In a thought-provoking Facebook post, Catholic priest Fr. Kelvin Ugwu, currently serving in Gambia, challenges the traditional notion of compulsory tithing within the Christian community. Emphasizing the biblical principle found in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Fr. Ugwu encourages believers to contribute willingly and cheerfully, free from external pressure.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Fr. Ugwu dismantles the idea of a fixed monthly tithe, asserting that genuine Christian giving should be a personal decision, unrestricted by a specific percentage. He asserts that financial contributions should not only benefit the church and its ministers but should extend to aiding those in need within the community.
“It is fair enough to argue that each of us has a responsibility to the church, to take care of our priests, pastors, and ministers…but it is charity all the same.”
Fr. Ugwu challenges the conventional allocation of funds collected as tithe or offerings, suggesting that ministers should exercise discretion in using these resources for charitable purposes.
“Then, ideally, money given to ministers in the name of tithe or offerings, the minister should use it or part of it as he deems fit, to help the poor. So, it is the same charity and reaching out.”
He further advises against succumbing to pressure or manipulation, stating:
“Let no one blackmail you. Nobody goes to hell for not paying tithe.”
Fr. Ugwu concludes by reiterating the core biblical message, emphasizing that individuals won’t face condemnation for failing to meet specific financial obligations but rather for neglecting to help those in need.
“You only go to hell for seeing your brother hungry or thirsty or naked or imprisoned but refused to help. The Bible is clear, but we just love to twist it.”
Fr. Kelvin Ugwu’s reflections challenge the traditional understanding of financial contributions within the Christian faith, promoting a more compassionate and individualized approach to charitable giving.
From Fr. Kelvin Ugwu’s Facebook post.