Jump to content


Photo

Plastic First Fruits


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

Poll: Plastic First Fruits (8 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it appropriate to make a gift to your church using a credit card?

  1. Yes (4 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. No (4 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  3. Undecided (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Marvin Harrell

Marvin Harrell

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Location:Colorado Springs
  • Interests:Content strategy; branding development; examining the why of what I believe as well as the how; raising 2 beautiful kids and loving God's gift of my wife; being the hands and feet of Jesus and therefore getting out of my comfort zone.
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a National Office Worker

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church Colorado Springs

Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:19 PM

Well, a co-worker just sent me this article link from Christianity Today exploring the topic of using a credit card to make a donation or tithe to your church. I must say, I've not given it much thought, but they do have some interesting thoughts. What say you, family?
Marvin Harrell
Web Manager :: C&MA U.S.
www.cmalliance.org
Email me

#2 Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:C&MA Nat'l Office
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Harvest Downtown

Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:43 PM

I won't use credit cards for charitable donations of any kind. It really isn't FIRST fruit, is it?? I guess maybe if it's the debit card :)

#3 Joel Stoddert

Joel Stoddert

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Location:Waterbury, VT
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Pastor

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Green Mountain Community Alliance Church

Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:59 PM

I won't use credit cards for charitable donations of any kind. It really isn't FIRST fruit, is it?? I guess maybe if it's the debit card :)


I probably wouldn't use a credit card for such giving for two reasons: 1) They charge interest if you don't pay off the card each month for some reason & 2)to me, it seems less personal, more like a bill to be paid. If I sit down and write a check, I'm purposely setting aside that money in our bank account for that ministry, not just letting them bill my card a certain amount. I don't believe it's wrong to use cards in our giving, but it's not my style.

#4 Julie Daube

Julie Daube

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 986 posts
  • Interests:Intercessory prayer, spiritual warfare, prophecy, science fiction and fantasy, music, fitness, nutritional healing, apologetics, and evangelism
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a National Office Worker

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Evangelical Free Church

Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:48 PM

I don't think it's wrong to give through a credit card, but it's not something I've ever done (mainly because I prefer to use cash for financial transactions as much as possible). I also don't like the idea of paying interest on what I give, especially since the Bible seems to come out against usury, particularly in the Old Testament. Still, I think it's a matter of preference. If someone gives through a credit card simply because it is a convenient way of giving, what's the big deal? The C&MA has a whole system in place for online giving, which can be done through a credit card or a debit card. And on every major offering the C&MA has, there is always an option to give through one's credit card.

Under the New Covenant, it seems that God cares more about the attitude in our hearts when we give than the percentage or amount that we give. Therefore, I don't think He would be offended by someone who gives plastic first fruits. :)

#5 RuthAnn Nicholls

RuthAnn Nicholls

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Upper St Clair Alliance Church

Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:01 PM

There was an article about the same thing in Christianity Today about 5 years ago when I was church treasurer.

I thought about it a lot. Didn't like the idea of the charge to the church for the credit card use. But there are people who would welcome it. And it's not a bad idea to make donations easy. I don't think cash is really going away. Unless our country fails totally economically.

On line giving is a fine idea. But many older Christians won't use this. But there are so many young couples in our church now. Seems to be the largest growing group in the church. They might be attracted to this.

I don't think there is anything Biblical against either of these ideas. In accepting checks you are accepting credit, are you not?

I think it's fine, if the church agrees to it.

Personally I'll keep using my checks.

I want to live my life so that every morning
when I wake up Satan says, "Oh, no! She's awake!


#6 Mark Wood

Mark Wood

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 85 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Missionary

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Nikdovnihan

Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:03 AM

Why not PayPal?

#7 Dan Morrow

Dan Morrow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Location:Redding, CA USA
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Neighborhood Church of Redding

Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:39 AM

Is it wrong to tithe using a credit card?

Is it wrong to tithe when you know that you won't won't make rent?
Is it wrong to tithe borrowed money?
Is it wrong to tithe money that could have paid off a debt?
Is it wrong to tithe when you are in debt?


hmmm..

#8 Julie Daube

Julie Daube

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 986 posts
  • Interests:Intercessory prayer, spiritual warfare, prophecy, science fiction and fantasy, music, fitness, nutritional healing, apologetics, and evangelism
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a National Office Worker

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Evangelical Free Church

Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:57 AM

Is it wrong to tithe using a credit card?

Is it wrong to tithe when you know that you won't won't make rent?
Is it wrong to tithe borrowed money?
Is it wrong to tithe money that could have paid off a debt?
Is it wrong to tithe when you are in debt?


hmmm..

Interesting questions, Dan. Several years ago, Christianity Today ran an article explaining that under certain types of bankrupcty agreements (the kind where you are required to pay back a portion of what is owed to creditors), the debtor is prohibited from tithing (or giving to charity) until the remaining debt is paid off. I believe this was actually a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but I would have to check.

I have gone through very difficult financial situations when I faithfully tithed and later had to use my credit card for groceries and gas because I had no cash left after tithing; the amount I put on my credit card for those necessities was often the same amount of my tithe. During a particularly difficult financial time, I was attending a church that would constantly present testimonies of indigent people who tithed and immediately afterward, they were showered with money. I kept wondering what I was doing wrong.

Am I saying that God doesn't bless those who faithfully give? Absolutely He does! At the same time, I think it's important to remember that God's blessings for obedience are not always material or financial. I have also seen God provide for me in amazing and unexpected ways no matter what my situation was or how much I was able to give to His Kingdom. He is good, all the time! I think the bottom line is to live a lifestyle of generosity whatever our circumstances happen to be - such a lifestyle flows naturally from an intimate relationship with the Lord.

#9 Denes House

Denes House

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 442 posts
  • Location:Gates, NY
  • Interests:I am married to the beauteous Karina, and have two excellent children, Timothy and Evelyn. I love science fiction, kayaking, fantasy, philosophy, theology, politics, movies, illustration, and computer graphics.
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Pastor

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Trinity Alliance Church

Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:10 AM

I see a lot of the problems that could go along with using credit cards to give. My family carries no credit card debt, and we pay no interest. So there are some times when we do give using a credit card (like when we don't have cash on us, and don't have our checkbook). Credit cards used judiciously are a tool, and nothing more. Heck, cash is just a tool. It has no inherent value.

We also give to some ministries using electronic withdrawal from our checking account. But we pray for these ministries regularly and when we get their letters.

I think the value and the danger of credit cards comes from how you use them.
For those who are wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove..."

Visit my weblog, online art gallery, and church's website!

#10 Theodore Rice

Theodore Rice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Location:White Creek, NY
  • Interests:hiking, camping, computers, history, photography, genealogy
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Hoosick Falls Community Alliance Church

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

As long as you actually have the money I see no problem with using a credit card to give, but they are easily abused. If you don't pay off the balance every month I don't think you should be doing it. Personally I would prefer to use Paypal, where I am actually transferring money from my account to the church's account.

Our church doesn't use either, but most of the older people wouldn't use them anyway. It probably will come about eventually, as countries are moving away from cash. Sweden (I believe) is planning to totally phase out cash in 5 years. Governments want to keep track of everything spent and earned so they can collect tax on it! There is already a war going on between banks and government - Chase is shutting down all diplomatic accounts rather than file the reports the US government wants on them!

However, cash won't totally go away here soon because of our poor electronic infrastructure and the huge fees credit card companies are allowed to charge for their services. The fees would make small transactions totally unprofitable.
My Blog: http://rhys02.blogspot.com/
My Website: http:tkrice.tripod.com/
My Church: http://www.hoosickfallscac.org/

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

#11 Dan Morrow

Dan Morrow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Location:Redding, CA USA
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • Neighborhood Church of Redding

Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:32 PM

I'm really really hoping that online money management makes credit cards go the way of 8 track tapes.

Credit cards paved the way for an an entire generation of debtors struggling with 15%+ interest rates.

As far as church giving goes, I would recommend encouraging scheduled, online giving instead.

Almost all biblical financial stewardship programs teach budgeting, and that giving should occur within a budget structure. Scheduling online giving fits very naturally and rationally within that structure.

On the other side of the coin, plate giving (as in passing the plate), has several problems:

- People only give when they attend.. Many of us travel extensively. I've heard it said that about 30% of the people in my city have jobs that may require that they work on Sunday. Why would we exclude them from giving? Attendance goes up, so does giving. Any wonder that churches are driven to be large?

- As churches grow, the amount of CASH collected can be significant. I'm really amazed that we don't hear of more issues with theft of cash between collections and deposits. The risk associated with having cash floating around is not very attractive to me.

- Processing donations such as checks to ensure that reciepts are properly disbursed is time consuming and prone to mistakes. Cash is impossible to reciept unless it's put in giving envelopes (another expense). Electronic deposits handle all that automatically, the reporting is done by a robot. Tracking is cheap, accurate and automated.

- The process of tracking donations given in the plate means that someone in your organization knows who gives how much. The existance of that information in the walls of the building creates the temptation to use the information for improper means.


All said.. If a church is going to support electronic giving, skip the credit cards, encourage e-giving.

#12 Kim Hudson

Kim Hudson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 63 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Church Worker

  • I attend an Alliance church
  • First Alliance

Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:56 PM

We pay our tithe using our online bill service. I authorize a check to be sent first thing after my husband gets paid. I find it very convenient and I no longer forget to get my tithe in to the church.

Something about using a credit card to pay your tithe kind of rubs me the wrong way.

I see the use of a debit card a much better option as it comes straight from your checking account.