Tithe is 10% of a persons income that is given to the church as mandated by the holy Bible. In the olden days, tithes which were mainly in the form of harvests and livestock were brought to the church and as the bible states in Malachi, so that there will always be food in God’s house.
(Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house,……)
(Deu 26:12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, [which is] the year of tithing, and hast given [it] unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;)
The purpose of the tithe as stated in the Bible is not for the pastors use but as a means to feed the poor and needy who in the back in the day took refuge in the house of God.
There has been controversy concerning payment and the use of tithes. While some argue it’s no more relevant in this day and age we live in as the practice of the poor going to get food in the church is no more, others say it’s a biblical command and must be obeyed in order for God to bless us.
Times have changed, money has replaced the barter system that was practiced back in the days when the Christian religion was taking shape. Barely does anyone send foodstuffs to church as payment for their tithes ( Not to be confused with first fruit). The mode of payment is now 10% of whatever income made during the calendar month. The problem has always been with the use of the tithes collected, this confusion has led some pastors to claim it is for their absolute use and have resorted to enriching themselves with it.
Since God’s initial purpose for instituting such a scheme was to cater for the poor and needy, it would only be prudent as honest servants of God to put the money collected from tithes to its Godly mandated intended use.
A simple way to ensure easy distribution is to keep a list of old, poor and unemployed individuals and families in the church, and according to how much the church is able to collect, distribute it to such people in the form of stipends and capital for small business in all honesty as is expected of a true Christian.
In most churches nowadays, pastors and church workers are given a salary plus a myriad of allowances to ensure their absolute comfort. In others where an individual pastor led the planting of the church, financial decisions mostly come from the pastor or through a rubber stamp financial committee who never really object or question any decisions of the pastor. (Touch not my anointed).
The issue of tithes among others has affected the growth of the church. Many are pastors living lavishly in mansions, own multiple private jets and many businesses with personal net worth in the millions of US dollars. Some even go to the extent of bragging about their wealth publicly. Gradually the church has become a social event where only the rich can attend and the poor risks alienation as the vast majority of the congregation wallow in poverty and they see nothing wrong with it.
The church sets itself financial targets as a business venture would and even some churches promote resident pastors based on how much money they make for the church from the congregation. Dare speak a word against such behavior and you are seen as the devil. But a pastor/church leader who blatantly and knowingly ignores his biblical responsibility and gets consumed by material wealth abuses his office and is no longer covered by the anointing and reverence that comes with that office.
It is time we went back to God, his word and his ways.