IS TITHING NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
Greetings to you, my dear friends in Christ!
I’ve been quite passive on the social media for some time now, for the ‘obvious reason’. However, my attention was drawn by a statement made by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adeboye, during a conference where he addressed his pastors. The statement reads: “… ANYONE WHO’S NOT PAYING HIS TITHE IS NOT GOING TO HEAVEN, FULL STOP”
This statement happens to have awaken me from my “slumber”, coupled with the worries of some of my friends who have asked me to explain to them if the statement is true. This post, therefore, seeks to debunk that statement and illustrate the kind of “investment” that could enable us to attain salvation.
It saddens me to say that our generation is laden with ‘pastors’ or ‘men of God’ with superficial biblical knowledge, and the result is what we see, inadequate interpretation of Scriptural texts/messages due to obtuse ignorance and the resultant manipulation of the people of God- what a generation! This makes me reiterate the word of God through the prophet: “my people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
Now, the question: is tithing necessary for salvation? The answer is NO!
Dear friends in Christ, Scripture is very CLEAR. TITHING IS NOT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, FULL STOP! How do we come to know this? Payment of tithes was a serious obligation under the Old Law which was backed up with scriptural justifications (as seen in the Old testament); however, it ceased to become an obligation in the New Law, as such, the injunction to pay tithes is never seen in any scriptural verse of the New Testament. Put differently, we are not under the Old Law, and Christ chose not to repeat the law of tithing as part of the New Law.
Jesus Christ (our Lord and model) did not encourage us to pay tithes in order to go to heaven. Nevertheless, he illustrated to us the category of people we must invest on in order to make heaven. This is found in Matthew 25, from verse 34ff. “Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me. Then the upright will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’”
Today, we hear so many ‘private-jet-pastors’ clamouring for tithes, because their survival depends on it, and now a heretical message from a religious leader, inflicting his congregation with the fear of not going to heaven as it pertains to tithing.
Having said these, it is pertinent to note that the Holy Book encourages Christians to contribute to the support of their pastors, and this should be done according to one’s means. Put differently, St. Paul encourages the members of the Church to support (in their capacity) those who preach the gospel to them. This we see in 1Cor. 9:13 – 14: “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” In another chapter, Paul exhorts: “On the first day of the week each of you should set aside whatever he can afford” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The implication is clear: Christians are to support the Church with whatever they can afford, and not a compulsory one-tenth of one’s income. As such, the Catholic Church includes in her list of precepts “the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability”
(Catechism, no. 2043) and legislates in her canon law that “Christ’s faithful have the obligation to provide for the needs of the Church, so that the Church has available to it those things which are necessary for divine worship, for apostolic and charitable work and for the worthy support of its ministers” (Canon 222, §1).
I understand that as humans, we are prone to errors, and I believe it was an error on his part, I hereby call on the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adeboye to retrieve his statement before it gets too late. The statement could be rephrased, thus:
“Anyone who refuses to help the poor and needy would not go to heaven” – (Matt. 25:34ff)
Dearest friends, do not allow yourselves to be led astray by all sorts of strange doctrines. What I want to establish is very clear: IF YOU DO NOT PAY YOUR TITHE, BUT OFTEN HELP THE POOR AND THE NEEDY, YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN, FULL STOP.