RELIGIOUS LAS VEGAS XXIX: What Exactly Is Tithe

Posted: January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

By Olumide G Adeyinka

Growing up, I’d seen and heard many testimonies of people being miraculously blessed by their obedience to the doctrine of Tithe, so they say, that it was not necessary anymore to ask questions about its veracity and application in this age and dispensation. It was kosher! I had personally struggled to keep up to it in my early Christian life, because I never had enough to set aside 10 per cent of my early earnings then. When things improved, I could do it then but somehow it was still stressful, and moreover, I had a doubt at the back of mind about it. Couldn’t place the doubt, but it was as real as my name. So I was just doing it, more like a punitive command that leaves you broke and uneasy. When things improved much more, it became affordable but still a pain in the pocket, especially when I realized God never needed anything of my earthly treasures to do whatever. I listened to several testimonies of people in the Church, and what they claim to be miracles of financial blessings from God as a result of their obedience to the Tithe command, was also very prominent with people who were not in Church.

Testimonies of advancements or promotions, or job change and finance-related lifting were also very common with unbelievers who do not pay any tithe or even care about God. Very compelling sermons about the necessity of Tithe made it more difficult to question the command to the pulpit.

Somehow, the Church has closed herself within a wall and it is just insane how we were able to do so many things that are worldly in the Church and yet we could not see the merciful and gracious God working miracles outside the Church too. I mean, great divine works of glory happening outside the four ungodly walls of the Church, that was built to separate us from other creatures.

We’d always thought God was so partial and uncaring for the world that He only cares about us because we have come to believe (partly) in Christ Jesus. The world seems to be in judgment of God’s anger, not knowing grace is still at work, being extended daily to the dying world. Our walls had deafened us badly to the testimonies of God’s goodness in the world that brings men to repentance. We so dearly want God to separate us by every inch of distinction because somehow we felt we were qualified and the world is not.

Unfortunately, God’s grace that saved us is still very much fresh doing great works of salvation everywhere. The message of prosperity was basically built on that doctrine of exclusion, where God is taught as blessing only the righteous and forsaking the ‘ungodly’.

However, most of the richest men in the world are not in he Church – an error that is flourishing in the gullible Church today. God, all over the space of the earth, supplies the basic needs of all men in abundance. Food, water, clothing and shelter come directly from God. No man has ever manufactured water, it is naturally endowed. Food comes directly from God through plants and animals.

Clothing and shelter comes from the same plants and animals too. Now, all these provisions are not greater in supply anywhere except that man’s systems of management of these natural resources are lopsided in different parts of the earth. That is what is unfair and ungodly. That is the system called the world! God has never failed in His duty of provision of these basic needs of man, but man most times fail in doing the labor required to keep the provisions stable and utilizable. For example, in my home nation called Nigeria, we do plant and produce more than enough Yam tubers to feed the world, but we are so careless we allow about 80% of the harvest go to waste. Israel, America, Britain, etc does not do that; they store and protect their harvest to serve humanity. Now, it is not God’s work to preserve our harvest, it is our earthly responsibility. When we fail we have serious lack to grapple with.

Nigerians are known to attend Church more than the nations I mentioned above, yet we still depend on them to feed us. What could be wrong? Man’s negligence! I do not want to sound immodest, but there are people who are suffering now because they have been wrongly taught to part regularly with their income as Tithe, as if God needs it anyway. A story a friend told me is sufficient to drive home my point. My friend sat next to a woman who is visibly poor and sickly in a Church one day. Now it was time for Tithe and offering, and the woman didn’t have anything to give or eat because she looks very unkept and unhygienic. This woman turned to my friend and asks that he should give her some money to pay her offering. He did offer her some money, I think $10 he said, and the woman dropped it in the offering bucket.

Now, my friend thought about that for a second and asked an eternal question of, who needs the money more between God and that poor woman. My answer is quite clear; God does not need a dime from you to keep Him. He owns all things, and the Bible is very clear about that. That singular act shows how indoctrinated we have become in the issue of giving when it is obvious the reason why God initiated we give at all was to serve ourselves. Every offering in the Old Testament books of the Bible offered to God was meat and food for the people at the end of the day. God is clear about it, the aroma of Bulls and Rams are nothing to God but a contrite and humble spirit He cares about.

What then is Tithe?

Leviticus 27: 30-34 is the original scripture that defines Tithe, and any other scripture relating to the topic simply builds on it. Here is what it says “30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ ” 34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.”

Tithe is simply a tenth (10%) of everything that comes from the land! In other words, crops, herds and flocks. Plants and animals, period! If your Pastor or Bishop had redefined Tithe, then it is his own words and not God’s words. I have done some writing on the various excuses given by Pastors these days to get your money. You have to read the first four (4) parts of this writings on Tithe to denounce such excuses. The eternal demand of Tithe is very dumfounding in the scripture, so also is the quest for monetary value. It is all abracadabras to confuse you. Money has always being earned in the scripture, and there was no mention of it on Tithe. People had always had all kinds of employment too in the Tithe days of the Bible, and they were not mentioned in regards to Tithe.

The word money occurred 32 times in Genesis only, it occurred 44 times before Leviticus talked about Tithe, so what’s the cry about? Banking laws and interest rate laws are also found in the book of Leviticus too. So, the confusion should not even be mentioned at all.

Why Tithe on everything that comes from the land?

The land was a treasure gift to man by God, and not only was Tithe mandated from the land, there are also laws on how to allow the land to rest so that it can be more productive to us – the laws of Jubilee! Human labors elsewhere do not incur Tithe but the land that gives its increase. The earth belongs to God. God simply asked that divine increases, which no man determines by his doings or not, must be partly consecrated to be used as Tithe. It is Holy, says the Lord, and it is specifically for a purpose.

Let us glean more from the scriptures to rubbish what is being peddled today as Tithe, which God never commanded. Leviticus said it very succinctly, and any addition by men is simply added to rob you and enrich them outside the order of God.

First, Tithe is simply the tenth of everything from the land (vs.30). That means it is not the first but the tenth! The demand for the first is absolutely ungodly by our Pastors. Verse 32 was very apt on it. Very clearly, it was stated that it is the tenth of the herd or flock, and not the first as claimed by the Church leaders. The idea that God wants you to separate His own first is not entirely true.

God is not broke, needed not your offering first. In fact, God wanted you to give Him after you have counted you gain and are sure of His faithfulness. I mean it is like, take the first 9 and give me the 10th. God never asked to be paid first. Now, I am following Biblical instructions on Tithe as it is written. Any other instruction is a lie of man.

Pastors also ask for the best of your tithe when God was ready to share with you whatever is counted as belonging to Him whether good or bad. Verse 33 says it all. God does not want you to select the choice gifts for him. He is God, and will be satisfied with whatever He has caused the land to give you whether good or bad. God simply wants Israel to count their herds and flock as they move and every tenth one is dedicated to the Lord as Tithe. It does not matter whether it is bad or it is the best. You know what that tells me, God is so faithful and ready to take responsibility of your harvest. It does not matter if all that falls as the tenth are bad; God takes it as His. Now, God does not eat the herds or flock, it is only still going to be used to leverage the community so that the poor and the rich can have access to the provisions of God.

A very important aspect of Tithe, which is clear, is that God never intended to take anything that comes from the labor of man. It is all about what you can call ‘God’s labor’! God’s labor in the sense that it comes from His original gift to man. No one has ever fully understand how crops grow and replenish in hundreds fold as harvest. No one has fully grasped how animals produce in numbers and often too. They are products of God’s instructional mandates that have never failed.

And God does not separate the righteous from the unrighteous in His dealings on this issue ever. Human wages are man’s rights and labor’s recompense. God cannot claim ownership of that, and therefore are not Holy unto God. He only claims His right of Holiness on what He caused as miracles to us all. Tithe was never on anything man-made. It was not on any income of man’s sweat or his labor. God could not have asked man to give him anything that is unholy from man’s sweat. Man’s sweat is not holy unto God

Was God of the whole earth or just the God of Israel?

God created all things and all men in the entire globe. The twenty fourth Psalms affirmed that very well. However, while the instructions of Tithe was for Israelites only could be understood by what the land of Israel was to God. God called that land, one that He specially blessed and consecrated as His own and made a gift of surety to the man Abraham that He blessed. Israelites just got born into that blessedness. It will be wrong for anyone to ask why God will entitle Himself to a particular portion of a whole He created. Is God partial? The answer is very clear, what Israel had, every other nation had. The entire universe is blessed and that is very evident till date. That God used a sample to demonstrate to the whole is never wrong. What is wrong is what we have made of the sample (Israel) as the only one to be regarded and respected. The earth and its fullness belong to our God.

The inexorability of Tithe is simply bemusing and atrocious at the same time. The demand for money is ungodly and reprehensible.

I will be talking about the three types of Tithe next time.

Olu Adeyinka can be reached at ngardgroup@yahoo.com

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