The founding and presiding pastor over The Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo has come under heavy criticisms over a tweet his admin made via the official Twitter account of the ministry, saying tithing is a must for every believer so as to escape the financial curses that may be when you do not do so.
The reason why this message from the headquarters of the Winners Church worldwide has brought so many hate and unwarranted insults on the Bishop is what I do not understand and so I intend to in my own way correct every blogger, reader and Christian who has joined in the online slander and criticism of the Bishop.
First of all, the Bishop was obviously referring to his congregation, his followers and as he calls them, "his sons and daughters in the faith". So why a tweet from him causes so much uproar in the Country is what I am yet to understand. Of course over the years, the Bishop has been the most criticized and lied against pastor in the country, with many bloggers writing whatever they think about him without any confirmation of authenticity to their claims. Some bloggers go to the point of calling the Bishop a fraud, and some has written several articles linking the Bishop with corrupt online fraudsters. Yet they all fail to provide an evidence to their claim, not even a picture of the Bishop in those said places or with those said people.
Bishop Oyedepo while addressing his congregation last year in those times that the backlash from On Air Personality 'Daddy Freeze' was so heavy, had said that most of his critic do so in anger and envy, and this is undoubtedly so.The critics of the pastor are only envious of the heights he has been able to get to and the wonders God does through him.
One thing people fail to realise is that the topic of tithing is personal and faith based. There is a right to freedom of Religion in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and most times we indirectly try to break and tame the rights of many individuals when we go about castigating their religions and beliefs. It is fine if you think that tithing is not important or never a requirement. You are obligated by civil rights to your freedom in that regards and nobody can arrest you for not paying tithes. But to try to decide what another person should do in his faith and religion is where we have a problem in this country.
The ministry of tithing is not preached by only Bishop Oyedepo, it is an international church doctrine a tradition created by God and is still practiced in Israel till this day. Tithe is Hebrew for 'a tenth' of any harvest an individual serving 'Yahweh' should present at the end of each harvest session (now monthly since we obtain a monthly pay check).
The Bishop had said tithing was an unavoidable covenant obligation and is required for prosperity (and not just wealth), he also said the truth from scriptures any believer who doesn't tithe is under a financial curse according to Malachi 3:10-12. The scripture says (paraphrased) bring your tithes and your heavens would be opened. Which means tithing is a requirement for opened heavens, but if you choose to disobey then the windows would not be opened (and this is technically a curse). It is a very simple scriptural logic, and there is no cause for alarm in that.
Another scripture of the Bible in Joshua 24:15 says you are free to serve any God you choose and to obey whatever you feel is right for you, so there is no force in making you tithe. In fact, a tithe that is not given with an open mind, a willing heart and a thankful soul is also not worthy of acceptance. We need to understand that tithing is not by force but only a choice for our optimum living.
Coming to the aspect of my article that says the Bishop is not the problem we are faced with in this country, it is expedient for me to say while there are about a million religious leaders cut across the different facets of religious belief in the country, no one else has been confronted as much as the Living Faith Church pastor has been criticized, with many having different reasons to try to fault the Preacher. Some would say he is not providing any societal aids to the masses of the country, even at this stage when the world is hit by a global pandemic (which is not true, the Bishop has sent out various buses of palliatives over and again during the lock-down period, but the media never publishes that) even at that, is it the job of a religious leader to meet the needs of the masses? What then is the job of the government? Others would say he built institutions that are not affordable by the average Nigerian, forgetting that the Bishop runs a scholarship program that sees to install students who merit admission into his varsities but are financially incapable, even at that it is not the job of a pastor to provide affordable education. Christians from other denominations join in the slander of the Bishop, thinking that his downfall would mean an increase in the number of people in their church. This is very funny because an attack on one denomination of Christianity is an attack on every other denomination, and the downfall of one is the downfall o all. This is why the Bible encouraged us to be our 'brother's keeper', and not a 'Cain'.
In this short article I want to address every Nigerian to disregard the information flying from blogs and fellow Christians who are out to seek the destruction of their neighbour, and embrace peace and your own inner happiness. You don't have to tithe if you do not feel comfortable doing so, I personally used to tithe but along the line I stopped and I am not complaining about it. I also do not get angered when the message of tithing is preached. It is a personal decision, your personal decision and in this world everybody is entitled to their opinion so I see no reason why we all trooped to disrespect the pastor today, it is unfair and humanly unforgivable.
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