• I’ll not collect tithes from prostitutes, yahoo boys –Pastor
• ‘God will judge erring pastors harshly’
By TAI ANYANWU and CHIJIOKE IREMEKA
There have been arguments over whether prostitutes and Yahoo guys pay their tithes and whether such tithes and offerings will be accepted as true worship to the Lord. Sunday Telegraph’s visits to the streets, brothels and churches have revealed startling secretes about this controversy. TAI ANYANWU and CHIJIOKE IREMEKA report
There has often been hot arguments over whether prostitutes and ‘gee guys’, popularly called ‘Yahoo guys’ pay tithes or give offering in the church and whether such tithes and offerings will be accepted as an act of true worship to the Lord.
While some sides of the argument, the prostitutes, said they pay their tithes regularly for more jobs, some pastors on their part said they will not collect tithes and offering from this category of members, if they notice a member is paying tithes from proceeds of prostitution or fraud.
However, in the spiritual matters of the Kingdom, it appeared that these scarlets of the night are not left out as they believe that the more offering and tithe they pay, will translate to more and robust reward as such that follows good tither.
Malachi 3 demands Christians to pay tithe, that is, one tenth of their income to the house of God as tithe to God so there will be food in the store house of God; that is from the blessings God has given, Christians are also to give free will offerings, for the advancement of the work of God.
In verse 10 of Malachi chapter three, God commanded: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
This promise and reward will go to anybody that adheres to the command and one of such prostitute-tither is a 27-year-old Zika T, whose tithes and offerings seemed to be making ways for her.
She said: “If I pay my tithes, and give offerings, it will attract more customers to me. Before I go to work, I will pray and ask God for protection and good business because God is the one that determines what happens.
“I go to church and I belong to the youth fellowship. I pray very well not because I am doing this. I am just doing it to pass away time and to feed myself. I know that what I am doing is wrong but I know that God will help me to stop one day. That is why I pay my tithe and offering for God to open a way for me. I’m a sinner, I know.
“Of course, I have a boyfriend; he doesn’t need to know what I do. But if he finds out on his own, I will explain things to him and if he feels otherwise, then he is free to do his mind.
“Yes, if he can give me what I need, then, there is no need for me to continue with this business. I will be ready to quit the job. We do jobs to pay our bills. Nobody wants to work, so if he will pay my bills, I quit.”
Unfortunately, prostitution in the country has gone digital making difficult even know who is a prostitutes from the mix of other clean ladies.
There are silent prostitutes that have more activities than those on the streets and brothels. There are those clean and well dressed ladies with good command of English and good jobs that you will kill to have as a wife, yet engage in prostituting from home.
They go to work during the day but do the oldest profession at night. If you are waiting for them to be on the street, you will be making a mistake as they control things through phones, facebooks, Instagrams, and whatsapp among other apps.
They go to church because they are targeting some rich guys in the church. Some of them visit big churches and in the process, they join different activities in the House of God. One major factor here is that you don’t chase people away from the church. Church welcomes all manner of people hoping to transform them.
“Of course, they are expected to be in the church because that is where they find their deliverance and meet their change. Church is like hospital where both the sick and the healthy visit,” said Minister Paul Ifeoluwa, of the Vision of God Bible Church, Festac, Lagos.
He noted that these categories of people have found their ways to the ushering department of the churches, saying that they are choristers and committed members of the church and therefore pay tithes, give offerings even without anybody suspecting them.
“They have to be in the church if not, their salvation will be far. Church is a molding point for people with hurts and characters that require remolding and reshaping. If you are sick and stay far away from the hospital, you are gambling with your life as your healing will not be in sight,” he insisted.
One of the scarlets of the night in search of her daily bread, Jessica Onovo, said: “Why won’t prostitutes pay tithes? After all no pastor had ever asked for the source of income of the tithe payers. Their followers pay tithes to ensure and increase the work of God.
“In the tithing world, prostitutes are the saints; we have armed robbers, extortionists, corrupt public servants, drug barons, 419’s, Yahoo boys, and the rest of them all paying tithes. So, why picking on us?”
According to Cassy Blez’s cousin, who was engaged in the oldest profession, prayer is the first thing before going out for the night duty.
She reveals: “Every evening before setting out to business, she should pray and shout “robocatca, remamakatabosa, and all the likes for a full one hour, disturbing our ears and peace every evening.
“I am sure she was a faithful tither because she attends all the Night vigils, mid week service and all other programmes. I guessed the tithing worked because she was catching one white man after another. She was dealing in dollars.”
“I was watching this sermon on TV where a pastor was preaching on how necessary it is to pay your tithe which is 10 per cent of your income but funny enough, he didn’t specify the kind job or how you earn the income that’ll enable you to pay your tithe.
“Rather he focused on the implications of not paying your tithe. So many questions keep ringing in my mind. Should it be considered right or wrong if prostitute pays her tithe? A Yahoo boy nko? What about our politicians?”
For Jessica White, she doesn’t joke what things of the Lord irrespective of what she doing for the moment.
“I go to church to worship God not to catch a man. I know where to get the king of man I want. I pay my tithe, I give offerings and I do other contribution when the need arises,” she quipped.
These people do not see themselves different from others in the country. You need to see them during the day. They are wonderful people but have hidden night identity. They are emboldened by the activities of Nigerian politicians and civil servants, whom they say do worst things than them, yet recognised and respected in the society.
On the Lekki-Ajah axis, the sight of Osamor Orus in any church is to the presiding pastor, as good as hitting a jackpot.
Ordinarily Orus, as he is fondly called, is a young man. But beyond the façade of his kind mien, is an unrepentant ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ kingpin, whose wealth come from milking the hard-earned resources of others through indecent and ungodly means.
This affluent resident of one of Lekki’s exclusive estates makes it a habit, every Sunday, to visit as many churches as possible.
He dumps stupefying offering, tithe or gifts on the laps of the ‘lucky pastor’ of any church visited.
Orus’ cash gifts are usually so mesmerising that they render the efforts of other worshippers in the prowling ground of Lagos super-rich a Lilliputian’s gift.
Take it or leave it, Orus is a darling of the pastors on the Lekki-Ajah axis; and he is welcome in their churches any time any day as the pastors never bother to ask what the source of his income is and if it is genuine, godly or ungodly.
But, the Head, Media and Public Relations of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi said: “If I know that a worshiper, who wants to pay tithe is a prostitute, yahoo or earns his or her income from a dishonest source, I will not take the tithe from such people.”
According to him, one thing about tithe is, the pastor is not in a position to tell whether the payer’s source of income is genuine or not.
He explained that paying tithe is a way of appreciating God for giving one a source of income and an act of worship which attracts reward.
“Paying tithe from income that is not genuine or tricking a pastor into collecting from an ungodly income is an absolute waste. Indeed, such tithe is a wasteful venture because the payer will lose the benefits of tithing.
“Invariable, there is a curse for any wrong doing and disobedience to the word of God concerning any issue,” Pastor Olaitan stressed.
Pastor Olaitan finds a soul mate in Rev Stephen Ezechukwu, Head Public Relations, The Salvation Army Nigeria Territory Headquarters.
He said: “Tithe is 10% of someone’s income, from a godly source. Tithe does not belong to the pastor; rather it is God’s and an act of worship of the Almighty God, which attracts reward to a genuine tithe payer.”
He added: “God will not accept tithe paid from ungodly source of income as an act of worship. Hence, the payer will lose the reward if his source of income is not godly.”
For Rev James Akinadewo, Regional Overseer, Lagos Region, Motailatu Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide, without mincing words said: “It is wrong for any pastor to accept tithe from people whose income come through ungodly avenues.
“God will judge, harshly, any servant of God who accepts tithes from prostitutes, yahoo people and those who pay tithe from ungodly means. The Bible says that the truth you know and do will set you free.”
Speaking on the right of any pastor to reject a tithe from a worshipper, Elder Chris Njelita said it amounts to hypocrisy for any pastor to openly say he will not accept tithes from prostitutes and yahoo boys.
He said: “So, the pastor will not collect tithes from a harlots but will but will collect from politicians, corrupt civil servants, murders, blasphemers, sinners, fornicators and adulterers among other sins. It doesn’t make sense. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’
“If you stigmatise these people, how then will you win them over to Christ when you have condemned them? If you are called of God and you know a particular member who does a shoddy job, call him, speak to him or her like a father and brother would, advise him or her per adventure he or she might change but not by stereotyping him or her.
“It’s ungodly. Let’s not be over righteous here. The scripture says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Anyone that adheres to this will get that reward because it’s the word of God, he added. “Let the over righteous people and pastors go and read about Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, perhaps, they will learn something.