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Orphan Homes

Church support for them

James 1:26-27


Introductory Matters

  1. There are 6 Devastating “D’s” which affect children.
    Death of parents
    Disease – AIDS, cancer
    Divorce – Often the children are caught in the middle
    Desertion – For many, a simple solution is to walk away, abandon
    Delinquency – Lack of discipline leads to “out of control” kids
    Drinking – The single biggest factor in the

  2. We have an obligation to the needy (including orphans)

  3. God is a friend to the fatherless

  4. God answers their needs through us

  5. The Bible gives instructions for their care

  6. Jesus gave positive teaching on this matter

  7. We are to follow the footsteps of Jesus

  8. The church of the first century supported the needy

  9. We are instructed to do the same today

  10. In the early 50’s some congregations chose NOT to support Orphan Homes

  11. Then developed a division – “Antis” – who refused to fellowship those who did choose to support such homes.

  12. I would advise against the use of the term “Anti.” All of us are “anti” some things. I am anti – sin, Satan, drug abuse, profanity, fornication, divorce, etc. The use of this term added to the further separation of the groups.

Terms to study

  1. Orphan – one who is without support (physical, emotional, training, discipline) (James 1:27; John 14:18)

  2. Home – an institution God designed as the basic unit of society

  3. Support – Care, oversight, training, meeting needs, provided for

  4. Visit – Not just a social call, a looking to their needs and meeting them
    NOTE: Visit (episkomai – Greek) [trans. Bishop, overseer, visit] see to their needs, observe what is lacking and fill the void

What are some of the questions and objections?

  1. Can a church support an “institution”, human organization?

  2. Can a church take money from its treasury and send to another organization?
    If money is sent to an organization, does the local church lose control?
    If the church is God’s only organization, is it right to form another organization?
    Is this similar to the missionary society?

  3. Should the state courts be involved?

  4. Should the Children’s Home accept state funds?

  5. Is the requirement of James 1 individual or corporate?


Here are the real issues that must be understood by all

  1. Each congregation is autonomous (self-governing) and can decide how the money is best used for the work of the church.
    The local congregation can stop its support at any time. It is still in control.

  2. No preacher or eldership has authority beyond the local congregation.

  3. Many commands in the New Testament are BOTH corporate and individual.
    Communion – Self examination, in assembled church
    Giving – Every one of you (individual) lay by in store (corporate)
    Worship – In spirit (individual) and in truth (corporate)
    Singing – Understand (individual) and admonish one another (corporate)
    Benevolence – Can be done individually or in the corporate

  4. The church must obey laws and ordinances (city, state and federal). By-laws, purchase of property, accounting, building codes, tax-exempt status.

  5. As for accepting state funds for the care of children – As long as the “strings attached” do not require a violation of our faith, there is no problem. For example, can a Children’s Home take the children to worship at a nearby congregation of the church of Christ? If one of these children is a Muslim, must we make sure they are able to attend the Muslim prayers?

  6. Is the church God’s ONLY organization? No! God authorized several institutions.

    1. Home – an organization for the training of children

    2. Church – organization for evangelism and worship

    3. Government – organization for civil laws and enforcement

    4. School – organization for the education of children

    5. Substitute organizations – to fill in when others fail
      For example, when the home collapses, an orphan home can fill the gap.

  7. Who should be help? Widows, orphans, travelers, any one who asks?

Should we help those who will not work, lazy, moochers?

Should we help ONLY Christians (Saints Only) or all men?

Galatians 6:10

2 Corinthians 9:12-13


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