Question:I was reading through a couple articles on your website when I ran into "Using a Kitchen in a Rented Hall" and I became a bit concerned. See, the church I attend has a potluck dinner every first Sunday of the month following morning services. We meet in a building beside the church that the church purchased when I was just a little girl. The food is mentioned in the closing prayer before everyone goes over there. Everyone who can brings a food item, and items like napkins, paper plates and cups and other stuff are donated to the church. I'm not sure if anything in the building is actually paid for by the church funds because I'm a woman and it's none of my business. After we eat, we go back to the church building for an hour of singing (since the first Sunday of every month's evening services consists of singing and an invitation led by the preacher).
Is there something wrong with doing this? Should I not be attending the dinner afterward? Thanks.
The fact that prayer for the food is made a part of the worship assembly is probably what I find the most disturbing. "What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. ... But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come" (I Corinthians 11:22, 34). Paul argues that the assembly of the church is separate from home events, such as meals. Yet, brethren are ignoring this rule and making the meal an extension of worship by offering prayers for food as a part of worship.
The budget of a church is all members' business. In all the churches I've attended, the budget and the expenditures of the church are usually posted somewhere for everyone to see. My guess is that the upkeep, lighting, and heating of this building is being financed by the church where you are at.
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