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Make-Believe Billionaires

A fellow blogger and friend, Randy Morgan, posted an article today about the Efficacy of the Sinner’s Prayer.  I hope you will take a moment to go and read his post and then come back to see what he has inspired  me to write here.


I was listening to a podcast the other day.  The speaker was an affluent and influential authority on how to become a billionaire.  Many in the audience were already billionaires as well, but there were those who were present who had not yet made the big time.  They were bankrupt and desperately needed someone to help them take the correct steps toward financial wholeness.

The speaker spoke for about 45 minutes on the merits of being affluent, the desperation of being bankrupt, and gave examples of how others had been able to overcome their financial woes.  He was a master of mixing emotion and charisma into an intriguing story that was hard to ignore.  The denouement of  his presentation was so matter of fact that none in the audience who were not already billionaires could ignore the fact that they had to do something to change the situation.  Shoot.. even some of the billionaires were ready to sign on again for becoming billionaires following such an exciting oration.

But this is where the podcast got weird.  At the moment when the bankrupt should be excited about the treasure to come, the speaker asked all those present to bow their heads and close their eyes.  I am not sure what was being hidden but I continued to listen anyway.

He then instructed those that were bankrupt to make a decision to overcome their situation by repeating after him.  I may not get the words exactly right, but I believe they went something like this:

“Oh benevolent One, I have no money for I am bankrupt.  Please fill my coffers full and make me solvent.  Thank you for making me a billionaire.”

I couldn’t see what happened as I was listening to a podcast, but I imagined that dollar bills were falling from the sky and into the wallets of these needy people.  I could just imagine how excited they were about this sudden change of their predicament.  Really, who could blame them if they were to start whooping and hollering right there where they sat.  They had been delivered from their plight!!

But, something more odd happened at this point.  The speaker told everyone to keep their heads bowed and eyes closed but asked the new billionaires to look at him so that he could acknowledge them without embarrassing them.  Embarrassing them?


How could these people be embarrassed?  They just became billionaires!!  They just received freedom from their financial woes!!  They had become like the rest of the billionaires who sat around them with their eyes closed and heads bowed.

What did they have to be embarrassed about?

Had they been juked?  Had the money not really fallen and filled their coffers?  Were they just making believe that they were now billionaires?

The podcast ended there.  And I was left wondering what happened to all those people who were embarrassed to become billionaires.

  1. December 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Is this for real or did you take poetic license to add to Randy’s post? I am not questioning your honesty but find it absolutely incredible and hard to believe that some people would fall for something like this. Then again, some people fall for the “easiness” of the sinner’s prayer being the catch all. Point taken. 🙂 Good to hear from you Tony. Been missing you.

    • December 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

      The unfortunate thing is that I have only changed the subject (becoming a billionaire) for the actual subject (becoming a Christian). I had listened to a podcast of a popular evangelist yesterday in which this ‘process’ was used and when I had read Randy’s post, I figured I could show a ‘real world’ example.

      I was in the audience a couple years back when this same evangelist stood before elementary aged children and drew a heart on a whiteboard. He then colored the heart black and told all the children that the black heart was their heart and that only Christ could clean it to make it possible for them to go to heaven over hell.

      There were a lot of kids who ‘made a decision’ that day.

      This same evangelist works with churches before he comes into town and instructs them to give away cars or do other stunts during his event in order to draw big crowds.

      • December 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

        I hope you didn’t take offense tony but as I said it sounded so incredible. But the worse one is the ‘evangelist” with the cockeyed approach to evangelism. What a crock!

      • December 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        No offense taken at all, Bill. I completely understand your incredulity.

        I try to understand why we do the things we do as well. By using metaphors, I hope to give a different angle that allows some thought to enter in.

  2. December 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I’m glad you added the explanation and agree with your point.

  3. Ike
    December 8, 2010 at 3:37 am

    The one who is concerned over his or her eternal destiny should not look to his or her own sincerity, nor to the form of a scripted prayer not found in the Bible. The one who is aware of his or her sins and seeks freedom from these sins, and pardon from God’s Wrath, must look to God, who delights in justifying the ungodly. The sinner who, like the prodigal son, comes to himself, realizing his sins and desiring to serve God rather than sin, can expect to find God running to him as a loving father, rejoicing to embrace His lost child. The sinner coming to Christ in faith does not need to fear God’s rejection, because Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44 ESV).

  4. Ike
    December 11, 2010 at 5:35 am

  5. Ike
    December 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Have a blessed Christmas!!!!

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