When I was at the prison in Uganda visiting with the men, I had a few inmates ask me if I would send them certain items. I wasn’t surprised. I probably would do the same thing if I were in their shoes and had limited access to new items. One man asked me to send him a guitar. I was fairly confident that I would not be able to do that so I gave him my firm yet gentle regrets.
Two other individuals asked me for reading material. One inmate, who actually serves as the “minister” for the gathering, ask for the publication “Our Daily Bread” – a devotional magazine. I’m familiar with this publication and thought it would be fine to send and a good source of encouragement.
The other request, however, is my dilemma. An inmate asked me for a specific book and I had him write the title and author down for me so I would make sure to get it right. I made it all the way back with this little slip of paper and just last week, I finally got around to checking for it on Amazon, hoping it wasn’t an old book that perhaps is out of print now. To my surprise, it is actually a best-seller. The problem is that the book is written by the prosperity gospel guru, Joseph Prince. (gag, cough, gag) Thus, my dilemma. I hate prosperity gospel. There is nothing sound about prosperity gospel. I think I’d rather send him the Left Behind series and believe me, that is not said easily. The prosperity gospel is very popular in East Africa and it grieves me each time I think of it. So much harm is done in the preaching that God wants to bless you with wealth, property, the perfect family, etc. for your righteous living. There is nothing biblical to support this claim yet millions believe it. Millions send money to organizations like Prince’s. Money they don’t have to send.
So, what do I do? Do I ignore this man’s one request? Do I send him what I think he should have because I think what I believe is better? Do I send him Prince’s book and trust the Spirit to be the Voice of discernment in his life? Do I send it believing there are a lot worse books he could be reading? (A small list but yet maybe anything written by Ann Coulter or by me in the first grade.)
I’d welcome your thoughts and suggestions, friends.