Thursday, December 4, 2008

Are You a Real Christian?

I got one of those long e-mail prayers yesterday. I don't mind the ones that say, "Bless the people I am sending this to, etc..." too much. I do mind the ones that "Christians" send that try to guilt people into forwarding what has essentially become spam - what I am now calling God-spam. The one I received yesterday actually had this sentence in the prayer in giant script lettering:
I pray for those that will delete this
without sharing it with others
I pray for those that don't believe.

Wait, did you just tell God that I don't believe if I delete this e-mail without foisting it on all my friends (or at least 10)? I thought He was the One that decided if we were believers or not. True, we are told that we are each "known by his fruit" (Matthew 12:33 KJVR), but the last time I checked on the fruits of the Spirit, forwarding e-mails was not one of them. I'm pretty sure they're "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23 KJVR).


At the end of the e-mail I read:
Pass this message to 10 people except you and me.
You will receive a miracle tomorrow.
Don't ignore this and God will bless you.
Know that you are already blessed
by the person who sent this to you.

Are you telling me that God now performs miracles based on the forwarding of e-mail? That we piddly, moral humans tie God's hands by hitting delete instead of forward? Somehow I find this incredibly hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that the measure of my faith, the definer of my spiritual status, is determined by my choice to forward or delete an e-mail.


This has been an ongoing issue, one I've addressed before in a public Response to All the E-mails from “The Faithful”. Obviously, "The Faithful" haven't gotten it. We as Christians will never spread the gospel, or the love of Christ, or the hope of eternity, or any other good thing by sending out these missives of guilt. As I said in closing of my last response to these wolves in sheep's clothing, true witnessing is not shown by coercion through guilt, but by genuine love, compassion, and helpfulness.


So people don't need you to tell them you love God or that you are a believer by forwarding an e-mail - they already know by your attitude and your actions.

What have you told others about yourself today?

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