A video of esteemed Nigerian Pastor E A Adeboye , General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, admonishing Christians who do not pay tithes – the practice of giving 10% of their earnings to the church – has enraged some Nigerians on social media.
In the recording, Pastor Adeboye can be heard saying to his congregation:
Anyone who is not paying his tithe is not going to heaven, full stop.”
The Video has since gone viral video.Speaking to the pastors in the congregation, Adeboye said he had an instruction for them. He asked that they return to their congregations and tell them, “Anyone who does not pay his/her tithe is not going to heaven, full stop.”
He said, “Im going to give every one of you pastors an opportunity to repent tonight.
“And then to go back immediately after this convention and restitue your ways with your congregation
“Make it clear to them anyone who is not paying his tithe is not going heaven, full stop.“
Pastor Adeboye, who heads the Redeemed Christian Church of God – one of the biggest churches in Nigeria – has been listed by Forbes as one of the richest clerics in the world with a net worth of $130m.
However, last year, Pastor Tunde Bakare told the BBC Yoruba service that the practice of tithing should not be compulsory.
According to BBC, Giving tithes is a controversial topic in Nigeria and many churches compel members of their congregations to tithe, even though many people cannot afford to do so. It is estimated that 80% of Nigerians live on less than $2 a day.
Pastor Bakare, who leads the popular Later Rain Assembly church in Lagos, did not mince his words: ‘ ‘Tithing is not compulsory. No-one should feel compelled to pay – no-one is holding a gun to their head.”
He warned: ‘‘Churches where pastors are becoming fat and the members are growing lean, God will judge them.”