WILL GOD EVER DEMAND TITHE FROM THE POOR?


Republished by: Izobofolo’s Blog

Nations extract taxes from their citizens, but not all citizens are required by law to pay tax. Take for example, the destitute, the bankrupt and nor profit organizations are not qualified to pay tax.

Likewise, the various “tithes” commanded in the Law of Moses served as taxes to support various functions of the nation; supporting the government officials (Levites), funding the national religious ceremonies and festivals, and providing for the needy (widows, orphans and immigrants).

Having said this, let us see who was qualified to tithe and who was not qualified to tithe.

OLD TESTAMENT EXPLANATION – The owner of a farmland had to tithe, but his hired hands were exempted. Was a hired hand required to tithe on his salary? Not at all! There was no law that required a tenth of one’s salary to be tithed (which was earned for services rendered). Neither did the tithe come from the results of a man’s crafts, handicrafts and skills.

Only the crops and animals were subject to the tithe. After all, the crops and the animals did not belong to the hired hand and only the increase from one’s land or animals was subject to the tithe. And note this. Fishermen did not tithe, though this industry is mentioned in the law (Leviticus 11:9–12).

Likewise, the mining industry is referred to (Deuteronomy 8:9), but the tithe of minerals extracted from the earth was never called for. The lumber business is mentioned (1 Kings 5:7–12) and construction work on buildings (1 Kings 5:13–18) but tithes were not extracted from people who worked in those trades.

The same held true for those earning an income from weaving, handicrafts, or from any form of manufacturing or merchandising. They all were immune from tithing, including all those in the military, and government workers. Only those Israelites who earned a livelihood from farming and herding inside Israel were required to tithe under the Mosaic Law.

NEW TESTAMENT EXPLANATION – This was still the definition during the time of Jesus. Jesus was a carpenter; Paul was a tentmaker; Matthew was a tax collector; Peter and other disciples had been fishermen and none of these occupations qualified as tithe-payers because they did not farm or herd animals for a living. As a result, none was required by the law to pay tithes. That was the reason there was no account of such in the entire New Testament.

To make it plain and simple, only the owners of farms and flocks were required to tithe. Some pastors commonly teach that the tithe is God’s and that he must get his tithe first. But the Bible says it is the tenth animal (the last one) that passes under the rod that is God’s, NOT the first (Leviticus 27:32).

Indeed, the Israelite who had fewer than ten cattle did not have to tithe on nine of them because the requirement stated that only the tenth animal that passed under the rod was to be tithed. This is the precise law of tithing which was ordained for Israel by God.

And as the governments of this world will always exempt some of their citizens from paying tax for some reasons, God (full of grace and mercy) did not request or require the destitute in the Old Testament to tithe. The poor were not required to tithe at all!

It is wrong to teach that the poor in Israel were required to pay tithes. In fact, they actually received tithes! Much of the festival tithe and the third-year tithe went to the poor! They neither owned farmland nor (substantially) raised herds.

And, since God is full of grace and mercy, it is not within the scope of his divine holy character to ask a poor person to tithe and deprive himself and his family of the basic necessities of life. There is not a single Old Covenant text which commands the poor to tithe, rather they were placed among the people who would benefit from the tithes (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

But today, the reverse is the case, no one is exempted, and it’s unheard-of that a church member does not pay tithes. It’s an abomination, in fact. Churches rarely cater to the poor people’s needs, let alone receive tithes for their upkeep. In many cases, when the destitute and the wretched-of-the-earth ask for help from the churches or the pastors and tithe apologists, they’re horrified, even scandalized!

They ask the poor to borrow or sell whatever they can and pay tithes first. The pastors will tell them that they are poor because they don’t pay tithes! They will even advise the poor to pay their tithes so that God will open the windows of heaven for them!

In many churches today, the doctrine of tithing is quickly becoming a requirement for church membership, every member of the church is required to have a monthly marked tithe card, even the beggars are expected to pay tithes from the little they receive from their kind neighbors?

You pastors, do you not fear God? Have you altered and modified the word of God and made merchandise of the poor (2 Peter 2:3) so you can feed fat and own the biggest cars, houses and airplanes?

If you want your members to abide by the tithing laws, why don’t you teach them to perform (work) according to God’s instructions in the Scriptures?

TITHING: THE GULLIBILITY AND HYPOCRISY OF THE NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN


By Nkechi Bianze –

Back in 2013, in my home Church, something happened that changed my whole perspective. An alter call for donations was made, thus:

“Praise tha Lord o. Our Daddy in the Lord is visiting us with his army of Soldiers. We need to look after our daddy very well. We need to lodge him in the most expensive hotel in town for one week. Feed him and mummy, transport him and look after him while he is with us.”

I was already making calculations in my head at this point, with the idea of the price of the most expensive hotel, and what it costs to lodge people.

Then the announcer continued…

“We are also going to look after his 50-man entourage, likewise. It would cost us at least N100k per day to look after Daddy and Mummy, and at least N70k per day to look after each of his 50-man entourage.”

I’m quite fast with numbers, most especially when these numbers are about money. Thus, it took me less than a minute to come up with a sum total of what they expected us to donate so we can “look after” the spiritual leader of the church. We are talking about a fund raising of not less than N25.2 million Naira here. For what? To have the spiritual leader come and preach to us for a couple of hours per week.

When the calls were made for those who want to give N50k and above to walk down to the “healing ground” for special prayers, I was about to go. I had N50k to give. But then, I snapped within me. I remembered that there are families who are struggling to feed. I remembered that there are children who can’t go back to school because they can’t afford tuition. I remembered that there are people in hospitals who are dying because they can’t afford treatments of N10k.

I had initially wanted to stand up to walk to the front with my N50k, but I saw myself parking my bag, and walking out of the church.

I went out, waved an okada man, and asked him to take me to the central hospital. I went into the hospital, then asked the nurse if there was anyone struggling with medical bills. I was showed two patients. One was a woman who had just put to bed, and two was a child who had just been treated for malaria. I gave them N15k each. The child could now be allowed to go home. His petty trader single mother almost rolled on the floor thanking me. What for? N15k? It was embarrassing as well as fulfilling…. I actually dropped a tear.

I took a bike to the car park, saw a crippled beggar, he was carrying his plastic plate begging the food seller for food. I gave him N5k, and also bought him food.

I went back to Church to join my parents, just like nothing happened.

The following day, I went to the primary school I attended at some point, greeted the head teacher, and asked if there was any student struggling financially. I was showed some. I chose three. I gave each of them N10k. I ended up spending over N65k on strangers who needed my money the most. I paid hospital bills, fed a beggar for at least one week, and paid tuition fees for three.

Any God who thinks that I should be in hell because I didn’t enrich an already stinking rich man who is a thousand times richer than myself and my parents, but rather gave that money to the poor, is a God I never want to have anything to do with.

This was the beginning of it all.

I don’t believe in tithing. That’s a modern day religious scam.

But I do “tithe”.

Everything that I should have dropped in the Church accounts goes directly to the poor. I pay tuition fees for people, I pay hospital bills, and I feed the poor. All these I do whenever I have the money to do it.

After this experience in 2013, I felt so happy within myself. I felt an inner Joy. I still feel joy within each time I remember that I have put and keep putting smiles on the faces of people who almost had no hope at some points, just with my N10k, N20k, here and there. So, I made a vow in 2013 that love is going to be my religion where I would be paying my tithe and offerings to people, mainly strangers that won’t recognize me again some hours after.

Even the Bible says; “whatsoever you do to the least of thou brethren, so you do unto me.”

Jesus Christ gave more than he received. The early missionaries that brought Christianity to Nigeria gave more than they received. They built schools, hospitals and churches for free. They did a lot to improve human lives, and asked for nothing back…. only believe.

But the opposite is what we have amongst Nigerian pastors these days. They make their gullible members milk cows to enrich themselves.

What is a sane man, who goes by the title “GO” in a country where many only survive on less than a dollar a day doing with four private jets? That has gone beyond greed, that’s insanity! And Nigerians keep enabling these brands of insanities.

Nigerian pastors and GOs will continue getting richer for as long as the average Nigerian Christian remains gullible. This gullibility is simply self-inflicted-mental-laziness. You have refused to think with your brains, so these GOs think for you. And they think for you to their own benefits.

I don’t give in Churches anymore. Heaven knows I won’t give a dime to a multi-billionaire pastor while there are still beggars on the streets.

Nigerian Christians need to start using their brains. This is URGENT!

Think man, think woman, because no one ever died of thinking critically with his or her brain.

Even though I become a billionaire today, no Nigerian pastor would get a dime from me. My “tithes”, alms, offerings and seeds would all go directly to the poor in my society. Not to some of the richest people in the world.


 

NURSING MOTHER RESCUED FROM DETENTION FOR STEALING PLANTAIN

By: Izobofolo’s Blog

“It was reported that a Nigerian Police Officer by the name Mr. Fatai Owoseni, resumed work duty and was informed that the young lady with a child in the photo above, stole plantain and was arrested and detained.

Also, it was reported that during the interrogation, she explained to have stolen the plantain because she and her baby were hungry. According to the reporter, Officer Fatai who was not present during the arrest and detention, admonished the lady (the defendant); that her reason for stealing was not a justification, that she could have begged for it or seek for assistance from other people or the kindhearted in the society, as oppose to stealing.

According to the correspondent, Officer Fatai ordered for her release and gave her the sum of N10,000 (less than $50), to get food for herself and baby, and to possibly start some petty business too.”

INDUCTIVE REASONING: with reference to the salvation story above, suffice me to say that this is 1 case out of approximately 10 million single mothers in Nigeria today. The current economy situation is making many people compromise their faith, believes and integrity either deliberately or compelled by hunger – but not justified according to law.

Security agencies should apply wisdom and show empathy for petty cases like this, especially when women are involved. The plaintiff and the police IPO that processed the arrest and detention of the lady and her daughter lacked wisdom. The questions are; 1. what is the cost of the plantain that propelled the owner to seek formal justics? 2. If the plaintiff is actually a business person, why should he or she waste time prosecuting a helpless single mother with a baby, instead of exploring other peaceful options of settlement or tolerate the injustice? 3. When the case got to the security agency, why did the police IPO handling the case usurp only discipline by detaining the defendant and the innocent child? Yes, it is true we don’t have details of the case, but from all indication the N10,000 salvation gift prove that the plantain will not cost more than N1,000

Folks! This case does not need forensic investigation to analyze the inequalities, the case was first handled by an impatient plaintiff and later judged by an incompetent IPO.

The lessons from this case is that; even if we don’t love ourselves that much, please let start cultivating the act of perseverance and tolerance with one another, especially to women and children in this current economy situation.

Folks: every one have some thing to give, let us show love and care for the less privileged among us. Charity covers multitude of sin.