Thursday, October 05, 2006

atm for jesus

In the Los Angeles Times, At Church, an 'ATM for Jesus'. It just doesn't feel right to me but since I've been warned about going by feeling, I'll invite comments to provide the Scriptures either pro or con.

Some excerpts from the article ...

Jeans are welcome at Stevens Creek Community Church, the 1,100-member evangelical congregation Baker founded 19 years ago. Sermons are available as podcasts, and the electric house band has been known to cover Aerosmith's "Dream On." A recent men's fellowship breakfast was devoted to discussing the spiritual wages of lunching at Hooters...
Referring to giving at the machine ... "I paid for gas today with a card, and got lunch with one," said Marshall, 30. "This is really no different."

... kiosk giving has gradually gained acceptance among his upper-middle-class flock. The three kiosks are expected to take in between $200,000 and $240,000 this year — about 15% of the church's total donations.

"It's truly like an ATM for Jesus," Baker said.

... charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the kiosks, which come in a variety of configurations. They also collect a monthly subscription fee of up to $49.95 for licensing and support. And a card-processing company gets 1.9% of each transaction; a small cut of that fee goes to SecureGive.

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Shannon Laser said...

I have issues with this because scripture says that the right hand should not know what the left is doing--I believe it is in reference to giving--correct me if I'm wrong.

With tithing this way there is a paper trail which identifies who gave what amount, which most of the time is used to issue tax receipts--not Biblical.

That all said; if it was okay with God I would tithe through my online banking.

rick said...

Shannon - not to say you are wrong, just curious about your thought process - what about Jesus watching the people giving (Mk12.42; Lk 21.2)?

Shannon Laser said...

I think that illustrates that Jesus watches what we do. It is the Lord that sees all and knows all--that's His job--not something for each of us to do.

Anonymous said...

Usually that scripture is interpreted as meaning that you shouldn't do things for the benefit of being seen doing them. It's not inherently bad for others to know you're doing something, especially if you trying to show them Christ in your life and inspire them to trust in Him, but only when you do things to benefit from being seen doing them. Which seems to happen all too often in the church.

I don't agree with the ATM though. It's too abbusable in the way of advertising what you're doing, and it makes the church seem more like a commercial entity.

Anonymous said...

getting off track a bit...but...if giving is truly an act of worship then i am not sure it would be so bad if people knew what you gave. shouldn't we hold one another accountable in areas of obedience. how do we do that in giving?