Darrell's Second Affirmative 8/5/99


Carey: Since Darrell has brought in many quotes from past arguments and debates, it would be an assumption that Darrell expected me to answer the same old arguments, which have gone nowhere in the past. Let me assure everybody that I have learned through my years of experience to study the Bible for myself and determine for myself what I believe.

Darrell: No Carey, to save some time I wanted to learn from where you are coming with your doctrine.

Carey: I do not rest upon the traditions that have been taught in the past, but I study all things from the scriptures in order to give an answer of the hope that is in me (1 Pet 3:15; Acts 17:11). I hope this is what Darrell means when he calls me a "free thinker". If I missed something, maybe Darrell can let me know.

Darrell: That is all I meant.

Darrell wrote: The church of Christ has been commanded to evangelize the world (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:44f; Phil. 2:15-16; Acts 8:4). Therefore, a matter of Biblical obligation has been established.

Carey: I really think that a problem with Darrell's position is in his understanding of the mission of the church. I would ask Darrell to clarify his use of the term church. Is it used in a universal or local sense? Is it used of the local congregation, or the individual members of the local congregation apart from the organized worship?

Darrell: Yes to all of the above. The church is universal (Romans 16:16). When the disciples were scattered abroad (Acts 8:4), the universal church went everywhere preaching the word. Were these disciples working as individuals only? No! and a thousand times No!! They were not bringing glory to Peter, James, John, Andrew, Thomas, etc., they were bring glory to God. "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Eph. 3:21). I will address this further in my next affirmative. In your next negative please answer this question: "Is the local church still the church when un-assembled?"

Carey: Concerning the passages referenced by Darrell, we see that the great commission is given to His disciples, who carried the message of the gospel to the world. I would add 2 Tim 2:2 to your list up there and show that the responsibility to evangelize lies with each individual Christians in addition to the local church.

Darrell: Carey, in your next negative I would like you to give book, chapter and verse to prove that the local church is commanded to evangelize the lost world of sinners. I know that I am in the affirmative but you have raised a question about my understanding the mission of the church and then you discussed evangelistic responsibilities which lie with each member and the local church. By answering this question you will help me to give a complete and through answer to the point which you raised. Let me point this out to you about Second Timothy 2:2. This verse is often used to establish authority to evangelize lost souls. However the verse clearly states, "commit thou to FAITHFUL men." It is not possible for a man to be full of faith before he has obeyed the most holy faith of Christ. Therefore, Second Timothy 2:2 is looking after to evangelism within rather than without.

Carey: This whole discussion/debate is based upon the fact that some have reversed the roles of examples and written statements to say something is specific when in reality it is generic or something is generic, when it is really specific. I will show that Darrell has done this in this first affirmative.

Darrell wrote: That the "sponsoring" arrangement as noted in the debate proposition is authorized under the heading of general authority is without question.

Darrell, you have not proven this yet. You are speaking as if it is generally accepted. Your first sentence of your affirmative tells us that you must prove this. So far you have only assumed that everyone accepts your position. If you CAN (emp--cs) prove it, please proceed in a manner that produces evidence to prove your position. . . . Darrell must first prove that there are no specifics listed in scripture in order to substantiate this charge.

Darrell: Carey, I listed a few different ways the first century church worked toward evangelizing the world. You must have agreed with all of them but the example from the Philippians epistle.

Carey: Darrell wrote: It can not be affirmed that each of the churches supporting Paul sent his wages directly to him. It may be the case that the church in Philippi was serving as Paul's sponsoring congregation.

The whole of Darrell's evidence is in the fact that "It may be the case that..." If Darrell says that it may be a case, I suggest that Darrell admits that there is not certainty, but just a possibility.

Darrell: Carey, the "may" was not in reference to the sponsor arrangement. There is no assuming there. I wrote:

In Corinth Paul exercised his right to refuse support from the church there. Later Paul told the Corinthians that he "robbed other churches, taking wages of them," to do service in Corinth (II Cor. 11:8). It can not be affirmed that each of the churches supporting Paul sent his wages directly to him. It may be the case that the church in Philippi was serving as Paul’s sponsoring congregation.

The word "may" was only in reference to possibility that the local church in Philippi was Paul’s sponsoring congregation while he worked in Corinth. That Philippi served as Paul’s sponsoring congregation at some point in his work is clearly affirmed in Philippians 4:15. I do believe that this arrangement was still in existence while Paul was in Corinth, but I have not been dogmatic about that point, hence, the word "may." However, studying for this debate has only reaffirmed and strengthened this position in my mind. From henceforth I will be much firmer with it. Thanks for helping me shore up this position.

Carey: Darrell quoted Phil 4:15: "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only"

Darrell, what does the last phrase mean? Does "but ye only" means that all the other churches participated in this work?

Darrell: "But ye only" qualifies the statement about "giving and receiving." In order for your argument to be valid Paul would have had to refer to giving only. But Paul also referred to "receiving."

Carey: The scripture says right here that the church in Philippi was the only one to support Paul.

Darrell: No the Scripture says that from the beginning, that is when Paul departed Maceadonia, that only the Philippi Church of Christ communicated with him in "giving and receiving." To prove your statement about the church in Philippi only supporting Paul the verse would have to refer to giving only. But they were also receiving!

Carey: How do you get out of this statement, that the Philippian church was the sponsoring church? You must admit that it is only a possibility and a hopeful guess.

Darrell: Carey are you now admitting that this is a possibility? To answer your question, I got it from the Bible. As I pointed out to you.

Darrell wrote: The terms "giving" and "receiving" are most interesting. Paul used words which have to do with keeping the books. These words can be replaced with the words debit and credit. Vine wrote: "euphemistically referring to gifts as a matter of debit and credit accounts.

Carey: There is another scripture reference that speaks of debit and credit accounts. Read Philemon 17-20. Here is an instance that the record keeping is between two individuals. Although words might be specific terms, their usage within their context determines their actual meaning.

Darrell: Carey, you admit that these terms are terms of debit and credit. I too agree that context determines actual meaning. In context Paul is discussing his support. He is taking money, and this money was used to support Paul so he could preach the gospel!

Carey: I looked up the word euphemistically in a dictionary, and found that a euphemism is the exchange of one word for another in order to suit the taste of an individual. This would be where in a quote someone uses profanity, we change the profane words to something less offensive. But let us notice the entire statement of Vine.

5. Dosis (Greek) denotes, properly, the act of giving, Phil 4:15, euphemistically referring to gifts as a matter of debt and credit accounts; then, objectively, a gift, Jas 1:17 (1st mention--See Boon). [This is listed under the word Gift, Giving.]

A study of the context of Phil 4:10-19 will easily show that the giving was demonstrated in the donation sent to Paul for his physical relief, and the receiving is what the Philippians received.

Darrell: Why else would a preacher be supported? If I wanted to be well off financially I would have stayed in commercial printing. Preachers don’t preach to make money, they preach because they can do nothing else (I am talking about true preachers). Support is in the area of physical relief so the spiritual work can go forth.

Carey: The self-satisfaction that they were participating in the Lord's work, and their view of themselves in relationship to God. Paul told them that this sacrifice was well pleasing to God v18. To imply the "receiving" was the receiving from other churches cannot be proven with this passage of scripture. Darrell is trying to change the scripture here to "receiving and giving" rather than what is actually spoken; "giving and receiving". Darrell has taken this as a euphemism to insert thoughts which are not supported by the actual words but would make his words more acceptable. Darrell has taken the God-given pattern in it's proper order and switched them around.

Darrell: Now to the word "receiving." First of all you said that I have rearranged the order of the words "giving" and "receiving." It does not matter how these words are arranged in this prepositional phrase: eis (prep, looking forward meaning into) logon (acc. sg. from logos meaning word, account, statement, etc.. The acc. is the case of the direct object, the transitive verb is ekoinonesen; the 3rd person plural aorist active indicative of koinoneo, meaning to have in common, to share with, to take part in, etc.) doseos (genitive, sg. Of giving) kai (conjunction and used here to connect two items of the same grammatical rank or function) lempseos (gen. sg. of receiving). In Philippians 4:15 giving and receiving are equal in rank not progressive in action. It is correct to say that the Philippian congregation communicated into receiving and giving. It is also correct to say that they communicated into giving and receiving.

Secondly, do euphemisms replace thoughts with other thoughts or do they restate thoughts without changing that thought? They restate thoughts without changing that thought. An euphemism is expression so substituted. The lexicographical evidence supports the fact that Philippians 4:15 looks to debits and credits.

In the third place, it is senseless to say that the Philippians only received benefit from supporting Paul’s work. Paul words, "in the beginning," set the time element of the passage to that of Acts 17: 1ff. Acts 18 is chronologically related to this same time element. Paul labored in Corinth for 18 months. This is where you have really helped me to shore up this truth about Philippians 4:15. Notice 4:16: oti (because, that) kai (conjunction - as used here means even or also). If the idea of the word "even" is being inferred by the apostle he must be referring, as Barry notes, to the fact that this work of the congregation in Philippi was "not only after he left Macedonia, but even before that time, when he had just passed from Philippi to Thessalonica." Barry goes on to state: "At Thessalonica, as at Corinth--both rich and luxurious communities--he refused maintenance, . . . But it appears from this passage that even he received ‘once and again’ . . . some aid from Philippi."

Berry’s Interlinear uses "also" here. Vincent wrote, "Even in Thessalonica (kai). Better also: in addition to the contribution received at Corinth." What contribution at Corinth? The one to which Paul referred with these words: "for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied" (II Cor. 11:9). But Paul "robbed" (euphemistically stated) other churches (plural). Therefore, it is senseless to think that the Philippians only received benefit from communication with Paul in this work. These other churches also benefited from giving to this work. But only the Philippian church "gave and received" or "received and gave" to this work and therefore, they were commended this great honor by Paul.

Carey, either way you translate "kai" in verse 16, it is un-get-overable! The church in Philippi was not the only church to support Paul’s work when he departed from Macedonia. They were the only church to communicate into an account of debit and credit. Philippi kept the books and delivered the collected funds to Paul. Delivery was accomplished by depositing the funds either with the church at Corinth or to Paul directly, no one this side of time can know for sure.

I asked you, "Is there one exclusive pattern of New Testament authority only for congregational cooperation?" To which you responded: "Taking the New Testament as a whole the answer is yes. To break down to what is written in the scriptures which deal with specific congregations, the answer is dependent upon that example given (thus the possibility of many patterns in N.T.)." In you first negative you said, "Darrell has taken the God-given pattern in it's proper order and switched them around." Carey, may I restate this question and ask it again like this: Is there one exclusive pattern of New Testament authority only for congregational cooperation in evangelism? Are they many or one only?

Since I may not use new material in my third affirmative I will now briefly introduce additional evidence to support the sponsoring arrangement as stated in the debate proposition.

Luke’s record in Acts 15:22-32 also proves that the arrangement noted in the debate proposition is authorized. The elders of the Jerusalem Church of Christ and the apostles sent some brethren with Paul to Antioch (v.22). They were sent by the church (finances involved) to go to Antioch with written material (spiritual by design). When these brethren arrived in Antioch they delivered the letter to the church and the church was spiritually edified (vs. 30-31). Therefore, the Bible authorizes one church to assist or cooperate with another church in spiritual matters. One congregation could buy some tracts from Tracts for the World and send them to another congregation. If written spiritual material can be sent from one congregation to another, then the funds used to purchase those tracts may be sent to another congregation to purchase those same tracts. This would be approved under the heading of general authority by Acts 15:22-32. The same argument can be made from the example in Acts 8 and 11, where the church in Jerusalem sent Peter, John and Barnabas to other congregations to cooperate in spiritual work.

More could be offered but this post would be too long and I want to hold you mainly to answering the argument offered from Philippians 4:15.

In Him,

Darrell Broking

Go to the second negative argument by Carey

Return to the Debate Index page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /