GIVING & SHARING NEWSLETTER March, 1989 No. 2
A Sin to Help Others?
Would it be a sin for a person head over heels in debt to borrow more money to help innocent victims of a natural disaster? Yes, it would be a sin. Giving to the poor is a greatly misunderstood subject. Please read our article, Study No. 121, “The Problem of Giving to the Poor,” contained in our book, Bible Studies.
The dictatorship of the Soviet Union would not exist had it not been for the charity of the United States after World War I. Later, we bailed them out of the war with Hitler, and gave them free reign to establish an iron curtain over Eastern Europe and China when World War II was won. Now, following the enormous earthquake in Soviet Armenia, pleas are coming in, even from Sabbath-keeping groups, for earthquake relief for the USSR. It is a sin for our government to take its borrowed money and give it to foreigners, no matter how destitute they are. America is teetering on the verge of economic collapse, and is in no shape for helping others. The Christian should avoid sending aid to foreigners when many of our own citizens do not have homes and jobs. Charity begins at home. That is the Bible way.
Victory for Clean Foods
Here’s some good news! The Keebler Company, makers of crackers used in many restaurants, has decided to eliminate all traces of lard in their crackers by the end of 1989. In an attempt to convince the public that they care about cholesterol in our diets, other companies may follow suit.
Some who say they believe in the Biblical laws of clean and unclean foods ridicule those of us who are fussy about what we eat. They call reading the label of restaurant crackers “pharisaical” and “self-righteous.” But if we are going to follow the Biblical law of clean and unclean, we should do our level best to avoid unclean foods. Otherwise, we might as well “eat the whole hog” and forget about pretending to do otherwise.
Take care not to be obnoxious about your beliefs. When ordering a Chef’s Salad, politely ask the waitress to “please leave off the ham and substitute turkey.” Sometimes, the cook doesn’t read the order and the salad may come with ham anyway. Be polite but firm: “I asked for a Chef’s Salad without ham, would you please take it back?” Unfortunately, some would turn the occasion into a real scene, and even “preach” to the restaurant staff about the evils of pork. Let us be lights to the world, not foghorns!
Beware of False Prophets!
The Savior warned us, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves,” Matthew 7:15. Nevertheless, some keep listening to false prophets because they are so “interesting.”
Recently, some followed a minister who claimed that Herbert W. Armstrong was going to be resurrected on a certain date, and that he and Mr. Armstrong would be the two witnesses, and that no rain would fall on North America for 3-1/2 years, beginning April 1, 1988. There was no resurrection, but instead a heavy April rainstorm in the Pacific Northwest.
A Church of God minister from Oklahoma said, “Mr. Bush is our last President.” In bold statements, he said, “the drought of 1990 will shatter 1989 records . . . . National captivity is coming in 1991!” This self-styled prophet advises us to convert all our money to food, but send some cash to a “true ministry.” Previous prophecies of this man have not come to pass.
A well-known minister wrote in the February, 1989, Plain Truth magazine that “Another Great Depression is not around the corner.” Can we believe these prophecies? Hardly. In a 1963 article, “There is a Way of Escape,” this same man wrote: “civilization has less than 15 years to go unless a supernatural God in Heaven intervenes on earth to stop madmen from destroying all life on earth in their crazed dreams for world conquest.” (1963 + 15 = 1978, oops!)
Another “prophet” countered the previous “prophet” by proclaiming “there will be [a] GREAT DEPRESSION in the United States, and around the world, within the next few years!” predicting: “America Riding to Economic Collapse by 1990!” Elsewhere, he says his dates aren’t “hard and fast.” Previous booklets of his predicted the years 1983-1990 as “seven years of bountiful crops in [the] United States and [the] world.” After the devastating 1988 drought, his prophetic dates will have to be modified.
Sooner or later, dates set by some “prophet” will come to pass, by chance if nothing else. However, specific prophecies uttered by the Eternal’s true prophets will always come to pass, 100% of the time. Every one of today’s false prophets in one way or another have perverted Biblical doctrine. We are told to not listen to their words, even if their prophecies come to pass, Deuteronomy 13:1-5, not fear them or give them any serious regard, 18:20-22. Recognize false prophets the first time they utter a false prophecy. Do not follow them! False prophecy is a “hook” designed to arouse your interest, and get you to leave the Almighty’s Truth and follow false doctrines.
Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread
Our family looks forward to observing the Spring Feast, beginning with Passover on the evening of April 18, through April 26, 1989. We plan to keep the Passover and first part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread 50 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee, and the last part of the Festival at Sullivan, Missouri. Both are at lovely state parks where we can appreciate the Maker’s creation. If interested in fellowship with us this year, write for further details. Ω