Saturday, April 23, 2011

Healing Mail

Last week I received a mysterious looking envelope in the mail. The outside was adorned with bold script underlined in red that clearly indicated that Jesus would “spiritually, physically, and financially bless the one whose hands open this letter.” Suddenly glad that I was the one who normally got the mail, I began speculating as to what sort of transformation awaited me once I opened this mysterious correspondence.

I certainly liked the “financial blessing” aspect of the proposal and immediately began researching whether I wanted my Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan in Iridium Silver Metallic or Palladium Silver Metallic (and whether or not I wanted to become the type of person that knew the difference between the two). I also found the promise of “physical blessing” alluring since I am extremely myopic and poop a lot when I am nervous, and there was no way I was going to take a chance of soiling the supple leather interior of my Palladium Silver Metallic Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Envelope O' Blessing

Seated on my couch, I slowly broke the envelope’s seal and waited expectantly for the supernatural transformation to both my checking account and unreliable colon. Peering inside I found several folded pieces of paper surrounded by a letter addressed thusly: “Dear Someone Connected with This Address,”

Undeterred by the impersonal greeting, I forged ahead and realized that several steps must be completed in order to receive said blessing. First I had to unfold the enclosed “prayer rug” and stare into the image of Jesus printed on the front until he appeared to stare back. Then, I am to kneel on this “Rug of Faith” and fill out the checklist indicating if I would like “a new car, a money blessing or a better job.” There is even a specific line to indicate the exact of money I wish to be blessed with.

For the skeptical, they included a brochure with testimonials from other recipients who have received a blessing by following these easy steps.

  • Someone from Pennsylvania was blessed “with over $5,000.”
  • Mrs. O.C. from California received a “new car and job.”
  • L.B. from Maryland received $10,700 and a car.
As I read over the testimonials, I could not help but wonder at what point God became a prosperity vending machine. Am I to understand that a six figure income and a German car are but a religious petition away? That the impoverished children of the world go to bed hungry due to a simple lack of righteous faith? Could my grandmother have won her battle against cancer had she been in possession of this parcel?

I noticed that the organization accepted donations to continue “God’s work” and that the return address was Saint Matthew’s Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a little research, I discovered an article in the Tulsa World newspaper that claimed the tax-exempt organization brought in as much as $6 million in donations a month and was helmed by Rev. James Eugene Ewing. The good reverend has been criticized for living in a lavish Beverly Hills townhouse while his organization allegedly uses census data to target the impoverished and uneducated for money.

While I can only speak for myself, I assure you that my personal lack of poverty in no way correlates to my inherent righteousness. I know countless individuals who live on much less but give back much more. Where are the private schools for their children? Why do they struggle to keep the lights on? Do their prayers go unanswered simply because they lacked the mass-mailed accessories?I have no patience for those who claim to speak for God and insist that an individual’s income or health directly fluctuates with their intrinsic “goodness” or willingness to give someone money. 

Anyone spreading that message should be required to look directly into people’s eyes when they are laid off or find out that their child is seriously ill and tell them “If God liked you more or if you had sent me a check this wouldn’t have happened.” Of course, that is tough to do when you spend your days tucked away in Beverly Hills.

3 comments:

  1. G-randist

    O-f

    D-eceptions

    Now do you see why they keep doing this kind of thing?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why bother to work when you can "steal in the name of the Lord" ?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I received the same letter. Thankfully I read my Bible which warns about lies like this.

    ReplyDelete