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Pew rents

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by bbbbbbb, Nov 29, 2021.

Do you think pew rents are a good thing?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  2. No

    10 vote(s)
    76.9%
  3. Other (state any other position please)

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    For centuries local churches supported their work by either selling the use of pews in the churches outright or renting the pews for varying periods of time. This practice died out beginning in the nineteenth century and is virtually unknown today. All pews were not rented for the same amount of money. Pews that were in better locations rented for more money and the renter could upholster and furnish his pew according to his taste. During the late medieval period some folks even installed fireplaces in their pews (which was actually a small room) to keep warm because there was no other heat in the churches at that time.

    Although it might seem to be absurd to the modern mind, there were certain advantages. One was that the congregations were not harangued for money during sermons. Another was that tithing was essentially eliminated because the tithe was simply collected as a standard tax which provided privileges in sitting during a service rather than standing.
     
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  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +8,349
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    Given James 2:1-4 I don't believe it should have ever taken place.
     
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  3. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    Do you think it better to have a preacher harangue his congregation to be more forthcoming with their tithes?
     
  4. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +8,349
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    There's a right way and a wrong way to ask for tithes. There's no right way to discriminate between rich and poor in God's sanctuary.
     
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  5. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    Could you provide examples of the right way to ask for tithes?
     
  6. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

    +31,869
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    On a related note...

    When people talk about the coming of the Reformation, it's usually about indulgences, faith vs works, the Pope, or other doctrinal issues.

    They forget or never knew that Protestantism also brought in worship services in which the congregation could see what was happening with the priest, have a sermon (instruction) be a feature of the service, participate themselves through hymn-singing, be able to hear the words that were spoken as part of the liturgy (service), and of course have that be in the language that the people actually spoke and understood.
     
  7. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    Yes. All of these things were really transformational. Hence, there was civil war in England with the Restoration following which resulted pretty much in the structure of the Anglican church as we know it today. The Dissenters, both Protestant and Catholics, chose to either pursue more radical forms of the Reformation or to revert to the Old Religion.
     
  8. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

    +924
    Christian
    Married
    Back when I was a young Christian, I thought about redesigning the Church for the modern age. For that purpose, I selected the payment of dues, similar to a health club as the best way to finance the church. Pew rentals function very similarly to dues, but also allow the poor or occasional attendees to easily attend worship.

    In the end, I discovered that no system of men is infallible. We will always find a way to corrupt the church if we are corrupt.

    The traditional "goodwill" offering is probably the best system for good, earnest Christians.
     
  9. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    Actually, there were some churches that charged a flat rate for their pew rents and drew names to determine who would sit where. That way they could not be accused of showing any preferential treatment.

    There are many denominations today which collect annual "dues" which are generally determined annually. Usually it is the member who decides how much his dues will amount to and he makes a "pledge" that he will give his promised amount within a year's time.

    I once attended a revival meeting in a black Baptist church. Prior to the offering the pastor announced the precise amount of money per member to the nearest cent that was expected. When the offering was collected ushers started at the front of the church and let each pew of people out to proceed to the front where the pastor stood on one side and the assistant other the other. Both stood adjacent to wood stands on which an offering plate was placed. The members filed forward the put their offering in the plate. Thus, it could be determined that each member had fulfilled his or her duty to pay for the revival.

    I thought it peculiar that this was far from a free-will offering and that the poor members were expected to give exactly the same amount as the wealthier members. Still, the system seemed to work for them.
     
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  10. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +8,349
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    2 Cor 9:7 has to be at the heart of it. That's how my church does it, and it's pretty well funded. Not a megachurch, but well enough. There have been times that a shortfall was mentioned, and in the coming months, the money came in. We're definitely not after people's tithe money like a car salesman pursues a sale, nor are we into using refined guilt techniques (like some Baptists may be familiar with) nor are we into marketeering techniques (like you'll see on some charismatic TV productions).
     
  11. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,990
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    [
    The English Civil War had many reasons for its cause, religeon being only one.

    The Church of England as formed under Henry VIII by Cramner and established by Elizabeth 1st, by Charles's time it was thechurch that those then living knew and knew that there parrents and Grandparents had worshipped in, it was by the the traditional church, which Charles was trying to reform compulsorarly.

    The primary complaint by the ruling oligarchy was thereexclusion from positions of influence with the King and his arbitary raising of taxes without using parlament.


    Back to tithing.

    People have complained about the pastor speaking about the offering.
    it realy depends what is meant by this.
    Ifa pastor in a church of more than ten earning members, is working part time or his wife is working ful time, has to speak about the offering, then questions need to be asked abot how that church is being financed.

    If its a minister with expensive cars etc then again how that church is finaced should be questioned.

    Theres an old saying " You keep him humble Lord, we'll keep him poor!"

    which is total wrong, as wrong as multi millionary ministers.
    oligarchy
    /ˈɒlɪɡɑːki/


    oligarchy
    /ˈɒlɪɡɑːki/
     
  12. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

    +924
    Christian
    Married
    Didn't the Free Methodist Denomination arise as a rejection of pew rentals?
     
  13. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +16,671
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    I'd disagree about a working spouse. There are many reasons why a minister's spouse might work, or the level of work they might choose, and not all of them are to do with the level of stipend the church can pay the minister.

    I'm glad we've moved away from pew rentals. The idea of paying for your "spot" in church comes with all kinds of unhealthy dynamics.
     
  14. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

    +2,735
    Non-Denom
    Can't ever believe it was a blessed thing to do on many levels. It's makes it a guarantee that in order to receive ministry you MUST pay for it. MUST! No money....no ministry. Even in Paul's day his rebuked the Corinthians for how they had the Lord's Supper,

    "Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. or in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you." 1 Cor 11: 20

    So to me the renting of a pew space would be doing that very thing. Shaming those who have nothing. You don't have money you're not therefore one of the privileged ones. It could lead to a mental state where one feels they're almost not worthy of anything or that God doesn't even love them. It also cuts off all members of the body from functioning.

    What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 1 Cor 14: 26

    Does anyone have a psalm a hymn or something to share they should share it. So charging a fee for a place in the chruch says to the poor God isn't using you and can't right now. Maybe when you have the money to secure a place God can. Can't believe God would put his stamp of approval on anything like that.










     
  15. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,990
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    It is something church members need to ask hard questions of the churches elders/councel etc, is she working because they cannot live on his stypend or because she wants a career?
     
  16. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

    +3,220
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Well if it doesn't seem absurd the modern mind will quickly make it absurd
    I'm having visions of Pimp My Pew decked out with political bill board memes...
    pEW WaRs...

    upload_2021-11-30_8-29-56.png

    "For an extra 25$ per month we can even have a cardboard cutout of you sitting in the pew for the days you are not there, which, like most gym memberships, will be all of them" lol
     
  17. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    No. That was not an issue with any of the "Free" denominations, as in the Scandinavian countries. In these cases "free" simply meant free of government control. The opposite was the state church. If you were not a member of the state church (Anglican, Lutheran, etc.) then you were a member of a free church.
     
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  18. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    Yes, it certainly had its definite problems. A similar dilemma was the church tax, which continues to be collected in many European countries. One of the curious aspects to the church tax is a certain sense of entitlement that taxpayers had to the parsonage, so that the vicar or rector or priest was obligated to host innumerable teas, fetes, etc. in the parsonage, simply because the parishioners felt they owned it. The alternative was a patron who actually did build and own it and felt privileged to exercise control over the vicar or rector or priest.

    Once you introduce fundraising into the church dynamics things can get really convoluted.
     
  19. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

    +3,704
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Renting seats? I like it. Far better than not knowing where you are going to be able to sit any given service. In my old church, they use to donate the cost of the seat to get your name engraved on a plate and stuck to the side. The money generating creativity is rising, and I find no fault in it. These ideas are far better than the "tithe or die" value propositions of old....and are more effective in these times.
     
  20. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

    +11,206
    Non-Denom
    If you agree, please vote in the poll. Thus far, nobody has voted in favor of it.
     
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