“Church Kitchens and Fellowship Halls”
David J. Riggs
Church buildings with kitchens and fellowship halls are quite common today because the social gospel has gained acceptance in the minds of many. In fact, more and more churches of Christ are running head long in that direction with complete apostasy being the only outcome.
There is absolutely no Scriptural authority for a local church to draw funds from its treasury to construct a kitchen or fellowship hall. There is Scriptural authority to construct a building for worship services because the commands of worship require a place and facilities. A place and facilities are necessary to obey God's commands, but kitchens and fellowship halls are not for any purpose God assigned to the church. Social and recreational endeavors are not the work of the church, and acting where God has not spoken is a serious offense (Matt. 7:21-23; 15:9; 1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9; etc.)
Creates A New Office
Like the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:27), the pioneer preachers forcefully ridiculed the denominations by stating that their church kitchens were creating a new office. When they replied, “What new office?”' they answered, “A church cook!” Untold thousands were converted by their plain and forceful teaching. We need hundreds more like them!
Perverts Bible Teaching
Some contend that the church building is not sacred and therefore can be used for eating and socializing. However, Paul ordered the eating of common food in the home and spiritual food in the church (1 Cor. 11:20-34). We understand that in 1 Cor. 11 Paul was condemning a misuse of the Lord's Supper; however, it is interesting to note how Paul corrected the problem. He did not say, “Keep your common meals separate from the Lord's Supper”, but, “If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home.” (Verse 34). Some have argued that their kitchens and fellowship halls are expedients to fellowship which God commanded. On the contrary, the word “fellowship” is never so used in the Scriptures. The fellowship enjoined by Christ is not social, but spiritual (see 1 John 1:3-7). It is a gross perversion to promote human socializing as “Christian fellowship.”
The entertainment projects go over big for a time, but to maintain enthusiasm, bigger and better schemes must be produced. In the final analysis, it introduces worldliness into the church. Food for the soul is replaced by food for the stomach, worship and spiritual songs by play and laughter, prayer and meditation by fun and frolic. Worldliness is where the long road leads and is the end result of it all.
Joins Church and Home
Years ago there was a great problem of men joining church and state and mankind in general suffered many bitter consequences. Today, men are joining church and home and the hideous results - loss of spirituality, a flood of worldliness in the church, and in the end, souls ruined, lost, and damned eternally. Let us go back to the “old paths” of offering the gospel of Christ only, and free ourselves from all the unlawful schemes men have devised to win and hold members. The gospel is not “a” power of God to salvation, but “the” power of God (the only one) to salvation. (Rom. 1:16). God's Word will accomplish exactly what God intended. (Isa. 55:10-11). It is still quick and powerful, living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12).