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01.12.2018 Feature Article

Should Tithing Stop Because Of "Stomach" Pastors?

Should Tithing Stop Because Of
LISTEN DEC 1, 2018

Reasons that would make a pastor or headship of a church misuse the tithe which is God's share of one's income/increase paid to the church. The controversial question now is whether a church member could refuse the payment of tithe because of its misuse by a pastor!

The payment of the tithe is decreed by God, so it must be paid. However if it is misused and that malpractice cannot be helped, probably because discussion about it has been ignored by their pastor, their wrongdoing should not discourage one's continuous worship of God even in the same church; to err is human, to forgive is divine. As hinted in the first part of this writeup, do not facilitate or fund the pastor's continuous wrongdoing, otherwise you may share in his final judgment too. Instead, determine a portion of the tithe to be given to the church for its maintenance, and then use the rest of it for charitable giving either in or outside, in the name of that church.

Imagine going to give your tithe to the church and you chanced on an accident where people were bleeding or in shock and needed immediate medical attention. It would be unreasonable for you to bypass them to present your tithe to the church! Would it be Christlike? This is even so similar to the "Parable of the Good Samaritan" that it needs no further elaboration. Other needy situations that could and must be helped, are found in homes in our neighborhoods, hospitals, prisons, orphanages that the bible has hinted about (Mat 25:36-40). God also, as we know, does not live in churches to expect the payment of his tithe always in chapels.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.... (Acts 17:24-25)"

Debates are still rife on whether tithing is still expected from Christians. My opinion here is that since Christ did not stop it or any of the old laws but is poised to fulfil them, tithing is not stopped. The laws were amended somehow and raised to a more mature level that befit adults; so that one could have a deeper understanding of the reasons for the laws, as we have in the letter and spirit of secular laws and policies.

So if the tithe was to be stopped, then there should be a better funding as replacement method for the church rather than a non-funding, if church activities should continue. Or is it because there are no identifiable Levites among us? Well if even they are not technically around, the priesthood which was their work has not ceased; unless the churches should be without pastors/priests. An example of the the continuous funding of the church was giving in the story of Ananias and Saphirah where the couple died instantly for not keeping a small part of the pledged proceeds of the sale of their own land! (Acts 5:1-10)

So funding of the church must continue for the support of the needy to go on in and outside of the church. An individual can do the charitable act in the name of their church rather than stop tithing or leave the church because of the greed or misconduct of a pastor.

Kwabena Ofori-Panin
Kwabena Ofori-Panin, © 2018

The author has 135 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwabenaOforiPanin

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