Bible Study
Bible Study
Video Lessons
Video Devotions
Audio Lessons
Topical Scripture Guide
The Lord's Church
Interactive Lessons
Games & Quizzes
Children's Bible Stories
Bible in a Year
Topical Scripture Guide
Links: Audio Bible
Links: Bible Study
Links: eBooks
Links: Geography
Links: Greek
Links: Hebrew
Links: Maps
Links: Youth
Visit us on Facebook
Live Chat
Bookmark and Share

Are Churches Asking For Trouble?
Bible study on churches.

On July 24, 1994 a very fine article by Cal Thomas appeared in the Times-Enterprise titled Oppression of a church by the state. Mr. Thomas did a fine job of presenting the apparent trend of government's increasing interference with churches. He writes that a New Covenant church sold some property to a doctor ten years earlier who built and opened an abortion clinic. Many years after the sale, the church rented their facility to an abortion protest group that picketed the abortion clinic. Subsequently, the church was sued by the clinic under the RICO Act for attorney's fees and was awarded a judgement of $234,000. In the end, both parties settled for $ 200,000 plus $ 10,000 in interest to be placed in escrow during the forthcoming appeal. The church did not have that much cash on hand, and the plaintiff's lawyer began the process of seizing church property and offerings. So, the church borrowed the money and was able to make the appropriate financial arrangements.

Evidenced from Scripture and history, Christians are sometimes persecuted for doing the will of God. Other times, churches are persecuted because they have mixed themselves up with things of a worldly nature therefore bringing government intervention upon themselves.

History clearly evidences in the early development and growth of denominationalism that churches began to use the government to increase their religious and political power. Government was used by one denomination to gain control over another denomination uniting the two through political pressure rather than a common bond of obedience to the word of God.

We have some geopolitical mind sets with us today causing trouble for some churches. The New Testament church, founded upon the apostles with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20), was quite different than some churches appear today. Churches were not corporate entities as most are today, nor were they involved in big business conglomerates as many are today. Churches were not denominationalized into sects and sub-sects. Churches were never persecuted - Christians were persecuted.

I know that I have over simplified this issue, but the fact remains that we have involved the church in a lot of things that should be left to the world. Part of this may be caused by the misperception that anything spiritual must be accomplished by the "church" because simple Christians are inadequately trained; therefore, a church hierarchy foreign to the Bible is created by men. Maybe it is because we have partly lost the identity of the church which was simply the group of saved people living in obedience to God (Acts 2).

In the New Testament, the church assembled to worship God. The church did not assemble as political activists, the church did not rent property to political groups, the church did not rent property to the government, the church did not own and operate big businesses. In the New Testament, the church tended to private, solemn, and sincere worship to God. And, the individual members of the church tended to politics, government, and economic gain as part of their personal lives to the Lord.

It is human nature to blame someone other than self for our problems. But whenever we have a problem, we need to first look to ourselves and ask whether we are partly or wholly the cause of our problems. In the case of government getting into church "business," I think it is more because the church has been in a lot of "business" it has no "business" being in. The solution: Let men handle "business" and let the church worship God.