Pie In The Sky Religion
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 by Frank Shortt
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        “Come on, I know that there are ten people out there who will give me a hundred dollars! There are twenty people out there who have fifty dollars of God’s money! There are thirty people out there who have twenty dollars of God’s great treasure!” etc. etc.
        This was thundered out over a highly stepped-up public address system. The people to whom it was thundered were poor coal miners, farmers in overalls, and anyone else who showed up for the “Greatest Revival Ever”. There were promises of magnificent miracles, signs and wonders never seen by human beings, and last but not least, there was a promise of salvation for their souls. It is certain that the evangelist’s message was loud and clear:
        “If you don’t ‘give God his due’, your crops will fail, your houses will wash away in a flood, your children will have diverse diseases, and most of all, you’re liable to split hell wide open!” He referred to money, of course.
        What brought these honest-hearted worshippers to such a Charlatan charade?
Some were brought because they felt that their faith would be lifted up to higher plateaus. Some came because they were bored to death by their menial jobs and never having any time off to relax. Some were just curious about the miracles, signs, and wonders. Young folks came because they wanted “something to do” and could possibly meet members of the opposite sex of their own ages.
        Somehow, there was a rushed atmosphere at these meetings, except for ‘offering time’ occurring several times during the frantic frivolities. Once when the preacher did not obtain the goal of reaching the number of donations that he felt was in this ‘penny pinching’ lot of hillbillies (And he had the nerve to voice this!), he threw the entire offering into the wood chip floor. The onrush of children, who had never heard tell of that much money, was instantaneous and certain! They came from every corner scooping up as much as their little grimy hands could hold.
        “Get away from there! The disappointed one cried. Don’t you know that is God’s money?”
        The poor little sons and daughters of the local gentry peevishly returned the money being taught to be very obedient to God’s “Man of the Hour”!
       Were there miracles at these doings? Yes, there were some. A person’s faith can be built up to where they can be healed, even if it was in the presence of the local palm reader. The sad part is that the Bible-spouter did all this chicanery in the name of the Lord! This is not to say that there were not some honest men among them, who were not in it for the money, who did some wonderful things for the Kingdom of God and for the good of humanity. Anytime there appears a counterfeit dollar, there has to be a real one to copy it from. The most difficult proposition is to weed out the good from the bad.
        A few years ago, a world renowned evangelist/pastor sent out an encyclical to all those who had supported his ministry in the past, or who had ever even thought of supporting it. In this article he proposed that God had told him to build a huge monument costing millions of dollars. Furthermore, he wanted his followers to know that if he did not raise the proposed amount, God was taking him Home! Some sent the money! Some thought about it, and some said, “Goodbye, sir”!
        Why are totally honest people duped by these ‘Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”? It has been said that organized religion is like going to an expensive exercise establishment: “You do all the work and pay them to allow you to do all the work!”
        A very early televangelist once said: "Forget about the pie in the sky, get yours here and now." He also said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil”. When he passed the plate in his megachurch he often said to his members, “I do not like the sound of loose change”.
        He set the pace for many televangelists to come afterward. Several empires were built and lost just by sitting around in a television studio telling folks how blessed they would be if they would only “send me an offering to help me stay on the air, or, what will you do with your property when you are walking the streets of gold? Just simply will your property to us and we will make sure it is used for the Kingdom of God!” Thousands of old ladies did just that. Most of these ‘so-called ministries’ imploded from corruption.
        These shenanigans are still happening! Will people ever wake up to the fact that the Founder of the Christian Religion did not beg for money. He walked everywhere He went. It is only recorded that once he rode on a donkey. The Old Testament, that he quoted had already said, “God’s Seed does not beg bread”. He even referred to paid priests as ‘hirelings’. When will folks ever go back to the basic teachings of the faith that they think they so avidly follow? This would indicate that most hireling preachers could end up riding on a donkey.