Primate Okoh clears the air on Tithing Debate

Arch Bishop Nicholas Okoh

Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has joined the ongoing tithing debate. According to His Grace, paying your 10% is not mandatory, adding that not paying does not mean you are cursed.

Explaining his stance, Primate Okoh noted that God does not need our tithe to survive which is why it is not by force. Responding to claims that some pastors place people under a divine curse for refusing to pay their tithe, he said, “No, I don’t believe it, I don ’t curse anybody, God does not compel us to go, he only makes us willing to go.

“Tithing is a very ancient tradition, Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek and people have become transfixed to that idea till today, but in the New Testament, giving modalities have other options.

“One, it says, set aside something every week which you think would be handsome for the glory of God and give that. Whether that is 10 percent or whatever percent, I don’t know, but the instruction is, set aside something every week.

“Then, there is the gift required to be given by all; the first concept is that your life is a living sacrifice. A sacrifice is something you offer and withdraw your hand, that means the Christian offers his life totally and the totality of his training, his money and everything he has belonged to God.

“Therefore, the question of saying, ‘God take 10 percent, I would keep 90 percent’ does not arise. Let me give an example: If you are a tither and you give 10 percent to the Church, and after giving this percentage, somebody is very sick, and you still have your 90 percent, will you close your eyes to the person’s need?“You see, that is one of the weaknesses of tithing if you follow it mechanically.”

Still, he advised Christians to give generally, willing and according to what is placed in their hearts.

Referring to the story of the young boy who gave Jesus his two pieces of fish and five barley loaves in John chapter 6, the primate said, “ So, the point in this matter is that, when God is asking for something, you don’t give him 10 percent.

“You give him what is worthy of his name: it might be more than 10 percent, it might be 10 percent, it might be anything depending on the situation he has placed you bearing in mind that every good and perfect gift comes from above. If God has given you a gift, he woos your mind, he makes you see why.”

Meanwhile, Ghanaian Council of State member, Sam Okudzeto has also shared his thoughts on tithing.

He believes that this is just a way for pastors to “blackmail” their church members with by taking advantage of Malachi 3:10.
Arguments for tithing play

In an interview with Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme, Okudzeto said, “I have a different concept of tithe.

“I have argued with pastors that they are using the tithe as a ruse to blackmail people to give money and I said it is wrong...

“God does not bless you because you give tithe, God blesses you because you’re worshipping him. He blesses you because you love your neighbour as yourself, and you provide for your neighbour when he has a need, that is what God wants you to do. So, we are turning the Bible upside down.”