I have to admit, I find it somewhat flattering that a celebrity preacher would go through all the fuss of creating an AOL Journal so as to address my concerns regarding the use of "tithing kiosks."
Anyway, Mr. Baker, the problem I have is best stated in the Times article here:
The Bakers charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the kiosks, which come in a variety of configurations. They also collect a monthly subscription fee of up to $49.95 for licensing and support. And a card-processing company gets 1.9% of each transaction; a small cut of that fee goes to SecureGive.I find this to be somewhat interesting in that these machines not only give to the church, but they also give to you. In short, you are using Christian charity for your own personal gain.
Now, in your journal, you come close to answering this concern, yet you skirt the issue by saying:
On the first glance, an ATM for Jesus seems to be a way of "ill-gotten" gain, but it's not. The giving kiosks at Stevens Creek Church is a simple way that our members serve Christ and His Church. Giving must be a heart issue. It's not about the machine ... it's about what God can do through ordinary people like you and me.Wrong. It IS most certainly about the machines, and has very little to do with God. When someone gives to the church from the heart, shouldn't 100% of that "gift" given in Jesus' name go TO the church? Are your parishioners aware that a percentage of the money they are giving to the church is being funneled directly into your pockets and the pockets of those charging a processing fee?