This section is from the "How To Pay Church Debts And How To Keep Churches Out Of Debt" book, by Rev. Sylvanus Stall. Amazon: How To Pay Church Debts And How To Keep Churches Out Of Debt.
Some of the chief arguments urged against the renting of pews are:
1. That it leads to a disparagement of the very class of persons who are the special objects of divine regard. It makes money the standard of worth, causing the congregation to say to the rich, "sit thou here in a good place," and to the poor, "stand thou here, or sit here under my footstool."
2. That it tends to exclude strangers and such as are not regular pewholders.
3. That it educates people to be parsimonious and mean, causing them to do such disreputable things as rent a half pew, and then occupy a whole one.
4. That it is not only not authorized by, but is inconsistent with the principles of the gospel.
5. That it despoils giving for the support and spread of the gospel of all its value as an act of worship, converting this essential portion of divine service into an impost levied upon the other portions of the service of God. While this result does not of necessity attach itself to the system, yet all who have had much to do with the renting of pews will have been convinced that many, if not most persons enter into the contract from a purely business standpoint, driving as sharp a bargain in the church as in the world. The time is coming, when "giving" for the support of the support of the gospel, both at home and abroad, shall again be regarded in the light of God's word. When the amount shall be increased to the proportion of a tithe, and the giving or paying of it shall not only be a part of the worship of the sanctuary, but an essential, an indisputable portion.