BIBLICAL – In the Objective Sense
I believe when something is “Biblical,” it actually comes from the Bible and not my desires, background, denominational books, or tradition. When I check out if I am doing something Biblical or not, I always check to see if it is consistent in every country in every era since Christ. For example, “Local Church” IS Biblical, first because it is in the Bible, but it can be shown as Biblical because God has blessed local churches around the world in every country for the last 2000 years since Christ first called out and assembled His church. There are local churches like the one I pastor, with much the same doctrine in China, Germany, Australia, South Africa, and many others. Not all of them have used song books, piano and organs, busses, or sound systems. But they all have met together to worship God by singing praises to Him, preaching Christ crucified, risen, and coming again, and studying the word of God.
When Something is NON-BIBLICAL
Leisure suits are not Biblical. They are not mentioned in the Bible, nor does the Bible have any instructions about wearing them or not wearing them. They are simply “non-Biblical.” In other words, a person could have worn a leisure suit into any church of any country in any era, and he might have been laughed at, but he would have been welcome to worship God. Non-Biblical is something unspoken of in the Scriptures. Air Conditioning is non-Biblical. Had the church at Jerusalem had the opportunity to have an air conditioner to plug in and keep the congregation cool, they would have done so. Undoubtedly even Spurgeon would have plugged in an air conditioner to keep his church people cool. Baptist churches in Africa long to have a book to hold of Christian songs; hey, let’s call it a “song book.” They are okay for a church to have, and removing them from a church does not make it lose its identity of being a Church of Jesus Christ. These “non-Biblical” things are left up to the local church to decide whether to have them or not, use them or not. A building for a church to meet in is “non-Biblical.” Some churches rent buildings. Some churches meet in buildings they have purchased or built. Some churches meet in homes. There is nothing in Scripture which mandates a church to have a building. It can still be a New Testament church if it rents, buys, or builds a building to meet in. There is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to something non-Biblical.
When Something is UNBIBLICAL
When something is Unbiblical, it violates a Scriptural principle. It would also violate what true churches would have done in every era. I believe a church incorporating with the state is unbiblical. I believe a church giving and receiving tax deductible gifts is unbiblical. Applying to the government’s Internal Revenue Service for same is unbiblical. I believe true churches down through history agreed with this principle. Receiving a benefit from the government through its enacted laws which binds the church to a performance in which it violates its Scriptural convictions is unbiblical. Baptism is Biblical and a church should exercise that ordinance when it can. The Lord’s Supper is Biblical. How often to have the Lord’s Supper is non-Biblical, because the Bible states “as oft as ye do it.” A church not partaking in a correct way is “unbiblical.” A church baptizing in an incorrect manner is also “unbiblical.”
Is a Church Deed Biblical, Non-Biblical, or Unbiblical?
First, we know that property deeds ARE Biblical. God commanded Jeremiah in Chapter 32 to buy “a field.” He bought it in verse 9. Verse 10 states, “And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balance.” Then he took the deed “according to the law and custom (verse 11)” and “gave the evidence” (deed) “in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase (verse 12).” No church in the New Testament owned land of course. But if God led a church to purchase land, it would be wise to record the purchase so that others would be notified of the owner. While some may argue a church deed is Non-Biblical, I believe the notification of the true Owner of the property IS Biblical when done through a Biblically based process (a Deed).
Is an Ordinary Trust Biblical, Non-Biblical, or Unbiblical?
I still have not found any kind of a Trust in the Bible. So, at best all Trusts are non-Biblical. For an individual to make a Trust would come under the Biblical principle of soul liberty. Personally, I own a Trust. I have no Biblical basis for doing so. But that does not make it unbiblical. According to the History of Trusts from several sources, Trusts go back to the Middle Ages when Knights would leave their property with another during their Crusade. Their only trouble would be when they got back and found out that their “Legal Document” was not legally binding under the Common Law of England and the one Managing the Trust (Trustee) was ruled by the Court to be the owner of the property as legal title to the property was in his name. It was not until the Chancery Courts came about with “Equity” as their basis that Trusts could be ruled upon by a Court. This was so that a “beneficial” interest could exist alongside a separate legal interest. Using the History of Trusts, an Ordinary Trust certainly is not Biblical. Questions come to mind here that should be answered in a certain attorney’s Trust book.
1. Should Christians be thankful Chancery Courts came along to rule by Equity? I say no.
2. Have any other local churches in other countries during other eras who owned buildings ever used a Trust Document as a way to hold assets? I cannot find any. There are no churches in any country, including the United States before 1996, who even considered using a Trust. So, again, I would say no.
3. Since it is not Biblical in its origin, do those who tout these Ordinary Trusts for churches simply believe they are “Non-Biblical?” And if this is Non-Biblical, then they must hold the position that each church gets to decide if it wants to use this way of holding its assets under the Scriptural principle of the Autonomy of the Local Church.
4. Are there any Scriptural principles that would make an Ordinary Trust “Unbiblical?” I believe that making a church a “person” who must become a “Trustor” is unbiblical and a violation of what a church should be. I believe that making a pastor a “Trustee” is unbiblical and a violation of his “office” of a Bishop, especially if and when he becomes a “Landlord.” I believe that too much temporal power is vested in the management of Trustee over the properties and money, especially if a pastor opens a bank account to pay for the church’s bills or borrows money from any lender. A pastor’s authority should be spiritual, based solely upon the Bible, and voluntarily submitted to by the congregation. I believe making the Lord Jesus Christ a “Beneficiary” is unbiblical, as Christ is our Benefactor, and always meets our needs, and not vice versa.
Therefore, at best the Ordinary Trust could be argued to be “Non-Biblical.” Still, I challenge it as being “Unbiblical.” Would anyone like to take the challenge to show the Ordinary Trust to be “Biblical,” and that a church would be in violation of being a true local church of Jesus Christ if it did not have an Ordinary Trust?