is nothing whatsoever wrong with inspirational stories (as long as
they are true), pithy sayings, sentimental poetry or prose. If
you think someone would enjoy it, or be blessed by it, by all means,
send it along! However, you might want to make sure that the
person you are sending it to DOES enjoy such things. The
sentimental stuff is usually way too syrupy for my tastes.
Don't forward it to your whole list or ten people, or whatever the
message says to do.
ones that tell you to pass it along as a test of your love for God,
are, I believe, terribly dishonest. Here is one example:
"If you aren't ashamed to
do this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If
you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my
Father," Not ashamed, pass this on. . . only if you mean
it. Yes I do Love God. . . . . (some words about who God is to
the writer). .. This is the simplest test. . . if you Love
God, and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things He has done for
you, send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you!
Remember Only send this if you Believe." (what happens
if you send it and DON'T BELIEVE? LOL!)
one along the same lines:
"This is a test! An easy one. You score 100 or
zero. It's your choice. If you aren't ashamed to do
this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, 'if you are
ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father.' If
you are not ashamed pass this on...only if you mean it. . . . . .
This is the simplest test - if you love God, and are not ashamed of
all the marvelous things he has done for you, send this to ten
people and the person who sent it to you!"
yet another sample:
"I don't think I know 10 people who would admit they love
Jesus. Do you love Him? Here's a simple test: If you
love Jesus, send this to at least 10 people, including the person
who sent it to you." Pictures or poems are included.
Notice how scripture is being ripped from its context in the first
two examples. I'm sure that our Lord DID NOT have in mind that
a person who refuses to forward chain email is ashamed of Him.
What does constitute being ashamed of Christ is not taking a stand
before our world (even in the face of persecution) and being afraid
to share Him with a lost and dying world. This is a
generalization, but in my experience with most who enjoy passing
these things along, I find that most of them rarely ever share their
faith with anyone personally, many don't voice a stand against
immorality and many, while enjoying the benefits of being a part of
the Body of Christ, act like useless limbs in that body. Jesus
said that if we love Him, we'll keep His commandments. That's
the litmus test, not forwarding emails.
This is not a good witness. Sometimes God gives us one time
opportunities to share with another person. Most of the time
He gives us ongoing relationships THROUGH which we share the love
and mercy of Christ by both our daily lives and our speech.
Relationship building is important because then people can see God
working within us, freeing us from sin. Messages like these can
have the opposite effect on an unbeliever. It makes us seem
foolish for believing that forwarding an email will prove our love
I'm afraid that many people who would be glad to push a forward
button couldn't tell you what Jesus has done in their lives in the
past week, much less the past year. It's so easy to forward an
email. It doesn't cost me anything (and that's about what it's
worth). True witnessing, true obedience and true love for the
Body will definitely cost us something.
The second example talks about the marvelous things God has done for
us, yet it urges us to send a generic message without giving an
account of His marvelous deeds. Is this the "sacrifice of
praise" talked about in the Word? Why not recount the
great things God is doing in your life and has done in the past, and
send it on to ten or more people? Now's that's something
I feel sorry for the person who concocted the third example.
If they don't know 10 people who love Jesus, perhaps they need to
get involved with the Body of Christ in their own community! I
know hundreds of people who love Jesus (they show it by their
actions) and I meet to worship with them a couple of times a week.
the guilt motivation used to get people to pass it on. How is
this any different from luck letters?
mention the funny lines , "remember only send this if you
believe," and "only if you mean it." Who
else WOULD send it on? What would happen if someone who didn't
believe passed it on?