Vol.VIII No.V Pg.7
July 1971

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Is it scriptural for a member of one congregation to split their contribution with another congregation?


Contribution from a scriptural viewpoint, is what one gives, freely, not of necessity, to supply some need or want. (2 Cor. 9:7; 8:14; 4-5; 1 Cor. 16:1-3) It is not a tax, not a fee exacted by the church.

It represents each disciples will to meet certain needs, and to join with other saints in a collective effort to meet those needs. (Although Acts 11:29 is not absolutely, clearly a case of a pooled fund, it does show the individual will back of the gift — a characteristic of acceptable giving in all cases.)

Saints contribute to a common fund on the Lords Day because:

1. Each one recognizes legitimate, God-authorized needs which should be met, in order to further the Lords cause, and glorify God.

2. In keeping with Gods will, they have covenanted together, agreed to work as one, in certain activities of work and worship.

3. 1 Cor. 16: 1-3 furnishes approved precept and example of such pooling of funds, on the Lords Day, by saints in a local church relationship, to meet such God-authorized needs.

I find nothing in any of the scriptures concerning giving that suggests that our contribution is a certain percentage of our income, foreordained to be placed in the collection basket of the congregation of which we are members. The same passages which teach that we should be willing, when the needs demand it, to sell our possessions and give all, or 100% (Acts 4:32-37); would also teach that when needs are less, we would reduce the gift accordingly.

All team activities impose responsibilities upon those who are a part of the team. I accept such responsibilities when I become a part of a congregation; and would be derelict of duty should the work of the team of which I am a member be ignored and my resources be given to another congregation. If I can not conscientiously support the work of a congregation, I should sever relations with them and go to work with a team to which I can give support. (Little men may allow petty grievances and personal differences to keep them on the move. They will use the above statement to excuse such childishness — but that sort would find some excuse, regardless, I am seeking to deal with the principles involved.) However, if one meets the needs and responsibilities of his home congregation, and wishes to make additional gifts to other needs, I see no violation of scripture in this.

If each congregation would plan their work properly — in keeping with their ability — their legitimate need would be such as to use the resources of each member so fully, there would be little excuse, or inclination, for a shopping around for places to put our money. A split contribution usually indicates poor team planning, or a donor with split allegiance.