Church Offering Privacy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Since the mid 70s, many laws have been passed at the state and federal level to protect privacy, especially in the area of medical records, finances, and priviledged communication. For example, if one works in the medical field, violation of HIPPA law can land you with a fine, suspension of a license, and if serious enough, in jail. This principle extends to many other areas of life. As of late, some church members have brought suits against their church/denomination for unauthorized disclosure of offering amounts to members who had no reason to know other than gossip.

    My question is, do you think offering amounts should be common knowledge? If you think it should be only those who need to know, who would you include? Does the pastor and deacons have a need to know?

    Here is a related article:

    http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201002/ejonline_201002_Pastor_Confid_.cfm
     
  2. annsni

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    It should be held private and I know that even our senior pastor doesn't know who gives what. Only our administrative pastor (an accountant by training) and his staff of 2 would know and they don't tell anyone.
     
  3. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Nobody but God...!

    Brother...since my wife and I don't itemize our taxes (and even if we did it wouldn't matter) we don't give for any kind of tax break or deduction OR to impress anyone. That said....(and I don't believe in tithing...just VERY liberal giving..as God enables and leads us) we give in CASH ONLY when we put our offering in the plate. No checks or envelopes with our name anywhere on them. Our giving is nobodys business BUT GODS. The pastor doesn't know,the deacons don't know...and the church treasurer (God bless'em) doesn't know either. If anybody were to ask they would be told (respectfully)that that is God's business. I see no biblical injunction to be accountable to any man in this matter beyond the Biblical instruction that we should give...and do it liberally and joyfully. I'm not going to trot out the passages of scripture that give those directions right now due to time constraints but they have been posted many times on this board in days past in the course of many discussions on tithing here. If a church I was attending were to suggest or DECREE that I had to publically disclose our giving then I would leave that place as quick as my size 9's could carry me out the door!!! I would never have to bring one of those lawsuits because they don't have any business knowing what I give in the first place. That said....if anybody wants to "gossip" about me or the Mrs. because they can't find out how much we give...well...THEY are the ones who got some 'splain'n to do before God....not me:smilewinkgrin:!

    Bro.Greg
     
  4. Arbo

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    Absolutely not. Giving should be between the giver and the Lord, and should be as free of outside influence as possible.

    I think it's best that only those who are directly involved in handling the moneys and the financial records of the church know the details of individuals' giving.

    IMHO, the pastor should be kept as far from the financial side as possible. I say this for his sake as well as the church's.
     
  5. Salty

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    Aactually, I would like to see a rotating group who count the money.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    I agree. The information typically is just another source of gossip, that is already a problem. With today's privacy laws, under certain circumstances, someone might be liable for flapping their jaws.
     
  7. HeDied4U

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    No. Why should Joe Blow two pews in front of me know what I'm giving to the church? That's why my wife and I put our offering of cash in a plain envelope each week. No nosy nellies need to be gossiping.

    :)
     
  8. Oldtimer

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    That's exactly what we do. There's a list of people who can count the offering and handle any associated paperwork. They rotate this duty on a monthly basis. There are enough people on this list, so that each counts money only a couple of times per year. Two people always count the offering. And the same two people don't always work together.

    Our pastor maintains separation from financial matters. If someone offers him money for xyz, he will tell them to give it to the treasurer. A finance committee works on the budget that's presented to the church for approval. Any monies to be spent that are outside of the budget, or that require itemized approval at time of expenditure are brought before the church for a vote.

    And offering to the church should remain private. Only those who need to know for bookkeeping purposes should be privy to this information. And they should remain quiet, as well as the giver of the money. No one should boast that they gave $xx,xxx.xx to the church building fund, for example.
     
  9. Salty

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    Actually, I was thinking more of you would only count the offering once or twice a month - that way no one would know what you gave for the entire month
     
  10. OldRegular

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    Well said!:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. Sminasian

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    I tithe, but I am one of those who do not want to claim it as a deduction. I give cash. God knows who it is from and how much it is. I also give a small amount to missions each week. I will be increasing my giving to the missions as part of a faith promise.
     
  12. Salty

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    This is a bit off OP, but I believe a person should claim a tax deduction - (if they are in that %) as long as the reason for giving is NOT for the deduciton. By taking it,then you have more to give.
     
  13. saturneptune

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    In my case, our house is paid off, so the standard deduction is higher than my tithe. I really do not have any other deductions besides church giving and local taxes, which does not come near close enough to use Schedule A.

    The reason privacy is so important to me is, one, gossip. It is no one's business what I give, and two, my giving is between me, the Lord, and my spouse. Really I have no reason to hide anything. Between my retirement, my wife working, and my small part time job, we probably give near $500 per month. That figure is not what bothers me per se, it is if people know I tithe, then they can figure out my annual salary, which in this case is 60K.

    I know it is not a lot, but I feel the Lord has greatly blessed me and my family. When the kids were growing up, we struggled at times. Our house is very average, a three bed room ranch, but it is paid for. We managed to get both kids through college with no loans and a bachelor's degree. The point is, I am happy with my station in life, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and every material need met that I can imagine, and some that I cannot. It is very satisfying to me to see the kids grow up in the Lord and mature as time goes along. No doubt there are some on this board who are better off than me, but there are some that are not as well off. Money cannot bring true happiness, only Jesus Christ. Actually the proper word is joy, as happiness is a feeling that comes and goes and is surface. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit down deep inside, and is always there to call on.

    As you can see, what angers me about the amount of the tithe is people who use the information like they do information about an unfortunate situation that comes to light about someone else, the local gossip and their constant mouth flapping. This is something every local church needs to address instead of worrying about lottery tickets, dancing, and secular music.

    From Scripture, when the Lord walked this earth, two things angered him. It was not prostitutes, tax collectors, the poor, or other sinners, but one, people who make a buck off the house of God, and two hypocrites especially ones who lead a church. Also, I can see a hint of anger in the parable of the Good Samaratan, where someone fails to help his fellow man. I am as guilty as anyone else about putting sins on a pedestal, but lottery tickets and dancing are either not sins, or are acts that only hurt the person involved. Gossip can destroy a life time reputation in minutes, and hurt many. It is very destructive, and our local churches do nothing about it. People dressed up in nice clothes standing in the corner of a church flapping their jaws sin just as much as the drunk on the street. IMO information such as a tithe or offering helps the jaw flappping continue. That is my reason for wanting to keep the information secret.
     
  14. saturneptune

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    That brings up a good point. I know people who borrow money for the tax deduction only, and do not need the loan. This is the way I look at that. If I borrow say, 100K, and lets say the interest is 5% (not realistic in today's economy, but will get the point across), then they pay $5 K per year in interest. Now, if you are in an average tax bracket, that will save you about $800 in taxes a year. Now, one can give a local church $5 K per year and get the same benefit. Does it make any sense to pay a bank $800 to avoid sending the government $800 when one can give to a church and avoid the loan? I do not make enough to use the deduction anyhow.
     
  15. billwald

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    sidebar

    Thread is a good reason to NOT join the LDS.
     
  16. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Yeah but...

    Yeah...but I'm sure we can all think of a lot of other good (and even better) reasons as well! Privacy will be the least of their problems in Hell.

    Bro.Greg
     
  17. Ryan.Samples

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    How so? Their tithing practices are no different from many Baptist (and other Prot) churches.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    This thread triggered a long-forgotten memory. On a visit to a Baptist church in Southern Illinois, we heard a missionary to a South American country. He made it clear that there were no financial secrets in the churches he worked with. In fact, he said, the amounts each person gave were listed on a wall for each Sunday.

    So, there it was for all to see. Not just the treasurer, or pastor, but everybody could see what everybody else gave.
     
  19. Batt4Christ

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    What possible need might the pastor or pastors have to know how much each person gives? Personally, I believe the only person who should know what anyone gives is the treasurer of the church. Indeed, I would be concerned about one's attitude if they WANTED everyone to know what THEY gave...

    This is right up there with a "church" in our community - if you want to join that church, you are probationary for a year - and you must turn in a copy of your taxes to the church as part of your "joining". A committee then measures your tithes and offerings to determine if you are really giving at least 10%! And no, it is definitely not a baptist church!
     
  20. Salty

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    I was informed that a church I used to attend - that the pastor did want to know what people gave - and if you did not "tithe" you could not hold any position in the church.
     

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