Churches should stop collecting tithes as these are Old Testament practices specifically prescribed by God to the Israelites, Prophet Prince Wonderful has said.
Prophet Wonderful last week told The Sunday Mail Religion that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ did away with “the old ways” such as giving tithes.
Prophet Wonderful said he did not collect tithes and offerings, adding that preachers were using these to make money. He said preachers relied on Malachi 3:10 to take money from congregants.
The verse reads: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”
However, Prophet Wonderful said that verse should be contextualised with Malachi 1:1, which says, “Prophecy: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.”
The preacher — whose church has no name but is “a gathering of fellow heirs” — said Jesus did not survive from tithes but that people willingly supported His ministry.
He referred to Luke 8:1-3 which says, “After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”
Prophet Wonderfrul said, “I have never collected any tithes or offerings since 2013. This is the true gospel because Jesus never preached that we pay tithes; that was a Jewish practice. We are not Jews but we were Gentiles until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Even Paul wrote in Ephesians 2 verses 11-16 that those who were not Jews were referred to as Gentiles or unclean, but the coming of Jesus Christ changed the game as everyone who believes in the Son of God is an heir of the kingdom.
“If we are followers of Christ, why then should we stick to the Old Testament teachings of tithes and offerings? The true gospel is that pastors ought not to survive from tithes but from wilful support from those who want to support the gospel.”
Prophet Wonderful also claimed baptism with water was an Old Testament practice that ended with the coming of Christ, who John the Baptist said baptised with the Spirit.
He also said Holy Communion was no longer relevant because the crucifixion of Jesus’ body represented the bread and wine.
“It’s also wrong to say so-and-so is a founder of a church because Jesus Christ is the one who started the Church. When Jesus calls someone to serve, the main focus should be pushing His agenda.
“We shouldn’t focus on being presidents or founders of churches; this is where self-glorification emanates from. This is how many start referring to themselves as spiritual fathers,” said Prophet Wonderful.
Other preachers disagreed with these views.
Pastor Morgan Moyo of New Gospel Ministries said there was nothing wrong with tithing, explaining: “There is no difference between the Old and New Testament. We use the Bible as a whole. Tithes are still relevant as God’s principles still apply up to this day.”
Another clergyman pointed out that Jesus, in Matthew 5:17-18, said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfil them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”-state media