By Nigeria World
The raging controversies concerning the payment of tithes, has attracted the news media to seek the attention of Pastors. Nigeriaworld.com captured the opinions of some of Nigerians Pastors, unfortunately, none of the prominent General Overseer was part of them. The concerns Pastors focus on the scriptures, which is the Holy Bible as the proper reference point as to whether or not the payment of tithe is justifiable. Please read their below opinion.
I will like to answer your question with a few key words and questions. Who is tithe really meant for? It is meant for the widows, the poor, the orphans, and the underprivileged Malachi 3:5, Acts 4:34-37. What is a storehouse? A storehouse is not just the church II Chronicles 32:27-28, Genesis 41:56, Deuteronomy 28:8. To whom should the tithe be given? Tithes should be given to the Levite, strangers, fatherless and widow. Deuteronomy 26:12-13; 12:6-7.
How much should be given to the church? Only tenth of your tithes Nehemiah 10:38. All the rest (90%), needs to be given to the strangers, fatherless and widows, Deuteronomy 14:22.
Can you use the tithe to take care of your own family needs? Yes. Deuteronomy 12:11-12. Is the tithe compulsory in the New Testament? No. Jesus never commanded it and the Apostles never commanded it. But it is only permitted in the New Testament Matthew 23:23. Is there anything more important than the tithe? Yes. The weightier matters are more important, which is love, kindness, justice, truth, mercy, faithfulness. These are value systems of the Kingdom of God. They are more important than tithes.
Are you cursed if you don’t pay your tithes? No. Jesus has become a curse for us Galatians 3:10. In Malachi 3:8-10, the curse that is talked about here does not relate to Christians, it is relating to the nation of Israel; the priests and the elders, politicians of the land.
What should the money collected in the church in tithe and offering in the New Testament be spent on; what should it be used for? It should be used to take care of the needy members of the church and the needy people of the society Acts 4:34-37. Is seed sowing about money? No. In Luke 6:36-38, the seed sowing it talks about here is about mercy, justice, forgiveness, not money.
Is it right to give your last in offering? It is wrong. II Chroncicles 8:12. God only accepts when you give only what you can afford. Is tithe to be given in money? No. Tithe in the Old Testament was given in produce, agricultural produce. Luke 11:41-42 • Pastor Sunday Adelaja (Founder, Embassy of God Church, Ukraine)
The total contribution of all African states to the GDP globally, is 2.5 per cent. The total involvement of all the nations in Africa to investments and assets globally is also less than two per cent. Those who can think will know that the sum total of what we call tithes coming from Nigeria is subsumed in the less than 2 per cent global assets and investment.
This so-called controversy over tithe, if you look at it spiritually, is a distraction that the church cannot afford at this moment. A lot of those who are speaking on the issue are gullible to satanic wiles. Instead of us talking about what can save the lives of our children in Libya, Italy and those being buried in the Sahara desert, we are now being diverted to unproductive discussions that God will not even pay attention to. The greatest form of corruption in life now is the devaluation of human worth. Instead of us to get out of this form of slavery, we are still focusing on fighting inside the mud.
Some of us with the mind of Christ do not think with the religious or intelligent mindset to interpret issues of tithes and others. The definition of corruption by foreign anti-corruption agencies like the World Bank and Amnesty International is financial (indiscipline) because they are shying away from the worst form of corruption, which is the deliberate devaluation of human values. Whenever it comes to spiritual issues like righteousness, holiness, and giving, what should matter to you the most, is what does God think? You can only know what to do with the tithe when you have the mind of Christ.
The number one law governing spiritual sacrifice is for the giver to completely give himself wholly unto God. • Rev. Ladi Thompson (Founder, Living Waters Unlimited Church International)
The principles of tithing are expressly and explicitly stated in the Bible. Abraham, the father of faith, paid tithe to Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest (Genesis 14:20). It was never a practice by the Israelites or in church history that tithes be paid to individual priests. Of course, there are no Melchizedeks in the world today. God commanded the Israelites to pay a tithe of all their harvest-grain, fruit, and herd/flock, among others (Leviticus 27:30). God asked those who default in payment of tithe to redeem it by adding a fifth of the value (20 per cent) to the tithe (Leviticus 27:31). Payment of tithe to support the work of the Lord in a church is based on covenant relationship of individual persons with God. When such persons are faithful in paying tithes, it enhances their relationship with God and vice versa (Malachi 3:8-12). The Bible states that unfaithfulness is robbing God of the resources needed to do his work and care for people.
Tithes and offerings are to be given as the Lord provides (weekly, monthly or otherwise). They are also to be paid to the storehouse (interpreted as the purse and place where people who covenant to worship and serve God together agree) (Malachi 3:10). The church is to decide how to apply tithe to help the poor. A Christian is free and encouraged to give more personally to care for other persons.
God did not command us to pay tithes to priests in the Bible. They are not to be paid directly to pastors, evangelists or missionaries. They are to be paid into the church for people to decide how to spend it for various purposes, including remuneration/care of church workers like pastors and others, the poor/needy, operations and projects of the congregation (physical or ministerial). Pastors ought to be paid salaries and allowances from the tithes. Pastors who cherish honour and integrity find contentment in so doing. Pastors who insist that tithes be paid directly to them, are treating God’s offering with contempt. (I Samuel 2:17). • Rev. Prof. Emiola Nihinlola (President, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso)
Payment of tithes is biblical. The Bible states in Malachi 3:8 that we should bring our tithes to the storehouse. The Lord accused the Israelites of robbing Him by not paying their tithes. In the Old Testament, God commanded us to bring tithes to His house.
Tithe is 10 per cent of the total profit made after a business transaction, or the salary/wages that one receives after performing a task assigned to him or her over a period of time. It is not necessary that tithes are paid monthly. Payment of tithes should be in accordance with one’s earnings.
Tithes were originally meant to be given to the priests, who are serving at the Lord’s table, because the Lord said the Levites would not be given any portion of land. That meant they should not engage in any form of labour but would rather pray for the people and offer sacrifices to God on their behalf.
The practice nowadays is that the money is brought to the church and it is used for evangelical purposes, including maintaining the church.
It is not a sin for anybody to divide his tithe among the poor, but the commandment from God is that the tithe should be taken to the church. The free will offering is what could be given to the poor.
I don’t think one will not prosper if one doesn’t pay tithes, after all, there are many wicked people doing well in their own way, but it is a sin when you disobey God. It is like God has given you much and asked you to bring a tenth of it, but you refuse. When you pay tithes, you receive more blessings.
In my own church, we give account of the money that comes in, including tithes. • Most Rev. Amos Ogunrinde (Bishop, Methodist Diocese of Osogbo)
Tithe is biblical. When you use the word biblical, is it written in the Bible? In the Old Testament, the word ‘tithe’ appears 14 times and the word ‘tithes’ appears 24 times; and out of the 24 times, it appears in the New Testament five times. Also of the 14 times, tithe appears twice in the New Testament. Of the five times, you find tithes in Luke when Jesus talks about it while the other four times is in Hebrews. So, tithe is biblical and no one can dispute it.
The New Testament commands beyond tithe. In fact, you will discover in the New Testament that we are bought and we should glorify God with our body, including our belongings. The New Testament goes beyond 10 per cent. All that we have belongs to Him (God). As I speak to you, I pay more than 50 per cent as tithe. The New Testament goes beyond tithe. There’s no way you will say a man is in Christ and his money is outside Christ.
The poor in the New Testament should limit themselves to 10 per cent, but those who are well-off should go beyond that. What we’re against is pastors investing in this world as if they’re going to carry this world away. The money should be used to take care of needs in the church. That was what happened in the early church.
Tithe must be brought to the church (Malachi 3: 10). You don’t give your tithe to somebody else like orphans or the hungry. In the Old Testament, there were people who were recording tithes. If a member is not paying his tithe, it means he is not faithful. If you belong to Igbe (traditional worshippers), cult groups or what have you, there are dues that must be paid. Tithe is a due in the church.
Pastors should give account of tithes and offerings to their congregation. There is no crime in it. It is not the pastor’s money, but that of the whole church. It’s the misuse of tithes and offerings that is generating this type of controversy. Account should be given to members, not to government because it is a not-for-profit organisation.
The Bible says bring all your tithes into God’s house. It’s the responsibility of the church to take care of the poor. If we all took our tithes to the poor, the orphanages would be richer than the church. Paying tithes opens windows of blessings. Tithing is a godly directive. The controversy has no basis and should be discarded. • Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi (Senior Pastor, Heroes of Faith Ministries Inc. and Delta State Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria).
The above narrative are opinions from various Pastors, and the common ground that seems similar to their scriptural analysis is that God is not going to punish those who did not pay, though some claimed it is a sin for refusing to pay, while other think otherwise, it would have been difficult for the wicked among us to be prospering if God was indeed using the non-payment of tithe as opportunity to cut off their blessings.
Again, conspicuously missing is the opinions of our mega Pastors, they are seems as the categories that attracts great influence and affluence, by implication are supposed to be more versed with the contents of the Holy Bible, and in position to give a break down and satisfactory explanations. Instead, they are the ones that tend to reign insults and cursed on people for voicing out social ills that are denting the image of the churches, instead of using the Bible as their references.
Looking at the incident in John 8:1-11, if Christianity is based on Jesus teachings, instead of condemning the adulterer woman, he forgave and told her to sin no more. Jesus focus His teachings on love, forgiveness and charities for the poor, why did Nigerian prominent Pastors always resort to reigning curses, intimidation and threats as weapons, in situation where logic and reference from the Holy Book will be an instrument to convinced doubting minds?