Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If You Send This Blog to Thirty Other People, God Will Buy You a Yacht

Today I received the following in my email inbox at work: 
I  sent an angel to watch over you last night but it came back.  I  ask "why?" The angel said "angels don't watch over angels.  Twenty angels are IN your world.  Ten of them are  sleeping, nine are playing, one is reading this message.  Send  this to ten friends including me.  I guess if I don't get it back  I'm not one of them.  A soon as you get five replies, someone you  love will quietly surprise you.  Please read, not joking.   God has seen you struggling with something.  God says its over.  A blessing is coming your way.  If you believe in God send this message on.  Please don't ignore it. You are being tested.  God is going to fix two things BIG tonight in your  favor.  DROP Everything and pass it on.  Tomorrow will be  the best day of your life.  Don't break this chain. Send to 14 friends in 10 minutes.  It's not that hard.  Whoever sent  this to you must care about you .
Today is a pet peeve day.  And the pet peeve of the day is chain letters, in particular ones that reference and distort God. 
"And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen [do]. For they think that they will be heard for their many words."  Matthew 6:7 NKJV
Let's face it, chain letters are the ultimate in vain repetition.  Chain letters are steeped in superstition and have nothing to do with God.  With the growth of the internet, chain messages have only gotten worse.  At one point, you at least had the make the effort to buy stamps and write out envelopes. Now you can just send the message to everyone in your address book with the push of a button.  Even worse, you can just copy and paste the chain message to your Facebook status because there are even chain Facebook posts.  They clog the internet, they are as pervasive as spam, and they are completely unbecoming of a Christian to send.  This is true if it even has a "Christian" message.  You can not take superstition, call it Christian, and make it alright.  It is just not possible. 

No matter the supposedly Christian message in the body of the message, chain letters can not be Christian.  God is not counting how many people you send a message to in order to know if you love Him.  God knows your heart, He does not need you to annoy other people with dumb messages.  Furthermore, the form of a chain letter contains blessings if you send it and curses if you do not.  Is that our God?  Does God bless someone based on how many times you can copy and paste email addresses?  Is God going to be dictated by how well you are at dispersing a false message from Him?  Is God going to chastise someone for failure to cut and paste email addresses?  Is that really our God sitting in Heaven counting out how emails and determining whether some tragedy will befall us if we fail to comply?  Any possible good message contained in the chain letter is negated by the blessings and cursing proclamation that inevitably come at the end.  I find it also rather ironic that a message can talk about the love and grace of God yet how that love is only earned through sending that particular message to a particular amount of people with a warning should you fail to comply.  That certainly sounds like love and grace to me! 

So what should you do if you receive a chain letter?  You should just ignore it.  First of all, God is not going to punish you for holding onto it and Jesus is not going to doubt your love for Him if you do not forward it to ten people.  Quite honestly, I think it shows a better relationship with Jesus if you do not annoy your friends and family or group of Facebook friends with it and trust that He knows your heart.  If God is testing you, trust me you will know and trust me it will not take the form of a chain letter.  If you receive one where there is something in there that you just have to share with others, for example a Bible verse or something, then use the cut and paste feature and only send the applicable part.  I understand this takes a little more work than just forwarding the whole thing, but I think you can handle it. 

Perhaps you think I am making a big deal out of chain letters, and maybe you are right.  The fact is that I get rather angry when people take God and misrepresent Him and then attempt to disseminate that misrepresentation to anyone and everyone they can.  I mean if you are sending out an email promising blessings and cursing from God determined by how many others email are sent, then you are blaspheming God.  You are taking His name in vain.  You are attaching him to superstition and making promises and promising cursing that He has never made.  You are wrongly speaking on behalf of God and you are making yourself into a false prophet.  It really needs to stop.  If you must send out encouraging tidbits each day then send out the Gospel message or a Bible verse.  Send out something God really has said and broadcast promises God really did make.  That is how you bless your friends and family with something of real substance.  So, please, stop sending chain emails or reposting chain Facebook posts.  They are annoying, they are wrong, and most importantly they misrepresent God.  Send out truth because whereas the promises of chain letters are empty, the promises of God's Word are not. 
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper [in the thing] for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV

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