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In response to the question in last Friday’s post “Should pastors know who gives and how much?” the comments were divided, not evenly, but split. Those who answered “no” did so primarily because they believe a pastor, based on his or her financial knowledge, will make judgments about people. One commenter, “Organizations tend to tilt towards the largest donors.” The pastor might defer to the “big givers” to the point of overlooking their sin. The pastor will not say or do anything that might offend those who heftily give. Even more, the pastor would hesitate putting people into leadership positions who are not financially committed to the church. In all this thinking, money equals power.
Others responded “no” because they believe giving is a very private, personal act. The point was made repeatedly that giving is a heart issue, not an amount issue. Granted that is true if we are to take to heart Jesus’s words about the widow giving her last two mites in the Temple offering (Mark 12:41-44). Paul does write, “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give…” (2 Corinthians 9:7 emphasis added). Paul goes on to add and illustrate, however, that God desires generous giving, not skimpy giving. My own observation about giving being a private, only-me-and-God act is that it may easily result in pitiful, pathetic giving. People...
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