Senior Pastor of Day Star Christian Centre, Pastor Sam Adeyemi has reiterated his position on tithing insisting that the practice can’t be established in the New Testament.
He re-established his stance on the subject during a recent live chat monitored by Church Times on TVC’s Journalists Hang Out, a popular programme where issues of public interest are discussed by journalists.
It will be recalled that Adeyemi had preached against tithing about five years ago when the issue generated so much heat and controversy in the country.
Asked if he still holds to his views, he said, “When the controversy about tithing came up, I did what every preacher should do. I went back to the Bible and did my research on the subject. I sent my findings to my theology teacher and he said I could go ahead with my findings.”
The Church according to him has always had a way of resolving doctrinal issues right from the time of the apostles. “In Acts 15, you will see massive debate on the issue of circumcision. The apostles had to resolve the issue by reaching an agreement on certain things. What you will notice is that after Jesus died, the requirement for salvation changed. Everything changed. That is what we applied to the tithing issue.”
Making reference to Abraham who gave tithe he said, “Tithing predates the law. People who follow the principles have prospered in business. But what we found out is that there was no instruction for anybody to pay tithe after Christ died. There were only historical references to tithing in the New Testament. We also looked at the practice of giving. We found out that people gave more than 10 percent in the New Testament. We now saw that we can’t apply what we had under the law to the New Testament dispensation.”
Tithers can eat their tithe
Adeyemi said some of the references in Deuteronomy even instruct tithers to eat their tithe.
28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Tithe once in three years
Adeyemi said, “Some references (like Verse 28 of Deut 14) have to do with paying tithe once in three years. There were also instructions that you have to carry your tithe to certain places. So the statement in Malachi 3v10 that those who don’t pay tithe are under a curse has been nullified with the death of Christ on the cross. The book of Galatians says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.”
The Day Star Founder however noted that the debate on tithing is still ongoing adding also that tithing is an exchange for value. “Tithing is about the giving of value. Money is a means of exchange of value. People paid tithes of farm produce because it was a largely agrarian society in Bible times. Today, do we now tell those who sell engine oil for instance to pay 10 percent of their engine oil as tithe?”
On why many churches are obsessed with the prosperity message, Adeyemi said, “When you look at our history, many of the new generation churches started in the 70s and exploded in the 90s. Sadly this was when the economy degenerated. And people needed to find a way out of the poverty situation in the country.
“There were those who have been teaching if you give N1000 you will become a millionaire. But I was teaching entrepreneurship. When we did a survey, we discovered that poverty was the number 1 problem in the country. we did not want to ask people to bring money when they don’t have a means of livelihood.
“So we were focused on adding value to the people rather than taking from them. But then, millions have surrendered their lives to Christ over time. Has that translated to a change in lives? That is another issue entirely.” he said.
On the last election and the failed prophecies, he acknowledged the place of the prophets noting however that it is a big risk to want to predict who will win election. “There is no inference from the Bible because it was a monarchy that we had in the Bible days. So prophets did not have to prophesy who will election.
“But the question we must ask ourselves now is: What is the purpose of prediction? Is it meant to promote the prophet, or to show we are close to God? Under the new covenant, every Christian has the Holy Spirit. You can’t be a new covenant Christian and live like those in the Old Testament where only a few people hear from God. If you do that you will be submitting yourself to manipulation.”
On politics, he said it is not right for pastors to be partisan rather they should focus on promoting the values of Christ.
Adeyemi also took a swipe at the leadership model in the country. According to him, leaders are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. He said the cultural system has infiltrated democracy in the country making leaders behave like emperors.