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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Please Don't Pay Tithes!





Tithing has become one of the most controversial aspects of Christianity in Nigeria, and the person who seems to be singlehandedly championing this cause is Daddy Freeze. 

Sunday morning a while back, I listened to him at his workplace, Cool fm 96.9 and it seemed that Cool fm had made him the resident reverend, seeing as it was a Sunday morning and it was the slot usually reserved for sermons or pastors. Freeze adopted the booming voice of a preacher on a pulpit, and of all the many great things one could talk to Christians about on a Sunday morning, Freeze chose to talk about the scam call tithing. Nothing surprising there as Freeze has suddenly become an evangelist and his calling must be Oyedepo-bashing. The only message his ministry seems focused on is Pastors are 419ers and Yahoo boys; do not pay tithe! 

He shared with his listeners the reasons he believes that nobody should pay tithe to their pastors and suggested other ways they can spend their own money. He shared the story of one of his followers who said he was going to work one morning when a neighbor rushed out of his apartment crying that his child was ill and needed to be rushed to the hospital but he needed 30k which he didn't have. The follower also had nothing on him, so they rushed to another neighbour who admitted that he had 30k BUT that it was his tithe and he could not part with it. And so this so-called christian rather than save the life of a little child, chose to pay tithe and enrich the pocket of a thieving pastor. 

I wondered if it occured to Freeze that this neighbour just didn't want to give them the money and lied about it being his tithe. But that's all besides the point. 

Freeze used this one isolated incident to portray Christians and their pastor-worship. Freeze seems to have made it his life's purpose to stop every Nigerian from paying tithe, especially to Bishop Oyedepo and Adeboye. So I was not surprised when I heard him this morning on Naija Info 99.3fm where he was a guest. The topic was Should Churches Pay Tax? Of course you already know Freeze's take on this, and he somehow found a way to make it about tithes and called into question the wealth of churches owned by Oyedepo, Adeboye, Paul Adefarasin and Tony Rapu. He asked what wealthy churches are doing to better the lives of the common man, and other questions. 

He reiterated once again the tithes should not be paid but instead these monies be sown as seeds into people's lives. His point is; rather than pay that 10% to your pastor, use it to feed your hungry neighbour. 

I quite agree, because what's the point of Christianity if not love? But I wonder why people like Freeze think that paying tithe precludes you from feeding your neighbour... Like, I could give 10% of my income to my church and feed the poor with 40% or even the 90%? Does this possibility simply fly over their heads?

I understand that there are many false prophets and common criminals posed as pastors and people fall victim to them daily. But I reckon that until you've got evidence that that wealthy pastor with a billion followers is a sham, leave him and his followers be. 

I need Freeze and his devotees to understand that for many people, paying tithe is not remotely about the money. It is about the faith they have in the blessings that they believe will come as a result of obeying God's words. Malachi 3:10 perhaps...

FAITH. It's that faith that activates the blessings not the 10%, not the money. And that is what they believe. And most times, what you believe is what works for you! 

I believe that people should be allowed to practice their faith how they deem fit, and Freeze should respect that. I've heard so many arguments for and against tithing, most of them backed by scripture. 
     I think that each person should read their bible with understanding, and be discerning when it comes to giving (and tithing). Some people can attest to stupendous miracles and doors that their tithes have opened. And these are their own testimonies. Who are you to question it?
    Some don't tithe yet and greatly blessed. That's their testimony too! 
    As a Christian, I'm all for living according to God's words to the best of my ability. However I personally tend to avoid churches that insist I bring my tithe and try to put me on a guilt-trip for not tithing (or sowing). 


But that's just me. What are your thoughts on tithing? 

Oh, speaking of taxing the church, if there was transparency and accountability in the Nigerian government I'd be in support of taxing churches and mosques. But not in present day Nigeria, no please! That money'll still go straight into somebody's pockets so...





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10 comments:

  1. We're in the era where Religious practices/dogmas are misunderstood and misconstrued. We are confused about what principles we ought to portray and this has led us to so many unnecessary alarming conclusions on alot of sensitive issues. So, instead of the LOVE and PEACE we should have in our Religious institutions, it's been total unprecedented CHAOS.

    When David wanted to build the Temple, GOD made it pretty clear to him that a solid structure was not the kind of impression HE desired of David, and even Solomon acknowledged that in his prayers after the Temple was built. The Holy Scriptures also makes it pretty clear that burnt offerings and sacrifices are nothing compared to the intimate details of a man's heart. This doesn't mean that GOD doesn't appreciate Religious Structures or sacrifices - HE does. It only means that the essence of Religion begins with YOU and your NEIGHBOR.

    You can imagine a scenario (assuming Freeze is telling the truth because I find that hard to believe) where someone's child is dying and the only person who could offer help is more concerned about "tithe". Imagine people who can't afford to have one decent meal a day but are compelled to "sow seed". On Sunday, no chop, sow seed; on Monday, no chop, abuse Buhari because of the economy. And when dem de call people wey get sense, you go raise hand.

    Paying tithe is a holy obligation, but today at most, it has become more like a compulsion (no thanks to the clergy) and since we're an extremely gullible flock, compulsive tithing has successfully taken over. This is why someone can even go as far as starving himself to death because "na tithe moni remain for my hand".

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    1. I agree with you Memphis. But I think this goes way beyond tithing to some "christian's" utter gullibility. It's kinda like drinking petrol or eating grass because the pastor you should. Christians need to be enlightened and learn to think for themselves. Now to tithing, if after being enlightening and educated, one decides that he/she still wants to pay tithe, what gives another the right to stop them from doing so?

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    2. It's scripturally correct to pay tithes, it is an instruction from God. Are there false prophets? Yes. Is it our place to decide not to pay tithe because of this? No. Do we now become right by disobeying God because of the gimmicks of men? No. Should we forgo senseless debates and work on building a closer relationship with God? Yes.
      A girl

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  2. "I believe that people should be allowed to practice their faith how they deem fit, and Freeze should respect that".
    Educating the people is a must for all of us, even when we know the choice is theirs; I believe Freeze respects that people can practice what they like.

    I am neither pro or anti Freeze but what he is doing is the same thing we have been talking about for long. People must be liberated if this society wants to move forward. Government has the responsibility to prevent deception, just like they attacked and destroyed MMM and others.
    The Bible says that we should give to Caesars, what belongs to Caesars. Your argument about corruption in government as excuse to not tax the churches and mosques cannot be correct. The law of the land must be obeyed if it is mandatory for them to pay tax.

    Seriously, how do you pull all the so called tithes to go invest in businesses and turn around to claim they belong to the church to avoid taxes?? Nobody should be exempted from paying taxes, no church should invest in business without paying taxes and no church should collect money from people without rendering account of how the money is being used.

    Are we not doomed with some of these thinking about the church of today?

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    Replies
    1. Good morning Wale. At the moment it's not the law of the land to tax churches and religious bodies so I don't think that there is an actual disobedience.

      I am all for educating and enlightening the people as, truth be told, many are gullible and fall victim to scammers cloaked as pastors. That is why I suggest that each tithing Christian goes back to the bible, reads and understands it for him/herself and decide what not do. Not to be told if or how to pay tithe. I believe that tithing, like giving or sowing seeds is very personal and each person's prerogative. I do not believe that anybody has the right to tell me NOT to pay my tithes and that is what Freeze does.

      I am totally against churches going into businesses with church money and making money from it, so I strongly believe that checks and balances should be put in place, but that may be a very difficult feat. And no please, I still don't think this government should collect any more tax than its already doing, I'm yet to see a thing it's doing for the people with all the taxes it's collecting right now. Yes churches should be taxed but I fear unless things change in our government, it would be like pouring water into a basket. So we're only going to be enriching a different set of people anyways...

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  3. I personally do not pay tithes and I don't believe God has or is going to punish me for not doing so. I am not pentecostal, so my church is even more conservative- meaning no Father or Reverend with Private Jet. I just feel more obligated to give my resources to the less fortunate directly...at least I feel like I have obeyed God. Thats just me...to those who pay tithes I say more grease to their elbows.

    www.pynk360.com

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  4. When it comes to tithing discussion...I just keep quiet.

    My advice for Freeze is that he should make his points without insulting the pastors. Not necessary.

    Peace.

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  5. "Give and it wld be given unto you..."

    With faith,no one asks where it wld come from. Was gonna mention MMM but I'll pass...lol

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  6. I am of the opinion that tithing and giving is a personal decision and everyone should act based on thier convictions.

    Concerning church owned businesses,I thought those are meant to be taxed. Like yeah the church offering/tithes e.t.c ain't taxed but businesses are to be taxed(after duly registering the businesses at CAC as a separate entity but an offshoot of the church/ministry).

    Lawyers in the house can throw more light but that is my understanding.

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