By Gbenga Osinaike
Senior Pastor of Day Star Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi has lent his voice to the growing debate on tithe and offering describing the law on tithe as recorded in the Old Testament as an expired law which has no relevance in the New Dispensation.
This is contrary to what he had preached in the past. It also goes against the grain of teachings by those he regards as fathers of faith.
Adeyemi who took time to preach on the subject of giving to his Lagos, Nigeria Church members on Sunday February 25, urged his listeners not to entertain any guilt for not paying tithe adding that “People should not give out of fear”
He said he personally took interest in the tithe debate, did a lot of study and came to the conclusion that God is not angry with anybody that does not pay tithe neither is the person under any form of curse.
He said, “I have been following the tithe debate. I discovered that it has been an age long debate and it will be on for a long time. My first observation is that church people are behaving as if we own the word tithe. We don’t own the word. It is an English word. I want to say clearly that tithe as practiced under the law of Moses has expired. The death and resurrection of Jesus has put paid to it. It has expired.”
While explaining that there are different types of tithe he said, “All the requirements of the law were satisfied under Christ adding however that “It is a gamble to say Jesus never paid tithe. The fact that it was not written that Jesus paid tithe does not mean he did not do it. I can also claim that Jesus did not go to the toilet because it is not written. 18 years of his life were not recorded in the Bible. When he was born his parents satisfied the requirements of the law. John 21v25 says there are many things he did that were not recorded. Jesus did not say it was wrong to pay tithe in his day.”
Adeyemi however stressed again at the risk of repeating himself that Tithing as it is in the law has expired. He noted, “The law of the spirit of life in Christ has made us free. Romans 8 clearly tells us that we are free. No Christian should feel guilty for not paying tithe. There is nothing you can add to what Jesus did to be qualified before God. When Jesus said it is finished it was finished. Gal 3v13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. A Christian is not cursed because he or she did not pay tithe. A Christian should not give out of fear. A Christian should give out of love. We are free from guilt, from fear. We are in a dispensation of grace.”
He however warned that though we live under grace man will have to bear the consequences of his action. “If you commit murder, you realise what you did and you repent God will forgive you. But bear in mind that Police will arrest you and prosecute you. The forgiveness of God does not remove the consequences of our action.”
The church leader who has many young people in his church and who served under Rev George Adegboye of Rhema Chapel in Ilorin, Nigeria before he established his own ministry however noted that a stingy Christian will be greatly hurt.
“You are free to decide what to give. But if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly. Tithing as practiced under the law has expired but tithing as a general principle cannot expire. A Christian is free to give any percentage of his money. But just bear in mind that 10 percent is still part of the number. If somebody chooses to give 10 percent he should not be condemned and if he gives less or more than that he has a right to decide on what to do”
Earlier, he gave a graphic illustration on where and how the believer should give. Using scriptures to back his points he said, “We should give to the poor because giving to the poor is giving to God. If we love God we should give to men. We should also be responsible citizens by paying our tax. We should give to our parents and be a blessing to them. We should give towards the work of God and we should give to servants of God and we should give to our immediate family and take care of them.”
He however lamented that many Christians have been quite intolerant of one another on the tithe debate noting that we “all know in part. Priscilla and Acqulla had to put Apollos in the way of the gospel. But Apollos had been preaching the John’s gospel before Priscilla and Aquilla came to correct him and show him the message of the kingdom. We all know in part. As we grow we learn and adjust.”