Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 47, PAGE 2b-3a

Church Kitchens

Charles L. Morton

Resulting from some articles in the bulletins published by the church here in Cleburne in which some of the differences between the apostate "Church of Christ" denomination and Divine Truth were contrasted, this writer received a letter a few days ago from a family in another state. Exception was taken to the point that there is no authority of Scripture for church kitchens - kitchen facilities which are provided by churches in meeting-houses, or elsewhere, for use in church sponsored social affairs. Efforts were made in the letter to establish the fact that such church kitchens are Divinely authorized.

As might be supposed, one argument was based on the fact that the meeting-place is not holy since God's building is composed of people and not brick and lumber (1 Pet. 2:5, 1 Cor.3:16,17, etc.). It was also contended that the church assembly-place is no more than a bus station. As far as this writer knows, the sacredness of the meeting-house has never been an issue on this point. We have never known of any brethren, faithful or unfaithful, who said that the meeting-place IS holy. We must insist, however, that there is a distinction between the church assembly place and a bus station. The difference is in the purpose for which each is to be sued. Based on the generic authority in the command to assemble, a local church may make provisions to assemble for authorized endeavors in a bus station, American Legion building, or any other place suitable in light of local circumstances. In such an event, however, the church is not providing for a bus station. It is arranging for a place of assembly. Kitchen work is a function of the home (1 Cor.11:22) And does not come within the scope of the work and responsibility of the church (Rom. 14:17).

In the letter received, further "scriptural authority" for church kitchens was offered which is especially intriguing. We quote:

"I believe there were kitchens in most of the congregations in the days of Paul. Read Romans 16:3-5, 1 Cor.16:19, Co1.4:15, Philemon 2. People lived in these church buildings."

In all of the passages cited, there are statements made concerning the church in some individual's house. The conclusion drawn is that these people lived in church buildings and had kitchens, which means that it is scriptural today for churches to provide kitchens for use in social entertainments. This writer must disagree. Priscilla and Aquila, Nymphas, and Philemon did not live in church buildings. They lived in their own homes. The writer would assume that there were kitchens of some kind in those homes, but it is immaterial to the point. If there were kitchens, they were a part of the functioning of the home. The church met in those homes because they were convenient and suitable and not because kitchens were present.

For years, our brethren have very properly fought the denominational quibble that the mechanical instrument of music is authorized in worship because the machine is used in the home. It is interesting to observe that the same "argument" is now used by liberal brethren themselves to "justify" their church kitchens and "fellowship" halls.

The major issue between faithful and unfaithful brethren is not institutionalism, missionary societies, church kitchens, etc. These are but symptoms of the real disease: A lack of respect for the authority and integrity of the Word of God.