“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”(Malachi 3:10).
Indeed, this verse of the Bible has become a National Anthem for most Extortionists or the so-called Pastors, who deliberately preach the compulsory payment of tithe, just to fill their pockets. Much worse, these Extortionists also quote (Malachi 3:8-9), in order to lure members to always pay their tithes. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole Nation.”(Malachi 3:8-9).
From this, it would seem as if tithing is a burden. Actually, it is not. In the biblical era, it was an exercise that everyone longed for. Perhaps a look at how tithes were being paid in the biblical era, will give us more insight into how tithing was a joyous event.
A proper understanding of tithe, can be seen in (Deuteronomy 14:22-29).
“22-Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23-And thou shalt eat before the lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and thy flocks: that thou mayest learn to fear the lord thy God always. 24-And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the lord thy God hath blessed thee: 25-Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the lord thy God shall choose: 26-And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, 27-And the levite that is within thy gates:thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. 28-At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29-And the Levite,(because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”
From the above scriptures, it is obvious that tithing is somewhat similar to a feast or a festival. However, the scripture notes that the Levite (Priests who have devoted themselves to the service of God), should not be neglected, even in the merriment of tithing, as seen in verse 29. Also, even in this merriment, the poor, the orphans, the widows, the less privileged, should not all be abandoned. More importantly, this tithing merriment and feast should be done in the Church, as seen in verse 24 (…which the lord thy God shall choose to set his name there…). No wonder Malachi 3:10 says, (…bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…). Obviously, “storehouse” here means a Church, “…which the lord thy God shall choose to set his name there…”
My question is this; despite this festive definition of tithing, why do most pastors portray tithing in a manner that bring burden to the heart of the members? Let’s move on, we are getting somewhere.
Unfortunately, this joyous occasion of tithing was eventually abolished. “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19-For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”(Hebrews 7:18-19).
The reason for this abolishment can be seen in Hebrews 7:12. Hence, my second question is this; despite the fact that tithing has been abolished, why do most pastors preach about paying tithes? Don’t worry, we are still getting somewhere.
From Hebrews 7:18-19, it is quite obvious that tithing was a law in the biblical era. However, some might argue that the exercise of tithing, was a tradition being practiced before the coming of the Law of Moses.
In fact, some might also site the examples of Abraham and Jacob who tithed before the Law of Moses was provided. Yes this is true. Tithing was a tradition before the provision of the Law of Moses, but tithing became part of the law immediately the Law of Moses was provided.
“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the lord. 34-These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai”(Leviticus 27:32&34).
And as for Abraham, it was recorded in the bible that he only tithed once in his lifetime. Even when he tithed, he only gave 10% of the spoils of war to the king of Salem, and the remaining 90% to the king of Sodom. All these can be as seen in Hebrews 7:1-2. Mind you, Abraham only tithed the spoils of war, not his livelihood (herds, flocks and so on). Hence, it is obvious that tithing was also part of the law in the biblical era, which was eventually abolished.
Another issue that bears mentioning is that, in the biblical era, the law contained the execution of homosexuals, the offering of blood sacrifices, the stoning of adulterous people, the observation of tithes, and so on.
Hence, since the law has been abolished as we have seen in Hebrews 7:18-19, then why do most pastors practice the aspect of tithing alone?
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”(James 2:10). Hence, it is obvious that since pastors only support one aspect of the law (tithing), then they indirectly support the whole law (that is, stoning of adulterous people, offering blood sacrifices, and so on), a law which had been abolished.
In all, having had an insight from the biblical era, and due to the advancement of science and technology from the biblical age down to the 21st century, how can the church be organised in the modern way?
My postulation is this: First, there should be a total abolition of tithes in all Churches, since it has been abolished even in the bible. The bible says “Give, and it shall be given unto you…” Hence, Christians should learn to give to the less privileged. Even though tithing, (which also consists of giving to the less privileged), has been abolished, Christians should still cultivate the habit of giving, in fulfilment of the Scriptures that talked about giving.
Also, it is appropriate that we as Christians should give to pastors who have devoted their lives to God’s service. However, it is not in the place of pastors to extort members in the guise of tithes and offerings, it only depends on the members if they are willing to give or not. The World we live in is full of deceit and even the righteous ones will be deceived. Apart from being a Christian, we should also be a Rational Christian, so we don’t fall prey to Extortionists in the guise of Pastors.
Thank youYours Faithfully©Wale Giwa