If You Love God, Think (Before You Forward).
By D. Allen Jenkins
I get them on a regular basis; you do too— the e-mails imploring you to sign the petition or letter to our congressman/woman to protest the latest attack on our Christian ideals; the "If you love Jesus, pass this on to everyone you know, including the one who sent it to you," notes. Apparently, the larger the number of forwarding arrows >>>>>>>>>>, the holier the message and the message giver are.
"If you believe this, pass it on; if you don’t, delete it!" (And burn forevermore)
Hell-fire is lapping at my feet.
Case in point: Today I received, AGAIN, the petition to thwart the efforts of Madalyn Murray O’Hare as she attempts, though dead for 11 years, to ban all religious programming from the air waves, just as she did prayer and Bible reading from schools in 1963. On this newest edition of the shophar's warning, was a very long list of names of people who have signed on board to eliminate this real and impending threat; the last several were names of people I knew.
I went to the closet and put on my sackcloth.
Can anyone recall Jesus’ words, “Be wise as serpents”?(Matt 10:16)
How about Aesop’s boy who cried wolf?
Many of these petitions are baseless e-rumors, many of which—like this particular one— have been around so long they predate the internet. Yet still we send and receive them as accurate. Let’s test our wisdom.
Mrs. O’Hare’s devious plan has been floating around since at least 1978, that’s 28 years; the year I graduated from high school; the year Jimmy Carter was elected president over Ronald Regan. The problem is, it isn’t true; at least not as stated in the petition pleas.
According to www.truthorfiction.com , a clearing house for all virtual gossip (yes I said gossip), while there was a petition to the FCC labeled RM-2493, it was not filed by O’Hare, or her atheist organization, but rather “by a couple of fellows who felt that churches and religious organizations should not be operating so many FM radio frequencies that are classed as "educational."” The article goes on to state that “the FCC eventually issued a ruling that was favorable to the religious broadcasters.”
Now, before you tie me to the heretic’s pyre, let me qualify some things. I do not decry the sending of such material; not in the least. There is a need to “remain watchful”, for our enemy is lurking as a lion for his prey. Many real issues exist, which deserve and demand our thoughtful attentions, but please note I say "thoughtful" attentions.
Jesus gave us the greatest commandment: Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deut 6:5, Mk 12:30) It is obvious the heart is in full obedience to this edict, but given the evidence, I am less confident concerning the mind.
These facts are relatively easy to find and discern, but be it a “what can it hurt” attitude, or worse yet, pure laziness, we don’t take the time to find out if these claims are accurate and valid, and thus show a lack of love for the Father.
Moreover, the query “what can it hurt?” is rejoined by our favorite childhood moralist, Aesop. I mentioned the boy who cried wolf earlier and here is his importance. If we cry loudly to all, far and near, about these e-mail pleadings, despite the fact their fallacies are apparent to all who care to look beneath the surface, what value will our words have when the real wolf comes?
How can an unbelieving world take our message seriously when we attach our names to purported truths that can’t even get the simplest of details correct? — details like spelling a name properly. In several versions of this rumor-mail, I noted the spelling of Madalyn Murray O’Hare; it was incorrectly spelled Madeline.
Theology notwithstanding, I have to wonder if she is not laughing at us from the grave.
Doug, thank you for your timely comments on this type of email. I get them that suggest I don't really love God if I don't forward them on. I delete them, for I do not prove my love for God by forwarding emails. I prove my love for God by my everyday life. If I forward an email it is because I like its content,and I forward it only to someone I think will really appreciate it. Again, I do not prove my love for God by forwarding emails. I prove my love for God by my everyday life. Thank you again for your article. I hope it will help someone who perhaps is feeling guilty because of they did forward one of these emails. Give me liberty or give me no emails. Thomas