The early apostles, in the Bible, did not care about personal property. They felt service to the new converts and other believers should be the utmost priority for them. At a point, Peter was in charge of collecting the contributions of some well-to-do believers so as to take care of the needs of the needy among them.
“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold”
Acts 4:33-34 Nkjv
Nobody lacked anything because some believers (went the extra mile) sold their houses so as to meet the needs of others. How I wish Christianity was practiced like the times of the early Apostles!
Nowadays, things are so different that you will wonder if some Pastors are still on the Lord’s side. They amass wealth in the name of propagating the gospel. Some of them who started well missed the way of the Lord because of their love for material things like Jets, exotic cars, boundless mansions and latest suits and shoes.
In fact, only the families of the Pastors, in some countries, seem to be the richest among the Christians. That would not have been the debate of the day if the church attendees were properly taking care of like Peter, Joses and others did in the Bible. Presently, the educational institutions that belong to churches are not for the common man among the congregation.
Originally, tithes were paid to the priest. Abraham paid tithe to the Melchizedek who was a priest in Genesis 14:17-20 kjv. Later on, tithe collectors changed to the Levites due to the event that took place in Exodus 32 kjv. They were the only tribe who was on the Lord’s side when Moses got angry because of the idolatrous practice — led by Aaron — of the children of Israel. In fact, in Numbers 18:21-24 kjv, Aaron who was a priest paid tithe to the Levites after he collected the Heave offering from the children of Israel.
God commanded Aaron not to collect any inheritance — properties — from the children of Israel because his inheritance would be the Almighty God. He was to depend on God only for his provision as a priest. Just as God commanded him, so Aaron commanded the Levites, in Numbers 18:24 KJV, not to collect any inheritance based on the instruction God gave Moses in Numbers 18:26 kjv.
So, the Priests and the Levites were not entitled to any property, whatsoever, among the children of Israel. The Priests were to depend on God and fed on the offerings of the people of God. More so, the Levites were to feed on the tenth, which was the tithe, of the offering collected by the Priests.
How does this story affect our Pastors and church leaders?
The Priests and the Levites in the Bible were all jews. Our Pastors are gentiles as we are. They are the ones in the position of the priests and Levites. Of course, that means they are entitled to our offerings and tithes. It is their inheritance as laid down by God for the priests and Levites. Just as the Priests and the Levites must not have any personal property, so they, too, are not entitled to any property.
They will be going against the laid down rule and commandment of their office — as stipulated by God — if they acquire any property through the church resources at their disposal.
Notably, some people will claim their Pastors have flourishing businesses. Of course, there is nothing bad in making money as a pastor. In fact, money is a gift of God to help the poor and needy. The moment a pastor begins to acquire material things in the name of making money from personal business; the moment the pastor begins to miss the whole point of Christianity as led down by Peter — who was the foundation of the church. Don’t forget they sold their houses and land to take care of the people of God.
If the children of the most high are still living under the bridge, I think our Pastors, who live in mansions, need to be questioned. If the children of Ancient of Days are still crying for food, I think our Pastors, who don’t visit the market for months as they have more than enough, need to be questioned. If our church youths are still unemployed, I think our Pastors, who make millions and billions with lots of billions worth of properties, need to be questioned. If our church teenagers can’t afford the school fees out there, I think our Pastors, who own expensive educational institutions, need to be questioned. If our aged parents in church are still queuing for food in government parastatals organizations, I think our Pastors, who make lots of money in business, need to be questioned.
I’m shedding tears as I’m writing this article. Christianity must return to its good old days. What I see in church, these days, is nothing but a deception of the highest order.
Without genuine love from pastor to members or among members of a congregation, it means no one is serving God because God is LOVE. The love can only be demonstrated or showed towards others.
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