Hello Lovely Family, Welcome to the 2nd part of the #Tithingseries. This post is more in a story format but passes on the message. Monday is around the corner already and we will be posting the 3rd post. Stay tuned and now Dig in to this deliciously prepared meal.
Woe unto you God-robbers? (Malachi 3:8-10)
All my life I knew I couldn’t rob God. I mean, who could? Every Sunday, right after Choir ministrations, I would watch that brother or sister get up the pulpit and resonate that repetitive warning from scriptures to those bold enough to think they can steal from the Almighty. Week on week, I watched this slim brother, who always wore colorful suits to service, take out clean notes from his pockets and put them in a tithe envelope with deep piety to the doctrine. I admired him so much, I asked God with a burning desire to bless me abundantly so someday I could afford to pay tithes like this big-nose-brother in colorful suits. Few years later, my friend’s elder brother Obi saw me greet him and asked if I knew him. I admitted to him being my church member and He whispered mockingly to me about how he was a successful Corporate Hustler (aka yahoo boy). “God must really be blessing his hustle because his tithes are coming in fat every Sundays”, I wondered to myself that day.
The day I earned my first holiday hustle which was big enough for me to pay a tithe of about 500NGN, I was tempted to let it pass when those woeful warning hit me hard somewhere in my soul. I pictured the strict faces of those teachers on the pulpit say to me “will a man rob God…” I couldn’t imagine puny mortal me robbing the Almighty immortal God so I gave myself some sense and prepared for Sunday. After all, being warned or not, I know if I give my tithes, a blessing would be unleashed from the windows [and flood gates of Heaven] and there will not be room enough to receive it.
I tried as often as possible to pay my tithes. Like every sin, one day I fell to the urge of chopping God’s 10% and like the first sin of purity it became a major battle. There is a human nature of robbing God just like our primordial parents (Adam & Eva) robbed (to unlawfully take) the only thing that belonged to God in Eden and I had begun to perfectly display those spiritual robbery traits. As far as I knew it, I had to pay my tithes and not paying it was a sin. A really big sin!
No tithes in Rome
Many years passed and in 2010 I experienced my first spiritually intellectual conversion to Rome. That was when I had first become Catholic and I had the burning passion to share all the knowledge I had read about God and the History of Christianity and the Holy Catholic Church etc. but most importantly, I had just rekindled the burning passion to be Christian. I had to follow Christ in all totality and now I was convinced I had found His Church which was built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, it was definitely time to follow God truly.
One beautiful Saturday, at the Opus Dei Centre in Akoka, I went to meet with Fr. Jude because I was becoming Catholic now and since I wouldn’t be having a pastor anymore, I had to find a new minister who I can actually pay my obligatory 10% to and feel like I am giving a real priest like a traditional Israelite would. After all, in the old testament tithes were paid to priests, so therefore I will joyfully give this priest my money, I told myself, feeling accomplished. After declaring my intention to this Priest with the Holy Pride of a new convert, he gave me the most shocking response that day. Fr. Jude assured me that the Holy Catholic Church does not teach the doctrine of tithe making me realize that since her foundation on the Apostles and prophets she has never put any Christian under the obligation to pay a tithe. All the Church had ever taught was the obligation to give. He advised me further to feel free to give my tithes, if I want to, but most importantly give as much as I can and understand that it’s important to give from the heart no matter the measure.
I went home with two things that day. Firstly, a freedom from the guilt of sin which was a pure reflection of the liberating power of the gospel to free us from sin; and lastly, an anger on whoever the unknown person must have been who invented the burden of tithing and placed it on Christians in recent generations. I dedicated myself to looking for scriptures that refute tithes rather than looking to understand why God ever introduced tithing as a Law on Israel. I never really knew a day would come when I would be more focused on understanding and discovering the hidden mystery of the store house