Insight on the News
Honesty’s True Reward
● A New Jersey man recently found two canvas bags that had fallen out of an armored car. They contained $415,000, which he returned to the armored car company. The grateful company owner gave the man a $1,000 reward and offered him a job. But the man was reportedly not happy.
“It’s not fair,” he complained. “A thousand dollars wasn’t worth my gas to go down and pick it up.” According to the New York “Daily News,” the man and his wife “dreamed of paying off their debts and having enough left over to buy a little sports car ‘with cash money, just to see how it would feel.’” Instead, he said, “If I had it to do over again, I might have second thoughts about returning the money. It’s like finding a million dollars and getting a dollar for it.”
However, should one’s personal honesty be gauged merely by the size of reward it produces? Are not the inner satisfaction and self-respect that come from living up to godly standards and aiding our fellowman worth far more than any material reward? “Do you want to be truly rich?” asks the Bible. “You already are if you are happy and good. . . . But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded.”—1 Tim. 6:6-9, “The Living Bible.”
Why Did the Church Keep Jones?
● After the “suicides” of more than 900 followers of “Reverend” Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana, many wondered why the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) had allowed his group to remain in good standing. (See “The Watchtower” of May 15, 1979.) The 44-member Administrative Committee of the church met and vowed that it would take no steps to pass “judgment on a congregation’s ministry.”
“In tolerating and even welcoming differences of opinion, we leave ourselves no measuring rod by which errancy can be determined,” said Kenneth L. Teegarden, president of the 1.3 million-member religious group. The denomination’s law says that any church can become affiliated merely by holding a basic belief in Christ as Savior.
But does professed belief in Christ make a church acceptable to him? Is “welcoming differences of opinion” in keeping with the pattern of worship Christ established? Jesus himself said that in the future many would acknowledge him as “Lord,” yet, rather than accepting them all merely on this basis, he declared: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father . . . will.” He told those not living up to God’s requirements: “Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”—Matt. 7:21-23.
Not Getting the Message
● The “Standard,” a national Catholic weekly published in Ghana, recently editorialized on the work of their Church, noting that it “has done an enormous amount towards the development of the country.” The editorial calls attention to Church-built schools, hospitals, clinics, agricultural and well-digging projects. “But the time has come to begin to look in another direction,” it says. “The development of the land and the institutions has got to be superseded by the development of the people.” How so?
“The majority of the people of God who spend their time in offices, farms, schools and factories, are hungering for stronger spiritual food. They are willing to live the Gospel in its fullness, but who will show them the way? . . . We are not providing people with the spiritual food that they need.”
If the Church has failed to do this for the common man after centuries of existence, what reason is there to believe that she will begin now to provide the “spiritual food” her members really need? The apostle Peter himself received Jesus’ command on this three times for emphasis when asked if he loved the Christ. “Feed my lambs . . . my sheep” (not: ‘build schools and hospitals’), Peter was told, so as to prove his love. Evidently Peter got the message, but the Catholic Church did not.—John 21:15-17, Catholic “Douay” Version.