“What are your thoughts on passing a collection plate? I went to a grace fellowship recently where they did that. I believe that is a ritual that causes some to feel obligated to give, and not with a cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:7).”
At the church that I pastor in addition to my duties here at Berean Bible Society, we receive offerings using an offering box, similar to what we read about in 2 Kings 12:9. But passing an offering plate is not incompatible with grace. “Concerning the collection” (1 Cor. 16:1), the apostle of grace told the Corinthians,
“Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (v. 2).
The words lay up in Scripture suggest putting something in a container (Gen. 41:35; Ex. 16:23; Deut. 11:18; Job 22:22,24; Psa. 33:7; Matt. 6:20; 1 Tim. 6:19), while the word gatherings suggests passing an offering plate (Amos 7:14; Matt. 13:30). In using both words, Paul is teaching that there is no one way to support the church financially.
That’s something we know by experience, for these days you can contribute online, you can ask your bank to send your church a check every month, and give in other ways as well. The members of my church who stayed home during the pandemic maintained their support of our ministry by sending us a check in the mail. If the Lord tarries, who knows what new ways to give technology will come up with? God is more concerned that we honor Him with our finances than He is in how we do it, and plans to reward us for it (2 Cor. 9:6).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.