Friday, May 27, 2011

St. Matthew was a repentant tax collector. This one isn't.

Somehow I got on the mailing list for St. Matthew’s Churches of Tulsa.  I tried to get off to no avail, but now find myself curious about what crackpot scheme will be sent to me next.  No doubt many of you are familiar with it, but if not, it’s one of the scam operations that separates the gullible from their money on a promise that God wants financial prosperity for them, which will be theirs for a penny and a prayer.  Well, actually, lots of pennies.  An Internet search reveals quite a story behind their operation.
A mailing from them appears every few weeks, an envelope stuffed with tacky flyers promising a better life, health and, above all, financial success.  Today’s was very special; it contained two blessed pennies (see above), one to be worn in each shoe for a few paces and then placed on the inside and outside of a front door in order to complete the promised blessing of Deuteronomy 28:6.  Apparently Deuteronomy 28:6 is unrelated to the first portion of the chapter in which the promised blessings are contingent on obeying the voice of God, being careful to follow all the commandments.  Of course the magic doesn’t fully work until you send the pennies back with a report on your blessings and a nice thank offering as well.  No blessings?  Try a larger thank offering.  Maybe that will help. 
I wonder what the hustlers running this thing will have to say for themselves on Judgment Day, which, as rumor has it, may come as soon as this October according to one of their competitors.  I don’t think God will be amused.  A solid atheist at least takes God seriously enough to argue about her existence with anyone.  These people make God into a joke.  I suspect that God has some degree of respect for the former, but the latter may be committing the unforgivable sin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tulsa has a reputation for using religion for fun and profit(prophet?). It is the home of Oral Roberts Unversity. Oral was an iterant self-appointed evangelist (one is reminded of Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry) who craved respectability and allied himself and his eponymous new "university" with the United Methodist Church several years ago. He was good at fund raising. I don't know about these St. Matthew's Churches of Tulsa. What denomination accredits them? What did you accidentally do to get on their mailing list? Dr B