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Collection plate giving #50983
Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:51 AM
Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:51 AM
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Since offering is taken during the worship service, should we give every time as our part in participating in the worship. I have heard the argument that it is important to give when the plate is passed around. I am not convince that it is. Many, as I do, give their entire monthly tithes and offerings on the first Sunday of the month, or some gives twice a month if they are paid twice a month.

I can see both arguments but I think they will end up in the grey area. My first fruits will be the first Sunday as I get paid on the last day of the month. How are we to understand the first fruits concept? And, how are we to understand participating in worship when the offering is taken up?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: Collection plate giving [Re: John_C] #50984
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: John_C
Since offering is taken during the worship service, should we give every time as our part in participating in the worship. I have heard the argument that it is important to give when the plate is passed around. I am not convince that it is. Many, as I do, give their entire monthly tithes and offerings on the first Sunday of the month, or some gives twice a month if they are paid twice a month.

I can see both arguments but I think they will end up in the grey area. My first fruits will be the first Sunday as I get paid on the last day of the month. How are we to understand the first fruits concept? And, how are we to understand participating in worship when the offering is taken up?

1. There is no regulation that offerings are to be given every time it is collected during a worship service.

2. You didn't state an argument "that it is important to give when the plate is passed around." That is only a statement of someone's opinion.

3. Traditionally, the giving of tithes and offerings has been held as being one of the incidentals of worship. There has been, however, much debate in regard to the understanding and application of the word "tithe" to the new covenant Church. Generosity in giving was certainly practiced in the NT Church when it met together for worship on the Lord's Day. It is one's offering back to God what He in His providence has provided to each individual and/or family and thus a portion of it is given for the maintenance of the visible church.

If someone insists that contributing to the church each and every time it is collected then I seen a conflict between one's "first fruits" (we might speak of this today as being 'off the top'). For, if one is paid monthly, rather than weekly, such as is the situation with yourself, then to be able to give weekly, e.g., you would have to divide whatever amount you would normally give once per month into 4 or 5 portions. But then, it might be argued that after the first time, whatever you gave thereafter wouldn't actually be the first fruits. To repeat, I find no justification for the Church creating a mandate, which would mean it binds the conscience, and a failure to abide by that mandate would be a sin, which would require one to give their offering each and every time it is collected.


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Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Pilgrim] #50985
Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:04 AM
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Passing the plate is a double-edged sword, I think. On one hand it can make giving "more like" the act of worship that it ought to be. But on the other hand it facilitates the kind of prideful display that Jesus warned against in Matthew 6, and makes conspicuous those who cannot give, or who don't have anything to put in the plate every Lord's Day.

"Uh-huh, did you notice Robin didn't put anything in the offering again? He needs to quit robbing God."

That's one of the reasons we have an offering box at the rear of the sanctuary in our church rather than a plate-passing ceremony which can become a means of manipulation even though it is done with the best of intentions.

-Robin

Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Robin] #50986
Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:11 AM
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By placing a collection box in the back of the sanctuary or in the foyer, does that take the offering out of the worship service? Probably many who's churches pass the collection plate for offering do not see that as part of the worship service. It's kinda like pausing the service to take offering, then resume the worship service afterwards. Though many will view the offering as part of the worship service.


John Chaney

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Re: Collection plate giving [Re: John_C] #50987
Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:22 AM
Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: John_C
By placing a collection box in the back of the sanctuary or in the foyer, does that take the offering out of the worship service? Probably many who's churches pass the collection plate for offering do not see that as part of the worship service. It's kinda like pausing the service to take offering, then resume the worship service afterwards. Though many will view the offering as part of the worship service.

The problem I see is not with the collecting of offerings, but rather it is primarily with the doctrine of worship. Add to that individual perception and personal preference. However, Scripture is the final arbitrator of the matter which takes us back to the doctrine of worship. Again, there is no biblical mandate for regulating how tithes and offerings are to be collected; a passed plate, a velvet bag on a pole or one passed in the rows, a box in the back of the sanctuary, etc. But there is sufficient biblical support for the receiving of tithes and offerings as part of the regular corporate meeting of the saints for worship. The fact that the vast majority of the visible churches have practiced this is certainly worthy of weighty consideration as well, although again Scripture is the final and sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. Since church history indicates the overwhelming majority of denominations and individual churches have included this practice into the worship service, the onus thus falls upon those who would reject it to show biblically why it should be abandoned.


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Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Robin] #50989
Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:41 PM
Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Robin
Passing the plate is a double-edged sword, I think. On one hand it can make giving "more like" the act of worship that it ought to be. But on the other hand it facilitates the kind of prideful display that Jesus warned against in Matthew 6, and makes conspicuous those who cannot give, or who don't have anything to put in the plate every Lord's Day.

"Uh-huh, did you notice Robin didn't put anything in the offering again? He needs to quit robbing God."

That's one of the reasons we have an offering box at the rear of the sanctuary in our church rather than a plate-passing ceremony which can become a means of manipulation even though it is done with the best of intentions.

-Robin


Robin
I don't really believe it matters if an offering plate is passed around, or as your Church practices, a box at the back of the Church. But personally I think giving is an act of worship and therefore I prefer it to be part of the worship service. If I have my history correct, then traditionally in Reformed Churches giving was a part of the worship service.
Personally, I think if someone says
Quote:
Uh-huh, did you notice Robin didn't put anything in the offering again He needs to quit robbing God."
It is a problem with them and/or a product of some bad teaching.
While it is legitimate to have a concern for a fellow believer; it is not legitimate to jump to conclusions when the facts are not known.

Tom


Last edited by Tom; Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:50 PM.
Re: Collection plate giving [Re: John_C] #50990
Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:54 AM
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Giving is definitely an act of worship! But not one that should be "put on display" as it seemed to be in my pre-Reformed experience. Not with trumpets, exactly (Matthew 6:2), but y'knowhatimean.

I worship as I write the check, at home, in private. I worship placing the check in the box, praying for God to multiply it to His glory and giving thanks for having a great Reformed church to participate in. I drop my offering in the box before Sunday school when no one is around. But it is no less an act of worship done in secret than it would be if it were done as part of a worship service.

The elders of my little church are very sensitive to keeping the focus of attention upon the Lord and His word in our services. So "special music," soloists, choir anthems and such are very rare. It was decided some years ago that passing the plate during the service was almost an "interruption" of that focus.

More recently they moved the "fellowship chorus" to the very beginning - prior to the actual church service - because in it's former place in the song service, it had literally become an interruption of worship for a few minutes of socialization before getting "back to worship" again. The purpose of their decision was as always, keeping the focus where it belongs.

-Robin

Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Robin] #50991
Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:02 AM
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Robin

As I said before, I do not have a problem with dropping our offerings in a box as is the practice in your Church.
Concerning offering time becoming a time of socializing rather than worship. I can understand your concern, but it need not happen unless leadership allows it.
I also understand the sensitive nature of why your Church changed to a box in the back of a Church, rather than passing the plate and I don't want to make an issue about it. However, I for one prefer good teaching for resolving issues such as this one.
I just read what Pilgrim said to John C concerning this issue. What I said above, is basically what I was trying to say to you.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:09 AM.
Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Tom] #50992
Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:47 AM
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Robin Offline
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Quote:
I for one prefer good teaching for resolving issues such as this one.


What good is teaching without practical application?

I prefer doers of the word to "hearers only."

And I didn't get the impression that you and the others were saying the same thing... I'm sorry.

Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Robin] #50993
Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: Robin
Quote:
I for one prefer good teaching for resolving issues such as this one.


What good is teaching without practical application?

I prefer doers of the word to "hearers only."

And I didn't get the impression that you and the others were saying the same thing... I'm sorry.



laugh
Of course good teaching must lead to good practice.
Yet, it need not lead to the practical solution of an offering box at the back of the Church.
For example;
Quote:
"Uh-huh, did you notice Robin didn't put anything in the offering again? He needs to quit robbing God."

Why not teach from Scripture why this kind of thought is wrong? Although you are correct, an offering box may solve the problem of judging. It also, masks a very real problem of the heart of the person who does the judging.
Teaching from Scripture, can show why judging an individual wrongly is wrong in the example given. But also show from Scripture the consequences of that sin.
After that follow through is very important as I believe Church discipline is a mark of a true Church.
If that isn't "practical" I don't know what is.

Again, I am not against an offering box; but to quote Pilgrim.
Quote:
The fact that the vast majority of the visible churches have practiced this is certainly worthy of weighty consideration as well, although again Scripture is the final and sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. Since church history indicates the overwhelming majority of denominations and individual churches have included this practice into the worship service, the onus thus falls upon those who would reject it to show biblically why it should be abandoned.

I hope you understand my point.
I just hope I am not coming off too strong, because that isn't my intention. I have a lot of respect for you because you have definitely earned it.
Tom

Last edited by Tom; Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:20 PM.
Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Tom] #50996
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:04 AM
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:04 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: Tom
Again, I am not against an offering box; but to quote Pilgrim.
Quote:
The fact that the vast majority of the visible churches have practiced this is certainly worthy of weighty consideration as well, although again Scripture is the final and sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. Since church history indicates the overwhelming majority of denominations and individual churches have included this practice into the worship service, the onus thus falls upon those who would reject it to show biblically why it should be abandoned.

I hope you understand my point.
I just hope I am not coming off too strong, because that isn't my intention. I have a lot of respect for you because you have definitely earned it.
Tom

The quote you provided which originated with me was not in regard to the method of collecting tithes and offerings, e.g., passing a plate vs. having a collection box at the back of the church. nope The CONTEXT of that quote was specifically addressing the issue of the collection of tithes and offerings being part of the worship service vs. those who believe it could be dispensed with. In fact, I believe I made it quite clear that the method of gathering tithes and offerings is not mandated nor regulated in Scripture and it matters not whether a congregation chooses to pass a plate, a velvet bag, a bag on a pole, a box at the back of the church, etc. grin

Those who would look down upon Robin, for example since he used himself to make a valid point, aren't really criticizing him primarily, but rather they would be using him to elevate themselves as someone who should be admired for how often and/or how much THEY give... aka: PRIDE. This type of person is in desperate need of self-examination and a healthy dose of the law, the first use of which is to convict of sin.


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Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Pilgrim] #50998
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:25 PM
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:25 PM
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Pilgrim

First of all, I am glad you corrected me, because I actually thought the part of what you wrote actually was supporting the passing of a plate during worship service as the majority position held down through the centuries.
This is how I understood the issue, as I have studied history. It appears my mistake, was reading what you wrote through that lens. I must admit here that this is something I donít appreciate coming from other people. Hopefully, I learn from this. blush
Believe me when I say this, if my understanding is flawed, I certainly want to be corrected.

As I told Robin, I do not really have a problem with having an offering box at the back of the Church, rather than passing an offering plate.
Rightly or wrongly, what I said to Robin had nothing to do with "pride'. It is based on my understanding of the issue.

I also, think I owe both you and Robin an apology, because it is obvious that despite my saying I don't want to make a big deal about the issue. I obviously failed big time.

In my posts with Robin, I tried to keep from judging Robin's motives; mainly because from what I know about him, he is a man of integrity. If in my communication I failed in doing that please except my apology.

Sincerely

Tom

PS
Pilgrim, your response to me made me re-read what you said and to be quite frank, you are correct you were clear in what you said. I am embarrassed.


Last edited by Tom; Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:43 PM.
Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Tom] #50999
Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:25 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: Tom
As I told Robin, I do not really have a problem with having an offering box at the back of the Church, rather than passing an offering plate.
Rightly or wrongly, what I said to Robin had nothing to do with "pride'. It is based on my understanding of the issue.

It appears that perhaps another correction is in order... giggle

On the matter of "pride", it wasn't directed at you in any way, shape or matter. nope My intention and focus was toward those whom Robin mentioned (theoretically, if not actual) who look down upon him or anyone else who doesn't put something in the plate when it is passed around. As I wrote too, I have no problem whatsoever in the various other ways which have been used to collect tithes and offerings. Most are attempts to try and fulfill Matthew 6:1-4. Of course, unless someone is adept at prestidigitation, those who are desirous to know if you put something in the plate, bag or box and if possible how much are going to be watching closely. Again, my focus was upon those type of indiviuals and it is clearly a matter of pride on their part which is illustrated pointed by Jesus as recorded in Luke 18:10-14:

Quote:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner. I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.:

Such individuals often solicit the observations of others when giving their tithe/offering in various ways...well, most of us are familiar with these type of people and thus I need not expand on describing them. So, now you know where my comment about "pride" was directed. grin


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Re: Collection plate giving [Re: John_C] #51000
Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:51 AM
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No offense is - or ever was - taken, Tom. Honest discussion, especially on an Internet board, almost always leads to unintended interpretations and little misunderstandings that have to be corrected. Even the most articulate of us doesn't always make his or her commentary clear enough to prevent others from misunderstanding it.

I can fully understand the value of passing the plate in a worship service, to "make" giving "an act" or worship. I get that. And I don't begrudge any church that practices that, nor any believer who agrees. It's just that the elders of my particular church see it as a potential stumbling block for those of us who battle with the sin of pride, and so they avoid setting temptation before them during the service.

It also helps those of us who may feel ashamed because we have nothing to give that week, to avoid the sins of unbelief, ingratitude, or self-preoccupation, when we're supposed to be occupied with worship.

I appreciate your apology, Tom, but for goodnessakes, it wasn't necessary. Again, no offense was taken.

My respects to you brother,
Robin



Re: Collection plate giving [Re: Robin] #51001
Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:32 PM
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Robin
You are certainly correct concerning even the best communicators are misunderstood at times.
One of the things I try to do, if I think I have unintentionally offended someone I will apologize.
In this case, I was wrong, but I am not sorry for doing so.
I find it helps in the area of examining myself.
Thank you taking no offence.

Iron sharpening iron
Tom


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