...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

God's gonna hook you up

A year ago last November, Daniel and I happened upon the televangelist Paula White fundraising on TBN. As I remember, she was exhorting the viewers to send her $77, or $207, or $2007--some amount of money related to the upcoming year, 2007. She promised that for those who sent in their pledges, "God's gonna hook you up"--which Daniel and I agreed made God sound kind of like some guy your cousin knows out in Gresham who can get you a discount stereo.

The other night we were watching TBN and, sure enough, good old Pastor Paula was up there a-preachin' and a-hollerin- and a-speakin' in tongues. "You get up, and you go to that phone," she pleaded. She sounded close to tears. She gesticulated wildly. People in the audience fell on their knees and lifted their arms. This time, she wanted people to pledge $88, or $888, or $8888--since this is 2008, you see. She explained that sending in money wouldn't guarantee you anything--God's not going to hook anybody up this year, one imagines--but it will put you "in alignment for assignment."

Paula preached--"preached"--for about an hour. She circled around various topics and thoughts. At one point she defended the importance of the eights in $88, torturing a verse from Isaiah. Finally she gave up the exegesis and just shouted, "God CARES about numbers! If God didn't care about numbers, he wouldn't have taken a whole book of the Bible and named it NUMBERS!" Which really just demonstrates, you know, a lack of understanding about trends in modern biblical studies.