There is an ongoing dialogue and conversation leading to controversy in today’s church regarding the understanding, interpretation and application of the biblical tithing. The tithe is 10% of your income to be given to God through His church for her to meet the financial obligations of the ministry. Depending on the size of the Church, the collective tithe of the individual church members may, or may not be able to meet all the needs of the local church, especially her capital projects and development like building and mission work around the world. Hence, there is often a need for each church to engage in additional fundraising programs of limited scope and time.
The recent provocative controversy though is in the specific area of tithing whereby Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria said that those who are not faithful in their tithe to God would go to hell! That statement goes too far and certainly is not biblical whether in terms of the Old Testament or even the New Testament. While many, if not all Christians believe in tithing as being biblical, a command and encouragement, it is by no means a yardstick of entrance or admission into the kingdom of God, If disobedience in tithing were to be the yardstick, many and all other kinds of sin of disobedience would also apply to the extent that everyone would end up in hell. The Bible said that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But thanks be to God in that He (God) demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)Believers in Christ redemptive work are saved by grace through faith, not by works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus’ teaching as well as the New Testament’s teaches that having been saved by grace, we ought to yield the totality of our life as a living sacrifice and surrender to a life that advances the kingdom of God bringing glory to Him (Matthew 16:19-20; Romans 12: 1-2). Our tithes, offering and everything we give to God should be out of our love for what Christ has done for us because we now belong to Him. Apostle Paul said, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) – Dr. Johnson Omoni