I got a “prayer rug” in the mail today. It came in 1970s looking information printed in large print so that no eye might miss its blessing. St. Mathews
Church wanted me to know of the divine help I could receive just by praying on this rug and returning my information to their ministry. It told me the “Prayer Rug” and prophecy was only good for 24 hours after I opened it, so I needed to act in haste.
Ok, I’m intrigued by who Saint Matthew’s
Church is. I did what any person should do, I Wiki searched it. Here is the lowdown on my prayer Rug…
The “ministry” is led by its founder James Eugene “Gene” Ewing, a former tent minister, who, according to the Trinity Foundation, lives in Beverly Hills, California. Ewing, a native of Kaufman, Texas, was born in 1933 and has written fundraising letters for other evangelists, including Oral Roberts as well as Don Stewart, WV Grant, and Rex Humbard.
Ewing operates Church by Mail Inc., which had a several decade long struggle with the IRS before being denied tax-exemptionin 1992, which was appealed. Ewing was a revivalist in the 1960s with revenue at $2 million. He then began writing fundraising letters for Oral Roberts. By 1971 Ewing renamed organization Church of Compassion as a “mail-order church with half a million ‘members'” with income exceeding $3 million. In 1979 he started for-profit advertising and printing “to provide printing and mailing services to nonprofit religious groups.” Then in 1980 his business Church by Mail applied for tax-exemption. However, by the 1990s his businesses owed back taxes to state and federal agencies. Nonetheless, in 1993 he bought a $2.2 million, 6,400-square-foot (590 m2) home above Beverly Hills. Subsequently, a year later the U.S. Tax Court ruled Church by Mail Inc. is “operated for private rather than public interests” and “is not a church“ within the meaning of federal tax laws.
The “ministry” has been accused of preying on the very low income and the elderly by using census records to target their mailings. Initial mailings often only speak of the “power of prayer”; once a recipient responds and is placed on the church mailing list, they are targeted with letters saying that monetary donations are required for their prayers to be answered. The letters often present kitsch testimonies of people receiving large sums of money from “the Lord” as a thanks for their “support” of the organization and as an testament to “the power prayer”. Paper “prayer rugs” are designed to give a supernatural appearance, creating an optical illusion that allows one to perceive Jesus “opening his eyes” to the reader.
Just a few thoughts…
1. God’s heart is not to make you rich healthy or happy, it is to save you eternally. If anybody tries to convince you that God’s desire is anything less, they cheapen God’s work and make a mockery of the cross.
2. True religion in the sight of God is to serve widows and orphans, not take their money.
3. God does promise to provide for us, not to make us rich.
4. God does not pull his blessings after 24 hours.
5. God does not resort to cheep magician’s parlor tricks to prove himself. He has already proved himself by dying and literally and physically rising from the dead.
6. A great condemnation is waiting for men who use the name of God for their own gain.