What percentage of our income should Christians give to the church?
The Bible very plainly gives us the tithe as ten percent. I think that’s a good starting point in how we give, and the New Testament never repeals it.
Paul tells us that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and that we’re not to give begrudgingly (2 Cor. 9:7). But Paul is not arguing against people who are saying that we’re not called to give. I think it was assumed that Christians were still tithing and giving. Otherwise, it would’ve been a pretty significant thing, and we would’ve seen something in the New Testament say, “You no longer have to do this.” If God’s people did something throughout their entire history, it would be significant for God to say, “You don’t have to do this anymore.”
Jesus, expanding upon this throughout His ministry, seems to say that it’s not just giving the bare minimum or the lowest common denominator, but giving as we can—being generous. So, the New Testament principle is really that principle of generosity, which is why I say ten percent is a good starting point.
So, the question that people need to ask themselves is, “Am I being generous with what God has entrusted to me?” While that certainly entails our money and our treasures, it also entails our talents, our gifts, and our time. That’s a simple answer and we could spend a lot more time talking about that, but I hope that suffices for the time being.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Burk Parsons and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.