Presentation on theme: "THE CHURCH AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Prepared by O.S. Asaolu & Manny Ebong Acknowledgement: Bros D. Patfield & K. Sharp."— Presentation transcript:
THE CHURCH AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Prepared by O.S. Asaolu & Manny Ebong Acknowledgement: Bros D. Patfield & K. Sharp
Presentation Outline Introduction Definitions: Social Responsibility (CSR), the Church and the Individual Christian The Churchs Responsibilities The Individuals Responsibilities Finance/Benevolence: Difference between the Individual & the Church New Testament Benevolence The Churchs CSR Let Us Keep to Gods Pattern Conclusions
Introduction Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the act of self-regulated free contribution [from ones profit, products or services] to assist societal well-being. Thus we need to understand from the Bible: What is the church and what is her business? What are her products and services? If the Church is a profit making organization? If the Lords Church may engage in CSR in the same manner as corporations or denominations? If individual members of the Church may engage in conventional CSR in their personal capacities?
Social Responsibility Social responsibility is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society at large -Wikipedia.org The principle that companies should contribute to the welfare of society and not be solely devoted to maximizing profits -Dictionary.com
CSR projects may not yield financial gains but often results in popular goodwill. Examples: Building/running Schools, Orphanages, Hospitals… Giving out relief materials and money to affected communities after human or natural disasters… Donation of security equipment, tarred roads, boreholes, scholarships, sponsoring pilgrimages… Organizing free/subsidized entertainment shows, childrens parties, product promos & raffle draws…
Church: called out people, saved by the Lord It May Refer To All The People Of God Without Regard To Time Or Place (Heb. 12:23) It Is Sometimes Used To Refer To Gods People In A Given Locality (Acts 9:31) It Is Also Used To Refer To Gods People Who Are Physically Assembled (Acts 11:26) It Can Also Refer To Gods People In A Given Locality Who Work Together Collectively As A Body (Phil. 4:15)
The Church: Universal & Local The Lord adds us to the universal church, but we join ourselves to form a local church (Col. 1:18, Acts 2:47; 9:26f) The universal church is entered by baptism, but human agreement is involved in local membership (1 Cor. 12:13; 3 John 9-10) None but the saved are in the universal church, but some not of us may be in a local church (2 Tim. 2:19; 1 John 2:19) Satan cant prevail against the universal church, but he can and does prevail against local churches (Matt. 16:18; Rev. 2:5f)
The Individual Christian Is the Lords disciple (Acts 11:26) who seeks to be like the Master (Luke 6:40) by continuing in His word (John 8:31) Is an Individual who glorifies God in Christ having been born again (1 Peter 4:16; 1:22-23) Is one who was personally persuaded to obey the gospel of Christ (Acts 26:22- 23,28)
15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. One Man Is Not The Church Here We Find The Church Two Men Are Not The Church The Individual Christian Distinguished: Matthew 18
An Individual Christian Does Not Constitute A Local Church Christ is the head of the body, the church…for the body is not one member, but many. -Col 1:18, 1 Cor 12:14 An Individual Worker Does Not Constitute A Union An Individual Shareholder Does Not Constitute A Corporate Board An Individual Soldier Does Not Constitute An Army
Singular Plural Collective The church is Christians working collectively in their spiritual relationship in Christ as a body -1 Corinthians 12:25-27, Eph 1:22-23; 4:15-16, 1 Tim 3:15 It is NOT two or few Christians working together in their personal capacities, e.g. in Business or recreation - Acts 18:1-3; Romans 14:17 Sheep SheepFlock ShipShipsFleet LinkLinksChain CowCowsHerd (Cattle) ChristianChristiansChurch ChurchChurches(????)
The Churchs Responsibilities The church worships and glorifies God through Christ (Ephesians 3) and her obligations include: Evangelism, Edification and Benevolence – Acts 2:38-47 The church functions (Acts 15) in: a) Its assembled capacity b) Through authorized representatives c) Through the use of its resources Some however, preach the Social Gospel as a religious reform movement dedicated to the integration of the society and the church. Is it OK to infuse Gods message with entertainment, economic and political advocacy?
Misconceptions: The Church Is A Worldly Business Or Social Club Source: B. Render & J. Heizer, Principles of Operations Management, Prentice Hall, 1997.
An Individual has several types of obligations: Spiritual [God & local church] -Jn 1:6-7, Heb 10:25 Family [spouse & relations] -1 Cor. 7:3-5, Eph. 6:1-5, 1 Tim. 5:4,8,14 Business [occupational/industrial] - Eph 4:28, 1 Thess 4:11, Acts 16:14;18:1-3 Social [town, neighbors & friends] -Mt 5:16,42, John 4: 28-29, Luke 14:8,12-13, Acts 28:17 Civil [government] -Roman 16:23, Mk 12:17, John 18:36 The Individuals Responsibilities
Finance/Benevolence: Difference Between The Individual & The Church The Individuals Money Is Not The Churchs Money (Acts 5:2-4) The Individual Has Responsibility The Church Does Not (1 Tim. 5:8) The Individual Is Charged When The Church Is Not (1 Tim. 5:16)
By IndividualChurch to members Church to church(es) Mt 5:43-48Acts 2:44-45Acts 11:27-30 Mt 25:31-40Acts 4:32-35Rm 15:35 Acts 4:36-37Acts 6:1-61 Cor 16:1-3 Acts 9:36-391 Tim 5:162 Cor 8 Acts 20:34-352 Cor 9:13 1 Cor 16:15 Gal 6:10 Eph 4:28 1 Tim 5:16 1 Tim 6:18 James 1:27 James 2:15-18 1 Jn 3:17-18 New Testament Benevolence Do the cited passages teach that the Church as a body should pursue benevolence unto unbelievers and human-organizations?
Verses 31-33 states clearly that it is the Son of Man that separated mankind into sheep and goats or two distinct categories. It is individuals NOT groups that shall stand to give account before Christ's throne of judgment -2 Cor 5:10, 1 Tim 5:24, Rev 20:12. So righteous individuals not religious groups, are the ones commended by the King and blessed to inherit the kingdom in Mt 25:34. Interestingly, verse 40 says the benevolent acts were done to Christ's brethren. The Context of Mt 25:31-40
The Context of 2 Cor 9:13 1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you... 12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men
Some have posited this means unbelievers but verse 1 shows the discussion is about the relief for the Jewish saints at Jerusalem [see also 1 Cor 16:1-3]. The preceding verse 12 clearly indicates the servicesupplieth the want of the saints just like Chapter 8 shows its about the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. Does the church fellowship with all men? The all men means non-Jewish Christians equality supported by the Corinthians through their liberality. See 'all men' in Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35 also and note men is inserted/italicized, it means all that believed. What does all men refer to?
The Context of Galatians 6:1-10 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The brethren & ye in verse 1 are qualified withthyself, thou [singular] thus indicating that the passage is directed at individuals for personal action. This is reinforced by the preponderance of personal and masculine pronouns such as: a man, one, he, himself, alone, everyman. Verses 9-10 (as Heb 13:1-3) therefore means every one of us ought to show loving care for all people but should first demonstrate this to fellow brethren. NOTE: There is nowhere in the Scriptures that that the church is ever addressed as a He (In The Masculine Gender) Paul likewise addressed Circumcision in verses 11-13 which is for Individuals and is not a collective action. Individual brethren or the church?
The Context of James 1:27 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this ones religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The one to do the visit is the one to keep himself unspotted. He is the one to keep his own heart and tongue. The church cant do that or observe religion! The usage of personal masculine pronouns such as:a man, he, his, himself, anyone, this one, oneself shows the passage is directed at Individuals. James does not mention or imply the local church treasury or collective benevolence! Religion is a Personal Affair
The church is a spiritual kingdom - Jn 18:36, 2 Cor 10:3-5, 1 Pet 2:5 Her business is recruiting sinners [with the word not with bread ] and preparing saints for heaven [with the word and if a needy, with some bread] - Rm 1:16, Mt 6:33, Jn 6, Acts 2-6, Acts 20:32-35 Her profits for all are spiritual - Eph 1:3, 1 Cor 2:12-13, 1 Peter 1:3-4 Scriptural CSR projects from the Church to Society include: Prays for all in position of authority -1 Tim. 2:1-3 Renders free services and transforms lawless citizens into law- abiding ones -1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 [Matthew 10:1,8, 1 Cor 9:18]; 1 Peter 4:2-4, 1 Cor 6:9-11, Romans 13 Comforts and relieves needy saints who are encouraged to do same to their neighbors -2 Cor 1:4, Lk 10:36-37, Gal 5:14 The Churchs CSR
The New Testament gives examples of churches sending to other churches for needy saints, and churches sending money to preachers so they could preach, but we find no instance where a church sent money to non-Christians or a man-made organization. Even state governments only give bursary to their indigene students just as banks and cooperatives only give loans to their own members. They only engage in CSR when such is in their original or revised charter. The individual Christian may use his personal funds for CSR as he pleases but once money has been contributed to the church purse, it may only be used for those things for which we can establish biblical support. We can neither revise nor amend our charter –Jude 3
Run schools, orphanages & hospitals despite the fact that these are in themselves not her work but organizations that employs their own workers? Send money and relief materials to all men that suffered in the recent Jos crisis or only unto the affected saints?? Use the collection to support Police Equipment Fund or build roads in different local government areas??? Organize music/comedy/drama shows and parties to make people have fun in order to attract them???? Biblically, may the local church today
In John 2, the wedding seemed to have held at a private place and was not a special religious service at the temple? Christ was an invited guest who assisted not that He took over the ceremony from the organizers? If a Church decides to take over weddings today she must organize and provide reception menu for all and query/discipline absentees for forsaking the assembly! In John 6, Jesus had compassion to feed the hungry after a sermon, he did not feel obligated to always serve free meals to expectant people? Neither was he interested in grabbing political power from the Romans as desired by the people? Did You Note and Reflect That
God wants us to stick to His pattern - Hebrews 8:5 Pattern Defined: Blue Print, Plan, Mould, Example- We cite how Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire, how David arranged for the Ark to be carried with a new cart, etc. and the unpleasant consequences. Most Christians can see the pattern for limited… -Music (singing only), -Baptism (only to repentant believers, no infants..) So study to know and apply the NT pattern of limited benevolence, for the scriptures give the necessary information -1 Cor 11:2, Phil 3:17, 2 Tim 2:15 Let Us Keep To Gods Pattern
The churchs responsibility to all mankind from all nations is evangelism (to preach to them as the Lord instructed in the great commission) not benevolence. We are to export the Word (which is the power of God unto salvation) to the world and NOT to import the world into the church via modern CSR. The social responsibility of the Church is spiritual and limited as documented and practiced by the inspired apostles. We can not do otherwise and claim to practice new testament Christianity. Conclusions
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