After the government stopped providing financial assistance to churches during the 19th century, churches were forced to support themselves. Through developing the concept of tithes and offerings, church members are expected to donate a percentage of their income to cover church expenses. Collected revenue from church members helps support the pastor, maintain the upkeep of church buildings and fund other necessities.
Paying ones tithes at church, also known as “passing the plate,” is quickly becoming a practice of the past. Instead of collecting offerings during service, churches are now encouraging parishioners to pay their tithes online. Signing up for websites such as Easy Tithes and Simple Give, parishioners are able to choose from a variety of payment plans which best suit their needs. One may choose to set up weekly direct deposit options, while another church member opts use a credit/debit card to support his/her church home. Faith and Finance, breaks down the pros and cons to online tithing.
Arguments Against Online Tithing:
- “Bringing your tithe to church is symbolic. It’s a way to engage in corporate worship.”
- “Online tithing isn’t the same because you don’t ‘feel’ it like you would if you tithed at church.”
- “The church actually gets less because there are fees that come with online tithing – so you’re robbing God.”
Arguments in Supporting Online Tithing:
- “It’s convenient for the worshiper to give online.”
- “Home bound church members can tithe even when they can’t attend church.”
- “Auto-tithe eliminates the ‘forgotten tithe’ since it’s automatically deducted from a debit or credit card.”
Are churches taking away to the true meaning of tithing by providing such an option, or is online tithing simply an evolution of technological times?
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