This is an email response of mine on the email discussion group "ekklesia", April 7th, 1997, regarding "Forgiveness/Bitterness, Ministers Retirement".
First the accusations against me:
I read your note Ed, so I am not accusing you of having any feelings of compassion for the retired ministry, in or out of the Worldwide Church of God. But your words here remind me of what Jesus said about telling your hungry and cold brother to be warmed and filled and doing nothing about it. Jesus also says that where your heart is, there your treasure will also be. So I ask, for those who are so outraged over this situation, is your heart in it or are you saying be warmed and filled and sending them on their way empty and cold, because you paid enough or whatever? What are you doing about what you are lamenting about?
This is not a guilt trip, if you feel guilty that's from God, but get real when you all decided that if God wouldn't kill you for it, He didn't need your money, you all decided the fate of the retired ministers. You remind me of an angry parent with a switch assuring the child "This hurts me more then it does you!" All the while exercising every ounce of your "right" to "punish" those who hurt you, and if some good get caught in with the bad, well tough luck, eh fellas!
My reply follows:
I'm not going to go through this "you had better repent of your bitterness" thing again for your benefit. If you want to label me as "bitter", have fun. Your opinion is not worth my trouble.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
If a roofing contractor did the same thing to me:
- Told me that I needed to have a new roof put on and this was my only chance, forever.
- Told me that I could only have them do it or I would lose my chance for ever having a new roof.
- Then telling me that it would cost over 25% of my gross pay, but it wasn't really mine anyway.
- After them telling me this for 25 years, I find out that they never did put a new roof on, all they did was spray paint the roof black.
- They took the money and spent it on themselves, their friends, on airplanes, sex, booze, their own self-importance, bribing corrupt heads of state for pictures, etc, etc.......
- I wouldn't be happy until they were out of business or in jail.
If, because they did it to me in the name of God makes it my fault and not theirs, that is for you to decide in your own deluded minds.
No it wasn't me who mentioned the $100,000 in tithes and offerings before, it was Corky. He made me start thinking. Hey, $100,000 here and $100,000 there and pretty soon you are talking about big money. Yes, I would be glad to join Corky and sue the Worldwide Church of God, but common sense tells me that they have the money to outlast any attempt at justice for the little people.
Be warmed and filled? Go get a job. For a lot of them it would be the first time in their lives. Don't come whining on my doorstep unless you show me the fruits of repentance and show me that you are not going to spend your retirement years any more comfortably than I will.
These are the same guys who say that the orphans and widows come after their retirement pay!
And how many of them ever fulfilled that title of "Pastor"? Not many I'll bet. The general consensus is that when you leave, nobody comes after you. I had the only database for two church areas on my computer and the "pastor" never even called me to find out why I didn't come back.
I never could figure out just what these guys ever did to "earn" their paychecks while they were supposedly working. Now they want to retire and do even less!
If you guys think you can beat me over the head with your Bibles, forget it. You can prove whatever you want out of the Bible. So can I. Don't feel it is worth the trouble and time.
No guilt trip with me. I know where I stand with my God. I can tell by your posts where you think you stand also. So lets just leave it at that.
You aren't changing my opinion and I'm not changing yours. If you don't like my posts, just delete them.
I don't speak up too often, I just sit here steeped in my bitterness, stewing about those crooks stealing my money. :-)
Be warmed and filled,
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