FINANCIAL seeding is a controversial subject in religious circles with brickbats being thrown at church leaders that have been vocal on the subject.

With the year still in its infancy, the call by UFIC founder, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa, for members of his ministry to sow seeds ranging from US$77 to US$77 000, has been trending for the past two weeks.

The call raised a lot of questions within the Christian and non-Christian community, with some viewing it as a corrupt act done using the name of God to swindle money from already financially struggling but desperate-to-prosper followers.

An AFM pastor who spoke on condition of anonymity said the call by the prophet is a matter of faith and it’s up to the members of that specific ministry either to follow the instruction or not.

“The Bible is clear according to the book of Mathew that, ‘If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet’. This means if you believe in the command that is given by the man of God, so be it unto your life.

“It is not a new thing in churches. Normally when churches are fundraising for specific projects to build the kingdom of God, sacrifices are done and it has been a golden rule that you don’t sacrifice unto the Lord what costs you nothing.

“This is because when you give in the Kingdom of God, you are creating space and capacity to receive more from God. This is possible when a man of God pronounces a blessing upon your life so as to unlock potential and make things manifest in your life,” he said.

Prophet Ephraim Ziweya of God’s Grace Ministries in Epworth said although they don’t seed in their ministry, it is a good practice for congregants as the Holy Spirit leads them.

“As a ministry we believe that seeding is good and it takes different forms like serving in church, among other forms. It does not have to be financial only, God is not really pleased or moved by our finances but our faith.

“Money is needed to enable a good flow of work within the ministry but it must not be the cardinal thing that drives people of God for the Bible says, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all other things shall be added unto you’. This means we have to seek the face of God and he will bless us with all other additions which are the desires of our hearts,” he said. Christians must therefore also comprehend that it is God who blesses people regardless of one’s social standing.

“The nation is facing economic challenges and some might not have money to sow and when their leaders call for the seeds, they might be forced to borrow. This gives the impression that the blessing of God is for those who are rich, which is not true.

“Your relationship with God is what matters the most and in the fullness of time, God Himself will take you to greater heights in accordance with your faith and submission to His power and authority.

“This is evident in the Bible when God would choose the least of people and make them great amongst nations. Joseph is one good example,” he said.

Andrew Nhema, an evangelist and life coach, said it is important to understand matters of faith and where they are stemming from so as to make sound conclusions.

“As a life coach my understanding is that denominations are different and have very unique goals, visions and interpretations of the word of God. Normally, people are taken through teachings on subjects like giving or seeding before they are instructed to do so.

‘‘In that sense, one would have been spiritually and psychologically prepared to part ways with whatever they feel like sacrificing to God, backed by the full knowledge of the word.”

Nhema emphasised that the greatest challenge faced by the church is seeking riches instead of building a good relationship with Christ.

“The church of today has taken a new dimension that is problematic in the sense that modern Christians are now seeking the blessing rather than the blesser. People are more in love with the material things they expect from God than God Himself and this is a shift from the main purpose of the gospel.

“I believe in giving and in the power of seeding through money, time and other non-financial things. It is a test of faith like what happened to Abraham on Isaac. This teaches us that sacrificing is a painful experience but if done in faith like what happened in the story of Abraham, it demonstrates that the heavens will not ask you to sow without giving you the seed.

“Likewise, churches cannot request followers to sow without enriching them with the seeds to sow.

‘‘God spoke to Abraham and he obeyed the instruction. God was pleased and offered the lamb in accordance with his level of faith, this applies in our daily lives,” he said.