If you don’t already listen daily to the Ask Pastor John (Piper) podcast, I urge you to make it a regular part of your spiritual diet. In a recent episode, a caller asked John Piper this question. Continue reading . . .
If you don’t already listen daily to the Ask Pastor John (Piper) podcast, I urge you to make it a regular part of your spiritual diet. In a recent episode, a caller asked John Piper this question. It is one that I am also frequently asked:
“Pastor John, when it comes to giving 10% of my income to a church — my tithe — can I split the money and give, say, 5% to my church and 5% to a non-profit Christian ministry?” What would you say about splitting the tithe?
Here is the answer Piper provided.
My guess is that some of our listeners, as soon as they hear that question would ask: Do I even share the assumption that Christians have to tithe? So let me start there.
No, the tithe, ten percent of your income, is not a “have to” in the New Testament. The New Testament puts the life of the Christian on a new footing that is different from the Old Testament law. Paul said in Romans 7:6, “Now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the old way of the written code.”
So, for example, when Paul gives instructions about how we should give, he never instructs us to lay aside a tithe. He says things like, “Put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper” (1 Corinthians 16:2). And then he says in 2 Corinthians 8:3 that we should give according to our means “as I can testify, and they gave beyond their means, of their own accord.” And in 2 Corinthians 9:6–7 he describes the giving that God delights in. “Whoever sow