by Patrick Devlin

Biblical financial self-help pitchman Dave Ramsey, whose get-rich-scheme is to convince followers of the first century homeless preacher called Jesus of Nazareth (who advised cult members to “give up all you own and follow me”) that they can become get-rich-quick-Christians by buying his greed absolving screeds and who is featured weekly on the TV station owned by televangelist-presidential candidate-sect leader Pat Robertson, advised viewers recently that, stunningly, Christ was a heretic.

Ramsey was hawking his latest tract, The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity when he advised Robertson and his TVland fold that people who interpret the biblical passage, put forth for centuries as the actual words of Jesus; “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” (Matthew 19/23-24) as meaning that it is Christlike to abhor human greed and instead act with humility and charity were “heretics”.

Ramsey said that interpreting the fairly obvious symbols in Christ’s statement as meaning that Christians should not be greedy was not providing a religious interpretation but rather pushing a “political agenda”.

Using logic available to self-recognized religious interpreters, an elite brand of exegesis that centuries of biblical scholars could not grasp but has been gifted to modern ‘get rich quick’ preachers including Creflo Dollar and Joel Osteen, Ramsey postulated that, if the long standing and commonly held interpretation of Matthew 19:24 is true, “then Jesus’ blood that was spilled at Calvary isn’t powerful enough to get a rich man into heaven, I think that’s called heresy. I’m pretty sure it is, look it up.”

While acknowledging that it is a “melon-scratcher” for regular folks, Ramsey counseled the faithful, “When you start putting limits on the power of the cross and limits on the power of grace that is extended to us from the Father through the son, based on someone’s wealth, then that’s Gnosticism – the worship of spirit versus materialism versus the worship orthodoxy.”

Ramsey assured the audience of TV watching Christians that if a Bible reader interprets Christ’s analogy of camels and eyes of needles as warning against acting greedily (one of Christianity’s “Seven Deadly Sins) “What that means is that someone just doesn’t understand the Bible.”

Ramsey went on to assert that the Bible “is not inconsistent” and actively calls on the faithful to accumulate wealth (some of which Ramsay hopes watchers will be handing to him as payment for one of his “Get Rich With Jesus” wealth accumulation books).

Meanwhile in Lawton Oklahoma, faithful wife Kristi Rhines told the managers at an El Chico Café Mexican restaurant located in the Central Mall that her husband was on his way to pay for the meal and drinks she had ordered and consumed at the establishment.

After some minutes, and not quite understanding the timeframes Rhines was referring to, the café’s managers asked Ms. Rhines to give them the name of her husband. Although Rhines was unable to produce a marriage license, she advised the business owners that her husband, Jesus Christ, had made a promise (some years ago) that he was ‘returning’ and assured them that he was good for the tab.

Not questioning the Christ of Oklahoma’s ability to pay – but certainly understanding how the ‘downturn in the economy’ has impacted mall restaurant diners across America, the restaurant’s owners (perhaps themselves having read the advance reviews of Jesus’ return as detailed in the biblical Book of Revelation and weighing the prospect of the difficulties of seeking reimbursement from the heavenly husband amongst all the predicted rivers of blood and four horsemen and such) decided to contact local police to handle the unpaid bill situation.