When studying issues regarding the church’s practice of charity, I often find biblical argumentation sorely lacking.
If you are familiar with the Bible, you know that this dearth does not stem from the Bible’s failure to address the issue. In reality, the Bible often addresses how believers should practice charity, but few take the time to carefully consider what those texts actually state.
As part of our ongoing effort at Missions Mandate to provide resources for churches in relation to missions, we’re adding to our resource section an essay on a passage that deals with charity in the church: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15.
The essay walks through the passage to trace Paul’s argument and understand his instruction for the Thessalonians to withdraw from and admonish those in the congregation who were willfully unemployed.
Then, to determine whether or not the situation in Thessalonica is parallel to what occurs today, the essay seeks to uncover the cause of this willful unemployment by showing the inadequacy of eschatological explanations and arguing for a carefully defined sociological explanation for the problem.
The essay concludes with some brief suggestions towards a contemporary application. Through detailed studies of passages in the New Testament that deal with the church and charity, like 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, we will be better able to formulate a biblical strategy for our churches.
View Charity in the Church: An Analysis of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15.pdf, located at the bottom of the MM Resources: Articles page.