Originally created 04/17/99

Some Christians fleeced by own naivete 041799 - The Augusta Chronicle



How stupid is a Christian supposed to be?

Why is it that so many evangelical Christians, not cultural Christians, not church members, but people who claim a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, are consistently naive, consistently conned and consistently stupid?

A smorgasbord of pagan ideas is being perpetrated on the church and on unsuspecting, or undiscerning Christians. I call these practices pagan, because if the cross is taken out of Christianity, Christianity is no different from any other religion. This is one time, when, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it may not be a duck. It is probably a wolf in sheep's clothing.

These fleece-covered wolves start the sheering of God's sheep by appealing to an individual's self-interest, encouraging the gullible to demand from God all of the things that the pagan world seeks after. "Deny yourself" is not part of this liturgy.

Walking by a field of wild flowers one day, Jesus pointed to them and said, "The ten best men and women in town are shabbily dressed when compared with these flowers. Why do you concentrate so much effort on something that will not last? Your heavenly Father knows you need these things, but the thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants." The wolves say, "Don't you believe it! You need to start demanding your rights, because God isn't God if he doesn't fill your bank account."

Next the wolves tell you that they are the only ones who can convince God to act on your behalf. You must contact one of them and he or she will pray the prayer of faith for you, and always that letter of need is to be filled with the seed for greed. Send them money, so God can bless you.

If you really want to get in on the newest wave, they say, you must go where the blessings are flowing. Am I the only one to whom it suggests that because Christians are urged to travel to some spiritual vortex, God may, therefore, be too small to move in some other city, and in some other church?

It does not seem to matter to these leaders of the gullible that Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit to every believer, everywhere. Jesus said to go into all the all world, but instead, the exploitable are being led by the nose to "holy hot-spots."

One of these maelstroms is once again centered in Toronto because that is where God is changing ordinary dental amalgam into gold! You read correctly. In this latest aberration, God has allegedly gone into the dental business. At least that is what Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship declared in a press release dated March 17. The first occurrence was on March 3. Within two weeks more than 300 people were testifying that "gold and silver fillings supernaturally appearing in their mouths following prayer."

While the Toronto leadership encourages medical verification, they gloat that many dentists "have been understandably hesitant to explain why their patients' fillings have ... changed ... to bright silver or gold." To their credit, they note a few cases where "people had apparently forgotten that this work had been done."

I have had some great dentists over the years, but I remember every invasion of my mouth at their hands. As the press release stated, "the majority of these incidents seem to be beyond explaining."

The article asks, "Why would God fill people's teeth with gold?" That was my first question. "Perhaps because He loves them and delights in blessing His children," was their answer. Evidently God "loved" people more 2,000 years ago than he does today, because when he healed people then, the old became new, crippled hands were not given prosthetic devices, blind eyes were not given glasses, deaf ears were not given hearing aids. So why would God replace rotten teeth with gold teeth instead of creating new disease-free teeth?

The press release ran on for 454 words. Tucked away at the end, the next to the last sentence was a six-word sentence that should have been their focus, and the focus of every ministry that names the name of Jesus: "Conversions to Christ have also increased!" But those conversions didn't deserve a press release, only gold teeth did.

How stupid is a Christian supposed to be? Evidently pretty stupid, because religious hucksters continue "with our gleeful assistance" to make fools of the people of God! You do not have to park your brains in order to be a Christian. But there is a whole crowd of preachers who wish you would.The author is a local free-lance writerE-mail address: david@sisler.net