Nope, the title isn’t the latest in Lutheran casseroles. I’m just a bit put out by the VOLUME of junk e-mail my fellow churchgoers send out.
Some are laugh out loud funny, but that is the exception, not the rule. Some are woefully tacky. Many contain airbrushed and computer generated pictures of angles and sunsets and breathy puppies holding blushing virgins. Wait, perhaps it’s the other way around… Some contain out-and-out lies (the one titled “Can Muslims be good Americans?” just about set my hair on fire. The people of my congregation, as a whole, are highly educated and well traveled. How is it that they keep passing this junk around?)
Today, for example, I got a real mixed bag. I junked several emails that had more than one fwd: in the subject line. I read one that had a message that I both loved and hated. The first part of the message said P.U.S.H.
I liked the sentiment. Plus, it’s short and sweet. But then THAT thought was followed by a TON of tacky pictures of angles and so on, and the JUNK idea that if I didn’t forward the message RIGHT NOW I wasn’t a good Christian, or something to that effect. It somewhat hinted that IF I forwarded the message, I’d be part of some superior, exclusive, elite group that is in with Jesus – personally. It’s smells a bit like a Salvation Pyramid Scheme (And I really think Moses would laugh his sandals off about that turn of phrase!)
I’m just a little annoyed with the used car salesmen, pushy, my God can eat your God for breakfastdrivel that’s floating around the internet, and my in-box specifically.
Catholic dogma will tell you that ANYTHING that increases the faith is a miracle. It seems like a fine theory to this Lutheran. Growing the community of the church is a big part of my job. I like helping people find their way to the gifts that God has given them: forgiveness, kindness, compassion, hope, community, strength, good will, grace and so on. But these chain emails, they are just so much glittery trash. Blowing leaflets tossed from invisible electronic skyscrapers. Cluttered Billboards running the length of the information superhighway.
Did you know that, as a tool for marketing, billboards only have one purpose? It’s to re-enforce a decision you have already made. For example, Cracker Barrel has some of the best billboards in the world. They only tell you where the closest restaurant is. When you see a board for CB, you have to know what a Cracker Barrel is already to understand it. If you already know if Cracker Barrel is your type of place, then the sign tells you how many more miles down the pike you have to go to get something you already want. It takes about 10 seconds. We’ve all seen billboards that suck out loud: usually they are for hospitals or mortgage companies. Things that we DON’T need or CAN’T use in a car. There’s way too much writing and no real point, and, occasionally, a vaguely smiling doctoresque person in a white coat.
Which brings me back to the junk in my in-box. Too much writing and strange pictures to make any sense at all.
Let’s edit the message: God Loves YOU. See His great gifts at EVERY exit, and at all points in between. Amen.
As for the senders of the Church Spam, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I love you all. There’s no point in asking them to stop. It’s as important to them to send them as it is for me to delete them. That, and the friends I have asked to stop sending this stuff haven’t listened to me anyway. Can I get another AMEN?