The subject of “giving” reminds me of a certain assignment I had to do in university years ago.
On this interesting day, one of my favorite lecturers gave the class an assignment to watch and critique a movie directed by Mimi Leder called “Paying it forward.” At the time, we couldn’t understand why anyone would fancy the opinions of undergraduates in their second year; even if the said movie had an abysmal rating of 39% on Rotten Tomatoes (a well-respected source and rating for film and television). What I never knew was that the assignment would end up shaping my perspective of the act of giving altogether.
During our next class, we gave a presentation on our individual thoughts on the movie, and we all agreed on the fact: a good turn deserves to be paid to another immediately or forwarded. It was clear to all of us that love is the key to giving not the reward or hope of being paid back in some form. Just nothing but love! This had to be the case, especially when generous to those lacking the capacity to give back in any shape or form.
I am giving this backstory because of the familiar cord that struck after seeing the internet awash with a plethora of paradigms on the subject matter of giving in form of tithes. What ignited this debate for the umpteenth time, was the recent preaching by famous American preacher and opinion leader, Dr. Creflo Dollar. His controversial teaching themed “The great misunderstanding”, sought to clarify how Christians should give post-death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
According to the preacher who asked his congregation to discard most of his former teachings on tithing, the act was an old testament obligation bound under the mosaic law. After over 65 minutes of quoting scripture after scripture, and verse after verse, it seemed he made a very compelling case on a very contested issue in Christendom. He asserted that giving should not be a function of fear or guilt; it should be done in love and trust that God will take care of our needs. He further said that in giving to God, all should ask for wisdom on how to go about giving correctly, which may not always be monetarily or the stated 10% from earnings.
Some reactions trailing what has been called a “U-turn” by a preacher who once supported the school of thought Dollar is trying to correct, claim he has made a subtle attack on the church. Others who agree with him are gleefully taking a victory lap on social media saying “I told you so.” However, we must also acknowledge that there are those who have been left more confused than they were before listening to the much-talked-about sermon.
So the burning questions are:
Will the controversy-ladened sermon create a sense of ease towards the culture of tithing in church?
Do you think the status quo will be maintained regardless of his new teaching?
How much is enough for God? A thousand or ten million? Should it cost an arm or a leg?
Must giving to God cost a dollar? A hug? Encouraging others or what?
Will love to read your opinion. Kindly share below.
Ogo Adelakun writes on diverse subjects.