Vol.XIV No.VI Pg.8
August 1977

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Loaves and fishes? Who needs them? How about "You are in God's Kingdom when you have money to buy the things you want — fancy home, swimming pool, big car, vacations in exotic far away islands, glittering jewels, juicy steaks..." And if you need a little scriptural exegesis to go with it: "I know why the rich will never enter the Kingdom of God.... the poor shall enter the Kingdom of God because the rich are already there!"

I'm quoting from an advertisement of a "church" in New Jersey. The writer says he discovered a way to pray—" not the element of reverence nor worship. It was more like a polite demand. The kind you make when you order hamburgers at McDonald's." Again, "And the results do not depend upon living a life of purity and piety. The results are instantaneous."

He has written a book, naturally, and he modestly describes it as "the first major breakthrough in religion in over ten thousand years." (He did not identify the "breakthrough" that occurred then.) Interested? Well "All we ask is a modest donation to help get our church on its feet." (He suggests $ 10— donation, of course. He didn't say why he did not pray for an "instantaneous" church "footing.") A companion "ad," from the same source, tells how to start your own church and become a multi-millionaire. As a testimonial, he tells of one man who "has set up more than 12,000 churches. Each one pays him $2.00 a month, each and every month, for their church charter records." A "free will offering" of $20 puts you on the in.

Do you know how such rubbish can attract, and the inventors prosper? Greed and ignorance, yes — and I will not give you the address, for I do not wish to be responsible. But even among people who should know better — people will pay to hear what they want to hear!

This sickening and disgusting book salesman out-churches many modern "respectable" churches who offer the same sort of "bait" but will not be so open and forthright about it. Is he not just farther on down the same road traveled by those who "Joy Bus" "Dollar under the Lucky Seat" people into coming to "worship"? Who have phased out Heaven and spiritual values, and replaced them with "this world" emphasis? Who satisfy projects and pride at the expense of souls?