Serving Overseer of First Love Assembly, Pastor Simeon Afolabi has said that the debate on tithe making the rounds recently is a distraction in the body of Christ.
Afolabi who addressed pastors during his Ministers’ Conference and Restoration Seminar which attracted hundreds of ministers of the gospel and over one million online followers explained that the debate on tithe was a distraction and that God through the Bible sought for willing givers.
“Let me state upfront that the debate on tithing is a distraction, to say the least. It’s one unfortunate instance the church allowed the adversary to dictate her agenda,” he said.
Afolabi clarified his position on the subject. “Before I go any further and give you my practiced position on the subject, we must understand that there are general rules governing giving of whatever shade both in the Old Testament and in the new.”
He also said, “A critical thing you will see running through the Bible is that God only sought for willing givers. Once any form of threat or coercion is involved, it is already outside the purview of biblical giving. So, whether tithe, vow, thanksgiving or what have you, it must come of people’s free volition.”
Continuing, he said, “Having said that, my position on the subject is that tithing is still relevant in the New Testament. Unfortunately, space constraints will make it impossible to run through the gamut of scriptures to buttress this. One undergirding principle for giving is the law of proportion.
“Paul said people should give according as God has prospered them. People were exhorted to give proportionately. I don’t see any better way to effect proportionality other than tithing. For example, someone is prospered with a million naira and gives one hundred thousand. Another is prospered with fifty thousand and gives five.
“By the law of proportion the man who gave one hundred thousand has not given more than he who gave five. Both of them have given equally. Giving is not rated by volume but by proportion.
“There is a stronger reason I believe that tithing is still part of Christian culture. The first recorded account of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis 14. Abraham gave a tenth of all to Melchizedek. Now, in the book of Hebrews the Bible says the priesthood of Jesus is after the order of Melchizedek. If tithing was in order under the priesthood of Melchizedek and Jesus’ order of ministry is patterned after Melchizedek’s, we don’t need to stretch our imagination to accept that tithing is for today.
“I believe in tithing; I tithe, and encourage others to do so as well. What you will not find with me is to coerce people to do it or threaten fire and brimstone if they don’t. As stated earlier, God’s people should practice their stewardship willingly and cheerfully. Anything outside of this has no reward. In the final analysis, we should always keep in mind that what a man sows is what he reaps. Nobody can circumvent God.”