Tuesday June 18, 2013

Continuing on with what God has to say in No. 30, page 56 and 57, this next passage brings to mind an experience I had while sitting on the church board.

We got a new pastor. Things changed, for the worst. I was giving the church treasurer a ride to church on Sabbath mornings. She began to complain about the pastor’s use of the phone and the large phone bills that were coming in.

For the most part I just listened. Finally, at her behest, I had to take action. She delivered several months of the phone bills to me and I began entering them into the computer. This was back in the days when a 286 was the hottest thing out there and software was not yet WYSIWYG. It was a challenge to say the least.

I finally got it all input into the database after about 40 hours of effort. Then it took about another 10 hours of searching for the right query to get a printout that made sense. I recruited another man to give a hand at making some calls to discover the owner of the number.

The first call I made turned out to be the pastor’s ex-wife. Turns out the man, who deliberately bought a home about 45 minutes away from the church, out of the local area, was coming to the church office to do all his personal business.

No one bothers about a few personal calls, but this man rang up several hundred dollars of personal calls. In the church world, the man gets a paycheck to pay for all his personal expenses. This use of church funds for personal expenses was over the line.

I had full discovery on a Friday, but waited till the following Sunday to face him. When I did, he was arrogant and accused me of sticking my nose into something that was not my business. I made contact with the man every day that week as he worked through the matter. Toward the end of the week he called the Conference office and got some advise—you got caught, pay up.

The church board met the following Sunday. He showed up with a check for a few hundred and more was to follow. I was made out to be the bad guy by a husband wife team who were “pillars of the church” and had started that church years ago. After that little event neither of them would give me the time of day.

In the course of time the husband went to his grave and about two or three years ago I happened to be in the local grocery store and was spotted by the wife, who turned to walk in another direction. It was one of those events where you sense something and you turn to look and catch someone looking at you. Our eyes didn’t quite meet, as she was turning her head, but the message was clear.

The course which some have pursued, in using worldly policy to accomplish their purposes, is not in harmony with the will of God. They see evils which need correcting, and instead of courageously meeting these things, they do not wish to bring down reproach upon their own head, and therefore throw the burden upon another, and let him meet the difficulties which they have shunned; and in too many cases the one who uses plain speech is made the great offender. p. 56, Para. 1, [30OT].

How many times have you seen this? Usually it’s only because someone is offended. Sometimes it’s just plain wrong that is done and somebody stands up to correct it. Like our most recent whistleblower in America, he is made out to be the bad guy.

God Bless your Study

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