The Giving of Offerings
Have you ever wondered why people are so quick to give their money to someone who comes and talks to them? Example. A missionary will come to a local church and talk about his trip to a foreign country and how the people are there. He will usually show slides of building, people, houses, church, etc. And the congregation will take up a "love offering" and give their money to him. All he did was show slides and talk to them.
Sometimes a visiting preacher will speak during one or two services and the people take up a "love offering" and give him their money. Then, on a weekly basis, there are usually several offerings received. A Sunday School offering, a regular morning offering and an evening offering, plus a midweek offering. The people, especially the older ones, have been taught and programmed to give at least 1/10 of their gross income. Some, who are more frugal, may only give 1/10 of their net income. And then on top of that, they are encouraged by the pastor to give over and above the 1/10.
Consequently, in a normal month, there will be up to maybe 18 to 20 offerings received by the church. And, that isn't counting an occasional "special offering" taken up for whatever reasons.
And what do the people receive in return for their money they give? A place to go and listen to someone talk. Sounds like a win win thing to me.
Christians will give as the reason for attending church service; to worship God. However, cannot people worship their invisible god at home? They will say also; we meet together to edify one another and fellowship together. But really, how much real edifying goes on at church? Usually it is the speaker who does the edifying, along with the people singing together. And people can sing at home, can they not?
I am a realists enough to know that the masses of church goers will continue to go to church for all the good reasons, presumably. Oh, I also know that some attend church to see what Miss Jones will wear and to have someone to talk about after church. Some politicians attend church for their own political reasons. What good politician never go to church? And there are some, probably a few, who go to church to learn more of the bible and how to be a good moral person. However, in this day of age, anyone can buy commentaries, concordances, and bible helps and study their bible at home. But most won't, but would rather go to church and have someone else study and explain the bible for them.
Beside this, the church doesn't want the people studying the bible themselves and interpreting it themselves. The church, as many as there are, wants to interpret the bible for the people so they will all understand and believe the same way. Virtually all Protestants do this, the Catholic church does this, all the cults do this, as well as the Jewish religion also does this. None of them want the people interpreting holy scripture for themselves.
Finally, it all boils down to the churches need your money to survive. Without your money they would be forced to close their doors and go out of existence. Oh, I know there are some basics that must be met, such as heat in cold weather, A/C in hot weather, water, sewers, lights, insurance, etc. But I will hazard an educated guess that those necessary things are just a drop in the bucket to the amount taken in.
Worley September 29, 2009 Ex-minister.org
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