By Deolu Akinyemi
I speak only of what I have heard, and all who have heard can bear me witness. I have listened to Pastors preach on the principles of sowing and reaping, of seed time and harvest, and of the quality of your seed determining the quality of your harvest. The highest of motivational speaking, the most gracious of charismatic hypnotism and sever emotional and pocket book exploitation let lose on God’s people as their larger than life Pastors milk the sheep, skin the ship and finally feed off the sheep of God in their care.
I have not heard all the Pastors in Nigeria, but permit me to those I have listened to share on what God can do in response to your giving and your faith – Pastor E.A Adobe, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Rev George Adegboye, Pastor Poju Oyemade, their brothers and sons, and in case your pastor has preached the same, you can simply add them (add me, I have in times past). These people have preached summarily that God responds to giving, and that giving to God (particularly into the offering basket) can create an avalanche of multiple fold returns to the giver. I listened with bewildering trepidation to a recent message by Daddy GO, where he directly told the people that their checks will keep the windows of Heaven open over them. Is there anything wrong with this message? Or do we not have any right to ask questions like Jesus asked when he was only 12? Is Christ in us still at his infancy? Who is on the Lord’s side? Who is siding with Jesus, who is siding with men? May all who bless who God has cursed be cursed, and may all who curse who God has blessed by cursed, and may the neutral get a measure of what is due to both sides. Amen.
I read 1 Corinthians 16 and I saw clearly that this generation, and indeed these pastors are not on the same level with Apostle Paul. Apostle Paul must have been excused when Jesus shared the revelation about sowing and reaping, first fruits, open heavens, tithe and tapping into grace. Paul is totally oblivious of these concepts. He is not as sharp as these anointed men of God, who are teaching us the new ways of Jesus.
A whole first generation apostle is writing on giving. He’s writing about a topic that is so important in worship centers today that it gets a mention every service. He’s talking about this important topic, and listen to the content of what he says. Does he not know better? Wow, he’s going to raise a poor offering at this rate.
Here is what the Apostle Paul instructs:
1. About the poor relief to other Christians, this is the same instruction I gave to the Churches in Galatia. This message is not just a one off, this is the message.
2. Every Sunday, make an offering and keep it for safekeeping, be as generous as you can.
3. Get it ready ahead so I don’t have to raise a special offering when I come. The Apostle would not like to put them under pressures.
4. Someone will be delegated and authorized to take the offering to destination.I won’t stop asking – “Does God own you?” If he owns you, how do you give to Him what is already His? How can you want a return on what you gave to God, are you alright? Can you expect that from your children? Do they try to pay you complements and work for you for pecuniary value? Why then do we practice this same bad habit with God? When did the almighty become “Baba Ijebu.” Seed time and harvest time is about Crops. Not money. Give and it will be given unto you is for judgment, criticism and curses, it has nothing to do with money. God wants His true Sons to enter into the stewardship of ownership, to be his stewards, running his errands and serving His needs as he points them out.
Here are popularly quoted scriptures used in error and out of context to back this false doctrine. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocket book. Matt 7:15-20 (MSG).
1. Luke 6:38: “Give and it will come back to you in good measure.” Check the scriptures without manipulation, it’s talking about criticism and feedback. Anybody who reads money into it, is reading greed into the creed.
2. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11: “He that sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he that sows bountifully will reap bountifully.” If you read this in context you will see that God is the one who gives you what to give, and gives you more to give as you give. It’s not about getting a harvest of consumption out of giving to God.
3. Galatians 6:7: “Don’t be deceived, whatever a man sows, the same shall he reap.” This is the real principle of sowing and reaping. The question is, what is the seed, and what is the harvest? This is the real sowing and reaping. Seeds, selfishness, ignoring the needs of others ( all these are really ignoring God) brings a harvest of weeds. All he will have to show for his life is weeds – corruption. Sowing in obedience, allowing the Holy Spirit take charge of the growth work will harvest real life – eternal life. (recall it starts with “don’t be deceived,” this decision not to be deceived needs to be deliberate.
4. Genesis 26:12: “Isaac sowed in the land and reaped a hundred fold.” Of course, Isaac sowed crops in a farm, not money into an offering basket. Get real. Any scripture you have, please bring it on. God does not play “kalokalo aka tit for tat” with His children.
The richest men in the world neither sow nor reap, yet they are richer than congregations of passionate prosperity preaching, blessing declaring Christians. Something is wrong people, bring on the persecution.
I’m already leaping for Joy!