Tonight, I walked down to the gas station to get a couple packs of cigarettes and then went on to the William's Chicken to get dinner. I started out with $16 but after I paid for my cigarettes and food I was left with about a dollar in change. The point being that as I sat down outside to eat my chicken, a guy walked up and asked me if I smoked weed. I said not since I was a teenager. He then told me that he needed gas in his car to get home. I told him that after my purchases I had only a little change left. I gave him that.
I want to share a few observations on charity. A lot of pastors are nothing but beggars. Many are probably nearly disabled people who couldn't get a job if their wives depended on it. They found out that if they put on a nice suit and said all the right things they could get into a position of authority in a church and get on the payroll while spending most of their days talking on the phone and playing Solitaire. What do you think pastors do in their offices from day to day? I suspect many of them spend an inordinate amount of time playing Solitaire on a computer that they didn't pay for but that the church gave them. Then another good deal of their time while they are in the office is spent chatting on the phone, claiming to be doing "ministry" or "counseling", doing virtually nothing but saying nice things and scraping the bottom of offering buckets. They are beggars and they need the money no more that man tonight needed the money.
Second, so what if the guy went and bought beer or drugs with it when he got enough money? I am not his mother and I can't tell him how to spend his money. The fact is, he said he was trying to get home, I have no control over whether he really did spend it on gas or not.
Look at the pastors. Many of them prefer Rolex to Timex, they prefer business class to coach, they prefer Lexus to Toyota. That's what it comes down to in a lot of cases is one quality of life versus another quality. And when we give money to these men that very few of us actually know, that's what it becomes in a lot of cases. Trade the Timex in for the Rolex, and the pastor sure will look sharp on Sunday.
Then look at those professional beggars, the Salvation Army. They come out near Thanksgiving, stay right up until Christmas begging outside the stores. Then they don't even have a large number of workers, most people will come in and give their time for free. They are beggars, just like the pastors, pretending they're doing the world a service.
Then other beggars are getting hauled off to jail or being escorted out of parking lots. Society needs to confront its hypocrisy on beggary. If I dress up in a nice suit Sundays and I say nice things can I get free things too? Of course I wouldn't do that because it would be beneath my integrity to do such things.
I gave money to a beggar, and I was just following the command Jesus gave. If anyone asks for your cloak, give him your tunic as well. I think He would also like for us to give a little money to a guy who doesn't have any gas so he can get home for the night. And if he bought beer? So what, the Bible days everyone drank. Or cigarettes? Nicotine is a serious addiction, if he bought cigarettes I wouldn't care either. The fact is I must do what Yeshua commands, period.
In my town in November, we had a proposition on the ballot (Proposition 2) to approve alcohol sales in the city. I'd rather give me money to a guy who's going to go buy a beer with it than give it to a pastor who's going to go home and have a glass of wine and go to church and put up a sign that says to vote against Proposition 2.