The collection plate

sent in by Naomi
jasminedancer at optonline dot net

I've seen a lot of references to the collection plate and I'd like to contribute my own crazy observation.

More than a few years ago, being a born atheist and under extreme emotional stress, I decided to go to church. In my own way of thinking, it was very consoling (I could listen to the sermons as parables, not as truth) and I got to shake hands with strangers and feel the warmth of community which I was sorely lacking. This was the most well-known, politically-connected church in Manhattan and the interior was gorgeous, well-lit, clean, inspiring in its own fantastical way. People were very well-dressed (it was Christmas) and there were wreaths and everything. I cried my eyes out, it really got to me and I needed it.

Then: The collection.

(I went back several times, so this is a recollection of that repeated moment. The first time I may not have registered this.)

The ushers all passed their plates up and down and eventually made it to the back of the big hall.



The guy opened up his loudest stops, AND THOSE PIPES WERE BLASTING! It sounded like the king, the queen and God were all sitting up there in the front and applauding and glittering and glaring and the whole military and the President of the United States and Jesus and Bach were up there with all the angels and looking down at us! Chords of organ music filled the air like all the jewels that could fill the place, as the ushers marched with obvious pride like harried peacocks, in order, down the aisle, and piled up all the plates into the waiting hands of other volunteers on the stage. Wow!

You know, more than the obvious ego of the pastor, more than the ludicrousness of the stories, it was that loud bashing celebration of money taking that curdled in my gut.

Praise the lord and pass the plate!


Anonymous said...

Hey, didn't I hear a hymn called "Jesus Payed It All" when I was dragooned into going to church? Apparently, he didn't.

When I was a tad I remember an evangelist where my paernts used to drag me. They were passing the plate and the preacher was hearing sounds which pleased him not at all. He stated that he was hearing a lot of George Washington, Jefferson, and even Roosevelt hitting the plate. He opined that they needed some greens, and he started exhorting the rest of the congregation to "feed the presidents their salad." Grace may have been free, but the evangelist's services were not. Strange for a man who had just told people those marvelous words about taking no thought for one's apparrel or next meal. Guess he was the exception to the rule.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately all religions ultimate motives are money driven, backed by duress of fear of dying and fear of a burning hell.

The Bible writers knew that a threat of a burning hell would make people who desire to believe, respond with gifts and pledges to appease the vengeful god whom created a necessary hell to begin with, especially with ignorance so rampant 2000 years ago.

Hell was invented for the sinner or the disobedient believer, or the ucooperative agnostic.

The invention of hell has proven to be a useful tool, to meld and form and to make people conform and follow.

The term "hell" is useful tool to the christian, they can cast those whom do not conform to their particular belief immediately into hell, as they sanctify themselves while they rise into self-righteousness into heaven to be beside their make believe jesus, the money loving hog.

The invention of hell is used as a minipulative tool has monetary value as well, the Bible states that the love of money, is the root of all evil, yet preachers cannot seem to get enough of it.

Although preachers say we all need to be "christ-like", yet jesus supposedly died a pennyless pauper, jesus supposedely said, a rich man cannot enter the kindom of god, yet jesus never owned an automobile or exquisite home or plane or a huge cash bank account, nor gold jewelry or company stocks or bonds or land.

So a fool and his/her money are soon parted, so as with religions a fool and their beliefs and their mental stability and brains are soon parted.

If you will notice, the collection plate is passed before the preacher begins his spiel, therefore the preacher is guaranteed his pay before he begins his brainwashing services.

But it is also peer presure as to whether one puts money in and how much, some churches provide their members envelopes with their names already printed on them, so that the preacher knows exactly who give what and how much each week.

The whole thing is overwhelming human sickness by human conditioning of the mind, a brainwashing money laundering, tax evading cult.

Praise jebus, for the money stream that he provides.


Anonymous said...

I remember something in the new testament about a guy who came to give his tithe and lied about how much he was giving and was struck dead. His wife came in to see what was taking so long, she lied about it, too, and was also struck dead (allegedly). A cautionary tale to keep the shekels rolling in.

Anonymous said...

That story of Ananias and Safira (sp?) is one of the weirdest, difficult to believe trash in the New Testament. Talk about inflicting fear in people.

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