If you have an email account…
…you have probably received a viral email or two. You know the ones I’m talking about – emails that happily wish you God’s blessings for the day, give a pithy account of how a person’s faith in Christ Jesus saved them or someone else from imminent danger/death, or a wise old grandparent type giving spiritual wisdom for the ages. Then at the end, the email urges you to pass it on to those in your address book.
So they’re Christian emails? Harmless tomes of spiritual feel-goodedness that give you a boost like a triple espresso on a rainy morning? Could they be anything but fun, wholesome and pure?
Call me a crumudgeon if you wish, but here is my warning to you…
Be careful. What you could be passing on is witchcraft in its most subtle form.
Let me explain myself: The following clips of text are samples of what was tagged to the end of inspirational emails sent to myself or my wife in the past year by Christian family members and friends…
If you believe in Him, send this to ten people including me. Watch what happens in thirty minutes!
Just send this to four people and see what happens..
Remember to make a wish before you read the quotation. That’s all you have to do. There is nothing attached. Just send this to seven women and let me know what happens on the fourth day. Try not to break this, please. Did you make a wish yet? If you don’t make a wish, it won’t come true… This is your last chance to make a wish!
They say if you pass this on, you will receive a miracle.
This is not a joke; someone will call you by phone or will speak to you about something that you were waiting to hear. Do not break!
Tomorrow at 10:35am somebody will address you and tell you something you have been waiting to hear. Please do not break it.
Something wonderful is about to happen to you and your friends. Tomorrow at 9:48 AM somebody will address you and tell you something you have been waiting to hear. Please do not break this! chain. Send it to at least 7 of your friends.
This <image of a ghostly angel> is the sacred angel. You MUST pass this angel on to at least 3 people within the hour of opening this email. After you do, make a wish. If you have passed it on, your wish will come true and money will come your way shortly.
Now send this to 12 people within 5 minutes and remember to send this back…. I count as 2, you’ll see why. Wonder what’s going to happen?
(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8) 1 Kings 8:23 A blessing is coming to you in the form of money. Do not ask questions just forward to eight people and TRUST GOD!
(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8) These are money bags, send them to 8 good people & receive money in 4 days. I’m not joking.. Delete and be broke in 2010!
Don’t keep this message. This Tantra must leave your hands within 96 hours. Send copies and watch what goes on in the next four days. You’ll have a pleasant surprise. This is true, even if you’re not superstitious.
REMEMBER to make a wish before you read the prayer. That’s all you have to do. There is nothing attached. Just share this with people and see what happens on the fourth day.
At the end of each email, the reader is asked to forward it to others. This in itself, is perfectly fine — if it’s a straightforward request. The problem lies in the way the request is made. Instead of just saying “Pass it on”, the above words promise an occurrence that can only happen if you “send it to X people” or ‘make a wish”. These words promise you unnamed benefits, answers to wishes, or money.
Let me tell you, if something supernatural or mystical or riches are promised only if you forward the email by some unknown writer (most likely NOT the person who forwarded it to you), you can be confident that it is witchcraft, fortune telling, or casting a spell – no matter how benign it sounds.
But I thought witchcraft employed “spell-ish” words and had phrases like “eye of newt” in them? How can quoting a Bible verse be witchcraft?
Look at the clips again. Note that however wholesome and nice each phrase may sound, none of them bring God, Jesus, or Holy Spirit into the picture. In fact, the one that does mention God, requires you to forward the email, THEN trust God… as if trusting God as your Source and Provider isn’t enough, you must forward the email before He will do anything.
Witchcraft desires to minimize the power of God and glorify mystical things instead.
C’mon, this isn’t witchcraft, it’s just words! Quit scaring people!
Fine, if you think that witchcraft is too harsh, how about this?
If you react to that statement with a blank stare, let me expound with this…
To manipulate, in context with these emails, is – to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously. If the only way people will forward this email is because of a mysterious promise after sending to “X” number of people, isn’t that manipulating? Why are these phrases needed at the end at all? Shouldn’t the content of the email itself have enough value to merit a forward?
Every once in a while I get an email that states if I don’t forward this email to EVERYONE in my email address book, I am ashamed of Christ Jesus.
So, to show God that I love Him and am not ashamed of Him I have to forward your gaudy, sophomoric, stuck in 1999 formatted, sparkly-imaged, grammar & spelling challenged email?
That is guilting me into sending it forward.
Guilting someone into doing what you want them to do is sinful and wrong.
If you just forward this email…
If you care about xxxxx, you will support…
If you’re a believer, you will give into the offering bucket…
If you love me, you would do this for me…
If you love Jesus you will…
Sadly, we all do it. We do it to each other, our Christian brothers and sisters, our siblings, our children, our parents, our friends, customers, voters…
So… what do I do?
My suggestion is to get right with your Lord and Master. Get with God and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and show you areas where you need some cleanup. Go to Jesus and give it to Him. Confess your sin. Confess your bad attitude.
Repent from any manipulation and witchcraft. He will forgive you. I know because He forgave me. The blood that Jesus shed for my sins and your sins will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
If you’re not sure if you are saved or if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Saviour and would like to receive His gift of salvation, here is how you do it!
It’s important that we help our Christian brothers and sisters in seeing this issue for themselves. Be aware that most people don’t even know that they are reading and sending on words that could be a spell or at the least, blatant manipulation. Be sure to nudge them in love, don’t plow into them.
I hope this was useful to you. This has been something I have been meaning to write about for over a year now, and I regret waiting so long.
Please forgive me for my procrastination.
PS… If you liked this post, and you sent this to everyone in your address book… a heartfelt Thank You. Your choice. No pressure! 😉