The Greedy And The Gracious



by Tom Wacaster

Other than Jesus Christ, Solomon was the wisest man ever to live. This was due to God’s gracious gift granted to the young king who sought not money, or power, but divine guidance. Too bad he did not follow his own advice. In fact, there are dozen’s of passages in the Proverbs that are ‘out of character’ with Solomon’s overall life. This is why I think Solomon wrote these Proverbs in the early years of his life; before time and treasures had time to corrupt his thinking and corrode his trust in God. There are two verses in the eleventh chapter of Proverbs that captured my attention this morning; two verses that set forth a contrast between those who are greedy and those who are gracious.

11:24: “There is that scattereth, and increaseth yet more; And there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth only to want.
11:25: “The liberal soul shall be made fat; And he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

If I were to give a subtitle to this article it would have to be, “How NOT to make more money!” The subtitle might well capture the attention faster than the contrasting words, “greedy” and “gracious.” If you are expecting to find the secret of how to become a millionaire in these two verses you likely will be disappointed. But if you are seeking wise advice as to how to best use your money, you will not be disappointed in the advice Solomon gives. Consider the wise advice of Solomon contained in these two verses:

My first preaching work was in a small farming and ranching community in south-central Oklahoma. Several of the men in that congregation were farmers, and they understood the need to invest money in seed in order to generate a great harvest come fall. The farmer who is stingy at the time of sowing will have a meager harvest at the time of reaping; but the farmer who invests the time and energy to scatter the seed far and wide will be more likely to reap a great harvest, and profit thereby. The same is true in the business arena. “Those who have the money are the ones who make the money” is a well known proverbial saying, is it not? I don’t think Solomon was all that concerned about teaching his son about the principles of farming, or even business for that matter; though there is sage advice throughout the Proverbs addressing both of those areas. Solomon wanted his readers to understand an important truth regarding how we should use our material blessings. The New Testament clearly teaches that we are to be generous with what God has given us. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need” (Eph. 4:28). Solomon was well aware that generosity is essential to pleasing God: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, When it is in the power of thy hand to do it” (Pro. 3:27).  If I choose to be greedy rather than gracious, I face a real danger of losing what I have in this life, and losing my soul in eternity. Jesus once spoke a parable to this effect, as recorded in Luke 12:13-21. In the mid to late 1800’s a man by the name of George Muller decided he wanted to do what he could to help the orphans in Bristol, England. The amazing thing about Mr. Muller is that he never really had a lot of money. When he launched out in his endeavor to help orphans all he had was some small change. Nor did he own much with regard to material possessions. With what meager resources he had, he sought to feed, house, and cloth as many needy orphans as possible. He began his endeavor with one small house, and within twenty years he had built five building, housing a total of 1,722 orphans. Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost over £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God. For example, on one well-documented occasion, they gave thanks for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage. Truly, the story of George Muller is an example of the Proverb from Solomon: “There is that scattereth, and increaseth yet more.” 

Now let us look at the greedy; those who “withholdeth more than is meet.” I don’t think Solomon was discouraging the wisdom in setting aside a little for that inevitable “rainy day” that comes our way from time to time.  Return to the parable Jesus told of the covetous rich man, as contained in Luke 12:16-21: “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  and he reasoned within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have not where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee; and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Here was a man who “withholdeth more than is meet.” This imaginary (and no doubt true to life) man had what one preacher called “I Trouble.” His use of the personal pronouns “I,” “me,” and “my” speak volumes about the man’s heart. Literally, he withholds more than “what is right” (NKJV). He had taken that portion that should have rightfully been used to help others, and he hoarded it in order to build greater barns in which to gather his increase. God will not bless such a man, and such a one tends to find that the abundance that God gave to him ends up being squandered in reckless living. In the end, the man in the parable found himself losing what he sought so desperately to hold on to. Albert Barnes wrote: “Much that pertains to dress, to accomplishment, to living, to employment, to amusement, to conversation, will appear, when we come to die, to have been like the playthings of ‘children;’ and we shall feel that the immortal mind has been employed, and the time wasted, and the strength exhausted in that which was foolish and puerile” (Barnes, Commentary under 1 Cor. 14:20). I think that is a fitting summary of what Solomon wanted to convey to his readers.

"You Will Be Assimilated" (Part 2)

by Tom Wacaster

This is the second in a series reviewing an article by the same title that appeared in the June 22, 2015 issue of The Weekly Standard. It has longed been argued that homosexuals are born with a disposition to that particular life style. My first encounter with someone giving this so-called defense of their deviant behavior was more than 30 years ago, shortly after my move back to Texas. I learned on that occasion that one might as well go out and beat his head against the wall as to convince a homosexual that he was not “born gay” (as they are wont to say). The evidence for such genetic disposition has never been produced, and in fact evidence to the contrary abounds. I’ll not address the so-called ‘evidence” (or lack thereof) that is presented for support of such foolishness; perhaps at another time. Right here I am concerned about the dishonesty among those bent on changing the thinking of society with regard to homosexuality in general, and same-sex marriage in specific. Jonathan Last, who wrote the article under review, made this observation: “Now that same-sex marriage is a reality, some activists are admitting that this view might not, strictly speaking, be true” (Last, 21). I provide here Mr. Last’s quote from an article in The New Republic of January 2014:

[I]t’s time for the LGBT community to start moving beyond genetic predisposition as a tool for gaining mainstream acceptance of gay rights. For decades now, it’s been the most powerful argument in the LGBT arsenal: that we were “born this way.” Still, as compelling as these arguments are, they may have outgrown their usefulness. With most Americans now in favor of gay marriage, it’s time for the argument to shift to one where genetics don’t matter. The genetic argument has boxed us into a corner.”

Do you see the significance of that comment? Here is a movement that claims that truth, liberty and equality are on their side, but who view one of their primary arguments as a mere “tool” that has outlived its usefulness.

Another argument that has “outlived its usefulness” was the topic of Jay Michaelson’s article in the Daily Beast (as provided by Mr. Last). The argument once presented by those opposing same-sex marriage is that it would radically change the concept of marriage and advance a perverted union of same-sex couples under the guise of it being some kind of marriage. Read now the comments of one who, along with his cohorts, once attacked the notion that same-sex marriage would radically alter the definition of marriage and lead to a wide scale abandonment of the monogamous relationships in traditional marriage:

[T]here is some truth to the conservative claim that gay marriage is changing, not just expanding, marriage. According to a 2013 study, about half of gay marriages surveyed (admittedly, the study was conducted in San Francisco) were not strictly monogamous. This fact is well-known in the gay community—indeed, we assume it’s more like three-quarters. What would happen if gay non-monogamy actually starts to spread to straight people? Would open marriages, ’70s swinger parties, and perhaps even another era’s “arrangements” and “understandings” become more prevalent? Is non-monogamy one of the things same-sex marriage can teach straight ones, along with egalitarian chores and matching towel sets? And what about those post-racial and post-gender millennials? What happens when a queer-identified, mostly-heterosexual woman with plenty of LGBT friends gets married? Do we really think that because she is “from Venus,” she will be interested in a heteronormative, sex-negative, patriarchal system of partnership? Radicals point out that gay liberation in the 1970s was, as the name implies, a liberation movement. It was about being free, questioning authority, rebellion. “2-4-6-8, smash the church and smash the state,” people shouted (Jonathan Last’s quote of gay activist Jay Michaelson).

I hope by now that you are seeing that the real agenda of the homosexual movement is not equality under the law, but abandonment of all law that has anything to do with the Biblical view of marriage and the home. Yes, “you will be assimilated!” But lets move on.

Same-sex marriage will not be the end of the LGBT movement. Remember when some people were predicting that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, incest, and other deviant forms of sexual “relationships”? If marriage can be “redefined” to include same-sex unions, why stop with two in that relationship? Why not three, or four, or even dozens? Mr. Last focused on the inevitable outcome of the legalization and societal acceptance of same-sex marriage:

Changing marriage beyond recognition has long been a stated goal of the organization Beyond Marriage, which is a collection of several hundred gay-rights lawyers, law professors, and activists. They argue that same-sex marriage is merely the first step on the path to redefining the family itself. Ultimately, they want legal protection for a host of other relationships, including, as they delicately put it, “Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households” and “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner.” This group is not a collection of cranks: It includes professors from Georgetown, Harvard, Emory, Columbia, and Yale. The Beyond Marriage project has at least as much elite support today as the entire same-sex marriage movement had in 1990 (Last, 22).

If you want a shocker as to the agenda of the “Beyond Marriage” project, go to their website and read their manifesto (www.beyondmarriage.org). I’ll forewarn you, it is disgusting! Once marriage has been redefined to include any number, and any diversity of relationships, what is to stop a person from marrying an animal? Or, perhaps he could marry himself; one wonders how he would go through a divorce should he decide he can no longer life with himself. The possibilities are endless, and the perverted and deviant activities within those relationships unimaginable. I’ll continue this with at least one more article next week as we look at the effect that same-sex marriages will most definitely have upon our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of press.

"You Will Be Assimilated" (part 1)



By Tom Wacaster



If you are a Star Trek fan you will recognize the title of this week’s article. In the follow up to the original Star Trek series with William Shatner, Star Trek TNG, portrayed the ongoing endeavor to “go where no man has gone before.” One of the arch-enemies in that follow up series was the Borg, whose practice it was to assimilate its captors into a single unit of beings, controlled by one mind, and robbing its victims of their individuality, as well as their freedoms. When communicating with the enemy the Borg would show no mercy, no compassion; only its intentions to absorb others into their collective half-human, half machine society. “You will be assimilated” served as both their goal, and their battle cry.



In this week’s issue of The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last wrote one of the feature articles, titled, “You Will Be Assimilated.” It is, in my estimation, one of best exposes of the dishonest, twisted, and perverted attempt by the homosexual community to, as the tittle suggests, assimilate everyone into their way of thinking. You may be familiar with Brendan Eich; but if not, let me share with you some information about this man who incurred the wrath of the homosexual community for no other reason than the fact that he decided to support Proposition 8 with a $1,000 contribution. Proposition 8 was California’s attempt to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The Proposition passed by an overwhelming majority of the voters; in fact more voted in support of the Proposition than those who voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Brendan Eich was the co-founder and CEO of Mozilla. When it was discovered that he had donated to a Proposition that would have opposed same sex marriages, he was dismissed from his company. He had never treated his gay workers badly. The only reason why he was dismissed was because of his opposition to same sex marriages. The Weekly Standard provided its readers with a series of Twitter exchanges between Mr. Eich and one of his co-workers, who by the way, was among one of the first to demand Eich’s resignation. That Twitter exchange revealed a much deeper agenda that just “same sex marriage” privileges. Commenting on the brief exchange between the two men, Mr. Last noted:



It’s a small thing, to be sure. But telling. Because it shows that the same-sex marriage movement is interested in a great deal more that just the freedom to form marital unions. It is also interested, quite keenly, in punishing dissenters. But the ambitions of the movement go further than that. It’s about revisiting legal notions of freedom of speech and association, constitutional protections for religious freedom, and cultural norms concerning the family. And most Americans are only just realizing that these are the social compacts that have been pried open for negotiation (Jonathan Last, page 20).



In order to promote their agenda, the homosexual community has taken carefully calculated steps to hide their true goal from eyes and ears of the public. Take, as an example, the bold faced lie that a large percentage of society are homosexual. For decades, gay-right activists have pushed the line that at least 10% of the American population are homosexual. If they were to succeed in promoting this lie then the American public must be brought to believe that 1 in 10 people are gay. In spite of evidence to the contrary, they have been remarkably successful in propagating that lie. The public has fallen for that lie in astonishing numbers. In 2012 Gallup did a poll asking people what percentage of the country was gay. The response was incredible: “Women and young adults were the most gullible, saying, on average, that they thought 30 percent of the population was gay. The average American thought that 24 percent of the population—one quarter—was gay” (Jonathan Last, page 20). Evidence does not support anything near to that percentage. In 2014 a study from the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study from a relatively large sample of adults. Out of 34,557 adults it was found that an incredible 96.6 identified themselves as heterosexual, 1.1 percent refused to answer. That means that only 1.6 to 1.7 percent identified themselves as gay. The American public has been duped!  But then again, the lie had to be told, and told often enough, to convince the public that there was a large number of Americans who, as gays, were being discriminated against.



Now let me return to the purpose for this first part of my two (maybe three) part series. The agenda of the homosexual movement is to assimilate all of society into their way of thinking. To do this, they must stop the opposition; dissension cannot be tolerated. There are dozens of cases where homosexual activists have used more than simple persuasive arguments to advance their goals; they are using the law (though in a dishonest way) and outright violence to promote their perverted agenda. Jim Mettenbrink provided me with an email touching on some of the following, so I pursued the web connections to verify there were correct. Consider the following:



Betty and her husband, Richard, are the owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. In 2002, they purchased the 77-year-old stone church and transformed it into a bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue. On August 3, 2013, a gay couple from Des Moines asked to rent Görtz Haus for their wedding. Because of their Mennonite faith, the Odgaards told the couple they could not host their wedding. Within 24 hours, the couple filed a discrimination complaint through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. “We knew that the business was going to be in trouble almost immediately,” Richard, 69, said. “We had to get rid of the wedding business to avoid another complaint and possibly a higher penalty.” The Odgaards never admitted to any discrimination, but agreed to a $5,000 settlement. They closed their business as a result.



An article in USA Today: A Michigan business owner who sparked controversy by posting opinions on Facebook about refusing to serve certain groups, including gay customers, has been the target of vandalism. Last week, Dieseltec owner Brian Klawiter made headlines when he posted that he would refuse to provide service to openly gay customers.  Mr. Klawiter wrote on his Twitter page: “Well folks, as we predicted, it did’t take long for the ugly face of the homosexual movement to present itself. What started out with mere death threats has escalated to physical violence.” 



Two magistrates in North Carolina were ordered to perform same-sex marriages, or resign. The North Carolina office for the court system had said, “Magistrates should begin immediately conducting of all marriage of couples a marriage license issued by the register of deeds. A failure to do so would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.” Penalties? Possible suspension, removal from office and criminal counts.



The list goes on, an on, and on. More than two dozen cases where men and women, who refuse to cater to the demands of the homosexual movement, are being sued, fined, and driven out of business.
 
In next week’s article I want to focus on the dishonest tactics being used by the gay activists. Meanwhile let all of us earnestly pray that God will overturn the intentions of the wicked, and that our Supreme Court justices will come down on the side of what is morally right, and Biblically authorized. 

Read Part 2 - Click here