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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Apr 12, 2004.
A poster (wishing anonymity) wrote:
My thoughts, we are not told in scripture to take money from non christians. Our support is to come from inside.
God's people should be the ones who support God's work!
If you have a garage sale - you are inviting the world to help support God's work.
I wouldn't do it!
But don't you take an offering and have non-members and visitors contribute?
I don't see a problem with it. My church does things like this all the time. It's a good way to raise money for church expenses or different programs, ministries, families within the church who might be down on their luck,etc.
No but it is a good way to raise funds to help the church carry out it's role.
As Walter Martin once said, "The Gospel is free but somebody still has to pay the light bill".
What happened in that case isn't the same as a church holding a yard sake, bake sale, etc to raise money for the operations of the church.
In that case, the merchants were taking advantage of the faithful Jews who came to Jerusalem for the census but who still wanted to be faithful to God's commands.
The pilgrims came to the temple to make their sacrifice and the merchants took advantage of their piety and their desire to be faithful to God by charging them outrageous amounts for sacrificial doves and sheep and pocketing the money for themselves.
What verse, specifically, are you referring to?
Good point Dr. Bob.
I've never seen any church ask a visiting stranger to submit a profession of faith along with their check or cash as it's being dropped into the offering plate.
The Lord teaches us to be careful stewards of our money. I would rather sell the "junk" (another man's treasure) lying in and around the church building (and possibly some other memebers' buildings) than just throwing it away (or burying it in the ground. Ecologically the dumps are overflowing, and most places don't know what to do with their garbage anymore. If you can sell your garbage to someone who is willing to pay for it, why not?
An add-on question to this thread: How does a church having a bookstore (very common at larger churches), or even some type of cafe (I know these exist), on the premises fit into this picture? Does anybody believe that any form of commerce is unacceptable on church property?
Where I attend, we have a Community Center building (that has our church offices, a large community room for banquets and AWANA, a gym and day care) and our main church site; they are a few miles apart. Two sites allow us a greater ability to separate community building and fellowship events from church worship.
Many years ago we did a flea market event. Flea markets and garage sales can bring in people that normally won't go to church.
The event did make some money, but the church was left with lots of "junk" to clean up afterwards.
There was an outreach component that went with the event but no one was reached at that time that we know of.
We have decided that we won't go there again.
P.S. During our offerings we expressly ask that visitors not contribute to the church, that's the role of the member. --somewhat of a disconnect there but leadrship grows too.
I've got a few members that might qualify.
Maybe I could hang a for sale sign around their neck and maybe some other church would purchase them?
I think that a fund-raiser isn't a bad idea at all. We as members paid for the stuff being sold. If we are selling it for Church expenses or for members that arn't able to pay a few bills, or sending it to the missionary field, how would that be contradictory? Also, if it is a problem, they could always have it at a members house. I (personally) don't see anything wrong with it. Even the tracts we use to witness need to be paid for.
the church should not seek its support or any part of it from the world. If people wanted to have garage sales at their private homes and then donate the earnings as part of a love offering or weekly giving to the church it would be different. However the church should not be involved in seeking finances where the world would be expected to get involved. It makes it look like our God cannot supply our needs from His own.
I see where you asked about the offering and lost people might give there. That is somewhat different. First the church is the place for believers. Those who visit have no business giving even though most might. They usually do so out of guilty conscience, but it usually is not the intent of the church to get money from them. In the case where it might happen that a church wants even the visitors money I feel that they are wrong and the vistors need to run from that place.
I realize that most Baptist churches take an offering which I have opposed for years. I think it lends itself to problems in the giving especially from visitors. I like to see offering boxes around the auditorium so that no one feels pressure and the giving is done as the NT says it should be.
What verse, specifically, are you referring to? </font>[/QUOTE]Since I said we are not told then I'm sure there are no verses.
OK. Sorry. I misread your post.
Thats ok Mike.
What is the difference between one christian family having a garage sale at their home and group of christians having a garage sale on their property which is called a church?
Is the church property more holy or sanctified than any other property?
If the church moved all the stuff that they were trying to sell from the church property to a flea market would that make it ok? If so, there is too much mystic emphasis placed on the church property.
A mystical emphasis on property makes me think of a smoke and mirrors routine or a real good con game.
One Church I went to would have a flea market type deal every year, they charged 10.00 per table to set up, the money went to help sent kids to youth camp who could not afford it otherwise.
Fund raisers are not allowed at my church without first receiving church-wide approval. We want to emphasize joyful giving and let our members experience the joy of giving to needed projects/missions. We can raise more money from member donations than from "fund raisers". If God is leading the church in a certain area, he will provide the amount your church needs.
We're not patently against "fund raisers", we just don't use them as a primary means to raise funds.
Dr. Bob asked:
Many years ago - we put a box in the corner - marked "God's Tithes and your offerings!"
I personally believe in store-house tithing. But I also believe the verse that says "God loves a cheerful giver." If the offering plate passes by - and someone feels compelled to give - making is an unwilling gift - then I don't think that God will bless that gift.
It's my conviction - and the members of my church have no problem with it. And the "light bill" has always been paid!