Vol.XIX No.X Pg.8
December 1982

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

"The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim. 6:10), and the maker of all kinds of strange happenings. For example, in my early preaching days a group of elders told me they could support me only so much per week; "But," they added, "we have agreed you need not make any contributions from that amount." I asked if they had cleared this with the Lord — and saw some shamefaced men.

At another place I learned a man with oil wells had agreed to sign over royalty rights of a certain well to the church, so they could make double payments on their new building. But the church soon let up on their own giving, and were making single payments with the oil royalty money. The oil man wanted his well returned, but the elders refused to sign necessary papers.

In a regular business meeting, when it was asked, "Is there anything else?" I casually mentioned that I understood bro. _____ wanted to regain control of his well, and "whoever has those papers will want to fix that right away — for I'm sure none of us would try to force a man to give." There was a long silence, then one man said weakly, "Without that oil money we may lose our building." With all the seriousness I could muster I suggested we appoint a committee to look into school buildings, halls, or other places where we could meet when we were put out of our present house. Another long silence — then one of the elders said he knew where the papers were, and would see that they were signed and returned to the oil man. More shamefaced men!! But this story has a sequel. When the oil man got his well back, he took one look at the papers, thanked the brother, and again gave the well's earnings to the church, on a long-term basis.

Some will cheat the Lord in their computations of "as prospered." There are multiple cases of men stealing church money in the process of counting collections. Maybe that is why I remember so well the nine or ten year old boy who, hearing us talk of need for more money, called me aside to say he had $50 in savings, from the sale of some Future Farmer lambs; and he would give that for the Lord's work if I would get his father to check it out of the bank for him.