Tuesday, October 2, 2018

on-line giving and compensating for its tendency toward gnosticism

I understand the advantages of on-line giving to a church. But there are subtle disadvantages too. On-line reduces the use of our bodies in giving. If we're not careful, on-line makes us less aware and participatory in our choices to give.

Since we're beings created with body, spirit and soul, the use of our bodies has implications for our spirit and soul. Christianity often wars against a spirit/soul > body gnosticism. But with on-line giving, we're leaning toward the gnostic tendencies that war against us.

We've had a similar context in our family and I'm not sure we've handled it optimally. When the kids were younger, money "disappeared" enough that I moved most of their money into an "electronic" account that I managed in Excel. Likewise, giving and saving went electronic too. So, they were less connected to both actions. We did some small things to add the physical back into giving. But I suspect we've lost a little something that is unfortunate. Ahh, the trade-offs of our choices!

This is not a call to forgo on-line giving. But if you're giving on-line, you should look for ways to make it more physical and memorable to minimize its downside. And you should consider embracing other spiritual disciplines to compensate.


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