While preparing for a bible study on the concept of giving, I started playing around on the Internet looking for various ways in which people tend to donate money to different charitable organizations and churches. Thanks to our campus chaplain Nathan Teigland, I now know that the term tithe is only used in the Old Testament under the old law; the New Testament, according to Teigland, addresses the topic of giving in the law of the spirit: people should give what they can, as long as they are giving from the heart.
Because so many of us tend to forget our checkbooks come Sunday morning, the Stevens Creek Community Church decided to place an ATM in its church building. Luke chapter 16:13 states that “one cannot serve both God and money.” The Stevens Creek Church has found an interesting way of asking people to think about which master they serve just before entering the sanctuary. I usually take the easy road by asking my wife to write a check on Sunday morning. The thought of all of those numbers being dropped into a basket is difficult at times. I wish my church would get an ATM that takes your $ with one quick swipe of the card. It is a good thing the machine does not dispense cash; it would get spent in a candy store — remember those childhood days.
It was one of Stevens Creek’s three “Giving Kiosks”: a sleek black pedestal topped with a computer screen, numeric keypad and magnetic-strip reader. Prompted by the on-screen instructions, Marshall performed a ritual more common in quickie marts than a house of God: He pulled out a bank card, swiped it and punched in some numbers.
The machine spat out a receipt. Marshall’s $400 donation was routed to church coffers before he had found his seat for evening worship. “I paid for gas today with a card, and got lunch with one,” said Marshall, 30. “This is really no different.”