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Offline Mature

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Tithe Controversy

It has now become customary that every year we will argue and drag each other online over payment of tithes.

I have never been, and will never be against anyone choosing to pay tithe. But I am Vehemently against teachings such as:

1. Paying of tithes unlock your financial growth.
2. Not paying tithe is the reason you are poor or suffering or unmarried.
3. Not paying tithe will take you to hell.

As I said, I am VEHEMENTLY against such teachings. They are lies, manipulations, superstitious, emotional blackmail and at best a subtle way of extortion and selling of God's blessings.

Every form of giving or offering in the church must model 2 Corinthians 9:7

"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Infact, to break it down down down. . . The New International Reader's version Bible translated that passage thus:

"You should each give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver."

All the arguments and counter arguments on tithe won't have been coming up every now and then assuming some persons are not hijacking the payment of tithes and making it look like our salvation is tied to it.

We are also having all these back and forth arguments on tithe because people have cherry picked what suits them in the Bible. For if we follow strictly the Bible on tithe, then the argument will be lost on Christians because:

1. First, to pay tithe, we must have Levites: It is only the Levites that collect tithes. And they do this in the presence of the priest (Nehemiah 10:37-39).

The Levites were given this mandate because they have no inheritance (Deuteronomy 14: 27,29).

In the strict sense of what neccesitated the giving of tithes to the Levites, no minister in any of our Churches today qualifies to be Levites.

To be a Levite, you must be from the tribe of Levi. Levites still exist till date, but they don’t believe that Jesus is God unlike priests and pastors in our churches.

2. Secondly, in Deuteronomy 14:22, tithes are supposed to be paid annually. If we are really interested in following the Bible strictly, then it can’t be monthly even if you claim you are paid monthly.

3. The Israelites don’t just drop their tithes and leave. No! In Deuteronomy 14: 23-26 you are mandated to eat your tithe with the poor, the orphans, etc. It is usually the tithe of your tithe (10% of your tithe) that the Levites collect and take to the store house of God. (Nehemiah 10:38-39).

For example, assuming your tithe is N100, N10 will be taken to the store house, the remaining N90 is what you will eat with the poor.

4. Tithe was NEVER monetized. You are mandated to eat your tithe (produce) with the poor. In the case where you live far and may not be able to carry your produce to the place designated by God, you are to sell the produce, convert them into money and travel light, so that upon reaching the place Yahweh had designated, you will use the money and buy things which you will use to eat and drink with the poor and your household. No where was payment of tithe monetized, despite the fact that they had money then. Please try and read Deuteronomy 14:22-26 and see for yourself.

5. And finally,  Malachi 3:8-10 was not in anyway referring to today's Christians. I will show you why.

If you take your time to read Nehemiah Chapters 9 and 10, you will see that the people of Israel assembled and on their own VOLITION and WILLINGNESS and without COERCION made promises to God.

They called it a “firm agreement” about what they will be offering God every year. They made these promises in writing.

I will quote some of the agreements they made in Nehemiah 10. Remember, they made this agreement FREELY.

In Verse 32 they said: “We also lay on ourselves the obligation to charge ourselves yearly ONE THIRD OF A SHEKEL for the service of the house of our God.”

Verse 35: “We obligate ourselves to bring the FIRST FRUITS of our soil and the first fruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year.”

Verse 36,37,38: “Also we OBLIGATE OURSELVES to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the FIRSTBORN OF OUR SONS and of our LIVESTOCK. . .And to bring to the LEVITES the TITHE from our soil. . .And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the LEVITES shall RECEIVE the TITHES.”

So, when the Israelites were NOT keeping all they wrote and swore to do, especially with paying tithes, and when the Levites were not bringing the tithe of the tithes to the store house of God, it necessitated those words from Malachi that they were robbing God. Other versions used “defrauding,” “afflicting” etc. of course when you make a promise and adamantly violate it, what is it called?

This is why when Christians of today begin to quote Malachi 3:10 and apply it to themselves as though they are still under the law, it just shows their ignorance of the scripture and in that process, they make a mess of the death and resurrection of Christ that ushered in a new Convenant where tithe is not emphasized, offering first born son or animals and laws on the Sabbath are not emphasized.

With all the reasons above, if anyone decides on his or her own volition to give money they called tithe in the spirit of 2 Cor 9:7, I have no problem with that. But the moment a minister/ministers start making it a MUST, threatening death and curse and attributing one's successes and failures in life to tithing, then I will be here to remind them that tithe is not even required in the first place and that christians who chose not to pay tithe have not done anything wrong.

~Fr Kelvin Ugwu msp
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