Gold Rush to Judgment

If there is one kind of advertising that has flooded the Christianity Today offices with angry letters in recent months, it is those "Y2K proof" gold ads. The November issue of Charisma contains an investigative piece on a different gold controversy reports of gold dust falling on revival services and dental amalgam fillings turning into gold. (CT covered the reports in our May 24 issue.) The writer, Elizabeth Moll Stalcup, was "a geologist for the federal government for 17 years" and began her assignment skeptically. But after discovering "two tiny bits of gold on [her] wrist," Stalcup became a believer. The article is quick to encourage readers to "focus on the Giver and not the gift," but ends with a classic Charisma wrap-up: "If people are being healed or converted to Christ, or if their faith is being strengthened, or if they are becoming more zealous in evangelism as a result of gold dust or gold fillings, then God is at work no matter how bizarre these miracles seem or how much they offend human reasoning." (Charisma's Web site only offers articles sporadically, but if it's up, you can find it here.)

Charisma Warns Against False Profits

Also included in the Charisma issue, which devotes its cover story to Sudanese Christians, is a two-article package on financial abuse. The main article, "Fleecing God's Flock," recounts the latest church-affliliated financial scandals and encourages congregations to appoint a financial watchdog, write checks to companies, not individuals, and believe the saying about "If it looks too good be be true." All good reminders. Even more helpful is a sidebar condemning church leaders and not just pyramid schemers of manipulating Scripture to raise money. It attacks ...

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