The concept of tithing in Uganda’s pentecostal churches: a case study of Nakawa division-Kampala district
This thesis examines the Concept of Tithing in Uganda’s Pentecostal churches. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches for data collection specifically, the study covered a total of 130 respondents who were selected from ten (10) churches by the purposive sampling method. These included twenty (20) leaders and one hundred ten (110) members of the flock. The study used a case study research design and data was collected using interview guides and questionnaires as the major tools. The Research was guided by Critical theory and Biblical Hermeneutics as theoretical frameworks. The study found out that there are three categories of tithes in the Old Testament: namely, the Levitical tithe (sacred tithe), Festive tithe, and the Poor tithe (welfare tithe). The study also revealed that tithing was not only for the Jews, but many ancient cultures practiced it even before biblical tithing was in place. The practice was evident in Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine Phoenician and Egypt. Thus, tithing was not only an act of worship, but it was also a demonstration of political subservience (a primitive form of taxation). The study also found out that tithing in the Old Testament is in two dimensions, that is to say, the tithing before the Mosaic Law and during the Mosaic Law (Genesis 14:17-24; 28:18-28 and Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:21-28; Deuteronomy 14:22-29). The study reveals that both the Pentecostal Leaders and Believers today argue that tithing is part of the New Testament teaching and is a law and a command for born-again Christians. They argue that tithing is the only principle of God that brings success and prosperity. Based on the misinterpretation of Malachi 3 :9, Pentecostal leaders and believers opine that failure to tithe brings a curse upon one’s life. The study further reveals that the Pentecostal leaders and believers use Malachi 3 to justify their belief and teaching about tithing. This thesis argues that the contemporary notions on tithing is exploitative and based on misinterpretation of the scriptures, as tithing is not a command for Christians and was never emphasized by Jesus and his Apostles as an obligation for Christians (believers). It was a law given to the Israelites to support the Levites (Number 18:21-24) and the poor (Deuteronomy 14:27-29). New Testament Christians are encouraged to give generously and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). They should not give fearfully and legalistically. The study recommends that other Ugandan scholars should do research related to tithing in Anglican, Catholic and SDA (Seventh Day Adventists) churches among others. They should carry out critical contextual studies of Biblical and other religious texts on tithing in order to liberate Christians from extortion, fear and intimidation.