Over time, I got to understand that the gospel of Jesus is strikingly different from the religious and greedy gospel of churches. Below are 7 myths about money from the gospels, often twisted by pastors and parroted by gullible members.
- The widow who gave her all was never pronounced blessed. Jesus only said she gave more (Mk. 12:41-44; Lk. 21: 1-4).
- Tithing alone without executing social justice attracted a curse not a blessing. To be truly blessed a person would need to execute social justice in addition to paying tithes. If all you do is just pay your tithes, chances are you will be more cursed than blessed! Payment of tithes alone does not guarantee blessing. (Mt. 23:23; Lk. 11:42)
- In the parable of the Republican and the Pharisee, the giver and tither was not blessed or justified. The sinner was, because of his humility and sincerity. Giving and tithing alone does not guarantee blessings from God. (Lk. 18:9-14)
- Jesus told the rich man to give his wealth to the poor to find salvation. He did not ask him to give it to his ministry or preaching efforts, to be blessed. He had to give it to the poor and then come follow Jesus (Lk. 18:18-25; Mk. 10-17-23)
- The woman who blessed Jesus with the expensive alabaster oil in preparation for his burial was blessed with notable mention (wherever the gospel is preached) not with corresponding wealth (Matt. 26: 6-10)
- The early disciples redistributed wealth contributed by members. They did not consolidate wealth in the church and store up billions in excess for massive egoistic projects and in high interest yielding accounts or stock market investments (Acts 4: 32-35)
- Paul raised offerings and donations, not for his ministry but for Christians suffering from a crisis (2 Corinthians 8; 9:1-3,12 [http://www.sofii.org/node/499]).
The corruption of the gospel by spreading myths about money is why the church has lost its potency. When members constantly compare ministers to businessmen, it shows that they see the ministry as a kind of business and the ministers as deserving to live on the same level as oil magnates, entertainment superstars and dubious businessmen.
The truth is that as good as wealth is, it is not the purpose of ministry. If you want to make money, do so through proper productive business, not through ministry. Donations through appeals is not the way to build wealth, productive enterprise is! That is why many men who brought significant change to their societies had to live a life of sacrifice. It's why Mandela, Ghandi and Lee Kuan Yew could change nations and our jet riding ministers can't. It's not by getting bigger, it's by getting better. You can't serve God and Mammon, QED!
As a proof, I’d say that if our top 5 men of God in Nigeria simply follow the dictates (and example) of Christ and give their wealth to the poor, or donate to worthy causes like research and education, this country will change in a second! A minister MUST be comfortable and able to meet his needs, but is not meant to become obscenely wealthy from running a ministry. That is like becoming a millionaire from running a charity!