October 12, 2010

Chain 'Letters' for God Must Stop

One of the things that I am grateful for Facebook and other social networking sites for is my 'chain mail' e-mails have all but disappeared. In the last two years or so I have virtually received no e-mails that needed to be sent to 100 of my friends within the next 5 minutes. Which is great because as it stands I must have about a million years worth of bad luck coming, I should die 'tomorrow' for the next ten years and I clearly hate God, Jesus and all my friends and family. I just can't bring myself to forwarding such nonsense to people.

That being said every now and then I can't help myself reading the blogs or watching video that flow through Facebook. This is one of the videos I saw clogging up some of my Christian friends status I am One of the 7%. The title comes from the end of the video stating that 93% of people will not repost this video (presumably because they hate God) but if you are one of the truly faithful you will repost this link with the title 'I am one of the 7%'.

For the record I am one of the 93%.

First let me talk about this video in particular than this practice in general. The video is a little more than 5 minutes in length and for those of you that don't want to watch (and I don't blame you) let me sum it up for you;

While a sad (than dramatic) violin/piano duo plays a song we are treated to a story about two men who survived a shipwreck. They swam to a small deserted island and upon their arrival decide this is a good opportunity to test who's prayers are more effective (naturally the first thing any shipwreck survivor would do). But to make sure they could determine who's prayers were being answered they divided the island in two and went their separate ways.

The first man prays for food, and the next day he finds a fruit tree. A week later he is lonely and prays for a wife, which he gets (more on that later), than he prayed for a house, more food and clothing, which as you may of guessed he got all of it.

Finally he prays for rescue which comes, but the first man knowing the second had none of his prayers answered decided the second man deserves to die on the island. To wrap this up, God shows up and chastises the first man for trying to abandon the second man because as it turns out the only reason he was having his prayers answered was because the second man prayed only one prayer 'God let all his prayers be answered'.

That's Exactly What Happened To Me Too

Here are my three major problems with this video. First it's stupid. Who survives a shipwreck, gets stranded on a island and sets up a 'prayer off' competition? And in the unlikely situation that you do, who doesn't pray from day one to be rescued? The entire premise is idiotic.

Second the video is immoral. The first man is lonely, so again instead of praying for rescue to come so he can go back home and see his family, friends and neighbours he actually prays for a wife, for someone else to be struck with him. Things go from bad to worse when God grants him this request by sinking another ship. This act kills who knows how many people, leaving who knows how many families without a father/mother/sibling etc, just to give this man a wife. That is just plain awful.

And third, this is the worst understanding of prayer I have ever seen. In this video God becomes a genie giving the first man everything his heart desires because someone asked him to. Any person who has ever prayed knows this just isn't the way God works. I could go on but I think you get where I am coming from.

Lastly I want to comment on this 'method of evangelism' or 'method of displaying ones faith' in general. This must be the most hallow and lazy way to 'stand up for God' ever conceived. I have already stated my distaste for handing out tracks but this is even worse. First has anyone anywhere ever seen one of these things, fallen to their knees committed their life to Jesus and thanked God for the love and caring their friend showed them but posting this link blindly on Facebook?

My gut says no.

But beyond being ineffective it may even be counterproductive. Like this video most of these chain letters are full of incorrect information. They also have a good dose of arrogance contained in them. They guilt people into re-posting them because if they do not they are in some way less of a Christian. And finally they are annoying. They irritate people who really do need to hear the gospel but instead of moving them closer to Jesus they give the impression that they have heard it all and that the gospel is silly or useless.

Chain letters about luck are annoying, Chain letters for God are damaging to the gospel. Please if you are the 7%....come join the 93% of us and stop posting chain letters for God.


  1. Thank you for story, to be honest, I have really had it with this letters. From now on, no more forwarding.Thank you for story, to be honest, I have really had it with this letters. From now on, no more forwarding.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I am glad this has helped!