'Be aware of false prophets' and 'Miracle Spring Water'
Glenda Bremer’s column, “A View from the Pew” appears in the St. John Lutheran Church newsletter, and she has graciously agreed to share the column written for the September newsletter.
I recently embarked on a religious reconnaissance mission to save my fellow Christians from following a path of spiritual destruction. There’s an advertisement regularly aired on a certain TV network that I watch. It’s a television evangelist promoting the free “Miracle Spring Water” which promises to bring you miraculous health and wealth. One man endorsed the product, saying, “I got my job back and I’m drug-free and, lo and behold, a check for $14,000 arrived in the mail.” A lady was able to purchase her dream home after receiving the Miracle Spring Water. Another woman received $40,000. Hallelujah!
I was suspicious so I decided to investigate. I applied online to receive the free Miracle Spring Water. Approximately one week later, there it was in the mailbox. It was a little packet of clear liquid. It looked like water, but I didn’t taste it because I’m a little paranoid by nature. I read the instructions carefully as I didn’t want to make a fatal blunder and interfere with the miracle process. The first step was to put the packet on my nightstand and leave it there while I slept. I did it, but felt a little foolish doing so.
I was instructed to open the packet the next day and “anoint” my forehead with the free Miracle Spring Water for mental clarity and peace of mind. Then I was directed to put some on my hands for the money miracle. The third step was to rub some on a painful area of my body for divine healing. I didn’t really have any pain that day, but I applied some to my ankle where a big black spider bit me while I was gardening. The final step required the placement of the Miracle Spring Water on the front door for protection from evil. I was beginning to feel like an idiot.
I had serious reservations, but continued to follow the directions. Then I got to the part where they requested a check for $37 to be sent to the TV ministry. I thought the Miracle Spring Water was free. Apparently the $37 had to be mailed along with the “Secret Way Miracle Request Form.” The televangelist would pray for you and God would answer that prayer if you sent the money. This is not what I learned in Sunday School!
At this point, I threw in the towel. Still, I decided to investigate further online and found another individual who had conducted a similar inquiry. He took it a step further and sent in the initial donation. A second letter followed asking for a larger “Miracle Seed” donation, followed by a third request for an even larger “Seed of New Beginnings” donation Five months passed and he never received any of the miracle wealth.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
God doesn’t ask us to pay for His blessings. But He does ask us to share the blessings He freely gives us. He wants us to do good deeds, support those less fortunate, and volunteer our time in the service of others.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8