Problem of Modern Proprietary Ecclesiology
The key problem of today’s modern entrepreneural or personally-owned church pattern is their faulty unbiblically innovated propriatory ecclesiology. This was not how the Apostles, the Church Fathers and the Reformers operated in the Church.
From Scriptures, the Church is meant to be a spiritual congress of the congregating community, such that the treasury and property of the local Church constitute the commonwealth of the congregation not the property and treasury of the Pastors.
*The Apostles never claimed ownership of Church funds and collections – whether it be collections of tithes, offerings or donations. Rather they insisted such funds belonged to the congregation which they perceived as a perculiar Royal-Priesthood (1Pet. 2:9).*
The congregation elects treasurers of their common treasury who are accountable to the Church (Act 6:2-4). Pastors are to be cared for through remunerations or supported with honorariums according to necessity of their ministry (Rom 15:24; Gal 6:6; 3John 5-8).
Concerning Tithes, they are dues given to Priests and Royals. In the New Testament, tithes do not belong to Pastors but to the congregation, all of whom beling to the Royal-Priesthood.
In the Apostolic times, the Apostles instituted that Churches should collect and keep custody of their funds as congregational commonwealth and dispense such funds as commonly agreed through their own treasurers.
*The Apostles did not mix their personal honorariums and earnings with the Church’s common funds, but rather showed transparent integrity by their insistence on not getting these issues mixed up or shrouded.*
(1) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you.
(2) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
(3) AND WHEN I COME, WHOMSOEVER YOU SHALL APPROVE BY YOUR LETTERS, THEM WILL I SEND TO BRING YOUR LIBERALITY UNTO JERUSALEM.
(4) AND IF IT BE FITTING THAT I GO ALSO, THEY SHALL GO WITH ME.
(2) And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the WORD of God to serve TABLES.
(3) THEREFORE, BROTHERS, PICK OUT FROM AMONG YOU SEVEN MEN OF GOOD REPUTE, FULL OF THE SPIRIT AND OF WISDOM, WHOM WE WILL APPOINT TO THIS DUTY.
(4) But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
(5) And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
(16) But thanks be to God, who placed in the heart of Titus the same dedication to you that I have.
(17) He welcomed my request and eagerly went to visit you by his own free will.
(18) With him we have sent the brother who is praised in all the churches for spreading the gospel.
(19) More than that, HE HAS ALSO BEEN SELECTED BY THE CHURCHES TO TRAVEL WITH US WHILE WE ARE ADMINISTERING THIS WORK OF KINDNESS for the glory of the Lord and as evidence of our eagerness to help.
(20) WE ARE TRYING TO AVOID ANY CRITICISM OF THE WAY WE ARE ADMINISTERING THIS GREAT UNDERTAKING.
(21) We intend to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of people.
(22) We have also sent with them our brother whom we have often tested in many ways and found to be dedicated. At present he is more dedicated than ever because he has so much confidence in you.