The Senior Pastor of The Worship Centre, Lagos, Pastor Seyi Adeyemi, has added his voice to the debate on whether Nigerian pastors should collect tithes from members.
The clergyman said it was a must for people to pay tithe, even if their pastor embezzled it.
According to the Vanguard, Adeyemi said tithing had been in existence since Abrahamic era and could not be stopped for any reason.
He said, “When you speak about the things of God, you need to speak out of the knowledge which reveals the mind of God and not from convenience or circumstance. A lot of the people who spoke against tithe spoke because they don’t pay and they probably want to get people to align with them.
“Second, they spoke because they felt that recession is biting so hard and they felt that tithe was taking part of their income and, therefore, affecting their ability to live which, in itself, is ignorance.
Third, because I know that whenever you see a campaign against biblical principles and doctrines, the devil is behind it. The scriptures that talk about tithe began as far back as Genesis where Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek.
“”Then it moved on to Deuteronomy where the people of Israel were required to make 10 per cent contribution to the house of God in order to take care of the Levites.
“That is how the issue of tithe was established in the Jewish setting and, of course, when it got to Malachi, which is the popular scripture, Malachi 3:10, the Bible says ‘bring all tithes into the house that there may be meat in my house’.
“That is the first part of that scripture. Then it says ‘prove me now if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing’. Now here’s the question, by demanding tithe, does God really need our money? No. God requires man, wherever there is a physical demand for anything in church, it is not because God is in need, it is because God wants us to learn how to honour Him with what He has given to us.
“People need to understand that the needs in the house of God will be met whether or not people decide in their own wisdom or knowledge to bring. So people need to come to the understanding that we are not doing God a favor by obeying that scripture, we are doing ourselves a favor.
“The argument that tithe was given as a commandment to Jews and that it was supposed to be paid to the Levites, and we are not Jews and neither are pastors Levites simply shows the ignorance of those who say so.
“The Bible makes it clear that everything that took place in the Old Testament was an example for the future. It used physical things to give analogy for the understanding of spiritual things that were going to come.
“So when we talk about tithe, there is a need in the house of God that transcends just meat and drink. The Church has a role to take care of the brotherhood. The Church has a role to step in and try to bridge the gap where government fails as far as people’s welfare is concerned.
“The Church has a role to propagate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for God till the end of the earth. All these assignments require money and that is what tithe is meant for.”
“Do people arrogate tithe and offerings to themselves? Yes! But the misuse of something does not nullify the authenticity of its command. Every man, pastor will give an account of his stewardship to God. So if somebody is not being faithful, it does not nullify the Commandment of God. It simply means that you are being unfaithful to the commandment of God.
“So, if somebody takes the tithe that belongs to the church and uses it for his own personal need, that is unfaithfulness. I don’t believe that the money that comes from tithe and offering is enough to buy private jets. We need to talk about something else.”