Come grab the benefit!
Later came the letterbox drop from the mainline Hope Project, a fat little 34-page mini-booklet. It's supported by a wide range of churches, but the tone is heavily evangelical. We'll come back to that.
Yesterday it was the turn of UCKG.
UCKG gets a (deservedly?) bad press; but put your doubts aside. If you attend on Good Friday you'll get a free gift.
RECEIVE FOR FREE A BLESSED HANDKERCHIEF MOISTENED WITH WATER FROM THE JORDAN RIVER IN ISRAEL.There's a nice Bible verse - this time not in caps lock - to follow: "... who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed."
Healed. Thus saith the brochure:
Let's think together, it doesn't make any sense for Him to have conquered good health for you and yet you struggle with health issues; love and unity in relationships, but yours is falling apart; a rich and successful life only for you to lack the basic necessities; inner peace, but your mind is constantly tormented. It doesn't make sense! This is why for us, Good Friday is not a day of mourning - it's a day to stand up and claim the benefits of faith in God. We believe that there is nothing in this world that's too strong for Him; no addiction, financial problem, faily feud, health issue, love triangle or tragedy that an active faith in God cannot solve."Let's think together", just what kind of person is this targeted toward? Isn't this just manipulating people who are having a hard time in their lives? Bear in mind that other than healing, UCKG is very big on tithing.
Bring out the snake oil. Or, in this case, the holy hankies.
The thing is, while the UCKG advertising is crass and obvious in its appeal, the Hope booklet isn't really all that far removed, just more subtle and nuanced. The blood has been mopped up and things are a good deal nicer all round. But it's still the Jesus panacea. Is this really what Christianity is all about? It's hard not to wince when you come across a section titled "The ultimate insurance" (p.25).
The Easter story (or Christian Passover account if you prefer) has got to be about more than this, surely?