In the Reformed tradition of which I am a part, many if not most of our churches have their own buildings, but some rent space for worship and/or midweek church activities in other spaces, of various kinds; sometimes in school gymnasiums (sometimes from Christian schools but other times from secular, public schools); other times in ethnic community halls, or service club / fraternal organization halls (e.g. Lions or Rotary; or Shriners / Masons, Orange Order, etc.). And other times, congregations rent church buildings belonging to other denominations, sometimes evangelical churches but more often than not old mainline Protestant churches; sometimes these are hardly used at all any more by the denominations to which they belong; other times they are still used regularly, and so our service times have to be planned to be sufficiently separated from their own, if possible, so you don’t have overlap of cars in the parking lot (space limitation issues), etc.
And I know this is not only true for my tradition, but for other Reformed denominations / federations, and not only, but there are many other cases of various denominations renting space in other churches. (For that matter, a Reformed church I previously belonged to had an Asian evangelical congregation renting space in it. And that scenario, of newer ethnic congregations renting older churches’ buildings, is fairly common.)
Returning to the specific subject of conservative, traditionalist churches renting space in church buildings belonging to often heretical, if not outright apostate, mainline Protestant denominations, or to secular public schools (which already get government money, and which all too often attack the beliefs we hold, and those students in them that are faithful believers), fraternal organizations we may find problematic (whether Freemasons or Orangemen or other lodges), part of me wonders: should we be giving them regular financial support this way, week by week? I mean, I understand the way elders in our churches must be looking at it: simply as an economic transaction. They have a space they’re not using or not using all the time at least; we need a space, therefore let’s rent from them. I get that, but OTOH, when I’ve been part of a congregation meeting in, say, a mainline Protestant church building, and I see their sign out front reading ‘Minister: Rev. Jane Smith’; their ‘inclusive’ songbooks or worse, ‘inclusive’ ‘Bibles’ in the pews (even though we’re not using them), their stupid multiculturalism-and-‘diversity’-promoting banners on the walls, and I think, many of these congregations are or would likely be struggling but get regular life-saving injections of money from us traditionalist conservative confessional orthodox Protestants, I wonder why the hell we are subsidizing our enemies. Same with when we meet in a secular, public school gymnasium; we’re giving more money to a beast that already has its own means of financing, including against our will, in the form of our tax dollars, and is often teaching godless, atheistic secular humanist anti-Christian worldview prog agitprop, against everything we believe; why should we give them one red cent more than is extorted from us by the State through our taxes?
If we can’t afford our own buildings at a particular time, shouldn’t we at least find a space to rent space from that either supports something we believe in (e.g. a Christian school gymnasium) or at least something we’re neutral towards (e.g. a Lions Club International or Rotary International hall)? Wouldn’t that be the most godly use of our money, even if it isn’t necessarily the cheapest place to rent? Would not God be more honoured by such a decision, rather than giving money to our enemies?
I mean, surely it’s one thing to buy an old building outright from an apostate / heretical mainline Protestant denomination that isn’t using it, giving them a one-time injection of wealth, then owning the building for ourselves thereafter; it’s another to regularly financially support those who oppose the true Triune God and His ways and His people and what we believe in, stand for, and practice, in our day to day lives, voting, etc.
Of course, until we have our own buildings, we could alternately meet in each others’ homes – like the early church did (see here, here, here, and here). (I’ve myself belonged to churches that have done this, and have found it a blessing.) I don’t know why that alternative isn’t more popular, given that it is directly Biblical…