Monday, June 10, 2013

Are Business Meetings Scriptural?

Are Business Meetings Scriptural?

Answer:   They are as scriptural as song-books, church buildings, Bible
classes for all ages.  Are those things scriptural?  Yes!  But, you will not
find specific examples of any of these in the Bible.  A recent Bible class
question discussed whether there is any “example” of a church having men’s
business meetings.  The implication was that it was questionable if there
was no biblical “example” of it.  However, I believe the reasoning is
flawed.  Here are my thoughts on why I believe a men’s business meeting is a
scriptural expediency.

            First, let me say that an “example” is not all the necessary
criteria to determine whether a thing is scripturally authorized.  The
premise that an “example” must show such a thing is faulty logic.  There is
no example of communion trays, song books, black boards,
church-owned-property, or banks to hold and keep the church treasury.  There
are no “examples” of churches dividing into classes.  However, all of these
things are scriptural expediencies. 

            Secondly, the relevent questions have to be asked in order to
arrive at the proper answer to our question.  1) Is it scriptural for
churches to have matters of business to attend to?  2) If not, then no one
(including elders and deacons) should meet at any time to discuss any
matters of business belonging to the church.  3) If it is scriptural for
churches to have matters of business to attend to, then expedient
arrangements should be made to attend to those matters (with or without
elders and deacons).  Business can include discussion of maintenance and
upkeep concerns of facilities, class needs, materials, teaching arrangement
needs, considerations for growth efforts, information exchanges on budget,
and fallen members.  These are business concerns of the church, and they
must be expediently addressed with or without elders and deacons.
Therefore, a men’s business meeting is a scriptural expediency for handling
the business needs of the church.

            Thirdly, a local church is fully authorized to make any kind of
expedient arrangements for any temporal needs.  For example, the church in
Judea had a need to administer to the needy Grecian widows (Acts 6).  They
were instructed to choose seven men to see after this need.  Thus, when the
situation calls for special arrangements, the church can make special
arrangements for special situational needs.  The church at Corinth was
rebuked for not making arrangements to “judge” a case between two brethren
instead of letting the disagreement go before the courts of unbelievers (1
Cor.6).  There should have been at least one righteous man they could have
arranged to judge the case inside the church.  Thus, the church can arrange
for holding its’ own court with men in leading judgment roles (1 Cor.6;
11:3; 14:33f).  If you were to ask for a specific “example” of a church
arranging its own court, we could not give an “example”.  But, if you ask if
it is “scripturally EXPEDIENT” for churches to hold their own courts when
needed, we would find such authority in 1 Cor.6.  A men’s business meeting
does not take the place of anything.  It does not abuse anything. It simply
arranges to carry out expedient ways to tending to the necessary business
that churches have with or without elders. 

            The men’s business meeting is simply representative heads of
households (1 Cor.11:3) meeting to discuss and decide expedient matters that
need to be handled.  It does not replace the need for elders, nor the role
and work of elders.  But, if it is expedient for churches WITH elders to
meet to discuss the business of the church, then it is certainly expedient
for churches WITHOUT elders to make arrangements to see to the business of
the church.  There is no specific authority for elders and deacons to hold a
“business meeting”.  There are no “examples” of it.  Likewise, there is no
specific authority for churches to arrange for classes.  But, there is
general authority, and there is general authority for heads of households to
meet to discuss the business of the church.

Terry W. Benton