You’ve Got Mail: Forward or Perish

There isn’t much in scripture that seems to indicate Our Lord will be using my email habits to judge my soul. I don’t think He’ll have to look that hard. Nevertheless, forwarded emails about Jesus that demand I send them on to ten people or surrender my salvation make me nervous.

“Stop what you’re doing and read this email. If you love Jesus, pray for the person who sent this to you and then forward this to ten people. If you believe, send this message. But, send it only if you believe Christ Jesus is your Lord and Savior.”

Many of them conclude by pulling out the big guns with something along these lines: “If you are not ashamed to do this, please, follow Jesus’ instructions. He said (Matthew 10:32-33): ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whosoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.’”

Does deleting an email qualify as denial?

Does grace flow through the Send button? Is my contact list my mission field? (Okay, maybe some of you.) Does this forward-or-forfeit dilemma jeopardize my sanctification in some way? And those emails that promise answers to prayer once I’ve forwarded them to you and you’ve returned them to me and I’ve returned them to the persons who sent them to me, who returned them to their senders? What am I missing? Explosions of blessing? What are you missing?

Would that holiness were that easy. I’d push the Send button all day long. Send, Send, Send … Bask in glory … Send, Send, Send … Add jewels to my crown … Send, Send, Send … Feel really good about myself.

Instead – I confess here – I delete them. Yes, after I read them (oh, yes, I do read them), I push Delete. I’m a Forwarding Curmudgeon. I’m hoping and trusting that this is not, come Judgment Day, deemed an actionable offense along the lines of “denying Christ,” registering “you’re-clearly-lukewarm” on the hot-cold meter.

So… just in case, I offer a little anti-denial prayer just before I hit Delete, and whisper Send. I mean, Amen.

About K. Mulhern

Kathleen Mulhern teaches courses in world history, European history, and history of Christianity. She has taught at Denver Seminary, Colorado School of Mines, and Regis University. She particularly focuses on the historical roots of the political, economic, religious, and cultural systems that have contributed to contemporary society.


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