Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 30, 1959

"Send Directly" -- A Brother Calls It Forgery

Forrest D. Moyer, Sunnyvale, California

Brother Bob Minor writes concerning one of my articles in The Shield in which I spoke of the church at Philippi's sending funds directly to Paul. He declares that it is sheer forgery to say that they sent directly and that I stand under the condemnation of Gal. 1:8,9 and 2 John 9-10 and that I am worse than the Christian church fellow who wants to add the instrument to "psallo." Brother Minor wants the proof "for saying that the church at Philippi 'sent directly' to Paul." I appreciate the attitude of demanding proof for what we teach and do. That is the only way we can ever please God. I would that all brethren would ask for proof for their practice. Such an attitude would eliminate the trouble that now exists over institutionalism. I believe I can give you the proof for what I said in my article. I am sure that this was an oversight and such could easily happen. It does, however, destroy the force of what I was saying.

I stated in the article that Philippi sent money directly to Paul — that this was the action of the church there. I did not make any argument to the effect that the word directly inheres in the word send. This was the straw man that Brother Bob set up and then sought to destroy. But that Philippi sent funds directly to Paul does inhere in Phil. 4. Do you doubt it? Well, let us examine the passage:

Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye, only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. (Phil. 4:1418.)

Please observe that the church in Philippi is the only church under consideration in this text. No other church supported Paul at this time. No other church gave anything at all to him for his support in the time element under consideration. This within itself would eliminate the idea of Philippi's sending money to another church for that (receiving) church to give to Paul. Only Philippi had fellowship with him then — no other church.

Now what did Philippi do? Observe: Paul says they "sent unto my necessity," they "had fellowship with me," they "communicated with me," and he "received the things which were sent from you." They sent; Paul received. (See Thayer, p. 157, on dosis). Did they send to another church? No! Did they send to a society? No! To whom? To Paul! If the idea of directly does not inhere in this passage, pray tell me what it means.

What was their action? Sending to Paul. How (by what means) did they do this? By the hands of Epaphroditus. (v. 18) Now this is exactly what I said in my article:

In Phil. 4:15-16 the ACTION was that of Philippi's sending funds directly to Paul. The MEANS of sending was by messenger. The sending directly was not simply a MEANS of doing God's will but was the ACTION of the church in Philippi. Whether we send directly by a messenger or by mail, the ACTION is the same. (Vol. I, No. 8, p. 1, The Shield)

There is no forgery at all. The forgery would enter in by a person's teaching that churches could send to a sponsoring church and let it support the preacher. This is not authorized. Now, if Brother Minor believes that it is, let him prove it from God's word. Brother Minor, you said we are men who call for proof and should be glad to give it. Now I challenge you to prove that one or many churches can send money to a sponsoring church and let it do a work of evangelism to which all other churches are equally related. If you so believe, prove it! The Shield will be glad to carry your article offering proof. And if you prove it by God's word, I will most gladly accept that proof.

The illustration you gave about sending me ten dollars fails to uphold your point. If the Bible had said that Philippi sent to a friend in Berea and that friend sent it to an elder in Thessalonica and that elder gave it to another who gave it to Paul, you would have a parallel. But the Bible specifies that they sent it to Paul by the hand of Epaphroditus and that is what I said in the article. The only thing the messenger could do was give it to Paul. He could not have given it to another without violating the trust that Philippi placed in him. When the church chooses the mail as its messenger, the postal department can do only one thing with the latter — deliver it to the receiver. So, they did not send to another church nor to an institution. They sent it to Paul, directly if you please!

"I believe that any fair mind can see this." Can't you, Brother Minor?