My Thoughts. . .
In churches today part of the “worship” is described as the collection or contribution. Most churches take up a collection during their assembly. Most will have men coming to the front of the audience and stand behind a table inscribed with, “Do this in remembrance of me.” An assigned leader will make his remarks about giving and offer a prayer before the collection plates are passed among the seated. With the advent of Covid-19, church doors have been locked with members reverting back to the Acts 2:46 house-to-house assemblies. This requirement was not popular with some church goers. It was thought by some to be a change without biblical authority.
1. Some thought it was a sin to not assembly in the church building, because that refusal to meet there put the congregation in violation of Hebrews 10:25.
2. Some believed that those who meet off campus (house-to-house) proved by that action that they do not have enough faith in God to keep meeting at the church building. The charge was that those absentee members feared infection more than they favored following God!
3. Church patterns which had been observed for generations as biblical, fell to the wayside. Members meeting from house-to-house realized that those patterns required a church building to be practical. Church buildings were not recorded until the third or fourth century. Therefore, those activities which had the building as the reason for their creation, proved they were man created rather than God breathed.
4. House to house assemblies had no reason to require the tradition where men were needed to pass the collection plate.
5. In house-to-house meetings a different way to give was implemented. Some thought it was wrong to take up a collection unless it was done at the church building.
When people misconstrue a biblical practice and apply it incorrectly, they end up with questionable problems. When one compares scripture with modern practices that are required by today’s followers, one will come to understand why Christianity is so divided.
Giving is a practice found in most if not all churches. There are two major passages on “church” giving. One is 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. This passage shows that giving was done upon the first day of the week. The second passage is Acts 5:1-11. Some deny that Acts 5 is a “Sunday morning assembly.” If giving is a Sunday activity of the church, then this passage is it. Perhaps some negate Acts 5:1-11 as the church giving on Sunday because it does not compare with what we do when it is time for that collection. Following are some things which the first century church did not do.
A. Men did not pass the collection plate.
C. The subject of having a “male role only” to pass the plate is not introduced or discussed in scripture.
D. An Introduction to the giving, nor a prayer being offered is mentioned.
E. The assembly is not upset because the wife enters three hours after her husband did.
F. Each giver walks up to the preacher and lays his offering at his feet.
G. The preacher questions a giver and his wife concerning their contribution.
H. There is no objection offered in the selecting of the young men who take the bodies and bury them, nor is their absence condemned as “forsaking the assembly.”
I. Although conversations took place in that assembly, no one in Acts 5 complained about this dialogue being detrimental to the service.
J. Silence is not required nor expected during the assembly in Acts 4.
If we are going to object about our traditional way of giving not being followed during the pandemic, perhaps we need to ask why our “traditional way” does not follow the Acts 5:1-11 pattern? Who changed it from the way the Acts 5 pattern did it to the “traditional way” we did it before the COVID-19 pandemic?
Just my thoughts.