The Reason for Offerings
Buttering up another person so they will be helpful has a long history, and it can be said that the reason for offerings within religious societies might be based on the same principle. Many ancient religious practitioners had no way to predict the weather, and they were unable to understand why their crops failed. Being able to give offerings by sacrificing to their deity was a way for them to ask the favor of good weather and healthy crops. While offerings by sacrifice are not commonly discussed, they are still practiced in some religious contexts.
Christianity is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it is widely practiced. While many people would think of the offering plate passed around in services as an offering, it is actually the Eucharist and the wine that are considered as such. By eating the body and drinking the blood of their savior, they are asking their deity to recognize their faith and keep them safe. The church is the source of tithing, and it is done solely as a means to help those within the organization who have unmet needs.
Personal sacrifices are a part of many religions, and it is up to the person who is requesting something of their deity to decide what they want to give. Buddhists believe this is a path toward reaching their religious goals, but they do have their own rules. The sacrifice must be a personal one that is ethical and done by that person, and any offerings given will be something not harmful such as burning incense. These are in line with the Buddhists beliefs that each person is responsible for their own existence.
Some people believe sacrifices are barbaric, and they might appreciate the thoughts of modern Jewish religious participants. While their ancestors did practice sacrifice and offerings in ancient times, these have been left behind in modern practice and religious beliefs.