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What chain letters, many multi-level marketers and pyramid schemes have in common is this. They appeal to greed. It is the theology of Wall Street. In that film, Michael Douglas’ character, Gordon Gecko delivers this speech,

“…greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit… …and greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save (this company), but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”

The problem is, though that philosophy is popular, and even pervasive, it is fundamentally false. Greed leads to incredible evil. “Wall Street” was prophetic.

Ivan Boesky, David Brace and Faith Metro Church in Wichita, ENRON, EXXON, AIG, WORLDCOM, HALLIBURTON, MORGAN STANLEY - you fill in the names of the companies and individuals who have been indicted.

On the other side of the theological equation is the Gospel, as practiced by Jesus and circulated in a different kind of chain letter by the Apostle Paul.

Two thirds of the New Testament comes from him, from his Missionary Journeys and his, for lack of a better phrase, “Letters and Papers from prison.” His letters, which we count as Biblical truth, circulated from prison. They changed the world and the people in it. He wrote to places like Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, Ephesus, and Rome. I have been there.

“Pray for me,” he wrote from prison, “so that when I speak, I may make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.”

And he did make the Gospel known, sometimes at great cost. He was imprisoned multiple times for his witness to Christ -- in Jerusalem, Caesarea Philippi, in Rome, under house arrest and then again in Rome at his death.

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