My article captioned: ” WHY I DO WHAT I DO” refers.
I have received various and varied comments including phone discussions on same and have decided to share with us below, one of the responses from an Emeritus Professor who is a very senior Pastor and a distinguished senior citizen; with my response.
I hope this will further enhance our understanding on the subject matter.
May God Almighty enlighten us by His Word as we continue to run the race in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ!
Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI
“Good evening my dear Pastor.
I apologize for responding this late over the chat above. Thank you so much for taking me into confidence and sharing such a deep seated thought with me. My response is twofold.
First, I want you to know that your messages are being shared all over the world. I send them to my biological and non biological children in Australia, Europe, the UK and America. All my church members here in Nigeria and my Kith and Kin in Ohuhu land Abia State benefit from the messages. Besides, I share the chat with Capro. Capro is the first indigenous missionary foundation we formed soon after our NYSC service year in 1974. I was the first General Secretary of Capro. Capro has missionaries all over the world – both in English and non English speaking nations in the world. Your chats are there.
Please note Pastor you can not share in spreading the Gospel all over the world and expect Satan not to attack you. He is bound to enter human beings and will use many strategies to want to frustrate and blackmail you. Remember John chapter 16 verse 33 “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. So it is normal for people to misunderstand you, call you names and even slander you. The issue is not what people call you. The issue is what He, Jesus calls you. He calls you His own. That settles it.
You have very soundly answered the query regarding whether or not a Christian should serve beer or drink it. Your position is very sound and adequately scriptural. Please stick to it.
I think that your position regarding tithing can be enriched if you take a very close look at Matthew chapter 23 verse 23. You will need a bit of grammatical analyses to get to the heart of the matter. It says: “Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the Law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former”. If we look at the two words in the last aspect of verse 23 – ” latter” and ” former”, we will see that Jesus never condemned tithing. What He condemned was the attitude to and the over indulgence on tithing at the expense of ” justice, mercy and faithfulness “. As a matter of fact “it is possible to obey the details of the law but still be disobedient in our general behavior. For example, we could be very precise and faithful about giving 10% of our money to God but refuse to give one minute of our time in helping others. Tithing is important, but giving tithe does not exempt us from fulfilling God’s other directives”.
When the Missionaries first came here they were service oriented. They groomed us to exploit the natural resources in our land and made us benefit from God’s endowment on our land. For instance, Hope Waddel Training Institute in Calabar was originally an agric center for training converts so that by exploiting the resources in the land they could be tent makers. Mary Slessor in Calabar trained women on home economics and home keeping. Even today Calabar women are not only famous as chefs, they also are famous for the grandeur of their homes.
Today we have bastardised the offering in the church by commercializing them so that we can own mansions and live in splendour with our jets.
The church can turn around this country if we can mobilise our youths to go back to the farms and build the artisans that can process for export and encourage local consumption of our farm produce. No we encourage laziness, greed and kleptocracy. We encourage them to sow seeds, pay tithes and stay idle waiting for their breakthroughs. Tragic indeed and how are the mighty fallen.
God bless you my Pastor.”
IT IS FINISHED!
Thank you so very much Sir for your kind comment on my article under reference. I appreciate Sir.
It is also gratifying to note Sir that you do widely share my daily inspirational/devotional messages.
May God Almighty richly reward you Sir.
However, concerning the statement of Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:23, with particular reference to your emphasis on “latter” and “former”, Jesus Christ couldn’t have condemned tithing at that point in time because according to Him, He didn’t come to condemn the law but to fulfill the law.
Having paid the supreme price on the cross of Calvary wherein He said: “IT IS FINISHED”!; Jesus Christ had once for all fulfilled ALL the laws!
” Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I AM NOT COME TO DESTROY, BUT TO FULFIL.” (Matthew 5:17)
“And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44)
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” (John 19:28)
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is FINISHED : and He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)
” I have glorified thee on the earth: I have FINISHED the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4)
“For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” (John 19:36)
Sir, the few scriptures above are very explicit and self-explanatory!
Jesus Christ, having fulfilled ALL the laws, which law including tithing is there for Christians to still fulfill?
I hope all the aforementioned have answered your concern about tithe in this dispensation Sir.
However, should there still be anything on the subject matter that you would like further exposition, please, feel absolutely free to revert to me Sir.
Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI