I have realised that keeping quiet as dishonesty grows is ungodly. Similarly, seeing people doing or following the wrong lane which you know but could not retrieve their steps by guiding them in the right path is equally ungodly.
It is very unfortunate that some churches now produce “tithe forms” or cards for each of their members in order to keep records of tithe payment so as to easily monitor and spot those who pay their tithes and likewise identify those who don’t pay. The “men of God” from the churches in question go after members who fail to pay their tithes and trouble them to do so as if these members borrowed money from them but didn’t want to pay back. Is that fair?
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It is high time the truth is told: people should be enlightened and rescued from the hands of the 419ners who call themselves men of God. Many of these people known as men of God care more about enriching themselves with the offerings, tithes and other contributions from members of their churches. They pay lip service to the true gospel that is supposed to be preached for people to repent, change, and be saved.
If this practice persists, I am afraid that one day many people will be barred from attending church service for not paying their tithes to the pastor or church. It is not documented anywhere in the Holy Bible that Jesus Christ kept records of his followers who paid tithe and troubled those that were not paying, to do so. He only educated people about tithe by letting them know that if they fail to pay their tithes, it means they are robbing God. Note: it is not recorded anywhere in the Holy Bible that tithes must be taken to the church and be paid to a priest before it will be accepted by God. Stop misleading people please.
Paying of tithe must not necessarily be in the church. One can feed the poor with his or her tithe and God will be happy, one can convert his tithe to scholarship and issue it to a child whose parents may not afford to train him in school and God will accept and be happy, one can take the responsibility of someone’s hospital bill by using his or her tithe and God will be glad. The list is endless. It should not be only church, it must not be given only to the pastors or men of God before it will be recognised as tithe. Forms or cards must not be produced for the members of your church before they pay their tithes, records of tithe payment must not be kept before your church members could pay tithes and you must not go asking them for tithe before they can pay.
Note that love conquers all. Please, focus your preaching more on loving one another, preach peace and unity, kick against corruption in your preaching, preach the truth fearlessly even when the president is in the church or mosque, even when the state governor is in attendance, even when a minister is sitting there in the church, even when there is a senator or any other political office holder in the congregation. When the spirit of God is in you, you don’t compromise and you don’t feel scared when telling the truth. When you preach about love and your members embrace it, they will pay their tithes willingly without being pressured because love conquers all.
Long ago, a Catholic cleric in Benue State preached the truth when a sitting governor was in the church. After the sermon, he was transferred to another church far in the bush but God was still with him. This same incident happened to other true men of God aside the reverend fathers in question. The church must stop the practice of accepting millions of naira from political office holders and preaching what they want to hear; preaching what makes them feel they are right by stealing the public funds, enriching themselves with and offering part to the churches.
Enough is enough.
► Awunah Pius Terwase, wrote from Mpape, Abuja