Carey's Second Negative 8/10/99


Carey here: I request all of you to pray on Darrell's and my behalf. We each need the strength and support to be able to rightly divide the truth of God's word. Pray for all who read this debate that they may come to a knowledge of the truth of God's word concerning these matters.

Darrell wrote: The church of Christ has been commanded to evangelize the world ...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.

Carey here: No Darrell, it cannot be Yes to all of the above. We are discussing different organizations here. The universal church has no organization other than Christ as its head. The universal church is comprised of all faithful followers of God who have obeyed the truth and dedicated themselves to doing works of righteousness. The church involvement in evangelism is provided "only" in the members who make up the body. We will discuss the local church later.

Darrell wrote: The church is universal (Romans 16:16).

Carey here: "The churches of Christ salute you". Paul writing to the Romans tells the Romans that the churches with which Paul is associated have expressed concern and gratitude for the Roman church. These are a bunch of individual local churches sending greetings to a local church in Rome.

Darrell wrote: When the disciples were scattered abroad (Acts 8:4), the universal church went everywhere preaching the word.

Carey here: No. The individual members of the universal church were doing the preaching. Acts 2-- Was the church preaching or Peter? Acts 3--Was Peter and John preaching or the universal church preaching? Acts 4--Peter tells the Council that they preach in the name of Jesus Christ, thus giving Christ the credit. Acts 8--Philip is doing the preaching, not the church. Acts 8:4--The disciples scattered about did the preaching. The fact that all of these were members of the universal church does not mean that the church did the preaching. (An analogy would be the US Women's Soccer team in their match with China---Did the US beat China in Soccer? No, the team that represented the US beat the team that represented China). This analogy fits with our scenario.

Darrell wrote: 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).

Carey here: As pointed out already, These individuals gave God the credit for their actions. None of them were bringing glory to themselves. Members of a local church may also be members of the universal church, but not all members of the universal church are members of the local church. The local church is a group of individuals in a particular locale that agree to meet together to help each other accomplish the various tasks that God has given to them individually. As a result of Christians meeting together in the first century in this fashion, several Epistles were written to these local groups explaining how they ought to conduct themselves in the household of God. This provides the authority in scripture on how local churches operate and cooperate.

Darrell wrote: 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.

Carey here: Darrell, you know as much as I do, that there is no verse that gives a local church the responsibility to teach every lost sinner in the world. The local church's area of evangelism lies within the area of each individual Christian in that church. You are a thousand miles away. I am not responsible for your neighbors and your uncles and cousins. YOU ARE! You are not responsible to evangelize my co-workers and those down my street. I AM! To narrow that down, I am not responsible to evangelize the member's (of the congregation where I preach) coworkers and neighbors. (I will help them if they set up a bible study, but they have to do the evangelism--I cannot go on their job and evangelize their coworkers). If our congregation supports a preacher, the evangelism lies within the realm of that preacher's contacts. The local church is allowing that preacher to continue in that good work, but the local church is not doing the preaching.

Darrell wrote: 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 that lie with each member and the local church.

Carey here: Darrell, I certainly meant no offense here. Please do not take this as an offensive statement. However, I have already discussed at length, the scope of the church's responsibility in carrying out its mission. The church supports and encourages evangelism, but it is the individual members who carry it out. Some do so in joint participation and others do so individually.

Darrell wrote: 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 here: One problem in debates is conveying the correct thoughts. I was not specific enough in my offering of this passage.

The part of the passage I was offering was the latter part. I agree with your assessment of the passage here up to this point. The last phrase is"WHO MAY TEACH OTHERS ALSO". This passage begins a cycle of teaching others who may teach others who may learn to teach others..etc...etc..etc... That is how true evangelism is to continue from generation to generation.

Darrell wrote: 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 here: I agreed with all of them including the Philippi example. I disagree with your conclusions, which are based upon speculation, silence and possibilities. Darrel, your duty is to prove that a sponsor church arrangement is authorized. You have done nothing more than offer our readers a "May be the case" scenario.

In the first affirmative Darrell wrote: Specific authority is both inclusive and exclusive. By inclusive it is understood that specific authority is limited to the specifics given by God when obeying or fulfilling God given obligation. By exclusive it is understood that specific authority excludes the employment of any additions to what has been specified.

Carey here: If Darrell can prove that there are no specifics listing how a preacher receives his support, he can succeed in meeting the terms of the proposition:

Resolved: The Bible authorizes the local church to receive an evangelist's funds from other congregations and send those funds to an evangelist who is laboring in a mission field. This arrangement is referred to a sponsoring church arrangement.

In our negative, trying not to produce any affirmative arguments, the best I can do is say that Darrell has not met his obligation of proof. If though, I can produce one scripture listing a specific. That specific would eliminate the affirmative argument that sponsoring church arrangement comes under generic authority. Our presentation of specifics in how a preacher is to be supported will provide all the negative arguments to answer the affirmative arguments we need.

1. A preacher may support himself. Paul employed his trade as a tentmaker on several occasions. While at Ephesus, he along with Pricilla and Aquilla made their living. Paul also used his skill in Thessolonica while he preached there.

2. A preacher may be supported by the local church of which he is a member. Paul chose not to burden the church at Corinth, but could have.

3. A preacher may be supported by a local church elsewhere. We have Paul receiving funds from Philippi on at least four occasions.

4. A preacher may be supported by several churches elsewhere. Paul's use of the phrase "I robbed other churches" testifies to this fact.

5. A preacher may also be supported by another individual. I believe that Philemon's relationship with Paul would fall in this category.

The scriptures are silent concerning any other method of an evangelist receiving support for preaching the gospel.

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.

Carey here: Phil 2:25. Epaphroditus had brought Paul a gift (the implication is that this was a form of support). Paul sent him back with his expression of gratitude. Phil 4:10. Once again they in Philippi had sent a gift to Paul (in our terminology-a check of support). Phil 4:15 says that on at least two occasions, the Philippian church helped support Paul in his ministry. 2 Cor 11:8 Paul had received support from other churches as well as the church at Philippi. These specifics listed eliminate the possibility that "it may be the case that..."

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.

Carey here: Darrell do you really, really want to use this argument? Let me use this phrase and see where it gets you.

1. It can not be affirmed that each of the churches met on the first day of the week. It may be the case that only the Troas church did so and thus the first day of the week is not binding upon us today.

2. It can not be affirmed that musical instruments were not used. It may be the case that they were used in addition to the singing, but the writers just left out mention of such, therefore we may use them.

3. It can not be affirmed that Noah made the ark completely out of gopher wood. It may be the case that parts of it were of some other material because the scripture does not tell us specifically.

Darrell wrote: The word "may" was only in reference to the 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.

Carey here: If you mean that the Philippian church supported Paul, you are correct. If you mean that Philippi gathered funds from other local congregations, you have not verified this statement. Your "possibility" is only a hopeful "may" which gives you the satisfaction to continue in such practices, but you have no scriptural support for your practices if indeed you are participating in such practices.

Darrell wrote: Carey, you admit that these terms are terms of debit and credit.

Carey here: Yes. But just because the terms used are business terms, does not mean that they were used literally. Many evangelism terms are agricultural in nature, but we do not literally plant and harvest.

Darrell wrote: 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:

Carey here: Your arguments suggested that to me. I will admit that this is a debate tactic, which should not have been used. Your reasoning and understanding are well stated. The evidence you have presented cannot support the conclusions you have drawn.

Darrell wrote: 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. [Darrell listed a bunch of Greek words along with their meanings]

Carey here: You have me at a disadvantage by using the Greek language. I contacted some friends for help. Their understanding of the passage and the words agree with your writings. However they all said that your conclusion that you have drawn couldn't be supported by the terms to which you attribute them. All of these Greek scholars whom I respect agreed that the giving and receiving were between Paul and the church in Philippi. There is nothing to indicate a one way fellowship in this matter, neither is there anything to indicate that a sponsor church arrangement can be inducted or deducted from such terminology.

Darrell wrote: 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 here: I am sure that if Paul wrote an epistle to the other churches involved, that he would have thanked them in the same manner and we would have a written record. We only have the letter to the Philippians recorded in scripture. I am sure that Paul wrote a lot more letters than what we have recorded by the Holy Spirit. You cannot scripturally draw a conclusion that Philippi was a sponsoring church because of this one letter.

Darrell wrote: 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.

Carey here: Since I have given specific examples of church support for a preacher, and none of these examples indicated a church receiving from another church, your statement cannot be correct about sending the money to the Corinthian church. We know it went directly to Paul (Phil 2:15; Phil 4:10; Phil 4:15: 2 Cor 11:8)

Darrell wrote: 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?

Carey here: After some consideration and based upon what I have written from scripture to establish my negative arguments to your affirmative, I must change my original answer. I used the pattern of sound words to shore up my response and for that I thank you. I now phrase my response to this question in this manner.

The New Testament is the only pattern we have to establish authority concerning the issue of congregational cooperation and related issues in the church today. Taking everything given in the New Testament provides for us as a whole, "ONE PATTERN OF NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORITY" (emp-cs).

Darrell wrote: 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.

Carey here: Darrell, this passage has no relevance to your proposition. We have a very special case, which confronted the early church. A special mention of it is very important for us to see the development that the early church went through. We would have just as much authority to reinstitute immediate capital punishment for lying to the Holy Spirit. Are you ready to do such?

Darrell wrote: Therefore, the Bible authorizes one church to assist or cooperate with another church in spiritual matters.

Carey here: I would hope that you have a copy of Thomas B Warren's book "When Is An Example Binding?" This scenario does not answer the call for congregational cooperation. Brethren had arrived from Jerusalem (where the Apostles were) and taught elements of the Mosaic Law. Antioch wanted confirmation and sent Paul and Barnabus and others. After much discussion, James authored a letter of encouragement and authorization that Mosaic Law was not to be observed by Gentiles. The brethren that were sent were the confirmation of the events that took place in Jerusalem. Your attempt to associate this passage with church cooperation is fishing, wishing, and meager at best.

Darrell wrote: 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.

Carey here: Although scripture would not prohibit a congregation sending spiritual material to another congregation; the scriptures do limit the use of funds that are placed in the charge of local congregations. There are no scriptures to support the thought on your conclusion.

Besides, the example in Acts 15 is between two congregations only. Your proposition indicates cooperation by more than two congregations being involved.

Darrell wrote: 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.

Carey here: Acts 8--Philip preached in Samaria and many obeyed the gospel, but none received the necessary spiritual support from Philippians 4:15.

Carey here: Darrell should have offered more. He has now lost that ability to present new evidence. I do believe that we did consider Phil 4:15 quite thoroughly. Perhaps we will discuss it further in our third articles in this debate. Apparently our focus in this debate has really attached itself to where it belongs in the first place. The proper understanding of the church in it's various roles and where authority lies with each. I am happy that this truth has come out. I hope and pray that all of us can learn from God's word of how to properly view and administer matters concerning the church on it's various levels.

In Him,

Carey Scott

Go to the third affirmative argument of Darrell

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