By Femi Aribisala
Don’t allow pastors who don’t understand the ways of God to continue to deceive you. God is no respecter of “tithers.”
John says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18). Therefore, Christians should resist any attempt by anyone to scare them into doing anything pertaining to the righteousness of God. That is precisely what mercenary pastors do in order to arm-twist Christians to pay tithes; a requirement now inapplicable under the New Testament.
Threat of curses
If you are one of those with a money-minded pastor, he will call you a thief for failing to pay tithes and insist you are cursed. The legal authority for this predicament comes from Malachi: “Will a man rob God? Surely not! And yet you have robbed me. ‘What do you mean? When did we ever rob you?’ ‘You have robbed me of the tithes and offerings due to me. And so the awesome curse of God is cursing you, for your whole nation has been robbing me.’” (Malachi 3:8-9).
The truth, however, is that this scripture has no application whatsoever to Christians. Malachi’s invective was addressed to Old Testament priests and not even their congregation. Today’s pastors are experts at double-speak. They quote Paul: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” (Galatians 3:13). Then they use Malachi to curse the redeemed in order to squeeze money out of them.
Believers are blessed: “with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings are not conditional upon the payment of tithes but attendant on our faith in Christ and adherence to his teachings. God would never curse a Christian whom he has already blessed. When Balaam was offered money to curse the children of Israel, he replied: “God has blessed them, and I cannot reverse it! No curse can be placed on Jacob, and no magic shall be done against him.” (Numbers 23:18/23).
God said to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” (Genesis 12:3). Christians are the seed and heirs of God’s promise to Abraham. (Galatians 3:29). Therefore, any pastor who curses a Christian is only cursing himself.
Scourge of the devourer
Pastors further seek to manipulate Christians by saying, if you do not pay your tithe, God will unleash the devourer on you. (Malachi 3:11). This means you will be confronted with all kinds of unnecessary expenditure that will continually drain away your finances.
Accordingly, Bishop David Oyedepo writes that rats ate all the cables in the car of a woman in his church. When she had the car re-wired, the rats ate the cables again. On investigation, it was discovered she had not been paying her tithes, which was why the devouring rats had been unleashed on her. Once she started paying her tithes dutifully again, the rat-attacks stopped.
Stories like this are commonplace in the churches and they are pure balderdash. It is amazing how far pastors will go in order to fleece their flock. Bishop Oyedepo says the offending rats in question were not ordinary rats but “devourer rats.” However, he fails to tell us how to differentiate between the one and the other, in case we come across any rats.
Suffice to say that such stories are manipulative. They are only designed to scare people into paying tithes. I don’t pay tithes and I don’t have rats of any kind in my car or in my house.
Answer me this: do bad things only happen to those who don’t pay tithes? Indeed, do bad things only happen to unbelievers? The answer is emphatically “No.” As a matter of fact, the truth is that in this world, worse things actually happen to believers than to unbelievers. The psalmist declares: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” (Psalm 34:19).
According to Jesus, in this world the believer is appointed to problems. He says to his disciples: “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Tribulation, it should be pointed out, does not connote prosperity.
Bait of showers of blessings
Having used these scare-tactics to manipulate the gullible into paying tithes, many pastors then employ the promise of blessings as additional inducement. They say if you pay your tithes, God will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great there would not be enough room to contain it. (Malachi 3:10).
But let me ask a question here tongue-in-cheek. Have you actually discovered that Christians are any richer than non-Christians, after all only Christians pay tithes?
Pastor Adeboye claims to be richer than Bill Gates because he allegedly has houses in 188 countries. However, even if each of Adeboye’s putative 188 houses were to cost one million dollars, it would still not make him a billionaire. However, Bill Gates is not worth 188 million dollars: he is worth 76 billion dollars; making him truly the richest man in the world. Nevertheless, Bill Gates is an agnostic, in spite of his Catholic background. He does not pay tithes to any church or pastor.
Don’t believe the lie.
People don’t get rich from paying tithes. They don’t even get rich from being righteous. Take another look at this kingdom dynamic:
“The truth is that the wicked live on to a good old age and become great and powerful. They live to see their children grow to maturity around them, and their grandchildren too. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them. Their cattle are productive, they have many happy children, they spend their time singing and dancing. They are wealthy and need deny themselves nothing; they are prosperous to the end. All this despite the fact that they ordered God away and wanted no part of him and his ways.” (Job 21:7-14).
Don’t allow pastors who don’t understand the ways of God to continue to deceive you. God is no respecter of “tithers.” Jesus says: “(God) makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45). In all the time you have been going to church, have you ever seen any “tither” who received so much money he had no room to put it? I doubt it.
The windows of heaven were opened on believers when Jesus gave us the keys of the kingdom of God. (Matthew 16:19). The blessing that there shall not be room enough to contain is the blessing of salvation. In the kingdom of God, a man who is financially rich is not deemed to be blessed. The man who is blessed is he who has received forgiveness of sins.
Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7). David concurs: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2).
So if you have been deceived into believing some financial windfall is going to fall down on you from heaven because you pay tithes, think again. You have been conned.