This morning as I thumbed through the channels on our new television I landed on a program – an infomercial really – on a christian station, about getting out of debt. The minister – *cough* salesman – was a guy named “Dr.” Todd Coontz. Never seen this guy before, but the ensuing 5 minutes brought forth a stirring nausea in the pit of my stomach. He used the story from the Bible of the woman who had run out of oil. The prophet told her to go buy more jars with the little money she had, and when she obeyed and began to pour the oil into the jars, the oil kept coming until all of them were full. Great story about faith, obedience, and God’s grace.
Following this story, Dr. Coontz applies the scripture to debt, pointing out that because the woman was obedient and went against what her brain told her by spending money on the jars, God rewarded her faith by giving her an abundance. While there is some truth to the concept, he then twists the message around to ask people to send in a “debt-busting seed” of $100. He claims that there are 3000 people “out there” who are in financial distress, and he is anointed to release them from debt, if they will only send in this faith-payment (my term).
By this point the typical feelings of disgust that come when watching 90% of Christian television began to set in, but what came next nearly had me cussing at the screen.
Mr. Big-Time author and financial expert told the “3000” lucky ones that if they did not have the $100 he asked for, they should put it on their credit card. I kid you not, he wants people who are already in debt to put an extra $100 to his “ministry” on their credit card, and God will reward them by breaking their debt and giving them promotions and opportunities for wealth. I wonder if God rewards on the interest?
Knowing that as a non-profit there’s little I can do to report this guy, I decided to send them an email directly, and to post this blog to make people aware of this activity. We have to make our voices heard if we are to make a difference, and although they will probably delete it right away, I sent this message to the “RockWealth Ministries”:
I saw your infomercial.
I’m sorry that I must say your “ministry” makes my stomach turn. You tell people who are already knee-deep in credit card debt that the way out is to send you $100, even if they have to charge it – knowing full well that extra $100 will be charged with interest!!!! The “way out” is to STOP using their credit card and inject some responsibility into their finances, but that doesn’t make you any money.
You are playing on people’s sincere faith to get a buck out of people who can’t afford it. It is because of people like you that Christianity is being seen more and more as a JOKE. I am 27 yrs old, and my generation despises this type of pathetic, inauthentic, selfish and greedy portrayal of what a Christian is supposed to be.
You make it difficult to get across the message of love and service when you show neither, and yet dare to plaster your face all over my television to ask me for money.
Also, on your website you show a “photo” of your building. As an experienced photoshop user, it is quite obvious that your storefront is a farce. I even looked you up on google earth, and there is no building that resembles the one you show on your site.
Wesley GantHouston, TX