Mt. Vernon Church of Christ Services Sunday A. M. Bible Study - 9:30 Sunday A. M. Worship - 10:30 Sunday P. M. Worship - 5:00 Wednesday Evening Bible Study - 6:00 Address 700 Mill Street Mt. Vernon, Indiana  47620 Contact (812) 838-2635 email Gospel Plan of Salvation Hear - Rom. 10:17 Believe - Mark 16:15,16 Repent - Luke 17:3 Confess - Rom. 10:10 Be baptized - Acts 2:38 Live faithfully - Titus 2:12 “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God...” (I Peter 4:11) Mt. Vernon Church of Christ

It has become the practice to fund, at least in part, various works of the local congregation by having catfish dinners and yard sales. These practices are openly advertised in some church bulletins and participation is encouraged. The feedback we have received when inquiring about such activity is that several thousands of dollars are raised at such dinners. We assume the yard sales are also productive of financial profit. The stated objectives of providing camp opportunities and mission work opportunities are noble, so what is the big deal! Why don't all the churches start raising money for church activities by having catfish dinners and yard sales?

The obvious answer as to why all churches do not have catfish dinners and yard sale fund-raisers is that such practices are unscriptural. There is no Bible authority for the Lord's church to go into business to raise money to support the work of the church. It may be objected that such practices are not a business. However, one of several definitions of "business" is "the buying and selling of commodities and services' [Webster's New World College Dictionary]. The old adage is "If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, etc,, then it's a duck." Colossians 3:17 is just as true and binding today as it was in the first century A.D. Here the Lord instructs His church with these words: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the bid Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Catfish dinners and yard sales cannot be done scripturally "in the name of the Lord Jesus" because the Lord Jesus has not authorized such practices.

What about bingo? This is a proven way of attracting crowds and raising money. Car washes lave been popular with denominations. There is absolutely no way the preacher, elder, or church member can consistently approve, support, or encourage church of Christ catfish dinners and yard sale fund-raisers, and at the same time raise any objection to car washes or bingo or other imaginative endeavors designed for the same purpose. They stand or fall together.

These are serious matters in that such practices constitute departures from the faith. They are not matters of opinion or matters of expediency. It will not do to simply shrug one's shoulders or laugh it off or just ignore the fact that catfish dinners and yard sale fund raisers by churches of Christ have no authority. If they did have Bible authority, then it would have been presented long ago. Brethren who are engaging in such fund-raisers need to prayerfully consider if the money raised is worth leading the local congregation into sinful practices.

Jim Lewis, Seek The Old Paths, August 2005

Catfish Dinners,  Yard Sales and Bingo
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