By Lewis Willis
Someone, apparently in our radio audience, is on Rex Humbard’s mailing list. For some reason they decided to send me a copy of two recent letters they received in an attempt to raise funds for the Humbard Ministry. The person sending me the letters observed that “he comes from all angles” in an attempt to raise money. Candidly, I could not believe people would be gullible enough to fall for these two recent promotions. But, I guess it takes all kinds.
The first letter was from Rex’s daughter, Liz. She told how “an urgent request” had come from the Philippines for Rex to hold a crusade there. She had discussed this with her Dad just the night before she wrote the letter: “Dad said to me last night, ‘I am struggling inside. For I know the unrest in that nation and that God wants me to take His message to those thousands of poor people. But, this crusade will cost several thousands of dollars that we don’t have. God will have to speak to the hearts of His partners to give. ‘ I could see Dad’s heart was torn . . . because the ministry didn’t have the money it took to hold this crusade. It was in that moment that God spoke to my heart to share this news with you and ask you to join me in giving our seed gifts to send Dad . . . to the Philippines.”
Liz then explained that Rex was soon to have his 67th birthday. She even had birthday cards printed up to send to the people on their mailing list. All people needed to do was sign the card, enclosing $20.00, and return it to the Humbards. Liz and Maude Aimee would take all of these birthday cards, wrap them in a special gift package with a blue ribbon on it for Rex to open. “On his birthday morning, he will be able to sit at the table and read your card of encouragement you sent . . then as a reminder that you shared his 67th birthday . . . we will send you back a length of the beautiful ribbon to use as a Bible marker.”
Now, that’s an offer one can scarcely refuse, especially since God has put it on her heart to make it, even promising that the giver could expect God’s “flow of blessings” to replace the $20.00 given. Rex even enclosed a special hand-printed note. Besides his Philippine need, he only has three weeks to raise $73,000 or he “. . . may not ever be able to write you or minister to you again . . . or this ministry will be nothing more than a memory.” Each person was asked to send $50.00. All they needed that week was $70.00 from each person on their mailing list!
The next week, the listener sent me Rex’s next appeal for funds. In this packet, Rex announced, “Jesus can break your chains!” He pointed out that his readers might be in a prison of spiritual, physical, family or financial need. In fact, he said that “I believe at this very moment you may be bound by a need or circumstance that God wants to free you from.” The chains of that bondage could be broken! He said it was just like Paul and Silas were freed from the bondage of their Philippian prison. He then included Acts 16:25-26 to prove this. But notice how “Reverend Rex” changed the Bible text in his fund-raising letter: “At midnight Paul and Silas began to give to God . . . and the chains were loosed.” I checked eleven different translations of the Scriptures and not one of them even mentions “began to give to God” as a part of the Divine text. That is a Rex Humbad alteration of the text in an effort to get into the wallets of the people on his mailing list. This, we are to believe, comes from “a spirit-filled preacher.”
Anyway, “as a point of contact,” Rex sent along, in a cellophane packet, two plastic links of chain. The reader was asked to hold the links of chain in his hand and read a Bible passage. Then, he was asked to break them apart, enclose one link in the reply envelope Rex had sent, along with “your sacrificial offering of $10, $5, $25, $30 or more to give to God and His work.” Rex then added, “the Lord told me you need to do this!” If we are to believe him, God had made a direct revelation to Rex to send these links of plastic chain to his followers to help him raise money. The Bible tells us Divine revelation is finished and completed that’s the meaning of the word “perfect” regarding the law of liberty in James 1:25. The Bible being true, and I say this benevolently, God didn’t say any such thing to Rex Humbard and he misrepresented the truth when he said that He did!
Admittedly, I’m not a plastics expert, so this is only a guess, but, I would guess you could buy approximately 1000 yards of this plastic chain for about $100. So, if Rex can get from $5 to $30 out of each follower, he will have turned a bundle of bucks! Of course, from his point of view, the important thing is that all of those people would have been delivered from the chains that bind them – no matter what the need – even if it is financial. I was just thinkin’ if one of these chain links will release Rex’s followers from their financial woes, why won’t it release Rex from his manifold financial woes! I wonder how responsive he would be if I returned these links to him and told him that God had told me to write and have Rex send me all the money he received from the fund raiser. I wonder how obedient Rex would be. Do you think I should try that?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 18, p. 561
September 18, 1986