Vol.XIV No.XII Pg.8
February 1978

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Our printer, Bob Craig, has a number of gum machines, which people steal, break, and try to cheat. Bob often must take one apart to remove "slugs" that have been used instead of coins. When making one such repair he found the machine had been cheated with a religious medallion, inscribed: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods."

A lady of our acquaintance gave a hungry begging woman four quarts of home-canned peaches. That afternoon her husband came home from the office with — the peaches. He had bought them from a poor woman who had nothing left to sell but some peaches she had picked and canned.

It is difficult in this amoral, or immoral society, to avoid a cynicism that is harmful to a benevolent spirit. Even when we accept self-sacrifice in order to serve others, a certain caution is necessary (2 Thes. 3: 10). Sad to say, some brethren use world conditions as their excuse for unfaithfulness — as if adding another sinner to the pot would help matters.

One brother learned that another brother was stealing funds from the company for which he worked. So the first man "quit the church" saying the dishonest man was to blame. Who else was being dishonest in such a case? It hurts me to learn of church members who have been less than blameless in their business and social relations; and all the more when I realize the adverse effect this will have on the cause of Christ (2 Sam. 12:14; Rom. 2:21-29). But am I better than they if my God-allegiance can be nullified by another's weakness??

Have we become "Christians" only because our peers considered it the "right" thing to do:' because an earlier society endorsed "religion"? If so, we will not long endure in the present social conditions. Some even use statistics on homosexuality, adultery, child abuse, etc., to excuse their own conduct. Such statistics only prove we live in a rotten society. We sometimes hear, "If I am going to Hell for this I may as well do other things I want to do." That let the cat out of the bag. Those who believe in God, and judgment, and eternal punishment — I mean really believe — are saying, "I had better quit the first sin, straighten up, and pray the Lord to forgive me."

If this world's sin can be a legitimate excuse for sin on our part, why did we leave the world in the first place? Or did we??