“God is imaginary”? Really? Part 12: watch the offering plate

When you are at church, do you “watch the offering plate”? That’s the question that is foundational to “proof” number ten on the website “God is imaginary”.

The premise of this objection is that if God is able to provide, then surely he would provide the funds to help keep the doors open.
I’d like to ask whoever wrote this if they belong to a club or organization that collects dues?
Now, for those who don’t understand, allow me to give a background on the way that modern churches operate. The primary reason for “passing the plate” is that in doing so, a believer demonstrates his or her love for God and the mission of His church. Now, most do this through practicing an Old Testament method known as the tithe. New Testament believers are not required operate under this requirement of the Mosaic code, but some practice it. The tithe was essentially a tax that provided for the maintenance and continuing operation first of the Tabernacle and later the Temple.  Here’s an interesting take on it.
Ancient and modern believers alike still take what is known as a collection, the gift of money that keeps the lights on, pays the salary and benefits of the pastor and staff–who have essentially dedicated their lives to serving in full-time ministry position–as well as ministry outreach programs both foreign and domestic, at least at my church.
Of course, there are the obligatory Scripture passages that are supposed to prove this point:
  • Matthew 7:7
  • Matthew 17:20
  • Matthew 21:21
  • Mark 11:24
  • John 14:12-14
  • Matthew 18:19
  • Mark 9:23
  • Luke 1:37
But each of these passages have a context and with that context no exegetically possible way to get to the conclusion that the writer is trying to draw.
There is, however, some good advice in this “proof” that I will draw out as an application: whatever asks for your money to support it, watch how it spends the money, question it, and if there is any doubt or confusion in how the money is used, don’t support it. I would push this in churches, civic organizations, and government, especially government.
I guess that the best refutation of this “proof” is that God has devised the means to fund His church and He does this through His people who give, sometimes sacrificially, not that they gain anything, but that God gets the glory because He has provided the means for them to do the work He has for them to do. 

One comment

  1. Well stated. I like what you said at the end: “God gets the glory because he has provided the means for them to do the work he has for them to do.” God is completely in control of building the kingdom. We may be able to water and plant, but only God allows the increase. Thanks for the lesson.

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