Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 27, 1952

Congregational Control

J. Lee Hines, Paden City, West Virginia

If I can read correctly, the New Testament teaching is, each CONGREGATION has full and complete control over its MEMBERS and its PHYSICAL ASSETS; which control has been delegated to it by CHRIST who has "ALL AUTHORITY." All other authority is delegated authority, but by Christ alone. Congregations, through their elders, have no right to circumvent Christ-authority.

Elders of a congregation, who pass their supervision over to another group of elders are traitors; and those who accept such supervision are party to the crime. In New Testament times, no congregation, under the teaching of the apostles surrendered its Christ-given rights to another, nor were they asked to so do. Each congregation collected goods (money) from its own membership; placed it in the hands of its own messenger or messengers, with instruction that it be delivered at the place of need (directly).

If it can be proven that the JERUSALEM CHURCH received funds from churches, to be delivered at the will of the Jerusalem elders, (church) then we have an example of CENTRAL CONTROL; but that is the point to be proven. If, indeed churches can thus treat physical assets, the same churches may treat the spiritual as well — so we are in line for a super-organization with super-bishops or "UNIVERSAL BISHOP," pope.

Scripture to read: 1 Cor. 16:1,2; 2 Cor. chapters 8 and 9; Acts 11:29 and Acts 12:25.