I, the writer of these words, I'm a Christian. Therefore, neither am I writing these words to criticize nor to promote my opinion.
I just seem to find myself amidst development that somewhat seem non Christlike.
The commonly quoted verse when it comes to this matter of collecting from members or congregation is Malachi 3: 8 "I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. 'How?' you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings."
I kind of feel that this subject has been politicized in churches of today. Excluding the Jehovah Witnesses.
I think tithes and offerings have become the major driving force of churches.
You see priests hunting for members capable of gigantic tithes and offerings because it determines the priest's income, the church status, and even the church growth and welfare.
Nowadays, tithes and offerings are in bidding form. The priest announces a very huge amount of offering (e.g 1000 naira) and some showoff members will rush to kneel at the pastor's feet and the priest will rain a 15 minutes prayer on their heads. After which the priest will announce a less huge amount of offering (e.g 500 naira) and some other showoff members of the congregation will rush to the pulpit and receive a 10 minutes prayer. The priest will continue to announce lesser amount of offering with lesser and weightless prayers to prove that salvation nowadays is no longer free.
I still will not love to ascertain that salvation has been monetized but why do most churches collect Sunday Service offering thrice within the space of 9:00am - 1:00pm; excluding the offering collected at the end of Sunday School session of 8:30am - 9:00am.
Whenever it's offering time, the priests, the officers, and the CCTV become excessively vigilante; monitoring the movement of the ushers as if offering is the only thing that matters in the house of God.
During the sermon, giants fraction of the congregation are either engaged in member-to-member gossip or chatting on social media, streaming videos online, listing to secular podcasts on their devices; since churches are democracy, none cares to caution the distractions.
Although, offering and tithe have been so glorified, yet their impacts are not felt on the communities where churches dwell.
How I wish someday, tithes and offerings will truly become tools for churches to glorify God and Christianity rather than a selfish means of income generation.