A4P Guest: Missy, I hope I’m not losing my mind here. So my “man” whom I am thinking of marrying soon just told me that he doesn’t believe in giving money to the church. Now I am having a second thought to marry him?
A4P: Does he believe in going to church and receiving spiritual benefit from the church?
A4P Guest: Yes! All the benefits he can get!
A4P: Did he say why he doesn’t give money?
A4P Guest: He said that the church leaders are not trustworthy.
A4P: Hmm! Then why does he go to a church whose leaders he has a hard time to trust?
A4P Guest: I don’t know! These are the same kinds of questions that come to my mind and I’m questioning my decision to marry him.
A4P: I don’t blame you!
A4P Guest: He keeps saying that giving tithe and offering to the church is the Old Testament Law but I tried to show him from the New Testament too.
A4P: I agree with him to some extent. According to the New Testament, in general, all the money he makes belongs to God, to the church, because he owes Jesus his own life (1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9). So if he gives all the money he makes to his church, he is good to go.
A4P Guest: LOL!
A4P: It’s so interesting for me to learn about this very specific issue how some American churches, mostly “reformed ones,” handle. So, if they see you for a number of weeks coming to church and leaving the church without giving money, they approach you and kindly ask you:
“Is there something that you are not happy and comfortable with? We ask because we notice that you are not giving money to the church. If you are new to the faith, let us know and we will help you how to read and study the word of God and how to follow Jesus Christ?”
If you say, you are okay with everything and you’ve been a Christian for the last 100 years, they will kindly ask you to give your tithes and offerings to the work and get involved in a ministry that fits your time, talent and gifts so you will be blessed and be a blessing to the body of Christ, the church.
If you say, you are not happy with the way they do the work of the church, they again kindly ask you to find a church that suits your taste. If you decide to stay with them, they make it clear to you that you are not entitled to get spiritual benefits the local church gives to her members without contributing to the needs of the church. In this way, they properly disciple people of God according to the word of God. (No wonder most of these churches are flourishing every day, not in membership and buildings, even if some have grown this way too, but in making Christians “disciples” of Jesus Christ!)
You see, giving money to the church is biblical and right! When people don’t want to give money, they usually quote 1 Corinthians 9 because they have no clue what that specific chapter is talking about. Some say that they minister in the church and their service is the same as giving money. This is not misunderstanding of the truth but purposely denying the truth for the love of money. But the truth of the matter is this: There is no partiality with the word of God. Whether a person is a singer, or a pastor, or a minister, or an evangelist, or a janitor and whatnot, is expected to give money to the church because all of us are under the word of God (Romans 2:11).
And the other thing is this: Only those who give get blessed, not those who receive, according to the word of God. When a person who doesn’t give money joins a church, he brings with himself spiritual staleness into the church.
You see, nobody forces anybody to join a church but if people decide to join a church, it is good for them to know and understand this basic spiritual principle.
Ironically, people who don’t give money to the church are usually the ones who complain and murmur about the church’s way of handling money.
Why? I am not really sure.
So, if your “man” doesn’t know his Bible, help him to know and understand. If he is not willing to read the word and strive to live by it, I agree with you to reassess your decision to marry him. The issue of money, how a Christian sees and handles money, speaks volume about his spiritual status. So get to the bottom of this before you tie the knot. This may look, from the outside, one of those minor issues but it is not! It is the tip of the iceberg.
One last point: Giving money to the church is not a sign that a person is a born-again Christian. There are many people who are giving money to churches and ministries but heading to hell. I hope and pray that you don’t see this “giving money” thing as a “Litmus paper” to see if a person is a genuine follower of Jesus Christ or not. Doing so makes you a “legalist”. Jesus didn’t take water baptism to be the Son of God but as He said, “it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15b) ///