Dear Pastor Parsley…

Rod Parsley is the pastor of the World Harvest Megachurch in Columbus, OH.  He’s an odious man who is big on the prosperity gospel (give us your money and one day god will reward you).  It’s a scam that every week bilks a swath of gullible people.

So, of course, I’m on his mailing list.

Yesterday I got this one.

Dear JT,

At this very moment, I know believers around the world, like you, are under tremendous attack.

How do I know? Because there is a devil loose!

Jesus said our adversary, the devil, has come to steal, kill, and destroy. But here’s good Gospel news… you have a chain!

God has already planned for you to have victory! The proof is in His unalterable, inerrant word:

Isaiah 54:17 declares, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper”!

No weapon of disease
…of divorce or doubt
…of discouragement or debt

No Weaponshall have victory over you!My dear friend, I want to see you grab a hold of this word from the Lord!

Let me teach you how to break free from the relentless assault of the adversary! Demonstrate your faith in Isaiah 54:17 by sowing a NO WEAPON seed of $54.17 today. If you are under severe attack – or if you need a double blessing – sow a double seed: $108.34.

When you do, I will send you my DVD teaching “There’s a Devil Loose” – one of the most important messages I’ve ever preached – along with the No Weapon study manual.

I don’t know how you have been attacked, what has been stolen from you, or what weapons have been formed against you. I just know that there’s a power available to you today to defeat every scheme, plan, strategy and attack of the enemy… a power to lead you into victory on every side!

There may be a devil loose… but YOU HAVE A CHAIN!

ACT NOW! Give expression to your faith today! Sow a NO WEAPON seed as an act of faith that you believe God has given you power to oppose every spiritual, mental, physical, and financial attack loosed against you. And I’ll rush my DVD teaching and study manual to you.

The miracle of God is released by what He does when you obey in faith.

Don’t delay. Today is your day for breakthrough!

Yours for the Harvest,

Pastor Rod Parsley

email: pastorrodparsley@breakthrough.net
phone: 800-637-2288
web: http://www.rodparsley.com

And I decided to write him back.

Pastor Parsley,

Hallelujah!

Thank you for your blessings and for your tireless work on behalf of JESUS!

I admit, I’m writing to you as a bit of a humble beggar.  I have $21.69 in the bank right now.  I tithe every week what pittance I can, and I know rewards are coming if I keep the faith and continue to deliver what scraps I’m able, but I wish the prosperity you promise could just come sooner.  I wish my poverty could be enough to move GOD to rain blessings down on my life instead of how much of my impoverished wage I’m willing to part with on behalf of your multi-million dollar ministry.

And now your words ring truer than ever, Pastor Parsley, because there is a devil at work in my life.  I feel his attacks every day.  I’ve prayed and read my bible, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough.  I wish GOD would vanquish the dark one now, but I know he has a reason.  He is undoubtedly testing my resolve which, admittedly, is faltering.  It’s two more weeks until my next pay day and this devil is cursing my four children more and more hunger.  To say that I am merely under severe attack would be a grievous understatement.  So I was wondering if you would tell me how to conquer this devil without a love offering of $108.34?  I asked my local grocery store if I could have a loaf of bread without making a love offering of $1.99 plus tax, but they refused.  You, Pastor Parsley, are my only hope.

I know you can help me.  Although you humbly asserted in your email that you don’t know in what way I’ve been attacked, you knew I had been attacked.  My last pastor was very similar.  My first week at my old church, even though I had never met Pastor Basil before, he told me straight to my face that I was troubled.  He didn’t know that I had lost my favorite set of earrings earlier that week, but he knew that something out of the millions of possible reasons I could be troubled was active in my life.  I believe you have that same gift, only more powerful, which is undoubtedly why you require over a hundred dollars before showing me how to ease my torment.  Pastor Basil worked for free in my interest, but I continued to be plagued by the common, everyday sorrows which almost every human has come to expect in life.  It just goes to show that in life you get what you pay for.

I know it’s not that cash is more important to you than the suffering of a faithful follower.  After all, your ministry has so much money while I have so little.  I realize you would teach everybody how to fight the devil for free if you could, but that you do not make the rules, and in order to be healed I have to be willing to display my faith, not through prayer or penitence, but by giving you more of my money.  Sometimes I fear that my children are getting bitter that on some days they only get Ramen noodles twice a day.  They’ll understand when they’re older that sowing financial faith seeds is an investment in the ONE TRUE GOD, and they’ll thank me when our family can afford to all wear suits like yours.  What use is food when that money could go toward making sure that the man doing GOD’s work is wearing Armani?

You always tell us to be more like JESUS, and I feel I am.  If the devil continues his assault on my wages (which he is undoubtedly doing to ensure that I will be unable to afford to have you teach me how to stop him), I will soon have none left to give to you, and no place to lay my head.  The thought of being like JESUS in that regard comforts me, though it does little to cure my diabetes or to deliver the insulin shots I need.  Perhaps you could give me and my children a room in your mansion, or perhaps its garage, until GOD sees fit to deliver the reward you promised for the seeds of faith I dutifully deposit into the collection plate every Sunday?  I also remember back in 2010 when your BLESSED ministry needed a new private jet and you admonished us to, once again, demonstrate our faith by sending you funds immediately.  The LORD moved me and I did so (my wife left me when she found out what I had done, but it was all part of GOD’s plan – she told me I was gullible, but I know it’s that her faith wasn’t strong enough)!  After we get evicted later this month, perhaps you could just give me and my children a few seats on your private jet in which to sleep every night?  I work two jobs, so I won’t be there much, and my kids can play in the park while I’m working.

I know GOD’s promises of greater wealth in exchange for monetary contributions to the church are true, because I see that you and your family are affluent.  You make a point of it often and assure us that it’s because GOD has rewarded you.  Some would think it’s because you have a congregation full of thousands of people willing to give you 10% of their income every week, on top of all the additional faith offerings you request in your emails, on the premise that giving their money away will someday result in them being rich.  But I know that it’s because of your tremendous trust in the LORD.

Blessings to you and yours.  Thank you for the CHAIN!  I don’t want to impugn the LORD’s generosity, but could you ask the LORD if next time, instead of a spiritual CHAIN, I could get a tangible CHAIN that I could maybe sell or trade for some rice?

JT

It’s amazing.  In most other walks of life, in order to become admired you have to comport yourself in an admirable fashion.  But call yourself a pastor or a priest, and there is not end to the evils you can pursue in the name of the lord.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    These prosperity people are terrible. How do people not see through this? It’s basically a Nigerian scam with the blessings of God.

    • invivoMark

      Well, that’s probably exactly it. Like the Nigerian prince scams, it’s probably designed to weed out as many people as possible, to minimize the followup time it takes to get money out of people (and thus maximize profit).

      • Loqi

        Nah, it’s different than a Nigerian scam. The investment from these guys is extremely low, and they’re coming right out with how they’re getting money out of people. Pastors don’t have to spend hours and hours talking to each mark in order to build confidence and then try to confuse the mark with a financial transaction shell game. They just mass spam email lists telling you where to send the check. The terrible presentation and lack of proofreading is due to stupidity/laziness, not a calculated selection tool like the Nigerian scammers.

        • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

          Well, they’ve had centuries of building confidence and confusing the marks. These guys are just taking advantage of the con their forebearers in faith set up for them.

          • Loqi

            Which is why they don’t have to use the “present it so poorly that only a gullible person would think it’s legit” tactic to find people they can dupe into sending them money. That it is so poorly done isn’t a selection method, it’s a reflection of the intellect of the author.

        • invivoMark

          I suppose it’s the adage, one shouldn’t attribute malice where incompetence would suffice.

          • Stogoe

            Screw Hanlon’s Razor. Malice has skirted by unperturbed for long enough under the sheltering facade of incompetence. It’s well past time for us to recognize that people can be both hateful and incompetent at the same time.

  • matt

    but did Pastor Parsley reply to your letter? lol great reply letter by the way

  • Loqi

    Wait, I have a chain? Holy crap, I have a chain! Fuck this job, I don’t need it, because I have a CHAIN. Car? Trading it in for more chain. I’VE GOT A GODDAMN CHAIN, EVERYONE!
    *runs down the hallway, screaming about chains*

  • tubi

    You could have offered him $1.19, in honor of Judges 1:19:

    “And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”

    No weapons?? To be fair, though, what’s a mere chain against a chariot!

    • Loqi

      Don’t underestimate the power of a CHAIN. Especially when chain is underlined. And even more especially when CHAIN is in CAPS and is bolded.

      • Loqi

        Aww, no <u> tags here? How does one underline if not through the use of deprecated HTML tags?

  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
    So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?
    Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
    I wait for delivery each day until three,
    So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
    I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
    Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
    So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
    ——Janis Joplin (with Michael McClure and Bob Neuwirth)

  • Baal

    Dear JT,
    At this very moment, I know believers around the world, like you, are under tremendous attack.

    It’s almost like he has no idea who you are.
    Also, I want to become rich. Absolutely filthy rich. Not so I can be like this guy but so I can buy up all the billboard ad slots to do a PSA. Not for atheism mind you (though it’s a biggie in my fav causes) but to tell them to stop with the freaking disturbed and disturbing use of formatting.

  • RuQu

    I’m a charismatic guy. I’m a good public speaker. I’m sure I could make a killing as a prosperity preacher.

    I’m also certain I would have to kill myself from guilt and shame from prospering on the suffering of the poor and the ignorant.

    Why are these sociopaths allowed to continue this fraud? Is this supposed to be evidence that religion makes us better people?

  • Cleo

    Pastor Basil, brilliant.

  • Brad

    How on Earth can anyone fall for that shit? The lesson I have learned from this post is twofold: That people are capable of being far more credible in their ignorance and far more shameless in their greed than I ever thought possible.

  • Julia

    I wonder if he ever pays any tax…

  • Cory Williams

    Rock on. We have asked this church a dozen times in a dozen years for some film footage they shot of my deceased dad, he was supposed to be on Breakthrough, giving a TRUE testimonial to God, and it never aired and he died shortly after that. I have not even received a response to a single request for this video footage which would mean the world to me.

    I “liked” Parsley’s Facebook page this week in the hopes of making contact with someone. They started texting me right off and asking me if I would “do something for the Lord.” When I replied “sure,” they asked for money. What a bunch of crooks. I see Satan and he is in the form of greedy evangelist.


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