"Brethren, I want to strongly encourage all of you to genuinely go “all out” in backing the very Work Christ is doing through us on this earth today! I know that most of you are doing this. But many do “let down”—especially after the Feast when the income for God’s Work often drops for a number of weeks. But above and beyond that, I not long ago received a letter from one of our fine ministers who has in recent times had the experience of several older people dying in his congregational areas.
This very sincere and serving minister—not a “money grubber”—wrote me: “Of them all, two were moderately wealthy. Neither looked or acted wealthy but they were farmers and left quite an inheritance. One left $300,000 and a nice home, the other left 300 acres with quite a bit of nice river frontage. At $1,500 per acre that would be $450,000. At $2,000 per acre that would be $600,000. This is why I mention it. The one man said strongly the one thing he wanted to avoid was having his stepchildren, who seemed to hate him, inherit. He left no will, so of course the stepchildren got it all. Dr. Meredith, I feel we are missing a special opportunity by not bringing the possibility of leaving all or part of their inheritance to the attention of the Church.”
Brethren, following through on this suggestion from this fine minister, I would like to take the opportunity now to encourage many of you who are growing older to think about giving a good part or all of your estate to the Work of the living God. Many of you, no doubt, would like to do this but “simply have not gotten around to it.” Many want to do it, as this one man said—but simply put off making out a will so that your intentions will be carried out when you die. God’s word encourages responsibility and wise estate planning. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:11). Pray that God will give you wisdom in planning for how your assets may be helpful to your children— and to God’s Church—after you die. And it is important that you think about this, because if you just “do nothing” your estate may go to people who will not appreciate what you are leaving behind, or it may even go to the state and be part of the budget of some government treasurer to use as he desires!
As the end of this age approaches, each one of us needs to focus on the profound statement Jesus Christ our Savior made in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
If we truly have our “hearts” in God’s Work, we will obviously want to give generously! This should not be a mystery to any of us. So we should each think about how we can best do this. A wonderful example as a “hero of the faith” was Raymond Jorgensen, the Iowa farmer who willed his entire farm with the buildings and equipment and everything to God’s Work enabling us to move to our new Headquarters in North Carolina! Some of you remember his wonderful example. By giving that entire property—which was valued at nearly a million dollars—he certainly indicated to our Father in heaven exactly where he stood! His wonderful gift will never be forgotten by me, nor by many of us who are profoundly thankful that God put this action into his mind and heart.
Obviously, those of us who can help the Work in this way will certainly be honoring God and a genuine reward will be given us from the God who gives all of us life and breath. He will never forget what you are trying to do in leaving Him—through His Work—much or all of what you have accumulated during this short human life time. You know your own personal family situation, and you know your own heart. So, you know what is appropriate in your circumstances.
Please think about it and pray about it—and, if you wish to do this—take action before it is too late. Even now, I hear from time to time about brethren who left the Worldwide Church of God many years ago, but failed to update their wills, and when they died their families were shocked to see bequests go to an apostate group from which they had departed years ago. So, if necessary, be sure to update your will. If you need help in this, or in other aspects of planning your bequest to the Church, I urge you to contact our Legal Affairs Department at Headquarters. For contact information, please note the box at the end of this article." [end of article quotation]
"Orthodox Christians defended slavery as part of the divinely ordained hierarchical order. Passages in the Bible support the institution of slavery:Both the bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. [Leviticus 25:44-46]"2) from the book A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INQUISITION by By Kessinger Publishing pp. 230-231:
“’After the death of a heretic they (the inquisitors) can confiscate the property he held, depriving his heirs of it, although his condemnation may have been prior to his decease.’ That is, when a man was dead the Inquisition could denounce and condemn him, attaint his children, and confiscate the property they had inherited. ‘And though it be an incontrovertible rule in civil law that with death ends all criminal action, that law is not held valid in causes of heresy, it being so serious a crime; and thus proceeding may be carried on against heretics after they are dead, declaring them as such, to confiscate their property (ad finem confiscandi), and taking it from its owners although it may have passed through many hands, applying it for the benefit of the Holy Office.’ Did any system ever furnish such facility for the work of sacerdotal (priestly) thieves?”