We all get spam, in our emails, on our facebook news feeds, & in IM. There are all kinds of spam, but I’m interested in those chain letters that say, “if you don’t send this you going to Hell.”
Ok, so to be fair, people don’t actually send IMs that blatant, they make it more subtle. They lay a guilt trip on you, they make it sound like you’re really doing Jesus a favour by irritating everybody on your contact list. These messages contain lines like:
“The devil will try to discourage you from forwarding this, but you can defeat him, I just did”
“If you forward this, God will bless you.”
“If you forward this, something special will happen in the next …”
& my favourite, “Jesus says, that if you deny him in front of your friends, then God will deny you at judgement, don’t deny him, send this on.”
Firstly, the Bible doesn’t work on a system of instant reward for good actions, it doesn’t even work on a system of any reward for actions. According to the Bible, people don’t go to heaven because they do good, but they gain salvation by grace through faith, good works are simply an expression of faith.
Secondly, the Bible says you’ll be judged by your works. That’s right, salvation by grace, & judgement by works. That’s why you have to repent, even if you have given your life to Christ, & been baptised. Denying God/Christ is hiding the fact when confronted about it, like Peter did – three times, this is not unforgivable. Not spamming people isn’t the same thing. You aren’t denying Christ if you don’t, you’re just irritating someone if you do.
Thirdly, Jesus says we should treat others the way we want to be treated, the one sentiment that people who don’t accept the Bible tell me they think is very good, “if only Christians lived by it” they say. To all christians out there who forward these spam messages, how would you like receiving messages advertising porn; Islam; New Age; mysticism, or anything else that runs contrary to the Bible? How would you like to receive this type of spam on Whatsapp; BBM or any other instant messenger with the message, “forward this or you’re a bad person”? Ya, I’m sure you’d love it. People don’t like spam, and especially not what has become known as “Jesus Spam.”
The only thing that sending these messages on to your contacts achieves is irritating people, & showing people how Christians don’t live by their Bibles. Think about it, people look at Christians who drink and smoke, they wonder about the references to the body being the temple of God. People look at Christians, & openly mock the fact that they keep Christmas, & not the fourth commandment. People see Christians doing things to others that they wouldn’t like being done to them, like spamming people, & wonder about “do to others,,.” People see wars being fought in the name of Jesus & people being killed, & wonder about, “turn the other cheek,” or “you shall not murder.”
Christ preached love, spamming isn’t loving. Christians need to get off the high horse of Hell, & live what their God teaches.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mohandas Gandhi
If any readers out there want references from the Bible to back up the claims I make about it, you welcome to ask via a comment.