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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Money God

As a coworker and I were leaving work yesterday, we overheard a lady on the street approach another lady and ask, “Would you mind if I gave you money?” The other lady hesitantly said “okay,” then was handed a $10 bill by the first lady. After handing her the bill, she said, “I’d like to talk to you about God….”

I have to say that I’ve heard of a lot of different approaches for talking to people about God, but that has got to be the dirtiest trick I’ve ever seen someone pull. More than likely, the recipient of the $10 will feel obligated to stick around and talk because they took the money. Personally, I don’t want to belong to any religion that feels they have to pull tricks to get people to listen to their preaching. I would have handed her back the $10 and walked away, commenting that she couldn’t buy my convictions.

» Posted by Queue at 08:38 AM (ET)
Category: Idiot of the Moment, Journal Queue


Ah, but therein lies the fundamental problem. _every_ religion uses tricks to suck you in. Every one of them. Maybe it’s not money, but they’re still tricks. Without tricks, how else does any organized religion convince people that there’s an invisible man living up in the sky who watches everything you do and everything you say, and if you do any of the ten things he does not want you to do, you’ll burn and choke and scream and die until the end of time…but he still loves you (with apologies to George Carlin).

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t wish to knock organized religion (specifically Christianity). There’s a common good for a structured venue through which any person to testify mankind’s tendency toward being “good.” But it’s still tricks that increase membership within any religion.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
September 13, 2005 09:37 AM

I disagree. I think religions create their own paradoxes. Simply preaching the love of God and living one’s own life in accordance with what they believe is right should be enough. A person who wants to find God is going to be looking. If you have to trick a person into looking, they’re probably not going to give themselves over to it.

I don’t go out looking to evangelize to people, but yet I’m constantly asked by people in work about my beliefs, which I freely share. No tricks, just truth. That’s what a religion should be. Granted, my views are a bit different from that of most organized religions, but then what does that say about organized religion?

» Posted by Queue
September 14, 2005 08:23 AM

I think you just made my point for me. People—not churches—are the best “evangelists.” It’s no wonder that these independent, nondenominational churches that invite you to come as you are and don’t even pressure you into becoming a bona-fide “member” are getting so popular. People like not putting up with the gimmicks of organized religion. And these independent churches are doing well because people are willing to contribute substantial amounts of money to support that church _because_ they’re not being asked to.

Of course, as soon as I say that, above, people start thinking of the cult organizations (including, but not limited to, Branch Davidians). I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the legit, nondenominationals such as Church In the Son (.com) here in Orlando. Such venues are simply places where a group of people started a ministry that grew big enough to become its own church. The people who learn about it and stop in to check it out like what they see, continue coming, and support it on their own free will. None of the “you must return X percent of your income if you want to be a member” stuff.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
September 14, 2005 09:44 AM

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