Credit Cards???

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by MEE, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. MEE

    MEE
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    I'd like to know if any of your church members pay tithing by using a credit card?

    To me this is new! I posted this on another forum also, due to someone asking me to see if other churches practice this method.

    Any comments?

    MEE [​IMG]
     
  2. Deacon

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    Not by credit card but we offer members the opportunity to allow the church to take the offering from their account just as a mortgage company might.

    This allows the church to know exactly how much they will receive (and when) and so permits better accounting practices.

    Rob
     
  3. SpiritualMadMan

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    I don't know...

    Having been twice burned by direct drafts...

    I wouldn't *ever* consider foisting them on a congregation...

    Though, having been a church treasurer I can appreciate the nicety of knowing (and being able to rely on) the offering amount...

    But, proper teaching in stewardship and a discipled congregation would fill that bill, too...

    IMHO, A committed Christian will give regularly without brow beating...
     
  4. Gup20

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    Our church does allow credit card giving. We have offering envelopes with an oversized seal flap that covers the whole back of the offering envelope. The backside of the evelope has CC form that gets covered by the flap.

    I don't know what it's like in your states/cities... but here in Minneapolis,MN a check is about as good as writing an IOU on a napkin... hardly anyone takes them. Subsequently, most people do not even use checks with their checking acounts... the majority use Check Cards which - as you probably know - go through VISA and act exactly like a credit card except that the funds come out of your checking account.

    We also can set up weekly, bi-weekly, bi monthly, or monthly direct drafts as well. For example, I get paid on the 1st and 15th of every month... I could setup drafts for those dates. My church has over 10,000 people who attend weekly, plus we have 15 or so major outreaches that people donate to as well (including TV broadcasts, substance abuse recovery services, christian night club, Christian ISP, etc). I can't even imagine what an accounting nightmare it is to keep track of all that - everyone who donates has to get tax deductibility statements and all that.

    I have always pondered theoretically, if you had an actual credit card with a decent limit, you could give a large ammount at the end of the year to your local church. At tax time, for most people anyway, if you have actually kept your giving at or above 10% of your income, that will be a significant deduction on your taxes. You will most likely have a much larger refund which you can use to pay off your credit card. You will have to pay X ammount of dollars in taxes regardless... but you can cause a good portion of that X ammount of money to go to your church instead of the state/fed government. You have to pay X ammount anyway... so you might as well let some of that go to preaching the gospel instead of the 'who knows what' of the government (planned parenthood and the rest).
     
  5. SpiritualMadMan

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    ~~~~~~ maybe ~~~~~~ single use once at a time...

    Debit Cards... Maybe OK...

    Credit Cards... Don't think so...

    This is because of where I 'hail' from...

    I do not believe that the average Believer, especially from the Charismatic/Pentecostal/Word of Faith communities has the financial discipline to properly use Credit Cards...

    There are some who can and will use them correctly...

    But, by and large I am convinced that any Church Leadership encouragement of the use of Credit Cards is a bad thing...

    If a believer writes a bad check... Treat them as an unbleiever and charge them the states maximum fee for the transaction... If they refuse to make the check good, publicly disolve their membership for cause...

    I, also, BTW, think church discipline is grossly under-used...

    You join a church with certain conditions... The church membership agreement should include a statement about accepting 'without prejudice' church discipline...

    Of course if you are not a member it wouldn't apply... You could always pre-emptively 'quit'.
     
  6. Karen

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    Sounds too harsh to me. Many define bad check as insufficient funds. Because someone makes a math error is not, to me, reason to penalize them with any fee. They will already likely have a large overdraft fee.

    Now you are on more solid ground, in my opinion, if the check was truly "bad". Forged on someone else's account, written on a non-existent account, something with an obvious attempt to defraud.

    Karen
     
  7. Johnv

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    I used to pay with a debit card (a Visa, essentially the same thing as paying by credit card), but now I do it via online banking.

    I hate paper. Tends to be a waste of resources for me.
     
  8. Gina B

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    I wouldn't be comfortable with churches that promoted the use of credit. I know that would be a bad thing for me. I'm talked into things way too easy, and can picture me making spur of the moment decisions to give to missionaries (my weakest spot)when I didn't have the means. I'm already in credit card trouble somewhat right now, being able to give from a credit card? Uh uh. I know many would say that all the blame in a case like that is caused by the credit card owners own irresponsibility, but here's one of the few times you'll see me pull out the excuse of being female.
    We're emotional! A female is much more likely to get emotional in a church and make a rash financial decision than a guy is, and for a single one like me there's nobody to stop me! Men are more inclined to think a missionary can survive on x amount of money, women will see that his wife's dress is getting worn or the kids toys look old and feel bad. Show us a few pics of sad looking native kids with big eyes and we lose it!
    Gina
     
  9. Johnv

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    Gina, I think the premise of the post was not "how many people accrue credit card debt" in their givint, but instead "how many people utilize their credit card as a tool for giving", presuming that the bill is paid off, or mostly paid off, when it arrives.

    However, you bring up a good point about it being "easy" to get over one's head with credit card debt. I think most people have had to learn how to manage their cc finances, sometimes the easy way, sometimes the hard way. I, myself, got in a bit over my head several years ago (thankfully, it was only $1000). After I paid off my cc, I voewd never to accrue debt again. I still use my cc from time to time, but mostly use my debit card. When I do use my credit card, I pay it off when the bill arrives.
     
  10. Gup20

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    Well that's certianly the wrong approach. I see that Jesus said he was come to save the lost... not to exclude the lost from our little spiritual club of elitist groupies. Who needs the Word more than those who are afflicted, suffer in poverty, or struggle with sin? If you exclude "the lost" from your church, then you are not following Jesus' example, nor serving to bring Jesus to them so that healing/restoration can occur.

    I agree however, that credit cards can be mishandled and sometimes leads to debt and further poverty.

    However, it is a fact of life that people have credit cards. Should those who do manage credit cards properly (those who demonstrate accountability and responsibility) be punished by the church's refusal to accept funds via credit cards?

    The approach you have suggested punishes those who demonstrate personal acocuntability and responsibilty by restricting everything so that those without responsibility or accountability cannot make mistakes. This does not serve either side, in my opinion. Instead of rewarding good stewards, it punishes good stewards, and it disolves personal responsibility.

    Your approach addresses the symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself. If someone is irresponsible with a credit card, it's not the credit card that needs to be addressed, but rather that person's irresponsibility.

    So I would agree, that the person SHOULD be held accountable if they write a bad check... but disolving membership and kicking them out of "the club" would be to respond to irresponsibility with equal irresponsibility. We need to act appropriately with what Jesus would do.

    Lets put it this way - lets say you are a parent of an adolecent. How would a loving parent respond to their child being caught writing bad checks? A good parent would insist that their child be accountable and perform any punishment or restitution that is appropriate, but they would do so because they love their child, and want to train them to be good people. By no means would they kick their child out of the family, or tell them they could never come home again. They might even bring their child down to the local authorities so to submit them to the appropriate judgement. But they would do so because they love them, and want to help them grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They would do so out of love for that child. That child would always remain welcomed, accepted, and loved by the family.
     
  11. Johnv

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    Huh? If a person writes a bad check to the church, the church should charge them whatever it costs the church. That's all. As far as dissolving a person's membership if they don't make good on the check, that's putting a person's money before the person, and would compromise the words of Jesus: love of money is a root of evil.
     
  12. Gup20

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    JohnV - you misquoted --- It was Spiritual Mad Man who said that - your quote says that I made that statement.
     
  13. Johnv

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    Oops! Terribly sorry :eek:
     

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