Perfectly Purified Protestants 4

I was upset.  My old Protestant minister, Pastor Bob, had told me stayed with his shrinking congregation, in a church they could barely afford to heat, to “save them from the wolves”.  I asked him to discuss it over lunch.

“Some of these new Pastor Bobs are utterly ruthless.  When they wangle an introduction to an older person, like most in my church, they are intently focused on assets and who is going to inherit them.  As soon as possible, their conversation turns to ‘You have a beautiful house.  Are you going to leave it to The Lord Jesus, or to some relative?’  Sometimes, they actually leave them, after one or two meetings, with a list of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bank accounts, cash values of life insurance, and a list of valuable jewelry, antiques, collectibles and other assets!”

“You’ve got to be kidding!”, I replied.  “I had no idea!”

“I’ve heard that some of these new Pastor Bobs actually pay a ‘Finder’s Fee’ to anyone who puts them in touch with an older, prosperous person!  They send in sympathetic young people to ply them with sympathy, becoming “Like the son I never had.” and empathize with ‘How little your family really cares about you.’  Sometimes, in a few weeks, and, if the estate is large enough, there may be an actual visit by ‘Pastor Bob, himself!’  Then, a staff lawyer prepares “A new will, to let Jesus know how much you love HIM!”

“I had no idea!”

“I can’t get any actual proof of this.  They are too clever.  If relatives or witnesses are around, they talk about other issues.  But, if there’s no one there, they pounce!   Many Senior Citizens are afraid of being alone.  They are easy to manipulate.  Actually, I think they learn how to get money from oldsters at seminars.”

“Seminars!  They have seminars on separating old people from their assets?”

“To be frank, I get invitations to them, too.   Just yesterday, one was announced on ‘Getting Your Fair Share From Granny!’  Frankly, we all like for ourselves and our churches to be mentioned in wills.  But, these new Pastor Bobs have turned it into a business.  They combine Jesus, sympathy, psychological techniques, unbreakable legal documents, and being perfectly purified Protestants 4 or five times in the first fifteen minutes of the first meeting.”

“That’s incredible!”, I exclaimed.

“I think they do cash flow analyses of the value of assets mentioned in wills.  They are able to borrow against them according to actuarial formulas on estimated times of death.  That helps pay for those huge mega-churches, private jets, and immense mansions.”, Pastor Bob explained.

As lunch wound down, I had a lot of think about.  This Protestant business was a lot more complicated than I’d ever realized!  What a relief to be a Catholic!  Our Parish priests had, in the 30 years I’d been there, never mentioned anything like that.  The Diocese never said anything like this, even to the richest in the Parish.

I was beginning to get a feel for the funding behind huge mega-churches, mansions, and private jets.   It was clear:  There was often a punishing cost for being Protestant.  Families who were cut out of the wills never knew what hit them.  ‘The sins of the fathers were visited upon the sons.”