The scene above is from The Edmonton Journal, February 15, 1997. Pyramid schemes are still as popular as ever. Schemers continue to invent schemes because people continue to be gullible enough to buy in. About these pyramids, the article says, “The funds promise wild returns…But such schemes collapse when no new investors can be found.” When the thing goes belly-up, late comers to the evil scheme get no returns for their investment.
The typical pyramid scheme exaggerates to a hyper degree the usefulness of an average product, or line of average products. These products are given clever-sounding handles like Mona Vie. The main emphasis to the one buying in is on signing others up, not selling the products he just bought to the public. Getting as many people as possible signed up below you is how you push yourself up the pyramid, where all the big money gets funneled to. The pyramid plan especially tempts persons who want riches without labor.
Now what’s wrong with all this? Exaggeration is lying; promoting exaggerated stuff is dishonest; making easy money off gullible people is robbery; and making money this way is a greedy, lazy species of inactivity. Does the Bible identify pyramid schemers? “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him” (Proverbs 28.22.) What greater poverty can one come to than hell for a home for committing sins like these? On the American dollar there is a picture of a pyramid with an eyeball on top. This reminds us of the pyramid scheme: resting on money, overseen by an evil eye! These schemes are even popular among church members. In particular are they the rage in charismatic-type churches. If these members are really members of Christ, we expect they soon will, instead of lazily raking in money at the expense of gullible people, “with quietness…work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3.12.) That’s an exhortation by Jesus Christ through his apostle Paul. In fact, “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (verse 10.) Years ago I went to the Word of Life Centre in Red Deer to see if a certain ‘faith healer’ could heal me. When that failed, a man there who had, during this service, laid hands on me to no effect promised to visit me and see me through until I was a healed man. He was receiving, he said, about $5,000.00 per month in the mail for doing nothing. And so he would have all kinds of time to help me out. I never saw him again. You see the spiritual results of getting ahead without effort? Your promises will be as hollow as your pockets are deep. And Jesus will be as far from you as he is from hypocrites.