In the early Christian church, pre-Constantine, pre-Nicene, I believe the "offering" was taken straight from the meeting house to the needy, no middle man. Since that is no longer the case, I choose to act as my own middle man.
(OK, maybe I'm still a little bitter about giving up part of our struggling family's grocery budget for a church's mission to the homeless, only to find out that particular Sunday's funds were earmarked for Brother Elmer Gantry's brand new car, a Lincoln Town & Country... )
Have you ever noticed that in many churches, while the preacher proclaims that we are now under a new law, the New Testament covenant, when it comes to giving, instead of teaching the New Testament "give all you have", "rich young ruler", "rich man/camel's eye", etc., he jumps right back into the Old Testament Levitical 10% tithe. I've actually heard, and more than once, pastors proclaim, "The scripture says that the love of money is the root of all evil -- so HAVING a lot of money is not evil, as long as you don't LOVE it!"
Can I hear an Amen?? rebecca