In a few of my treatises via this medium, I have shovelled out some chastisement of the church and some of its wayward leaders. I chose the route because I believe that true men of God must stand against societal misdeeds, not promote them. They must stand to correct what ails the society and not complicate them. And they must be true and truthful and not become harborages of untruth.
There are very many pastors who deserve our salutations, however. They are men and women of impact and effective leadership. They are men who have helped raise people now impacting the society. They are men who helped nurture people like Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, and many men and women in political and business authorities in Nigeria and around the world. These pastors’ training sanctuaries were kept open to nurture these men and women because congregants in their folds were obedient to the instructions of God regarding tithing and giving to kingdom work.
Money and power are provocateurs of even historical skirmishes and squabbles all over the world. Anything that involves money and a man’s pocket book is a tetchy terrain to walk. Love of money intoxicates and makes men mad. Love of money kills men before their time. Humans by nature get frigidly edgy when someone attempts to take something out of their wallets. Humans by nature don’t like to give up money; they only like to receive. Morally and ethically unmoored behaviours of some men of God have explained why some voices are coming hard on pastors. Of the truth, the spiritual principles of tithing and giving have been perverted by many.
In the US, there are at least 350,000 churches and 600,000 pastors. In these churches, the principle of tithing is preached because that is how church doors remain open. Those who cry against pastors and the church paint an erroneous picture that those who are obedient to the scriptural instruction are foolish, dumb, and cuckoo. But, we are not. Anything that has to do with God is spiritual, and natural men cannot comprehend it. Tithing is a spiritual instruction.
One of the wealthiest families that the world has ever known, the Rockefeller family, once shared this testimony by John D. Rockefeller: “Yes, I tithe, and I would like to tell you how it all came about. I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work, I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord. I did, and from that week until this day, I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I want to say, if I had not tithed the first dollar I made, I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.”
Rockefeller found that a strong spiritual life was crucial to an effective business life. He tithed from his first paycheck and gave to his church. By the year 1905, his tithe was $105m. By 1913, Rockefeller became the richest person in the modern history of the world. Today, after adjusting for inflation, he is still the richest person in the modern world. Wikipaedia lists his adjusted net worth at $340bn. Every family member to the fifth generation has been doubly blessed because of the faithful stewardship of their grandfather.
It is true that some pastors have taken pastoring too far into the pit of ridiculousness. In any assemblage of human beings is also an assemblage of human bad eggs. Whether they fast 365 days a year, or blast in tongues for hours unending, whether they dwell in mansions; fly in jets; cruise on yachts, and are in control of empires; men of God are men first; they are not God! A pastor may be bad; but the standard of our good God remains good; and cannot be changed. Heaven is the only spot where all things and people radiate perfection. If you expect perfection in the church, then be prepared to go to heaven in a hurry on the next available flight. As long as God allowed Judas Iscariot to sit with Jesus Christ for almost three years, there will always be Judases in the church whose salivations are about lusting after 30 shekels of silver and the god of mammon.
In Nigeria, testimonies abound of good works done by many pastors and churches, and they cannot be rubbished. But unfortunately, these feats are not heralded like politicians’ half-baked projects; because pastors are not seeking the approval of men; but of God. These good men whose activities have touched lives are reasons why the church keeps growing despite cries of opposing voices that want it shut down.
A few churches in Nigeria have taken over the duties of federal and state governments. Churches don’t have to build cities; yet, they did. They don’t have to build hospitals; yet, they did. They don’t have to build federal and state roads; but, they did. Churches have turned jungles and hideouts of criminals to paradise on earth. The head of my mission and his wife built a rehabilitation centre in Epe, Lagos State for youths overtaken by drug addiction. Another church in Lagos equipped 20,000 kids as they returned to school and the same church trains and equips unemployed youths in at least 11 different vocations. The training runs three times every year and must have trained about 5,000 entrepreneurs since its inception. You can call for the heads of pastors who are reckless in lifestyles; it’s in your right; but you cannot condemn God’s law of tithe; it’s not in your purview.
Attending a church is not backed by any statute or the constitution of Nigeria; it is a matter of choice. If going to church does not profit you, stop going. Paying the tithe is God’s law; if it rubs you the wrong way, don’t pay. If a pastor holds a gun to your head to give up your money, report him to the law and I will help in his prosecution. But, if you catch the revelation of tithing and giving, keep doing it. Pay day is inevitable. Pastors reading the tithing instruction to our hearings did not author the Book from where they read. Men who complain about tithing are usually men who don’t give to kingdom work nor serve God of the Bible. No matter what anyone says about tithing and giving to God’s work, men will always be moved by the invisible hands of the Giver of Life to give to men of God they LOVE and TRUST. And true, tried and trusted men of God in our midst are very, very many.
In conclusion, I express this to a pastor reading this; you cannot hold a two-hour service and talk about tithe for one hour. Something is wrong with your theology. What you coerce and bully people to do will neither profit you nor souls under your care. Giving that comes from the heart of the giver is that which will yield harvest. If money is tight for you, go get a job! Call on the Owner of the Church who is God, and who, hopefully, has called you. If it is His Church, He will build it. If it is yours, then build it yourself. But I tell you, no one successfully builds God’s House with human tactics. God bless you, pastor.