By Lekan Fatodu
Undoubtedly, I am yet to understand the rationale of people campaigning against tithe payers and the payment itself, the practice of which could be traced back to historical acceptance of biblical right.
Those who are not paying and will never pay tithes are those very agitated and bitter that those who have chosen to pay and will continue to pay tithes based on their personal choice, conviction and beliefs are exercising that free will.
Contrary to that warped assumption and conclusion, the poor are not the biggest tithe payers in churches in Nigeria.The richest churches in Nigeria are not made of poor congregation and are not also domiciled in poor neighbourhoods.
In fact most of the worshipers in the mega and financially-formidable churches in Nigeria are among the most successful, educated, gifted and influential among us. Go and check again. So they are not the poor.
And these people, according to their regular testimonies, have seen the biblical concept of increase and multiplication which is said to be parts of the gains of tithe-payment work tremendously in their finances, businesses, services and other significant endeavors.
So no matter how long one cries against tithing, these people will not stop paying tithes.
I wonder how ranting of those against the tithes payment would suddenly change or move against a scriptural principle which a massive number of educated, enlightened and mature people have professed to have been tested, proven and adopted as the source of their continuing prosperity and well-being. Never!
Or do they think that their cries against tithing will stop an oil mogul from dropping his tithe at the City of David in Oniru or an accomplished banker from giving his at Olive Tree in Banana Island?
Despite miles yet to be covered in dissuading the masses from accepting “stomach infrastructure” in exchange for their choice of candidates at elections which will bring about an all-inclusive infrastructural development, the anti-tithe are busy crying over the convictions of an enlightened group on tithing.
Even the poor who pay in some churches believe the increase in their petty trades is as a result of their voluntary compliance to the tithe payment. It could be seen that those on other side of tithing got a more spirited campaign to launch against tithe payment and may God help them.
That said, if the ostentatious lifestyles of many of the pastors of these mega churches are a major concern for those against biblical right with their little impact on the lives of the poor in the society, that’s fair enough.
In that case, leading a strategic campaign on the role of faith leaders in eradication of poverty and national development would surely be well appreciated.
And by extension, conducting a rigorous research on the big donors and tithe-payers in churches against their tax payments to government will help to expose the insensitivity, hypocrisy and impropriety of some of the rich.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun just stated that over 800,000 companies have never paid tax in Nigeria. But don’t be surprised to discover that some of the owners of these companies are amongst the huge tithe-payers in many of these mega churches.
Fatodu is a London based Journalist.