Christian Spam (is that an oxymoron?)
Welcome to my first blog rant!
As a pastor, I receive plenty of my share of spam. Mind you, that doesn’t include the myriad of forwards I get from family, friends, former friends, frienemies, etc. I recently received a spam message (the second from this particular source) from a Christian musician. “Bubba”‘s email described itself as an ‘introduction.’ However, the information within was FAR from introductory.
Bubba included a list of about all 59 of the UM churches at which he had sung. He included paragraph quotes from seven pastors (all intro material, although more than typical). Then, he went on to include the ‘feel’ of his “concerts”, mp3 links (not a link to a page with mp3’s…individual links to specific songs), suggested events with which to partner his concerts, mileage and event rates, links to the CDs he would sell at any concert, and the following ‘opt-out’:
If you are not necessarily interested in a Concert Ministry coming to your church, you are certainly welcome to ask me to remove your email address from the list I have, and I will be glad to do that right away. This is not meant as a burden, or pressure to choose this ministry; I am simply sharing the music ministry I am in with you and your church. Thanks so much!
My reply was simply to identify his email as spam, request to be removed from his spam list and inquire about how he got my address “so that I can be removed from your source as well.” He replied that he would remove me, defended his connections to the UMC, and told me he got my email address by trolling (my word, not his) umc.org.
My offense wasn’t that he wasn’t UM. My offense wasn’t that he sings or even what he sings. My offense is that he is using a detestable marketing technique under the banner of “Christian ministry.”
- Such an inundation of info is not an introduction…it’s an emailed website!
- Although the email is “not meant as a burden”, there is no apology for sending unsolicited email.
- The Christian Godis a perfect gentleman and will not force Himself on anyone (Rev. 3:20)
- As people who are trying to grow back into the Imago Dei (image of God), we should seek to be the same.
- Spam is frowned upon even in secular marketing circles, and is an embarrassment to the Cross.
- Trolling a website for email addresses to spam is pitiful.
- Opt-out systems of email lists have long been derided in SECULAR marketing as the mark of a seedy marketer.
As much as I understand the universal nature of spam, I take a special kind of offense at “Christian” spam. I have told such spammers in the past that I hope their business fails until they stop such and offensive practice (I have softened some in my older age).
What do you think? Is there any special offense in this story, or is Chris just off his rocker?