— Controversial Tithe Issue In Nigeria
— Omilola Oshikoya Writes Open Letter to Daddy Freeze on the Subject of Tithing
Dear Daddy Freeze,
I must first of all commend you for being brave enough to talk about a lot of things that a lot of people aren’t able to talk about. We have noticed some of the atrocities performed in some churches (not all) but we haven’t been bold enough to address them. Whilst I do not agree with your style and everything you say, I must applaud your boldness. As with anything in life, there is good and there is bad and you have begun to unveil some of the false teaching taught by so many and followed by so many. I agree that there are a lot of people who are worshipping money and are preaching a false doctrine. The Bible says by their fruits you shall know them. With regards to denomination, I grew up a staunch catholic (my parents are still catholic) and I also became Pentecostal as well but now I’d rather refer to myself as The Fathers daughter as that is what my identity is. Our identity is not based on denomination and the denomination you belong too does not determine whether you are allowed in Heaven or not. In the catholic church there are priests who molest children and in the Vatican there are also some corrupt leaders, the same way in the Pentecostal church there are pastors who molest their congregation mentally and sexually and also steal from them financially. This is the same with other denominations in the church as well. That being said there are also many people in all denominations that have the right heart condition and serve and love God genuinely. One thing I must also commend you for is the fact that a lot of people are now reading their Bibles and seeking a personal relationship with God. In the past people took what their Priests or Pastors said hook line and sinker or worshipped their Priest/Pastors but man is man and even the best of man can err or be wrong. It is important that we all have a personal relationship with the Father. This is why Jesus came and this is why after he was crucified, the veil at the temple tore from top to bottom. He gave us all access into the Holy of holies.
You have also revealed that a lot of people in leadership do not actually bear the fruit of the spirit which according to Galatians 5:22-23is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
This highlights the fact that it is important we pray for all our leaders. We too need prayers. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Theerefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
With regards to tithing, I’m not here to argue scripture with you. Scripture is very important and I read my Bible daily however we can both read the same thing and get different revelations. Infact I can read a Bible verse today and read it again another day and get a different revelation. Also if a person is an illiterate and doesn’t know how to read the Bible or never gets the chance to but has given his or her life to Jesus, I believe this person would still go to Heaven whether or not they have ever read the Bible or not. The way we live our lives is the only Bible that some people will ever get to read. More importantly in reading the scriptures we cannot use intellect but we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead and teach us John 14:26says “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you”.The Bible in 1Corinthians 2:14says “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The most important thing in our journey is a personal relationship with God. In this relationship, the Father will speak to you and guide you in what you need to do and not do. Christianity is not a religion and it is not based on rules or guidelines. It is a way of life and a personal relationship with the Father. All the entire Bible and infact all of creation does is to reveal Jesus from beginning to the end. For example, the cup bearer and the baker in Josephs story reveals the sacrifice Jesus was going to pay on our behalf and this is depicted through Holy Communion. Solomon asked for wisdom and in Proverbs 8, the Bible talks about how wisdom is Jesus. David was a man after Gods heart and in Revelations 5: 5 and Revelations 22:16the Bible says Jesus is the Root of David. The new testament starts with the geneology of Jesus, so in essence the old testament is a story leading up to the birth of Jesus. The New testament i.e. the Gospel shows the life of Jesus and the rest shows how the disciples took Him to the world and His return.
Now the issue of tithing but before I write on this, let me start by saying that the rich men (Africa’s richest man and the richest man on earth who is in technology) who you refer to a lot in your posts, actually own absolutely nothing. I reiterate they own nothing. If Africa’s richest man were to die today, He would not even take the bed sheet that his body will be wrapped in. He won’t even take the body he is borrowing. Everything He has accumulated will remain on earth and will be redistributed by the owner of all things, God. Even if he wills it to his kids, the Lord still decides whether the wealth will be sustained or be squandered. God owns everything and we are only custodians. The Bible in Deuteronomy 8: 18says “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth,”. So God doesn’t need our 10%. Neither is there a curse over you if you don’t pay 10% tithe. He already owns everything anyway whether we accept it or not or whether we believe in Him or not. So in essence the way I understand it is that God owns 100% of my income and everything I own and He decides how He wants me to spend it. Personally, I tithe and my tithe is more than 10% as directed by the Lord and I am blessed as a result. You may be asking that why is it that the men I referred to earlier who aren’t Christians and don’t tithe but are still considered the world’s wealthiest (according to man)? Well the answer is that there are laws and principles that guide money and whether or not you are a believer once you apply those laws, you will make money. Also, when it comes to wealth, a person’s current networth cannot really determine whether they are truly wealthy or not. God is a generational God. I do not know if Africa’s richest man’s wealth will outlive him. For me the true test of wealth is when wealth outlives the founder even decades after death, like in the case of Henry Parsons Crowell of the famous Quaker Oats.
Henry Parsons Crowell founded Quaker Oats and was an extraordinary Christian business man. He brought oat meal to Americas breakfast table. Prior to this oat meal was eating by horses. He sought the Lords counsel in all His business endeavours and He received so many ground breaking ideas from the Lord. He pioneered the use of celebrity endorsements. Many of his marketing strategies are still being used today. The more He gave to God and Christian causes the more he prospered. Together with his wife, many corporate giants came to Christ. They gave to more than a hundred Christian organisations including the Moody Bible Institute. He died in 1943 after giving away more than 70% of his wealth over 40 years from an initial tithe of 10%. Even after his death, still today, Quaker oats continues to be a market leader and continues to make more than $10 billion a year. The company owns Aunt Jemima and also own the Snapple Beverage company amongst many other companies. Today as I drove in Lagos, I saw many billboards of Quaker Oats.
You may also want to research on other billionaires who gave to the Kingdom and whose wealth is generational for example Henry John Heinz of Heinz Ketchup. I am hosting an insta live series starting next week so you can join the conversation. These are men who are wealthy and gave their all to God.
Now back to the issue of tithing, like I mentioned before God owns 100% of my wealth and in our personal relationship He decides what I do with it. There are times I have had to give someone in need 100% of what I have at that point in time, whether it’s a poor person or just someone with a need. There was a time when God asked me to give 100% (net of tithes) of what I had at the time to help someone pay her daughters fees. In our personal relationship, He has also asked me to pay tithe in the church that I feed from spiritually. I pay a lot more than 10% and have been increasing this as often as I am led to by the Holy Spirit and I will continue to do so as led by the Holy Spirit. He determines how His money is being spent. I don’t do it because there is a curse attached if I don’t but out my love relationship with the Father, I obey Him.
Now why am I comfortable doing this? First of all my Pastor, Pastor Wale Adefarasin is a man of integrity. The church Guiding Light Assembly is also structured properly as an organisation and it is not a one man’s business. The finances and activities of our church are managed by a Board of Trustees. My pastor is paid a salary and the church account is separate from his account. His main occupation is a pastor and he has no other side dealings and as a pastor, he is being paid a salary. He is a very conservative and a very humble man and not excessive in anyway. I see Jesus in Him. The tithes of our church are used to promote the gospel and we do this through different means. There is a discipleship course we run that helps people become more Christ like and we have people from different denominations and churches that come to be a part of it. There are three courses namely Masterlife, Experiencing God and The Mind of Christ. It is absolutely free to attend and it is financed by the church. The books that are used in the course cost a lot of money and the church bears this responsibility. People who have passed through the discipleship course include Mrs Bukky George of Health Plus Limited, she is not even a member of our church etc. Many people across different industries who are successful and are also impacting our country and sphere of influence have done it. Lives are being changed and people are impacting Nigeria as a result of character building. I can say that the discipleship courses have played a big role in my life and this is one of the reasons the Lord has led me to impact lives all over the world and in Nigeria with my book, The Richer Woman and also through the Do It Afraid conferences which has led many millennials starting businesses even in a recession.
We have also adopted the Obalande community and have played pivotal roles in upgrading the lives of citizens through our various activities which includes feeding hundreds of widows, the elderly and children weekly, health care treatments, bore hole construction etc We have a business fund that has helped people start businesses and provides mentorship. We have an education endowment fund that educates many people. We also have a talk show, The Heart of the Matter that I co-host which airs on Ebony Life TV and impacts people all over Africa and the world.
These are just a few of the things that the church is using our tithes and offering to fund. There are no conditions or cajoling. We give as led by the Holy Spirit and out of love. The vision of the church is “building leaders, changing our world”and this is what we focus on. We are not perfect but we are genuinely following Christ.
You may ask how do I know all these things. After working in investment banking for over 10 years, I worked in the media department of the church office for three years as a staff.
Asides from Guiding Light Assembly, there are also other churches that use their tithes and funds the right way. Not all churches squander tithes and not all Pastors are false.
Personally, I may not be able to directly impact all these various outlets but the money that I give to the church is used to help all these people and I am happy to do so. Asides from my tithe I also continue to give different causes as led by the Spirit of God. My husband and I have used our resources (time, money and effort) to impact Nigeria even in a recession. As led by God, we have funded international standard conferences to showcase wealth creation opportunities for Nigerians in the recession without any financial sponsors. One of which was the Do It Afraid conferences and the Do It Afraid Agribusiness entrepreneurship workshop where we showcased the different opportunities in agriculture. As a result, many people who lost jobs have started agribusinesses and other businesses across different sectors. Some of these businesses include Nellies, Eventecture, Package Plus etc. We could use our funds for other things but it is a privilege to use our money to fund Gods causes whether in the church or in society.
I do hope that one day we would get to discuss these issues face to face however in the interim I do hope that I have provided some clarity in certain issues. Pastor Mensa Otabil discussed tithing backed with scripture at a conference at Fountain of Life church, you can also watch the sermon.
Whilst you go on your mission, I would like to suggest that you do so in love. Jesus came preaching love. Everything that He did was in love. Even when He was crucified by the very people that He came to set free, He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Preach love, teach love and show love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13.
God bless you Daddy Freeze and may the love of Jesus Christ abide with you always.
P.s. I watched your teaching on the rainbow and love that it is your logo, interestingly the Holy Spirit asked me to do some research on the rainbow and I wrote about it in my blog www.thefathersdaughterweb.wrodpress.com.
Africa’s Wealth Connoiseur