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.
Had it not been for that which was meant for temporal wisdom, but which is everlasting folly, no such devices as the joint-ownership, joint-stock and other plans would ever have been known of. The necessity of resorting to such means is only a pitiable chapter upon the folly of the Church in departing from the scriptural principles and motives which are designed to influence men to do their duty in providing structures where they may together worship God.
The joint-stock plan is simply this: Capitalists unite to furnish the money to build the church, and in return for their money, accept scrip, or a certificate of stock, bearing the legal interest of the State. The certificates, or scrip, may be drawn so as to create a claim upon the edifice, or only upon the society as such, or upon the members of the society as individuals. The interest, to prevent any speculation in the stock, may be simply credited upon the pew rent each year, or it may be payable in cash, in which event the income of the church would have to be sufficient to pay the current expenses and the interest in addition.
The objections are: (a.) The congregation will not own its church home. (b.) "The stockholders may include in their number irreligious men, whose only interest in the enterprise is a financial one. (c.) The church, in the management of its affairs, becomes in a measure subject to the stockholders. (d.) The church must be a financial success, which fact tends towards sensationalism and the valuation of a minister, whatever his character otherwise, by his ability to 'draw,' and thus make the stock pay dividends." (e.) It will lack those scriptural principles which will entitle it to the divine favor and blessing.