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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Holy Handkerchief, Holy Hell!
A letter came addressed to “Resident” at our humble abode this very day. It came straight from hell.

On the envelope of this letter were these words, “Heavenly Father, we pray that this one who needs this divine help will write their needs on page two of this letter and will place this blessed, biblical, Acts 19:11,12, Handkerchief and this sealed Bible prophecy under their side of their bed as they sleep tonight. Let Thy power from heaven descend upon this home tonight and tomorrow night, after this one has mailed their most pressing needs back to this 56-year-old church ministry. We pray that they will break open this sealed prophecy after sunset tomorrow. Amen” (Italics and bold as printed on the envelope.)

Inside the envelope… drum roll, please… you guessed it - another ploy for money preying upon the poor and vulnerable. Of course the Holy Hankie (nothing more than a piece of paper with an edging printed upon it) was supposed to help answer all your prayers if you sent in a donation. It’s straight out of Robert Tilton 15 years ago. I know this to be true because my brother phoned Tilton’s “hotline” about that many years ago to get a Holy Hankie. He wanted to see if they would send him one even while he claimed he couldn’t afford to make a donation. It came as no surprise to anyone that Tilton’s “ministry” tried to weasel money out of him anyway and then refused to send him the handkerchief without a donation. But these guys (Saint Matthew’s Churches - Rev. James Eugene Ewing) sent it first with the expectation that perhaps the receiver would be so grateful for a magical prayer that he/she would send a faith gift in anticipation of the millions God would eventually send or miraculous answers to whatever seemed most pressing at the moment.

I get so cheesed with these little anti-Christs. And lest you think my anger unjustified, read this article about Saint Matthew’s Churches and their money-grubbing and evil founder.

This time I decided I would make them pay - literally, as in money. I stuffed all the information back into their No postage necessary envelope and added a note saying, “This is an abomination to the Lord. Repent.” A while later I found my husband and kids slitting open the envelope and attempting to find heavy objects that would raise the cost of the postage the organization would have to pay upon receipt of the envelope. They were giggling as they stuffed huge eye bolts into the envelope. I couldn’t laugh with them because I know about people who send their meager public assistance checks to organizations like this expecting that something fantastic will happen. In reality, it’s probably better to put your last quarter into a slot machine or buy lottery tickets with your welfare check than to send it to one of these scam ministries. There is a better chance of actually getting something back.

What makes it worse? They target their mailings to impoverished areas. There are quite a number of people on fixed incomes in my little town, and I wonder how many of the people from senior housing I see regularly at the local minimart will send money.

I hope that others will follow suit and send these organizations the message that their actions are evil. Make them at least pay for their own return postage. I don’t know if it will make any dent in the millions they bring in every year, but enough is enough, and a solution has to start somewhere. I won’t stand aside and see the poor bamboozled by those who claim to know Christ when they only care about their own pockets.

I can’t help but think of the parable of the sheep and the goats…
posted by Linda at 10:12 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 5/22/2007 11:36:00 PM, Blogger Amy

    I got this one, too. It horrible. I wish I had thought to send it back stuffed to the brink. I'll remember that for next time!

  • At 5/23/2007 06:21:00 AM, Blogger Joanna

    I got the same thing, only it was a paper 'prayer mat' rather than a handkerchief... it was very weird, but we got a good laugh out of it. Mostly, we were really confused. I can't imagine it's making them any money- or that they are able to justify this to anyone as a 'ministry'

  • At 5/23/2007 08:27:00 AM, Blogger Lori

    Linda, I appreciate your well-placed righteous anger! Thanks for the creative response you suggest, as well. Next time I might actually open the mailer and respond, instead of dropping it straight in the recycle bin.

  • At 5/23/2007 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Michele L

    I have never received one of these but certainly have heard of them. It is sad that so many buy (literally) buy into these scams.

    The sad thing is, where does it stop. Even (well meaning?) churches on television have similar things. In the name of support for ministry, which I am sure is true (in a small part), people are asked to send money all of the time. I am sure that someone's pockets are thick there also!

  • At 5/25/2007 06:16:00 AM, Anonymous agma

    I also got the *holy* hankie this week and recycled it asap. As predicted, this is an economically depressed area where I get calls at least once a week from desperate people wanting to know if my church "helps people" ($$). Add that to a low level of education and a high history of you're-going-to-hell revivals, and this area is a prime market for people's last dimes. Repent, indeed!

  • At 5/26/2007 06:25:00 PM, Blogger Nadia

    I got this one and included it in a curated images of the Holy Spirit instalation for worship tomorrow. Nest to the envelope is the question: "What exactly is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Does this count?"

  • At 5/28/2007 11:49:00 AM, Blogger juniper

    For everyone's amusement, may I suggest "The Wittenberg Door?" Its a religious satire magazine. The magazine is $20.00 per year, but the newsletter which also contains lots of funny stuff is free. It takes the prosperity preachers and latter day Johann Tetzels to task.


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