MLM Christianity?

If I were to tell you, Christianity works on the multi-level marketing model, you’d probably think of 10 reasons to refute it and then another 10 after dinner.

I have nothing against multi-level marketing or direct selling or network marketing. I use products from MLM companies. Those that I find useful.

Let’s take a look at some of the malpractices of MLM. (I have to say, my government is very careful in licensing MLM in the country, not every shyster gets to have a license.)

Pyramid scheme – in such a structure, only the top few reap the benefits. The people at the lower level only serve to make money for their up-lines and they almost never get a chance to break even, let alone to make money. These agents are convinced they are helping to improve the lives of others and they don’t understand why those people are not willing to part with just a small part of their coffers to get this biggest steal of the century. The products can turn their lives around, and fix 1,001 problems, why won’t they just listen?

Testimonies – so and so is a user of this product. So and so got rid of this problem with this product. So and so got better from a certain condition with this product. Also, so and so survived because of this product. The mantras of an MLM agent include “it works”, “it’s real.” FDA approval? Who needs that, let me tell you what other things this product can do to you. Ingredients? It’s the top of the line / cutting-edge science and you won’t know even if I tell you. So, let’s get back to the list of benefits. Do you remember John from high school? He took this and now he is slimmer / healthier / more handsome / more muscular / etc. All you need to do is when you are taking this product, eat only healthy food, do exercise, sleep early. You will be a new man / woman in x months. If you want the truth about a product, talk to the agent of a rival product.

Now, in a sense, Christianity is very similar to network marketing. 1 share with another. And it multiplies. 1 received the grace and mercy and love and joy and peace and so many other things from God and 1 must share it. It’s true. But I guess the similarities stop here.

In MLM, sometimes, the agents, no matter how much good-intention they have, cannot tell you the active ingredients in the product. That’s because they are not told. Instead, they are told to focus on the “advertised benefits.” A new life. Healthier body. Better looks. Whiter teeth. Fairer skins. Greater stamina. And the list goes on. And of course there is no side effect. And of course it’s not a placebo. So, what if your high school friend took it and got the result? Different people are made differently. Different people have different lifestyles, diet and exercise regime. Something that works for someone may not work for another person. I like cheese. My dear KPY cannot take cheese.

It’s one thing to have a documented evidence and another to hear it from word of mouth. If someone claims that their events have thousands of healing but there is not one single documented evidence, won’t you find it funny?

The Berean Jews checked everything they heard, even what they heard from Paul. you know, the Apostle? They took no chances. They checked against the Word of God. It is very dangerous for someone to just receive something based on feelings or word of mouth. Sure, they are reliable and credible sources. They could have gotten it wrong.

Case in point, a respected preacher who shall go unnamed mentioned something about 5 Sundays in a month which happens only once every 800+ years. I dropped him an email telling them how this is not wrong. He corrected himself the following week.

Now, through it all, did the preacher became less credible? No. Did he become a bad person? No. The little mistake does not turn him into a person we cannot trust, especially after he admitted the mistake after discovering the fact. He received it from a person he trusted and thought it reliable. So, does that mean we can trust EVERYTHING he says? By no means. People can make mistakes.

What I am trying to say is this. We cannot believe what we hear, even from people who are otherwise trusted and reliable. Not because they are deceiving (some could be) but also because they themselves believe it to be true.

In the world today, it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s for real and what’s not. We tend to just go along with it if it’s not a big deal.

To me, anything that has to do with God is a big deal. If it’s true, it’s true. If it’s not true, it’s not true. Based on the limited understanding of the Bible, there are things I hold to be true and there are things I will not touch with a 10-foot pole.

Some people say, in life, we must try everything once. For me, I have never tried smoking a cigarette, doing drugs, killing, visiting a brothel, etc. I don’t intend to try. Not even once.

The church is a crowded place. Besides the Gospel of Jesus Christ, many things try to squeeze into it, including some foreign spirit, kundalini, new age, etc. I want no part in any of those. If anyone tells you not to pray because prayer hinders what is happening, what would you do? Is something that is hindered by prayer something you want?

I may be branded a rebel. Let it be.

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