OceanSide church of Christ

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Anti-ism, Galatians 6:10

Victor M. Eskew


            To the churches of Galatia, Paul wrote:  “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).  Those who believe that Christians and non-Christians can be assisted out of the church treasury often use this verse as a proof-text, and rightfully so.  The “anti,” however, disagrees.  His contention is that this verse authorizes individual obligation but not congregational responsibility.  He says that the context bears this out.

            We only have two questions in response to this. First, are ALL Christians obligated to carry out Galatians 6:10?  Surely, everyone would agree that every child of God is under the demand to do good to all men, and especially unto those of the household of faith.  Second, if all Christians are obligated to assist both Christians and non-Christians, why can all of them assist from the church treasury?  When a missionary is supported out of the church treasury, all within the congregation are involved.  All the members can say that they help to support that missionary.  In like manner, when a preacher is paid out of the church treasury, all of the members can say that they are helping to pay the preacher.  In like manner, when a non-Christian is given assistance out of the church’s treasury, every member is fulfilling the demand of Galatians 6:10.  If not, why not?  It does not seem consistent to say that every member must carry out Galatians 6:10, but that every member cannot do this by using the church’s treasury.  It is an expedient way for every member of a local congregation to fulfill the obligation that Paul set forth in Galatians 6:10. 

            Let’s illustrate with an example.  Let’s assume that a member of the church who knows a non-Christian who is in need of $1000.00.  The Christian goes to every member of his local congregation and everyone gives to that cause.  How is that different from the member approaching the eldership with the need and providing the assistance out of the church treasury?  In both instances, every member of the congregation fulfills the demand of Galatians 6:10.  The question that really needs to be asked is:  “Can individual responsibility be fulfilled through a congregational action?”