We used to get this kind of thing in the mail all the time but haven’t since we moved into this building several years ago. So much to our delight the other day we opened the mailbox to find, packed away in a neat little business size envelope, our personal prayer rug. Which comes with instructions printed at the bottom and on the back. The prescription is that we are to stare at the prayer rug until Jesus opens his eyes and stares us down. Then we’re to kneel upon the rug in private, make our prayer, then return the prayer rug with a list of our needs checked off on a handy enclosed form. The prayer rug must be returned, it must not be kept in our possession, because its peculiar so-stated destiny is to be mailed to a second home that needs it.
So it is not our personal prayer rug after all. It’s a two-for-one special prayer rug (or one for two). Which kind of sucks, because I so do like rugs and a paper one wouldn’t gather dust.
I couldn’t possibly have faith in this prayer rug as Jesus isn’t dripping blood from his crown of thorns, but I read the accompanying letter anyway, that tells me about the many who have received blessings through the church, that they are loaning me this prayer rug and that I must return it within 24 hours and that this timing is very important. If I don’t return the rug the next morning then my neglect will break the flow of power. The prayer needs I’m to check off have also a place where I can check mark, “Enclosed is my seed gift to God’s work of $_________”.
I look at the envelope again and see that on the front it reads, “Yours first!” I would be more interested to be the recipient of the envelope that read, “Yours second!” and examine the prayer rug for signs of wear. If any one gets that envelope that reads, “Yours second!” I would love to have a scan of it. ‘K?
The ministry is “Prayer by letters, Saint Matthew’s Churches, P.O. Box 22065, Tulsa, OK”. Their website is here and apparently they’ve had some problems with people accusing them of being…well…scammers. And they must, y’know, be honest folk since they deal with the issue forthrightly on their website.
Saint Matthew’s Churches receives tithes and offerings based on the Scriptures, and uses church donations to buy postage and printing of gospel sermons, books, magazines, and other literature that we give away free of charge. Saint Matthew’s Churches does not sell anything. In its mail sermons, it preaches that God answers prayer, which cannot be construed as a mail scam or mail fraud.
However, the published sermons and sacred literature sent free of charge by Saint Matthew’s Churches crosses the paths of atheists; communists; drug dealers; criminals; the lunatic fringes of society; those who hate the United States, God and Christianity and those who hate us because we are gospel missionaries. They accuse all churches which mail sermons of mail scams and mail fraud.
Now, I would have thought that they would want their prayer rugs to cross the paths of criminals, drug dealers, the lunatic fringes of society (like atheists and communists) and those who hate the United States and God and Christianity, because what an opportunity it would be to minister to us poor sinners. But us sinners apparently just cause them problems then they want nothing to do with us.
Golda Meir, the third Prime Minister of Israel, once said, “We will not roll over and die just to make our enemies happy.” The same is true of Saint Matthew’s Churches and all other churches which are wrongfully accused of mail scams and mail fraud.
Thousands of people are blessed by the church’s mail sermons. Saint Matthew’s Churches understands that not everyone wants to receive our literature. Some who receive one of the gospel books or sermon letters that we send free of charge – and we emphasize “free of charge” – hate gospel literature; from their hatred comes false accusations of mail fraud and mail scams. Honest people just throw the literature into the trash if they do not want to receive it; the literature costs them nothing. St Matthew’s Churches pay all of the costs for printing the literature as well as the postage to mail it. However, some are compelled by their hatred to try and harm the church with false accusations of mail fraud or mail scams.
There are many hurting people who believe in biblical teachings and prayer, and who are grateful to receive St Matthew’s Churches church books and sermon letters free of charge. They don’t believe the false accusations of mail fraud or mail scams. These people write back to Saint Matthew’s Churches requesting prayer; they know that God answers prayer. Because Saint Matthew’s Churches is based upon Christian teachings, St Matthew’s Churches form a friendship with those who are interested in receiving free of charge more of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His saving grace, and His Second Coming. Hundreds of thousands have joined the church and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
They may, as they insist, be honest and have a perpetual motion machine sitting in their back yard to boot, but their prayer rug isn’t anointed with the inky blood of Jesus, so I simply can’t have faith.
Besides, since I have kept the prayer rug in my possession two nights, I have broken the flow of power. There is someone else, supposedly, who will not receive the blessings of this prayer rug because of me. Because I’ve kept it in my sinful hands. I even scanned the thing.
It is not a very attractive rug. If you scroll on past it I’m offering a free internet prayer rug in which Jesus’ eyes are already open (for the instant gratification crowd).
Here is my “Pearls of Wisdom Free Internet Prayer Rug”.
Be careful what you wish for. But I think impeachment of Bush is always a good choice. If you are inclined to take the prayer rug and scribble “Impeach Bush” on it then I would consider it to not be theft but an example of multiplying loaves and fishes.