When Is It Excluded?
When my mother sends me to the grocery store, there are two ways in which she may exclude any particular item. E.g., if she does not want any potatoes, she may exclude them by listing the items she wants, and only what she wants. We can easily understand this.
When God is instructing me, there are two ways in which he may exclude any action on my part as a Christian individual, or even the actions of the church. If he does not want me to participate in a particular activity, he may exclude it by expressly forbidding me to participate in it, or he may exclude it by listing what he wants me to do, and only what he wants done. We should be able to understand this just as easily as the first paragraph.
When God tells me not to forsake the assembling of the saints Heb. 10:25), then I know that such "forsaking" should be excluded from my life. When God tells us not to feed the able man who will not work H Thess. 3:10), then we know we should exclude such people from our list of needy people who are worthy of help.
When God tells me to baptize (immerse) believers into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19-20), then I know that he is excluding sprinkling or pouring. I know this because immersion is the only manner prescribed; sprinkling and pouring are not prescribed. When God tells me to sing vocal music, Eph. 5:19), then I know that instrumental music is excluded because it is no where prescribed. The only kind of music commanded is vocal.
When God tells me to repent Lk. 13:3,5), then I know that I must repent; but, I do not conclude that this excludes everything else, because, I am else where told to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38.) Thus I am made to see the importance of knowing all that God has said on one subject before deciding whether or not something is to be excluded, and if so, what is to be excluded.
When God tells the church to permanently help those who are widows indeed, and for relatives (individuals) to help those who are not widows indeed I Tim. 5:16), then I know that the permanent assistance of those who are not widows indeed is excluded as church activity because the church is not to be burdened.
When God tells the Christian individual to help the orphans and widows (Jas. 1:27), then I know that this does not exclude the church from helping widows who are widows indeed because I Tim. 5 teaches the church to do so. However, I Tim. 5:16 does exclude the church permanently helping widows who are not widows indeed.
Since we have learned from I Tim. 5 that the individual care of widows in Jas. 1:27 does not exclude church care of widows indeed, does Jas. 1:27 exclude church care of orphans ? YES! Then why the difference ? Simply this: I Tim. 5 teaches that the church may care for certain widows, regardless of individual requirements found in Jas. 1:27 or anywhere else Cf. Gal. 6:10); BUT, there is not a passage anywhere in the New Testament that teaches that the church is to care for orphans (unless those orphans are of age and are needy saints. (Acts 11:29; I Cor. 16:1.)
The Scriptures teach that the church may permanently help "widows indeed" as well as helping other saints as they have needs. The Scriptures also teach that the individual Christian is to help widows, orphans, and all worthy people as he has opportunity, especially the household of faith. Remember: God has definitely excluded (by prohibition) our going beyond His word. (II Jno. 9; I Cor. 4:6.) Let's speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.