pattern. It is an expedient.

And I suppose that there are multiple examples of a capella singing in the New testament that Instrumental music is an expedient.

"(3)Where is the necessary (essential) inference (implication) that one church sent money to another church for evangelism?"

There is no such necessary inference. Maybe an assumed (unnecessary one), but not a necessary one. Again, it is an expedient governed by common sense and good judgement.”

First, you admit that there is no direct command then, you admit that there is no example and finally, you admitted that there is no necessary inference. So where do you get your authority, through “common sense and good judgment”? You didn’t get your authority from God’s Word but from man. For a thing to be expedient it should not violate any passage in the Bible.

Miscellaneous Questions

(I)-(L)Where is the direct command for the separation of persons by age or sex for teaching purposes. Where is the example of such? Where is the necessary (essential) inference that such occurred? And, to top it off, By what authority do you do it?

There is direct command. But there is a necessary inference in I Cor. 14:23 also include the Great Commission (the go…and preach… command) and I can safely say that it does not violate any Bible passage thus we can say that we have the approval of God’s Word.
















annanicole

Con

Anna: "Nope, although neither (the Bible nor the Spiritual Sword) is fallible or infallible, nor can they be."

Dan: Under his headline: "A shocking revelation": "My opponent admits that the Bible -though I find the Spiritual Sword as fallible- is FALLIBLE. She admits that the Bible is NOT INFALLIBLE! I don't need any explanation ..."

Well, you'll get one anyhow: I'm in good company:

"There is, in strict propriety, no infallible rule of faith. Nor is it possible there can be: for men and angels have erred under all rules. The terms "fallible" and "infallible" do not at all apply to things; they only apply to persons. We may have a perfect and complete - or a sufficient - 'rule': but we cannot have an infallible one. The 'fallibility' or 'infallibility' is in the 'application' of the rule - not in the rule itself." - Alexander Campbell, Campbell-Purcell Debate in 1837, McQuiddy Pub, Nashville, 1914 ed., p. 209

Now. What did I say again? "Nope, although neither (the Bible nor the Spiritual Sword) is fallible or infallible, nor can they be." Period. That's exactly what the great Campbell said in debate against Archbishop Purcell. And I concur with Campbell. So much for that.

***

I asked: "(E) Further, could Judge Highers simply contribute his "support" to the Getwell church so that they can publish the Spiritual Sword? I want to know what "autonomy" is violated by such a scheme."

Dan answered: "Will my opponent also affirm send money to another church and do its work; to oversee its money? I don't think an individual can violate any other church's autonomy. Answer to letter E."

Well, allow me to answer his question - and it appears to me to be a "yes" or "no" question - and I shall answer "yes" or "no", in contradistiction to my opponent who answers with several sentences without once using either a "yes" or "no":

""Will my opponent also affirm send money to another church and do its work; to oversee its money?" The answer, I think, is "yes". One congregation may send money to another congregation, for instance, to spread the gospel by the printing of Bibles, the Spiritual Sword, the Gospel Advocate, etc. Now that was simple.

HOWEVER, I cannot for the life of me figure out how

(a) the Highland church can send money to Alan Highers,
(b) and he can hand it right over to the Getwell church,
(c) the Getwell elders can oversee the publication/distribution of literature, including Bibles, and
(d) no congregational autonomy was violated, according to you ----

AND YET

(a) the Highland church can SKIP Judge Highers, and
(b) thus simply EVADE the middle-man (a bit of nonsensical juggling, in my opinion), and
(c) send the money directly to the Getwell congregation, where
(d) the Getwell elders can oversee the publication/distribution of literature, including Bibles, and
(e) anti-s are "up in arms" - but we can add a middleman as above, and pacify them

Step forward and dig in and explain the vast difference, please.

***

"What my argument is all about is that the Spiritual Sword is unscriptural in teaching"

LOL! A little "petitio principii", ehhh? Who determined the Spiritual Sword in unscriptural in teaching? YOU? You assumed that which you have not yet proven. To boot, the "scripturalness" or lack thereof of any periodical was never the issue. Imaginary "loss of automony" is.

Has your position degenerated to the point that you now simply say the PRACTICE is unscriptural because the Spiritual Sword, in your opinion, teaches that the PRACTICE is scriptural? If so, that's some text-book "circular reasoning".

***

"But the answer is in this statement but my opponent just wants to stretch my arguments." (On Acts 17)

Certainly I stretched them to their natural extension to show that you do not follow Acts 17 as an exclusive, divine pattern any more than I do. The difference is: I do not SAY it is an exclusive pattern, nor do I follow it as such. You DO SAY that it is an exclusive divine pattern, then you follow about 25% of it, and toss the rest of it aside.

***

"First, you admit that there is no direct command then, you admit that there is no example and finally, you admitted that there is no necessary inference."

Why, I 'admitted' that before the debate ever started, didn't I? That's no shocker - just like your position on Sunday Schools doesn't surprise me. Where did you turn? The same place I do in this debate, just as I said you would: "also include the Great Commission (the go…and preach… command) and I can safely say that it does not violate any Bible passage."

Look at I Cor 14: 23: "If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?" And my opponent - struggling to turn somewhere other than the Commission and "expediency" (which I predicted he would be forced to cite) - cites this passage by "necessary inference" to justify the division of people by age-groups, sex, and the like into classrooms! Sir, there isn't even an "inference" there - must less a "necessary" or "essential" one. So you're right back at the Commission!

***

Dan: "And how many times do I tell my opponent: IT IS NOT WRONG send bibles."

Oh, the question - as you well know - pertained not only to the sending of Bibles. Read it again:

"The two (the Bible and Spiritual Sword are not parallel, except in the sense that you teach that one congregation cannot send money to another congregation to publish/distribute EITHER ONE.", and

"So, as per my opponent, not only can we not send money to (1) fund Bible purchases", and

"How about if one congregation just sends the other a couple dozen Bibles? Would that work? and

"What if it simply sends a check for the eldership of congregation #2 to purchase Bibles?"

And all he can say is: "It's not wrong to send Bibles." That's his answer, as Ripley says, "Believe it or not." Of course, the whole point is "Can congregation A send either (1) money to purchase Bibles or (2) the Bibles themselves for distribution to congregation B?" That's the question, and my opponent knows it.

He hates to say "No, it's wrong," but can't afford to say, "Yes, it can", so he ducks for cover and says, "It's not wrong to send Bibles." Well, we all know that! Tell us all about one congregation sending another congregation MONEY to purchase and distribute Bibles, please.

***

"Not sure if she had read my first affirmative but I have already proven that it is not an expedient for it will violate God's pattern on church cooperation."

Sure I read it. Did you read mine? I said there was no specific and exclusive pattern that either you or I would follow. Just because you ASSERT that some action "violates a pattern" does not prove that it does - especially when an exclusive pattern may not even exist. I have supplied a partial listing of examples of cooperation: Acts 15: 1-32, II Tim 4: 9, Rom 16: 1-2, II Cor 8: 9, I Cor 16: 15, and Acts 11: 26-30. Which one is the exclusive pattern? They are all different.

***

"And I suppose that there are multiple examples of a capella singing in the New testament that Instrumental music is an expedient."

I'm not sure that warrants a response. I'll simply state that that N. B. Hardeman, Guy N. Woods, Foy E. Wallace, G. K. Wallace, G. C. Brewer, Thos. B. Warren, Gus Nichols, Marshall Keeble ... Goodpasture, Highers ... (the list is endless) ... all occupied the same ground that I do - and not a one ever entertained a thought of adding an instrument to worship. You oughta look up "generic" versus "specific" commands, I'd say. "Go" and "teach" are generic. "Sing" is specific.

I will close and post in order to give my opponent the opportunity to have all day Sunday to prepare a reply rather than having to do it during the work-week. Thank you, and best wishes.
Debate Round No. 4
DAN123

Pro

When asked:"Will my opponent also affirm send money to another church and do its work; to oversee its money? I don't think an individual can violate any other church's autonomy." She answered "yes". What a great concession for the part of my opponent. I know she believes that a local church is autonomous but in this debate she has revealed her extreme views. Maybe in her last speech in this debate she’ll deny all what I’ve said. But why did she answer “yes”. Does this mean she is in agreement to the doctrine that a church can “do another church’s work” or can it “oversee the money of the church”?

HOWEVER, I cannot for the life of me figure out how

(a) the Highland church can send money to Alan Highers,
(b) and he can hand it right over to the Getwell church,
(c) the Getwell elders can oversee the publication/distribution of literature, including Bibles, and
(d) no congregational autonomy was violated, according to you ----

AND YET

(a) the Highland church can SKIP Judge Highers, and
(b) thus simply EVADE the middle-man (a bit of nonsensical juggling, in my opinion), and
(c) send the money directly to the Getwell congregation, where
(d) the Getwell elders can oversee the publication/distribution of literature, including Bibles, and
(e) anti-s are "up in arms" - but we can add a middleman as above, and pacify them

It seems that my opponent read only a part of my response. As I said, Alan Highers can contribute to the Getwell congregation with his own money and not break autonomy. As for the Highland church sending to Alan Highers sending to Getwell congregation, I never said that the said setting was Scriptural. A church can send to Alan Highers but not to act as a middleman to both congregations. And besides, the money sent by the Highland to Alan Highers still end up to Getwell that’s why middleman or not it’s still wrong.

"What my argument is all about is that the Spiritual Sword is unscriptural in teaching"

LOL! A little "petitio principii", ehhh? Who determined the Spiritual Sword in unscriptural in teaching? YOU? You assumed that which you have not yet proven. To boot, the "scripturalness" or lack thereof of any periodical was never the issue. Imaginary "loss of automony" is.

I was referring to your argument on Bibles not the whole actual argument.

Tell us all about one congregation sending another congregation MONEY to purchase and distribute Bibles, please.

Let me answer that by giving you Scriptural proof: Acts 15; Col. 4:16.

Look at my opponent’s statement: There are multiple examples of church cooperation - so much so that there is no specific pattern. It is an expedient. Well, and I responded: “And I suppose that there are multiple examples of a capella singing in the New testament that Instrumental music is an expedient.” I don’t how she could not understand the irony of my statement, but I was just following her language. And no matter how ironic my statement is, it still stands.

I don’t know how my opponents have the guts to list multiple examples of cooperation in the New Testament yet, she does not follow them. She says the command to cooperate in evangelism is generic (referring to the great Commission) then why do we have the pattern?

My opponent exaggerates once again my arguments on Acts 17. First of all, where did I ever state that that is my “exclusive” pattern? There are many patterns in the New Testament and they go on with harmony to each other. Second, my destroys the simplicity of the passage by introducing many things. Like for example, the passage talks about famine does it mean we are going to help only if there is a famine? The same with the messengers and the elders. And I think I can see a great parallel between ananicole and the denominations: Anna—famine only; denominations—faith only.

Conclusion

Anna didn’t use any passage to support her position whip out the Great Commission. She says it is expedient yet she list the patterns. Once again, may I remind her that if the great commission authorizes churches to sends to a sponsoring church that would do the entire job for them, then what difference would it make with the Missionary Society. If your position is expedient then why can’t the missionary society be?

Thank you and may this debate awake both of us and all the members of the church of Christ. Thanks and God Bless

annanicole

Con

Dan: "When asked:"Will my opponent also affirm send money to another church and do its work; to oversee its money? I don't think an individual can violate any other church's autonomy." She answered "yes". What a great concession"

Anna: Concession? Strange choice of words! I've affirmed that from the get-go: one congregation can send money to another congregation. Once the monies are received, then the elders of the recipient congregation oversee the money. Umm ...concession?

****

Dan: "As I said, Alan Highers can contribute to the Getwell congregation with his own money and not break autonomy."'

Anna: Wait! Are you debating someone else, too? I ask because I never asked what Mr. Highers might do with his OWN money - and you know it. Can the reader see the evasion?

1. My opponent affirms that Highland may send money to an evangelist such as Mr. Highers.
2. Mr. Highers could easily decide to give the money to Getwell to publish the Spiritual Sword.
3. So NOW, my opponent is "anti-" even Mr. Highers, whom he admits to be a qualified recipient, giving the money to the Getwell Church for ANY purpose. What a treacherous path these anti-s tread!

***

Anna: "Tell us all about one congregation sending another congregation MONEY to purchase and distribute Bibles, please."

Dan: "Let me answer that by giving you Scriptural proof: Acts 15; Col. 4:16."

Anna: Well, I'm waiting. He cites an entire chapter with no comment. Why, after about four opportunities, has he never really answered? We know why! And here it is:

My opponent believes that it is a sin for the Highland church of Christ to send money to the Getwell church of Christ for the purpose of purchasing/distributing BIBLES to those who do not own one. That's not a side-swipe: that's right on the nail. He's too embarrassed to really answer it, and too old to run - so he evades. It remains technically unanswered - imaginary "infallibility" or not.

For emphasis: the above is EXACTLY what he believes! He's simply ashamed for readers to see it.

***

Dan: "I don't know how my opponents have the guts to list multiple examples of cooperation in the New Testament yet, she does not follow them."

Anna: Because, as I have repeatedly said, they are not exclusive patterns - EXTREME variation exists among them. And you do not follow them, either - THAT is the irony. And that's typical of anti-s.

Look at the types of cooperation, and point out the exclusive pattern:

1. Between churches (Acts 15)
2. Between churches and needy Christians (II Cor 8)
3. Between disciples and elders (Acts 17)
4. Between individuals (II Tim 4: 9)
5. Between Christian 'family' and the needy (I Cor 16: 15)

Now, that's not an exhaustive list. What are these people doing? Cooperating. How? Expediency. In the best, most logical, most reasonable manner possible. I repeat: there is no exclusive pattern for Christian cooperation.

Where exactly does this anti-ism stop? Logically, it would lead one into anti-orphans home position, anti-church support of Bible colleges, one-cupperism, anti-Sunday Schoolism, anti-located, paid preacher ... anti- this and anti- that, ad infinitum. Even the anti-s can't get together: there is wide variation among them. They finally wall themselves off, effectively self-ostracized from EVERYONE other than a few crank hobby-riders. It (anti-ism) is a pernicious, progressive mental state ... p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e! Logically, you can't defend the Sunday School system, yet oppose contributions to the Getwell church. You can't do it very well, at least. No anti can, because he'll have to preach "generics" and "expedients" on Sunday Schools, then tuck tail and yap about "exclusive patterns" and "automony" on the other. Etc. Etc. You did exactly that! How far along on this anti Trail of Tears are you, anyhow?

***

Dan: "I think I can see a great parallel between ananicole and the denominations: Anna—famine only; denominations—faith only."

Anna: Ummm ... ok. And you also saw an "exclusive pattern" that you never follow and never outline for us. You also "saw" a "shocking revelation" about infallibility until you read the great Campbell's comments - then not another word from you along that line. You also "see" no difference in principle between generic and specific commands, apparently. I will say this: I'll defend salvation by faith only - as long as I can define "faith" with Thayer's and Liddell/Scott's and Bultmann's definitions of pistis/pisteuo. You'd never accept the negative, either.

***

Dan: "Once again, may I remind her that if the great commission authorizes churches to sends to a sponsoring church that would do the entire job for them, then what difference would it make with the Missionary Society."

Anna: And may I remind you that there is no such thing as any "sponsoring church" - and nobody ever heard of the term until some anti- became hard-pressed. I've told you that a congregation - whether donor or recipient of aid - is still just a congregation. You admit that. Yet you persist in trying to draw a false parallel by taking a scriptural entity, the recipient, and equivocating it with an unscriptural entity, the Missionary Society. It's not your fault that you have to try that - all antis do it, even though it's been answered hundreds of times - and they seem to understand, if only temporarily. I've never read or heard of an anti- offering a truly parallel 'parallel'.

***

Dan: "I don't how she could not understand the irony of my statement, but I was just following her language."

Anna: My language? All you did was, once again, try to draw a false parallel between a "generic" command versus a "specific" command. A poor comparison, indeed! "Go" and "teach" are generic. "Sing" is specific. The parallel, like your others ... falls. Plop.

***

Dan: "First of all, where did I ever state that that is my "exclusive" pattern?"

Anna: Haha! You quoted it, but you are correct: you have waded through four negatives and asserted that there is an exclusive pattern, but WE'VE NEVER SEEN IT! Where is it? WHAT is it? Where is this exclusive pattern that you supposedly follow? Know why you have such trouble with it? Cuz it's an EXPEDIENT!

***

Dan: "A church can send to Alan Highers but not to act as a middleman to both congregations."

Anna: ~~shaking my head~~. Poor Mr. Highers can buy gas with the money, take out an ad in the paper, buy a tent and hold a meeting, but heaven help him if he gives the money - or any of it - to Getwell. See where the term "anti" comes from? I do congratulate you on at least trying to answer that question. The majority of anti's simply ignore it because their replies would look so silly.

***

Dan: "the money sent by the Highland to Alan Highers still end up to Getwell that's why middleman or not it's still wrong."

So my opponent's position, broken down, is: you can send money to Mr. Highers only if he agrees not to give a penny of it to the Getwell church. He could give it to a hooker on Lamar Avenue, I suppose, so she can buy a Coke if she's thirsty ... but don't dare waste it by giving to the Getwell church of Christ! See? The absurdities to which anti-ism drives you is de facto proof of the falsity of your position.

To conclude, I do think that my opponent means well. I consider him to be a Christian and a saved person. I do believe, however, that, as seen by the implications of his theories, that he is a little blinded by hobbyism. Anti-ism is an unstable mentality, really.

I'll close. Although I do not consider this to be my best topic, I have enjoyed discussing the subject. I am no expert on it, however. One of the best ways to disprove anti-ism, I think, is to examine the implications - the extreme positions it logically entails. I hope my opponent can see these consequences.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
DAN123annanicoleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con devastated Pro with characteristic good conduct, making Pro's position appear logically untenable, and frankly ridiculous. Pro's argument didn't really seem to make any sense to me, so vote for Con.
Vote Placed by davidtaylorjr 5 years ago
davidtaylorjr
DAN123annanicoleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: To put it simply, Con walked circles around pro and showing where pro contradicted themselves won the debate.