Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 23, 1961

Eating In The Church Building

Dudley Ross Spears, Blytheville, Arkansas

We have heard that "there's nothing wrong with the brethren getting together in the building for a meal and enjoying the fellowship." Quite frequently we notice "fellowship suppers" announced in church bulletins. On the sign in front of the local First Presbyterian Church is the announcement of "Church Supper Night - Wednesday, 6:45 p.m." We have had occasion to discuss the scripturalness of this practice with some brethren and have heard every kind of justification for it imaginable.

In order to justify the practice of "fellowship suppers" we have heard that "the church building is not sacred".... "If you can have a bath-room and drinking fountain in the building, what's wrong with having a kitchen"...."the early church had fellowship"...."they met in private homes where you know they had a kitchen"...."can't a baby take a bottle or eat a cracker in the building?"...."It doesn't violate any Bible teaching." We have been treated to all sorts of logical justifications of having "fellowship suppers" but we have yet to see the passage from the Bible authorizing it.

In trying to correct a bad situation at Corinth, Paul said: "What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not." (1 Cor. 11:23) It is not wrong to eat the Lord's Supper in the church building, but Paul said that home was the place to eat the kind of meal that satisfies hunger and thirst. "And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come," (1 Cor. 11:34)