I received the following email from a former JW that I thought to share.
Note: I retyped the BOE letter that was sent from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to all Congregations in the US. The letter is authentic. I didn’t want to reproduce it here so typed it for all of you to read.
Disclaimer: All the comments about the new arrangement of using a credit card to make donations belong to the person who sent me the email today.
"PRAY NOW, PAY LATER" Credit Card Donation terminals are currently being installed in all Jehovah's Witness Assembly Halls for the 2012 Service Year.
LETTER FROM Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
August 25, 2011
TO ALL CONGREGATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
Re: Donations at circuit events by debit or credit card
At Deuteronomy 16:15, Jehovah commanded those celebrating the festival of booths: “You must become nothing but joyful.” Similarly, circuit assemblies and special assembly days are always joyous occasions because of Jehovah’s abundant blessing. In view of this, many show appreciation by making voluntary contributions at the assembly.
As in previous years, voluntary contributions can be placed in the contribution boxes either in cash or by check made payable to the circuit. However, a new arrangement for making donations by debit or credit card has been approved for congregations that hold their circuit events in Assembly Halls. Locations for making debit or credit card donations will be announced at the assembly.
We pray Jehovah’s rich blessing on your preparations to attend the circuit assembly and special assembly day programs for the 2012 service year.
Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
cc: Traveling overseers
PS to coordinator of the body of elders:
If your congregation attends circuit events at an Assembly Hall, at the next Service Meeting, please arrange for an announcement to be made that a letter on the above-noted subject has been posted on the information board.
It should be signed: Your brother$, Chri$tian Congregation of Jehovah's Witne$$e$. FAQ's What happens if you make a $100 donation on your credit card, get disfellowshipped the following week, and then get the bill the week after that? What happens if you max out your credit card because of some emotional talk about the end of the world being upon us, yet again, and then you can not meet the repayments? Can you get a refund? Faulty goods? Does credit card consumer protection apply? Should there be a disclaimer? Can the WTBT$ offer a payment plan as a financial option? "Come worship with us. We guarantee you'll pay for it later." From their own mouth:
*** w75 11/1 p. 651 Insight on the News ***
Insight on the News
“Pray Now, Pay Later”
? The phrase “pray now, pay later” appeared in a headline of the Philadelphia “Inquirer” in reporting on a church experiment due to go into effect shortly. A group of ten U.S. religions, including some major Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist denominations, have decided to try church collections by credit card. The experiment, sponsored by the National
Council of Churches, will encourage participating church members to authorize credit-card transfers of a specified contribution to their church each month. The idea, a Council spokesman says, is that “this will provide the local church with regular income whether or not the local congregation is in attendance,” especially in “off-seasons,” like summer vacation time. The report on the experiment says that those joining the program will be “giving unto business what belongs to business—a profit.” How so? “Participating banks will charge 65 cents a transaction, and the credit card companies will rake off 3 percent of every donation.” Obviously someone benefits, but how much spiritual benefit is the modern churchgoer getting?
Head the warning: "Beware of false profits". And this one:
*** g03 8/8 p. 29 Watching the World ***
Plastic Card Donations
“A growing number of Canadian churches” are adopting “modern banking practices, introducing bank cards and credit cards as convenient ways for parishioners to make collection-plate donations,” says the Vancouver Sun newspaper. Debit machines have been placed in church halls along with “donation envelopes with options for automatic account withdrawal and credit card payment.” Individuals simply swipe their card, key in the amount they wish to donate, and then put a copy of the receipt in the collection plate. As one pastor stated: “A cashless society is where society is going. Why not the church?” A church treasurer joked: “You get air-miles on your card, plus you go to heaven for donations. Just think of it as double reward points.”
Credit Cards donations now being accepted at a Jehovah's Witness Assembly Hall near you. Double your reward points, including up to 10 extra days of everlasting life.
*** g73 12/8 p. 29 Watching the World ***
? Some religious organizations are going to new ends to acquire money. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Buffalo, New York, now accepts credit cards, not just cash donations. One finance committee member says: “A church can’t survive on 50-cent [cash] donations.” Credit-card donations are up to $30. Admission is now being charged visitors to London’s thirteenth-century Salisbury Cathedral. A London Observer article calls this “a last-ditch attempt to find a way of meeting the desperate need for funds.”
Is this just another last-ditch attempt by the WTBT$ to find a way of meeting the desperate need for funds? Is there a minimum amount to donate? Can I donate by credit card an amount of "very little value" (Mark 12:41,42 nwt) or
must I donate the equivalent of "many coins"?
*** g88 4/22 p. 5 Money—A Cruel Master ***
Credit or Debit?
Even if your income does not permit you to buy certain luxuries, our materialistic society would have you believe that it is your right to have them. This emphasis on the enjoyment of possessions, coupled with inflation, has spawned the booming credit card, or plastic money, business. The rationale is that ‘it makes no sense to wait before buying since the price will surely be higher if you do so.’
...As a result, global debt has soared and now threatens the world’s richest nations. And on the individual level, debt as a proportion of income is higher than ever. This situation is by no means limited to one country or even one continent. “In days gone by, black people never used credit,” comments a black resident of South Africa. But he adds: “It is their credit that helps many firms, such as furniture shops, remain in business.”
“We’re the IOU generation,” comments business writer David Sylvester, “overspending, under-investing, living like tomorrow never will come—or if it does, social security will bail us out.” So, has this materialistic approach to life brought happiness?
Even if your income does not permit you to donate to the WTBT$, our materialistic theocratic society would have you believe that it is your right to donate...The rationale is that 'it makes no sense to wait to donate since the price will surely be higher if you do so.' Enjoy your donation now and pay for it later. It is your right to donate by credit card, your human right. Pay now and live in the knowledge that the end is just around the corner of your nearest bank.
We are no longer the "generation that saw these things" or the "generation of 1914" we are now "the IOU generation". OMG we're the IOU generation. Charge it. A credit card payment is really a "false charge" made against the organization or the congregation.
*** g91 8/8 p. 7 Be Careful With Credit ***
A credit card can be an asset, but it can also be your greatest liability. Some use the credit card as a crutch. They use it to bypass completely the ‘can I afford it?’ question. The card becomes a painkiller that lets you spend without thinking about or feeling the effects of
In recent years a virtual credit-card craze has enveloped many countries. What are the results? A computer salesman from Korea who bought a new car with a credit card summed up the matter: “When it is time to settle my credit, I always feel terrible. It’s just as if I gave that money away.” In Japan nearly half of all those seeking financial counseling are in their 20’s. The 140 million credit cards in that land are largely held responsible for the huge debts of young people.
So be careful with a credit card. Use it, but do not let it use you. Do not let it blind you to your true financial status. This will only add to the stress.
Can you not afford to donate by credit card to the worldwide work in this time of the end? False profits would have you believe you can not afford not to donate by credit card. Will you donate by credit card or will you heed the advice of the inspired Holy Bible which says, "I shall abstain, in order that no one should put to my credit more." - 2 Corinthians 12:6 All true Christians should be able to rightly claim "we have no credit to ourselves." - 1 Corinthians 8:8