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Tithes and offering in coronavirus era, my take

Tithe 13 File Photo

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 Source: Ebenezer Tieku

The real test of Christians' faith is when things are getting difficult.

I have heard people in the media castigate and vilify church leaders for 'encouraging' church members to pay their tithes and Offering even in this hard time.

Some people in the media and social media platforms have labelled the pastors as insensitive and selfish. Really?

One thing people must understand is that spiritual matters like giving to support God's work do not follow the natural principles. Giving actually per the Bible principle is gaining but not losing.

People would have called Elijah a wicked prophet for asking a poor widow of Zarephath to prepare her last meal meant for her and her child for him first before her family fed on same when there seemed to be nothing to live on in that period of famine (1 Kings 17:8-16).

The poor widow's obedience to God in that time of crisis brought blessings upon her and her family. She did not suffer food extinction any longer.

Tithes and offerings amongst other things are to be used to support Ministers who have dedicated their life for the Kingdom's work and also for the poor and the needy.

If we all claim to be Christians and profess to love God and thankfully we still earn some income in these difficult times, nothing must stop us from paying our tithes and offerings for the furtherance of God's work.

Of course, if you don't earn income in these hard times was a Christian , you will not have enough to give. Whatever you get still give a token to God. The amount we offer to God does not matter, the reason and purpose behind the giving is what matters to God.

Giving according to the Bible must not be done out of compulsion, but from a willing and cheerful heart. And the measure you give, you receive in a similar way (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

The caution here is, if you don't really understand the principle of giving as a Christian and thus want to be coerced before you give, you will miss the blessings.

Many churches in Ghana depend on members' faithfulness in payment of tithes and offerings to pay salaries of Pastors and auxiliary workers in church offices. Though, we no longer meet as a congregation, pastors and church workers have families to feed. How will they be paid, if we renege on our responsibilities as Christians and members of our churches?

There should certainly be meat in the storehouse God to help sustain pastors who have dedicated their lives to the Lord's work. (Malachi 3:10-11).

Payment of Tithes, offerings, etc is a covenant between individual believers and the covenant-keeping God. Pastors have the responsibility to teach members to understand the essence and need to be faithful to God in that regard to be blessed by God.

It is not out of place for church leaders to send letters to their pastors who are paid from the proceeds of Tithes and offerings to encourage them to gather tithes and offerings from members for onward payment to the church's headquarters so that at the end of the month, these same pastors could be paid.

These letters are internal memos that are not meant for public consumption.

It is therefore highly irresponsible for an elder or a member of a church like Christian Divine Church (CDC) to leak these letters to the media for the church to be maligned.

It is also highly irresponsible, uncouth, unethical, and uncivilized for media personalities like Captain Smart, Nana Yaa Brefo, and their likes to sit on radio and insult the leader of Christian Divine Church (CDC) and other churches' leaders for encouraging their pastors to collect tithes and offerings.

Will Captain Smart and co-pay these pastors, if there are no tithes and offerings, proceeds to pay them at the end of every month? This is despicable and may attract God's wrath if captain Smart and co do not refrain from that attitude.

In conclusion, I wish to state that circumstances must not change our loyalty to God and His work.

Pastors encouraging Christians to pay your tithes and offerings even in this Covid-19 era are not selfish and insensitive. Rather, they want Christians to be blessed in this crisis as it was in the case of Elijah and the Zarephath widow.

As believers, let us give to the best of our ability no matter the season, the times and the circumstances from a willing and a cheerful heart. The good Lord who blessed the Zarephath woman for obeying His word through Elijah will surely bless us if we continue to be faithful.

Nothing must separate us from the love of Christ. Not even in crisis!!!

God bless His Church and His true Servants!!!

Amen!!!!

Columnist: Ebenezer Tieku