The Foundations Are Not Churches, So....


     Regarding Christians working together in an arrangement that provides a treasury, structure, and oversight, God has provided the local church (Phili. 1: 1).  The local church is, "...the pillar and ground of truth" (I Tim. 3: 15).  In fact, the local church being the organization in which Christians collectively work in preaching the gospel, having its own structure, oversight, and treasury, is the only provision, practice, and teaching that we observe in the New Testament.  "Show me where it says we cannot form additional organizations to preach the gospel," some are demanding.  When God has spoken, man needs to listen and practice and not attempt to speak where God has been silent, contradicting what He has spoken (i.e., foundations, privately supported missionary societies, etc., Heb. 7: 14).

     We oppose these privately supported and funded missionary societies because, number one, they have no right to exist.  However, God's wisdom is seen in the local church arrangement (I Tim. 3: 15).  The gospel in the first century experienced phenomenal growth due, in part, to churches sending out men to preach the gospel (cp. Acts 13: 1f.).  Those who obeyed the gospel were edified by the gospel, by men supported by local churches (2 Tim. 4: 2f., Phili. 4: 15-16; 2 Cor. 11: 8f.).  God has set up local churches in such a way as to have them relatively free of the political maneuvering, politics, and power struggles so often characteristic of man-made and run orders.  Local churches are not subject to the whims and caprice of men comprising a board of directors or the authority of a human president, as seen in the case of foundations and entities formed for the collective preaching of the gospel.

     It has been my observation and experience that when the ones who defend and promote the human orders that attempt to preach the gospel are questioned regarding any particularity, they reply by saying, "We are not a church; so, we are not subject to the same criteria as local churches." I recall asking some about a certain known false teacher who was on their line up to speak in a lectureship they sponsored and their reply was, "You act as though you think we are a church, we have the right to have any man or men we want."  I think of interest is that I have asked some of these same foundation promoters if they would oppose the preacher being used by the local church where they were a member and they replied, "I would oppose the man being used by the church, because, as you said, he is a false teacher."  However, men speak at various "none church" gospel meetings with the approval of the president and board of directors.

     Florida College has been known for having men who have clearly demonstrated their lack of doctrinal soundness speak at their lectures. When questioned, some have replied, "We are a school, not a local church, so...."

     I have questioned some of the zealous promoters of human orders preaching the gospel as to why they are so excited about such arrangements and their response has been:

"We just think that these........(they do not seem to know what to call them, dm) can often do a better job in presenting the gospel because they do not have the restrictions that local churches have."

     I think the immediately above speaks volumes and presents some of the real problems and challenges that we are facing.  As a member of a local church, preacher, and also one of the elders, I know first hand the structure, control, and safeguards that are in place (cp. Heb. 13: 7, 17).  When error has been taught on a few occasions by a visiting preacher, the matter is immediately addressed.  In the first place, men known for various false doctrines or lifestyle issues are never allowed to enter the pulpit.  I should think that every faithful Christian wants and appreciates this structure.  However, it seems some want more and feel burdened with the restriction.

     No, human orders designed and  created to offer an opportunity for Christians to band together and preach the gospel are not local churches. This is the problem, as we see no other arrangement for collectively preaching the gospel (oversight, treasury, etc.) other than in and through the local church (I Tim. 3: 15).  In the local church arrangement, there is no board of directors, usually involving majority vote to decide matters. Regarding the local church, there is no human President or Vice President, only Jesus the head of the church (Eph. 1: 22, 23).  The local church does not lend itself as readily to rallying points, around which some revolve and compete for positions of importance, as is too often the case with human institutions.  Also, the local church does not provide a platform from which a group can attempt to exert "brotherhood control" and "official monitoring," as do some of the human Foundations.

     These church/societal anomalies set forth a perverted form of unity.  In the case of Truth Magazine (published by the Guardian of Truth Foundation), you observe doctrinal compromise on a high scale.  For instance, the Editor, Mike Willis, and Associate Editor, Connie Adams, are miles apart relative to what the scriptures teach about marriage and divorce.  Editor Willis believes and teaches that divorce can occur with God's approval for a number of reasons (he lists about eight).  Whereas Associate Editor Adams believes biblical divorce is only for the cause of fornication.  Associate Editor Adams believes and teaches the truth, warning that divorce for some cause other than fornication results in a failure to honor and execute the marriage duties and is creating a situation replete with problems (Matt. 5: 32, 19: 9).  Editor Willis' teaches false doctrine and promotes sin, even according to Associate Editor Adams.  Yet, Editor Willis and Associate Editor Adams work together within the organizational framework of the Guardian of Truth Foundation and Truth Magazine in collectively preaching the gospel.  How can Willis and Adams engage in such blatant inconsistency and unity-in-diversity, you ask?  The Guardian of Truth Foundation is not the church; so....

     No, human foundations, orders, entities, and societies do not constitute the local church, notwithstanding the fact that they are attempting to do the work God has assigned to the local church.  The church is unique in nature, utility, and purpose.  It is designed to perform exactly the work God has assigned to it.  However, when man seeks to set up his own institution, albeit privately funded, to offer the opportunity for collectively preaching the gospel through a corporate structure (treasury, board of directors, etc.), we have not only an entity with no divine authority, but also an organization that is a misfit and doomed to disaster.

     According to the scriptures, God's collectivity, the church, with its structure, oversight, and treasury is the guardian of truth; not  a human formed, run, promoted and defended Guardian of Truth Foundation (I Tim. 3: 15).