Like most people I get a lot of e-mail spam. Sure, I get my fair share of offers for cheap drugs — mostly Viagra — and offers for various “relationships.” And you probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a bank in Nigeria has lots of money waiting for me.
But I also get lots of messages greeting me in the name of Christ. I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve figured out I have some connection to religion or if everybody gets these. If you’re a shoe salesman do you get messages that begin “My Dearest Mother Hubbard?”
Anyway, I hadn’t checked my spam folder for awhile so here’s a sampling of come-ons. As with preaching, spammers need a strong opening to hook the reader. Here are a few:
Dear Co-worker in Christ, Calvary greetings to you in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the Saviour of the World .
Dearest Beloved One in the Lord. My Greetings to you in the Precious Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
My dear, Sorry that this message is coming to you at this time, I have prayed concerning you before contacting you.
Greetings to you my dearest in Christ. Grace and peace to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ,who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.
My name is Michelle Stephen a 75 year old lady, I want you to help me collect $4.2,000,000.00
and dispatched it to the poor. I have set aside 25% for you.
1. Grammar is important. Ditto punctuation and spelling. I personally never respond to pleas over the internet to give money for a toddler’s lung transplant in Ethiopia unless everything is spelled properly. Don’t they have spell check in the spammer’s lair?
2. Speaking of the spammer’s lair, you need to set up your own version of the man cave. You can call it the Spam Cave if you wish, but know that I have copyrighted that term. A proper Spam Cave should have cabinets chock full of Hormel Spam.
3. You are not the apostle Paul. Please do not begin your “epistles” in the same manner ie. “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Also Paul never used “dearest” as a term of endearment.
4. The subject line of an e-mail is important. Some not to use (which I have seen) include “21 BIBLES PLEASE HELP” (also, typing in all caps does not add urgency; it adds annoying); “Apostolic Greetings !!!” (who exactly is the apostle here? You? Me? It’s definitely not me); “Browse hot singles in your area for unattached…” (wait, that was for something else); “Greetings From Yours Sincerely Sister in Christ” (I think you’ve confused the concluding valediction with the subject line).
5. Finally, please send me your e-mail address so I can bombard you with monetary scams couched in the language of faith. Don’t worry, Jesus would want me to do this.