Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Biblical Proof

If you are a member of the churches of Christ, then you already know all the arguments concerning this matter, but if you are not, then let me make known unto you the scripture. “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.” 1 Cor 11:22 “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.” 1 Cor 11:34

So, why can’t Christians eat in the churches? He just said it, “Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing?” v22 How often I have overheard members of the Lord’s church say, “Have you ever noticed  that those who bring nothing eat the most.” Others will say, “It’s amazing that some only attend when we are going to have a luncheon or banquet.” The church is to provide for the needy saints, but it is not the duty of the church to provide for the greedy saints. 1 Cor 16:1,2 Money direct from the contribution, not food, was given to the needy saints.

The contention of some is that the church can’t provide the money or location for the luncheon. Liberal brethren believe that by the church providing the location and food that no one will be shamed, but this is not true. More conservative brethren will have luncheons provided by its members at someone’s home, but this too will cause poor members shame who can’t afford to bring anything.

I recall back in the 1960s when the government used to give “Commodities” to feed the poor. Eventually, even wicked politicians noticed that this was shaming the poor. Eventually, a bipartisan bill passed by a democratic congress and signed by a republican president, removed the sack off the poor man’s back, and replaced it with food stamps. Eventually, this too was seen as demeaning, and they replaced this was a credit card that would not be as noticeable. Believe it or not, I have overheard church of Christ preachers mock the poor who get this aid, without even knowing the particular circumstances which made them in need of such aid. Is it any wonder why these same preachers give no regard to the poor of their assembly?

I have heard hundreds of reasons why the church can circumvent a direct commandment from the inspired apostle Paul and eat when the church is gathered together. However, the Spirit which inspired Paul, gave one reason which can never be proven wrong: When the church eats as such, they shame those who have little. It is hard to escape the truth of God. It is true that those who have the least eat the most. They are hungry for goodness sake! Surely they give the least. They are poor! When we shame the least among us, we are bringing shame to the church which Christ built. Do we not remember that God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? Jam 2:5 Therefore, we are commanded to eat at home or separate and apart from the assembly. We should be more concerned on providing for the poor so they too eat without being shamed. Therefore, let us obey the commandment which was given to us knowing why, and questioning nothing!

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Comments on: "Why Eating In The Church Is A Sin" (6)

  1. There is nothing in the Bible about church buildings. We don’t have one. Sometimes we meet in someone’s apartment. Is it okay to eat there, if we do it in such a way as to not shame anyone?

    • Good question David: “Sometimes we meet in someone’s apartment. Is it okay to eat there, if we do it in such a way as to not shame anyone?”

      The scripture gives no exception to eating in the church. If we wish to eat, the scripture says we have homes in which to eat. If you meet in an apartment, that apartment is the church when the saints are assembled. Once the saints have disassembled, it becomes the home of the one who lives there. If they wish to invite you to their home to eat, who can prevent it? It is their home.

  2. James Tebow said:

    Please keep 1 Cor 11:20-21 in context. What did it mean to the Corinthians?

    These brand new Corinthian Christians were using the Old Testament as a guide for the Lord’s supper. They changed the items on the meal menu from leg of lamb to unleavened bread and fruit of the vine. In that context one would observe the Lord’s supper like a Passover meal. So the obvious conclusion is one would come hungry, eat a ton of unleavened bread and drink too much fruit of the vine. Notice the end result of too much Fruit of the vine one would become drunk.
    Which leads us to our practice today of only taking a “small pinch” of bread and a “sip” of fruit of the vine.
    Paul is stating, The worship service is not a time to eat food. It is a time to remember and reflect on Christ’s death. Therefore eat at home and remember at worship.
    So let’s apply this to today. This verse is not about the building, it’s about what you do during that worship time.
    This also works for the apartment example written on March 2, 2015. We would not want to have a Thanksgiving feast at the same time of our home worship service. Those observation times would need to be different.
    I grew up in Temple Terrace, Fl the with the above original thought process. We need to stop arguing over scruples and get things done in the name of the Jesus, the church, and to serve our neighbor.
    Feel free to look me up to talk on the above topic.

    • Your reasoning is skewed because you believe what Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he didn’t also write to all churches, including all churches of Christ today. 1 Cor 4:17. Just one verse earlier he pleaded that all Christians follow him as he would say in 1 Corinthians 11:1 as he followed or imitated Christ. Paul said we are not to eat where the church is assembled. It’s high time the church stop breaking a direct commandment of God by eating in the church and justifying it by the reasoning of man.

      • James Tebow said:

        I never said or implied that. Please read what I wrote carefully. Let me explain this a little more. I believe all the letters are to all the churches. See below scriptures of that example:
        2Ti 4:13 …bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
        1Th 5:27 …this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
        Col 4:16 …epistle is read among you, …it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

        Does the writer know the distinct difference between exegesis and a hermeneutic?
        Exegesis; what does the verse mean to those at the time of the writing?
        Hermeneutic; how does it apply to today?

        1 Cor 11:20 “When ye come together therefore into one place”. Come together refers to the time of the worship service not after worship is over. In other words when you come together to worship. It’s not referring to after the worship service. If it was then you could not worship in the apartment or shared space.
        “This is not to eat the Lord’s supper”. This means they were eating the Lord’s Supper incorrectly.
        1 Cor 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
        This means they were coming together to eat it like a meal. Come hungry, leave full.
        1 Cor 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? This means, can you not eat at home before you come? Don’t come hungry to eat a meal during this Lord’s Supper time.

        On another note. We eat in another room from our worship location. That is even better than the apartment example. What about if a church is in a shopping mall and a resturant is next door?

        I am ok with your preferences of choosing not eat at the building.

      • Paul is speaking about the meeting place. This is why he commanded the saints if they were hungry to eat at home. If he meant to worship and then eat, he would have said such, but he did not. Secondly, no where did the bible ever say that the Corinthians were using fermented wine. The grape juice we use today will not get one drunk even if they drank all day long. The point is, even if you are not shaming those who have not, this doesn’t mean other congregations do. I have witnessed several times where one would say, “Have you noticed those who bring nothing eat the most”. Another would say, “We only see them when we have a meal”. Point being, Paul commanded the saints who are hungry to eat at home that the poor be not shamed. This can’t be regulated or prevented in all cases. Thus, eat at home was the conclusion. To me the most important thing to remember is that the church was not commanded to eat a meal after the assembly. They were commanded not to eat assembled, that is, in the church that the poor be not shamed.

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