X0603.........A Point About ownership
42 ¶ And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine
and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2: 42-47)
32 ¶ And the multitude of them that believed were of
one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought
of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:32-35)
"All the believers were of one heart and one mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing." (Acts 4:32--The Book)
The Bible makes a point, in these verses and others about ownership. The church in the Bible felt that they did not own the thigns of this world, but rather were open to giving what they had, as God lead them, to others in need (specifically those in need within the church).
Now there are many points which might be taken from this,
but one particular thought is about ownership.
In the church today (which has been handed to us by tradition) some leaders believe that God has given them ownership of the church--or at least--the church building (sanctuary, house of God, temple--etc.). I have heard it said thusly: "God gave the pastor the church".
We certainly could disagree with this idea, from the standpoint that the Bible says emphatically that God gave ownership of the church to His Son Jesus! The first point missed is that the church is people, and not a building. Certainly most Christians today would understand this idea--however, the real fact remains that someone (the pastor, the elders, the board of directors) legally owns the property of the church. Now there is nothing wrong with Christians owning things--but the questions is this--are we truly sharing what we have to the degree the Bible calls for?
Look again at those verses. Many say that the pastor has authority over the church. (and even when we "say" the pastor is the servant of the church--aren't we still following a format that is completely directed and operated by him?)
Isn't this the exact opposite of the equitable sharing of possesions that is the example of the church in the Bible?
What if we did share what we had?
Can you do your ministry in the commonly owned church building?