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Back in 2013, in my home Church, something happened that changed my whole perspective. An alter call for donations was made, thus:
“Praise tha Lord o. Our Daddy in the Lord is visiting us with his army of Soldiers. We need to look after our daddy very well. We need to lodge him in the most expensive hotel in town for one week. Feed him and mummy, transport him and look after him while he is with us.”
I was already making calculations in my head at this point, with the idea of the price of the most expensive hotel, and what it costs to lodge people.
Then the announcer continued…
“We are also going to look after his 50-man entourage, likewise. It would cost us at least N100k per day to look after Daddy and Mummy, and at least N70k per day to look after each of his 50-man entourage.”
I’m quite fast with numbers, most especially when these numbers are about money. Thus, it took me less than a minute to come up with a sum total of what they expected us to donate so we can “look after” the spiritual leader of the church. We are talking about a fundraising of not less than N25.2 million Naira here. For what? To have the spiritual leader come and preach to us for a couple of hours per week.
When the calls were made for those who want to give N50k and above to walk down to the “healing ground” for special prayers, I was about to go. I had N50k to give. But then, I snapped within me. I remembered that there are families who are struggling to feed. I remembered that there are children who can’t go back to school because they can’t afford tuition. I remembered that there are people in hospitals who are dying because they can’t afford treatments of N10k.
I had initially wanted to stand up to walk to the front with my N50k, but I saw myself parking my bag, and walking out of the church.
I went out, waved an Okada man, and asked him to take me to the central hospital. I went into the hospital, then asked the nurse if there was anyone struggling with medical bills. I was showed two patients. One was a woman who had just put to bed, and two was a child who had just been treated for malaria. I gave them N15k each. The child could now be allowed to go home. His petty trader single mother almost rolled on the floor thanking me. What for? N15k? It was embarrassing as well as fulfilling…. I actually dropped a tear.
I took a bike to the car park, saw a crippled beggar, he was carrying his plastic plate begging the food seller for food. I gave him N5k and also brought him food.
I went back to Church to join my parents, just like nothing happened.
The following day, I went to the primary school I attended at some point, greeted the head teacher, and asked if there was any student struggling financially. I was showed some. I chose three. I gave each of them N10k. I ended up spending over N65k on strangers who needed my money the most. I paid hospital bills, fed a beggar for at least one week, and paid tuition fees for three.
Any God who thinks that I should be in hell because I didn’t enrich an already stinking rich man who is a thousand times richer than myself and my parents, but rather gave that money to the poor, is a God I never want to have anything to do with.
This was the beginning of it all.
I don’t believe in tithing. That’s a modern-day religious scam.
But I do “tithe”.
Everything that I should have dropped in the Church accounts goes directly to the poor. I pay tuition fees for people, I pay hospital bills, and I feed the poor. All these I do whenever I have the money to do it.
After this experience in 2013, I felt so happy within myself. I felt an inner Joy. I still feel joy within each time I remember that I have put and keep putting smiles on the faces of people who almost had no hope at some points, just with my N10k, N20k, here and there. So, I made a vow in 2013 that love is going to be my religion where I would be paying my tithe and offerings to people, mainly strangers that won’t recognize me again some hours after.
Even the Bible says, whatsoever you do to the least of thou brethren, so you do unto me.
Jesus Christ gave more than he received. The early missionaries that brought Christianity to Nigeria gave more than they received. They built schools, hospitals, and churches for free. They did a lot to improve human lives, and asked for nothing back…. only believe.
But the opposite is what we have amongst Nigerian pastors these days. They make their gullible members milk cows to enrich themselves.
What is a sane man, who goes by the title “GO” in a country where many only survive on less than a dollar a day doing with four private jets? That has gone beyond greed, that’s insanity! And Nigerians keep enabling these brands of insanities.
Nigerian pastors and GOs will continue getting richer for as long as the average Nigerian Christian remains gullible. This gullibility is simply self-inflicted-mental-laziness. You have refused to think with your brains, so these GOs think for you. And they think for you to their own benefits.
I don’t give in Churches anymore. Heaven knows I won’t give a dime to a multi-billionaire pastor while there are still beggars on the streets.
Nigerian Christians need to start using their brains. This is URGENT!
Think man, think woman, because no one ever died of thinking critically with his or her brain.
Even though I become a billionaire today, no Nigerian pastor would get a dime from me. My “tithes”, arms, offerings, and seeds would all go directly to the poor in my society. Not to some of the richest people in the world.
I AM A SON OF GOD..................
All these gists on Tithes are annoying.
For me, I recommend instead of giving Tithes .. go to the hospitals, hug a patient, give them a bath, give them a perk and contribute to their bills, run errands for them, be their voice to fight for them (as they are entitled to better life). Help the senior citizens. Fight for the domestic violence victims. Go to Prisons. Fight for the uneducated.
Majority of the Pastors have relegated themselves to being big time NUISANCE, from healing Obesity, permanent erection in males to 'blessing' passports to go get VISA - all by funny looking fellows called Pastors.
Churches are not taxed. They hardly have register of their members contribution to present to govt, so members can enjoy tax rebates.
I dey find difficulty to appreciate why their Universities & hospitals fees are competing with private business concerns when everything for them is TAX FREE when dem Business concerns are relatively taxed.
I won't bother to quote verses from Bible before I go misquote, then they use me as example of "WHO DEVIL DEY USE".
I am Curtis Eghosa Ugbo and I Just want a better Oredo LGA cum Edo State cum Nigeria for the masses of the people.
REV. FR OKITE EXPLAINS THE LAW ON TITHES IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S CONCERN FOR THE POOR
I call on all Priests and Ministers of the Gospel to rethink the meaning of our life and vocation.
Each person should ask himself why he choose to become a Priest or a Gospel Minister.
What does God expect of me as a Priest or Minister of God ?
The Priest is alter Christus, another Christ in the Catholic Church. What this means is that people who encounter me (him), should be able to see the touching presence of Christ in and through me (him). They should be able to feel Chist’s love and compassion, his care and concern. My words should reveal and reflect Christ’s message of hope and salvation.
What we find in the Church today is, an overall Exploitation of the Poorest of the poor. Some Parish Priests or Gospel Ministers cannot begin a Sunday Mass and end it without calling for two or more extra collections outside the regular offertory. This is highly unacceptable. I call this “Exploitation of the People’s Faith and Devotion.”
Presently Nigeria is going through one of the worst economic downturn in its history. Life is at its ebb. Families can’t afford their food daily. Yet they somehow manage to give some to the Church.
We should all be grateful for this. But the greedy, is not satisfied with this. He must, like Oliver Twist, ask for more, until the pockets are drained. The Priest should take cognisance of the real life situations of his flock.
RPart of our duty as Priests in these hard times is to help our people to navigate through the difficulties that face them, and we cannot do this if we exploit them financially.
Recently the idea of tithes and tithing has crept into the Church. Clearly this is one of those influences we picking up from Pentecostalism. However, is it justitifiable biblically and otherwise?
My answer is a categorical NO.
In the Old Testament texts which speak about tithes, the whole idea was that of a redistribution of wealth, in order to make sure that the people who don’t have would get something from those who have more.
It was not something principally to be offered to Priests or those who served at the altar. If you take Deut 14:22-29 for instance, this point becomes clear. I call on everyone, to go and read this passage very well.
The idea here is that there was an annual occasion for tithing, in which each family was to take one tenth (i.e. the tithe) of their year’s produce to the temple, and there in the temple the family itself (not the priests) will together eat what they have brought. In their feasting however, they are enjoined not to forget the Levites, “because they have no property or inheritance”.
They should also remember to share some of it with “the resident foreigner, the orphan and the widow.” So tithing as the book of Deuteronomy makes clear is an occasion for feasting, in which a part of it is shared with the poor, namely the Levites, the resident foreigners, the widows and orphans.
One may argue that the Priests are the Levites of our time. That may be correct, but in this passage what entitles the Levites to a share in the tithe is not his serving the Lord, but the fact of his possessing no property. The Priests of today (or in the Protestant and Pentecostal churches, the pastor, minister, evangelist) all have possessions: cars, landed property, fat bank accounts, etc. They no longer belong to the poor who were meant to eat the tithes with the people.
The primary concern in the Deuteronomic law on tithes is that the people, by means of a communion meal before the Lord, involving one tenth of their produce, should recognise God as the one who gave the land and its increase, and tha they should share it with those who do not have.
When we come to the famous passage in Malachi 3, God laments that the people rob him by not bringing in their tithes.
This passage in Malachi can only be interpreted in reference to the bringing in of tithes means in Deuteronomy. That is to say, God laments that people were not bringing their tithes to the temple to eat as the Law requires, but were eating them them at home. And by doing so, the poor people including the Levites, the widows and orphans, could not get their own share. God’s concern for the poor is offended.
Now leaving the Bible aside, let’s talk of Morality and Justice. What moral justification can a Priest or Pastor who owns a car, sometimes the latest model in town, has millions in his bank account, owns buildings all over, lives in Parish house that is paid for and catered for by the parishioners, whose feeding and overhead expenses are taken care of by others. What moral justification can such a person ever have to demand that a poor parishioner, whose earning is so meagre, should give him 10% of it, under false pretence that you are the modern day Levite.
There is a huge difference. The difference is that the modern day Priest is, to say the least, well-to-do while the ancient Levite was destitute. When the Priest or Minister or Pastor under the pretext of being a Levite, demands tithes from his congregation, that would amount to exploitation and forming part of the oppressive machinery. Only a warped sense of rightness, fuelled by egoism, will allow that.
So my advice to fellow priests is that we should keep the seeking of self interest and financial gains by the side and focus on service to the people.
On a further note, discipline and self control are very important in our lives as Priests and Men of God.
Pope Francis have given Priests, the following Seven ‘Pillars’ of Priesthood:-
1) The strength of a priest depends on his relationship with Christ.
2) Priests must be close to the people he serves.
3) A priest’s authority must be linked to service, especially to the care and protection of the poorest, weakest, the least important and most easily forgotten.
4) A Priest must be a minister of mercy.
5) The Priest is called to a simplicity of life.
6) The Priest must be a model of integrity.
7) The Priest is to be a source of blessing for his people.
TITHE, THE GREATEST FRAUD OF MANKIND, PART 1
By Evang. Tony Akeni, (Shepherd-Minister @ Church of Christ Final Days Fellowship, Holy Ghost Fortress)
"In their misplaced zeal to defend tithe taskmasters, the Idahosas, Adeboyes, Kumuyis, Oyedepos, Oyakhilomes, Odukoyas, Oritsejafors, Suleimans, Oral Roberts, Renhart Bunkes', Creflo Dollars' and Benny Hinns of this world, they (Christian masses and their culprit denomination leaders today) dare call to question the divine revelations of Apostle Paul to the church universal (abolishing tithes in the New Testament age). What audacity..."
IT IS THOSE WHO DEMAND TITHES THAT ARE ROBBERS IN CHRIST'S TEMPLE, NOT THOSE WHO DO NOT PAY
Tithing is a sternly forbidden doctrine, a practice distinctly outside the perimeters of Christ's New Testament gospel and the priceless liberties of His finished Salvation work. If your work or rest right now is more important than your Salvation, if it is too important to take down your hard copy of the Bible and carefully examine the scriptures given in this article as the Berean Christians of old did (Act 17:11), then there is no use to continue reading.
In recent weeks, Christendom in Nigeria has been embroiled over the subject of tithing among Christians. The commotion which started like a small spark of corrective campaign against tithing doctrine in an online video by a radio presenter, Daddy Freeze, has since spread from Nigeria through the West African coast to Ghana. I guarantee you that because it is the will of Christ in these last days to ignite among His elect the passion of His full truth and free Salvation, the blaze will not go away. Rather, like Moses' burning bush, which had the Holy Spirit as its unseen combustor, the fire of the tithe debate shall increase into an unstoppable inferno till it burns throughout the whole world wherever Christ is named and where the father of lies, Satan, has become due to be exposed and shamed.
Unfortunately, so far, the scripture evidence and bastions offered by the anti-tithe minority to explain this purest of Christian Truth - that Tithe is an anti-Christ teaching - are currently very weak for many to appreciate. Thus, the voice of the minority who tell the truth that demanding or paying tithes is against Christ's New Testament teachings are being drowned by the ignorant emotions, mass opium enchantments, greed and "intimidating" size of Nigeria's and the world's larger-than-God "Pentacostal Kings." These Czars of today who violate Christ's church with their slick heresies, who preach and demand tithes, are the actual breakers of God's laws and enemies of Christ's salvation liberty from the ordinances of the Old Testament. Ordinances which Jehovah drew up in olden times strictly for the Jewish nation and their synagogues as they prepared to enter the Promised Land for the first time (Deut. 5:1-3)
It is a cruel violation of ignorant worshippers to use the abolished statutes of Old Testament laws which were categorically issued for the Jews to continue to hold in captivity the vast masses of "pentecostal" Christendom who drink daily from their exploitative opium of tithe-for-miracles sermons and apostasy.
Consider the following scriptures.
1) For whom were tithe laws enacted by God? Deut. 26:12 explains expressly that tithes are for four strict unchangeable categories of recipients: (a) the Levites of Israel as their inheritance, being forbidden by God to work; (Deut 10:8-9); (b) the stranger living among Israelites (as sojourners or immigrants. For example, economically challenged Libyans living among the Israelites in the Promised Land, very poor Ibos living among Yorubas in Yoruba land or vice versa, financially distressed Hausas living among Ogonis in Ogoni land and vice versa etc, were to receive a portion of tithes for their sustainance); (c) the fatherless; and (d) the widows of Israel.
2) Was tithe in cash? No. It was 10% of crop harvests or livestock possession. If the distance to convey the tithe produce to the city chosen by Jehovah, usually Jerusalem, is too far from the home town of the tithing Israelite, he sells the crops or livestock in his town, travels with the cash to the city chosen by Jehovah and on arrival uses the money to buy again any physical food item or wine, including alcoholic wine he enjoys, and delivers them to the the Levite priests. See this at Deut. 14:22-29.
3) Could the Israelites change or adjust the mode, manner or substances of tithing, for instance convert their tithes to cash and pay in cash, according to changing civilization? No! Lev. 10:1-10, Prov. 30:5-6, Rev. 22:18-19.
4) Contrary to the above, what do we have today in "churches?" Turning Christ's stern commandment of *"Peter, feed my sheep,"* to *"Sheep, feed my Peters,"* greedy wolves have taken over, after the age of the original Apostles of Christ, captured and are leading many into error, as the Apostle Paul predicted: Acts 20:26-35.
5) Many gamblers, in the name of church founders, general overseers, cardinals, shepherds and sometimes innocent pastorages, have turned the gospel to merchandize and their ubiquitous branches to trading posts. Instead of dispensing the edifying charity and equalization economy of Christ among the flock and needy of society (2 Cor. 8:12-15), they have become inexorable harvesters and pickpockets of their travailing flocks. In the process they have brought carnal materialism, emulation of private jet acquisition, auditorium size competition, branch numerousity, capitalist academia beyond the affordability of their distressed flocks, "damnable heresies" and ridicule to the glorious gospel of Christ among the nations: 2 Peter 2:1-2, 3-8.
6) No surprise. The same kind of dizzying charisma and hypnotism of error teachers which carry away today's lazy studying Christians and blind them to the truth that tithe is a huge, perverted fraud happened to the early Galatians believers. Many in Christendom are laid back, scripture lukewarm or too busy to personally search the Holy Scripture for themselves in order to become approved for Christ's Kingdom. Instead, they have only itching ears dedicated to miracle preachings and a shepherd-worshipping mentality rather than true Christ devotion. This is why they are easy sheep led daily into captivity by the charming sermons of carnal denomination kings as if "bewitched:" Gal. 3:1
7) If any Christian must pay tithes or obey any other Old Testament law not carried over, *not continued*, by the Apostles in the New Testament, he must consequently also obey all other laws (more than 660 ordinances in all) contained in the Old Testament or he is cursed with all the curses found in the Old Testament. For the entire centuries of the Old Testament age, not a single Israelite could perfectly keep these laws up to the coming of Christ, therefore necessitating the coming of Christ to fulfil them for us and "nail" (ABOLISH) them at the Cross, then replaced them with His New Covenant: Gal. 3:10, Deut 27:26, Rom 9:30-33, Col. 2:14.
8) If any Christian believes that he would gain Salvation or God's blessings by obeying an Old Testament law not sustained in the New Testament, such as circumcision, tithes, vows, animal sacrifices, keeping the Sabbath according to its Old Testament requirements or other religious holidays the same way as in Moses' days, Scripture states unequivocally that such a person "has fallen from grace" and the death of Christ is "of no effect" for him. In which case such person has to invent his own "christ." And many shallow, so-called Christians have done so, making their church founders, general overseers, popes, shepherds, "Daddy and Mummy in the Lord" their own "Saviour" instead of Christ: Gal.5:1-4.
9) Moses himself, the arch prophet of the Old Testament, warned that in the future when God had brought Christ to mankind, everyone should stop practicing his (Moses') laws (which include the topical practice of tithing) and obey only Christ. Today, Christ's commandments are found through only two mediums: His own words, and His Apostles' teachings in the New Testament): Act 3:22, John 17:1-2, 6-9, 17-26, especially verse 20.
10) Christ's and His Apostles teachings never in any New Testament scripture called on the believers or converts to the faith at any time or place for them to exercise the Old Testament law of tithe. Instead, Christ through His Apostles *categorically* abolished it when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write that God no longer accepts any giving that has the slightest character or semblance of force, compulsion or demand, which Tithe represents. Rather, the Holy Spirit enshrined that in the New Testament era, God loves voluntary cheerful giving or offering. That giving now must be ONLY WHAT THE CHRISTIAN HAS PRIVATELY DECIDED IN HIS HEART AND IS ABLE TO GIVE JOYFULLY; not what God has decided for him in the form of a compulsory percentage of his income or gifts received in any period by a non-income earner: 2 Cor. 9:7.
11) Similarly, God abolished the entire practice of VOWS or SEED FAITH in the Christian dispensation. With a single scripture. A scripture which Satan's charismatic commercial preachers, who are still gambling in Christ's blood purchased church today, diligently hide from worshippers. This scripture declares that Christians shall not give to God anymore in the character of a vow, pledging what they shall give to Him or His work in the future if a certain prayer is answered. This scripture says: "Perform your giving from a willing mind out of what you have AT HAND. This is the type of giving God accepts now, not giving from what is not yet in your hand or what you are expecting in the future." New to you, isn't it? I refuse to be surprised. Especially if you are among my dear brothers and sisters who have been too busy to search the Scriptures. A vow or the unscriptural practice of "seed faith" refers to giving in advance "to God" in expectation of what you are praying God to do for you. Like barren Hannah did in her prayers for a son. However, the above quoted scripture has outlawed such giving among Christians. You cannot pay God for what He would do for you. How much, in the first place, did you pay Him in advance of your creation in your mother's womb and safe delivery? See 2 Cor. 8:11-12.
(12) Many either ignorant or rebellious apostates, when caught pants down with their worshippers-deceiving robbery through tithe, will quickly resort to one trick. They will tell you that the Apostle Paul wrote the tithe contradicting scriptures as am matter of his own personal opinion. That such scriptures are therefore not sacrosanct but subject to take-or-leave discretion of the believer. What a dangerous, soul sinking lie.
Examine the following scriptures and digest their eternal truth in order to escape such lies of tithe taskmasters. It is for your salvation's freedom which Christ attained for you at the cross once and for all.
a) Christ Himself called Paul to His ministry and commissioned him as His Apostle to the "gentiles, kings and the children of Israel," which therefore means the entire human race. Uniquely, Paul was the only apostle Christ called from Heaven and ordained after his crucifixion and ascension. Yet carnal church leaders and their undiscerning followers, in their misplaced zeal to defend tithe taskmasters, the Idahosas, Adeboyes, Kumuyis, Oyedepos, Oyakhilomes, Odukoyas, Oritsejafors, Okonkwos, Suleimans, Oral Roberts, Renhart Bunkes, Creflo Dollars and Benny Hinns of this world, dare call to question the Apostle Paul's divine revelations and instructions to the church universal. What audacity, dismissing the Holy Spirit inspired writings of Apostle Paul, the treasure keeper of the mysteries of Christ's gospel: Acts 9:1-16, Rom. 16:25, Eph. 1:9. Such rebellious denomination kings against Christ's truth reject to take into account the revelation that "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God..." These include those that came as the gentle opinions of the Apostles, the very First Christians who PHYSICALLY touched Christ, ate with Him, trampled the dusts of Jerusalem streets with Him and leaned on His shoulders during break times. 2 Tim 3:16, 1 John :1:1-4).
B) Concerning his New Testament instructions by the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: "What! Did you originate the word of God, or were you the only one who heard it? If any man considers himself to be a prophet (given the ability to correctly interpret the mystery of God and speak for God) let him proclaim that the things I (Apostle Paul) wrote to you are the *COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD* (not suggestions for believers' discretionary obedience). But if any man decides to continue in his ignorance, let him continue:" 1 Cor.14:36-37. It was like Paul saying: "We shall see at the Judgment!"
c) Finally, the Apostle Peter warns those who make jest of or take lightly Apostle Paul's scripture revelations in these soflty chilling words: "...Our beloved brother Paul also, ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GIVEN HIM, HAS WRITTEN TO YOU. As in all his letters to the churches, some of the things he writes about are difficult to understand. People who are not knowledgeable and are unstable wrestle with his teachings the same way they fight other scriptures TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION." Study 2 Pet 3:15-18.
In a nutshell, *TITHE IS THE GREATEST FRAUD OF MANKIND*. This is because it is not a fraud perpetuated in the name of man, an eartly corporation, constituency, authority or country but in the name of the most fearful deity ever known to man, GOD ALMIGHTY. Right in His House and under His eyeballs.
Evang. Tony Akeni, Shepherd-Minister @ Church of Christ Final Days Fellowship (Holy Ghost Fortress)
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