Tithing for non-members?

lifelong_sinner

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all. I currently goto a church where i’m not a member of. I’m curious if its ok to pay tithes to this church despite not being a member? Its a PCA church.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
1. Are you a member anywhere? A place where you are a member, and presumably attend with some regularity, deserves your support in some real measure.

2. Have you been the recipient of spiritual blessing in the place where you attend? If so, and if your giving is not better sent to the place of your actual membership, it stands to reason that you should support your spiritual benefactors (where you currently attend) per Rom.15:27, cf.1Cor.9:11 & Gal.6:6.

3. "How much" you should give is properly a matter of wisdom, spiritual discernment, maturity, training, and the proper "cheerful" disposition. I use those terms knowing some other teachers are quite strict on "tithing," not only of an amount but of where that legal tax (for that is how they recognize it, whatever terms are preferred) is owed.

I teach: that you owe some token of your gratitude to the Lord is irrefutable; God owns you and everything that belongs to you in completeness, you have been redeemed. I teach that what you should put in the church's collection ought to be done "not reluctantly or under compulsion." It is your freewill offering, the kind Israel brought to build the Tabernacle and establish the worship of God in their midst, Ex.35&36.

A "tithe" is certainly a meaningful fraction of your stewardship; but is it a "legal minimum?" May not a widow's 2 mites be "more?" Might a 10th be considerably less than a man spends of his great wealth on his needs and on his pleasures, with much to spare? Perhaps a tenth is a good place to start, or a place for a man to aim (seriously) to achieve as soon as he can.

I also agree that God cannot be outdone in the way of giving, as Mal.3:10 does say to Israel of old, who were legally taxed to the tithe, I haste to add. Is.58:4 (a promise pertaining to the NewCovenant) speaks similarly of receiving from the LORD for paying him his due by way of time (Sabbathkeeping). My opinion is that the law having ceased, the formal taxation of God's people has also ceased; the "tithe" is no more. But the NT has ample texts enjoining your support of the ministry that supports you.
 

lifelong_sinner

Puritan Board Freshman
1. Are you a member anywhere? A place where you are a member, and presumably attend with some regularity, deserves your support in some real measure.

2. Have you been the recipient of spiritual blessing in the place where you attend? If so, and if your giving is not better sent to the place of your actual membership, it stands to reason that you should support your spiritual benefactors (where you currently attend) per Rom.15:27, cf.1Cor.9:11 & Gal.6:6.

3. "How much" you should give is properly a matter of wisdom, spiritual discernment, maturity, training, and the proper "cheerful" disposition. I use those terms knowing some other teachers are quite strict on "tithing," not only of an amount but of where that legal tax (for that is how they recognize it, whatever terms are preferred) is owed.

I teach: that you owe some token of your gratitude to the Lord is irrefutable; God owns you and everything that belongs to you in completeness, you have been redeemed. I teach that what you should put in the church's collection ought to be done "not reluctantly or under compulsion." It is your freewill offering, the kind Israel brought to build the Tabernacle and establish the worship of God in their midst, Ex.35&36.

A "tithe" is certainly a meaningful fraction of your stewardship; but is it a "legal minimum?" May not a widow's 2 mites be "more?" Might a 10th be considerably less than a man spends of his great wealth on his needs and on his pleasures, with much to spare? Perhaps a tenth is a good place to start, or a place for a man to aim (seriously) to achieve as soon as he can.

I also agree that God cannot be outdone in the way of giving, as Mal.3:10 does say to Israel of old, who were legally taxed to the tithe, I haste to add. Is.58:4 (a promise pertaining to the NewCovenant) speaks similarly of receiving from the LORD for paying him his due by way of time (Sabbathkeeping). My opinion is that the law having ceased, the formal taxation of God's people has also ceased; the "tithe" is no more. But the NT has ample texts enjoining your support of the ministry that supports you.
Yes, i was a member of another church, but no longer attend that church now.

Have i received a spiritual blessing?? I’m not saved so i want to say no, but am not sure.

As far as how much, i give where i can. I dont work so i dont give with any regular meaning. I just give whenever i come across money.

I freely want to give, but wanted to make sure God would be ok with me giving to a church where i’m not a member, nor am i saved.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Cash offerings seem to be higher when we have visitors, so my assumption has been that non-members are putting money in the plate when it passes down the row. Contributions from non-members are welcome but not expected.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Have i received a spiritual blessing?? I’m not saved so i want to say no, but am not sure
Am I reading you correctly if I understand from this that you have not yet professed faith in Christ, that you don't consider yourself a believer?

If that's where you are spiritually, it's great that you're going to church. You can expect that if you seek God with your heart, you will find him and will come to be saved (Jeremiah 29:13). Going to church is a great way to seek God. Take full advantage of it.

But I suspect the church you are attending would join me in telling you this: Don't think you have to pay to attend. Just come, freely. Before you start giving anything, take care of business with God. First humble yourself and repent and believe in Jesus, and freely receive from God the full forgiveness and eternal life and whole-person renewal he alone can give—completely without cost. Only then, after you have so freely and so fully received, will it be time to start thinking about how much you might give.
 

lifelong_sinner

Puritan Board Freshman
I was a member of another church and had made a profession of faith and even was baptized. But i’m what you call a false convert. I have tried repenting, many a time, yet i love my “besetting sin” to the point that i cant give it up. Oh i’ve tried, but at some point, you just get tired of fighting it.

As to the point of thinking i have to pay to join, i know better than that. But i did clear some money this past week and so i thought i’d tithe some of it.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Hello all. I currently goto a church where i’m not a member of. I’m curious if its ok to pay tithes to this church despite not being a member? Its a PCA church.
Yes it is ok for you to give (though I believe the technical tithe is expired). Continue striving for repentance. Be careful that your flesh does not turn this “giving” into some form of penance for your besetting sin, as you say. If this is the case, then I would say don’t give and focus on the more fundamental means of grace until the Lord sees fit to restore your faith. He is faithful and and has made a promise to those who truly seek Him. Otherwise, be cheerful and generous in giving.
 
Last edited:

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Yes, i was a member of another church, but no longer attend that church now.

Have i received a spiritual blessing?? I’m not saved so i want to say no, but am not sure.
Dear Raul,

I have some concerns and questions about the sin that keeps you from savingly believing in Christ.

First - I am not asking you to tell me what your besetting sin is that you cannot seem to give up. If you want to write to me privately, that's fine; but what I am writing will apply to whatever your sin is.

Second - I am well aware, as you probably are, that in the New Testament, repentance is almost always mentioned before salvation. Repentance can even be a nickname for coming to faith.

Mark 1:14‭-‬15
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

But it is not true that repentance must proceed faith chronologically. And it is most certainly not true that repentance is a work of man that precedes the reception of the Grace of God.

Evangelical repentance is part of the package included in salvation. It is the gift of God.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

It is true also that there is no Christian that is without sin. For me, not a day goes by where I do not need repentance and forgiveness. It is also true that Jesus has paid for the sin I will commit tomorrow and for the rest of my life.

1 John 1:8‭-‬10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Below are two statements from the Westminster Standards on repentance. The first is from the Confession of Faith. The second is from the Larger Catechism. I have underlined a few phrases.

CHAPTER XV. Of Repentance unto Life
I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.

Q. 76. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and word of God, whereby out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, and upon the apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, he so grieves for and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.

I may not have touched the root of your trouble because I don't know you yet. You are welcome to write to me privately anytime. It might be good to talk on the phone too if you ever want to.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I was a member of another church and had made a profession of faith and even was baptized. But i’m what you call a false convert. I have tried repenting, many a time, yet i love my “besetting sin” to the point that i cant give it up. Oh i’ve tried, but at some point, you just get tired of fighting it.

As to the point of thinking i have to pay to join, i know better than that. But i did clear some money this past week and so i thought i’d tithe some of it.

Focus more on meditation. The lack of meditation, perhaps the most neglected spiritual discipline of all time, lies behind much of the besetting sins with which we struggle. If you are not physically fit, I would also recommend spending more time exercising.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
I have tried repenting, many a time, yet i love my “besetting sin” to the point that i cant give it up. Oh i’ve tried, but at some point, you just get tired of fighting it.
It sounds like you need good counsel from a gospel-teaching pastor or a godly, mature believer. Do you have that? If not, you should seek it out.

Realize that repentance is not about achieving a certain level of sinlessness. Rather, it's about having a heart that wishes to engage the fight even though there are failures along the way. Don't despair just because you repeatedly fail. A desire to keep fighting the sin may actually be a sign that you are repentant. Again, it sounds like it would be good for you to seek counsel from a pastor who can get to know you better than we can here. Get some wise pastoring before you just assume you surely aren't saved because you haven't been able to give up certain sins.
 

SeamusDelion

Puritan Board Freshman
I feel like if you got something good outta the sermon and you're not a member, whats some pocket change going to hurt?
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Focus more on meditation. The lack of meditation, perhaps the most neglected spiritual discipline of all time, lies behind much of the besetting sins with which we struggle. If you are not physically fit, I would also recommend spending more time exercising.
Daniel, you are correct this is a greatly neglected spiritual discipline. Perhaps you should explain what you mean by meditation - this is not obvious to some today. One of the most user friendly articles I am aware on this from a Biblical perspective is Beeke's 'Learning how to meditate'.
 
Top