The Bible does not deal directly with chain letters, even those containing Scriptural messages. We therefore need to apply Biblical verses and principles to this issue. We must also seek God to discern if there is an errant spirit behind the scene that is working against believers. Remember, Satan spoke even through Peter at one point when Peter thought was he was trying to help Jesus see the danger in entering Jerusalem (Matthew 16:23). The spiritual realm can be tricky for us mortals, so we must depend on God to show us things.

Scriptures that I believe apply to this issue are:

  1. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
  2. “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11
  3. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” – Genesis 3:1
  4. “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” – 2 Corinthians 11:14
  5. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

All chain letters are subtly focused on self. Their challenge is: IF you love God, THEN you must do this so YOU can get something out of it. If I don’t send it to 10 others, does this mean I don’t love God? Will I be in serious disobedience to His command? Enter fear and doubt, although usually subtly. Actually, the discerning question is: Is this HIS command?

The problem is that these things can create a fear within us. It says, “If you do not obey this directive, then God will be displeased with you.” Now we’ve opened ourselves up to superstition. Furthermore, in the words of my Pastor Mark DuPre, chain letters “bring false guilt and condemnation, and there is a spirit of control behind them that works with the fear of the recipient. All that distorts the character of God and the grace of the gospel.”

When I throw away chain letters without responding to their commands, I feel confident in God that I am in good standing by His grace and mercy toward me, and all I need to do to be anointed in affecting others in a good way is to seek His face in prayer, and believe in His Word. Now I am sure some Christians pass chain letters along because they just like the contents, and no fear/superstition is a part of it. They may think my view is too judgmental. I can understand were they are coming from. But this attitude seems not to think of how others might be affected. So if you wish to send the contents along to others, at least delete the command to pass it on to 10 others in order to get some kind of blessing from God. Then you will not be a stumbling block to someone else (you have eliminated the fear and selfish factors). In other words, “chew the meat and spit out the bones” with this whole issue.

Regarding the number of people to contact, if God was orchestrating these messages, He would not demand the same number of forwardings every time. There is nothing holy or anointed with the number 10. My advice? If you want to bless someone else, just do it apart from chain letter commands. The bottom line is, that under the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we do not give to get.

Love in Christ,


P.S. – Pass this on to 10 others so God can open the floodgates of heaven for you….just kiddin.’


AR: Thank you for your explanation and verses. I have been dealing with these in much the same way by deleting the chain portion and commands. If I feel there is a worthwhile message to some of them I simply suggest that it be shared with others who may appreciate the contents. Others I simply delete, knowing that God is in control, not me. God bless you all.

Dave: Thanks for your response. I always think it is so cool when two people, who never have been instructed on something, come up with the same feeling about whatever. It affirms that it is the same Holy Spirit teaching His kids.

CrL: Interesting topic idea, and I of course agree 110%. There is also a serious problem with misinformation. Agreeing with the overall point of the message (Christian theology, political position, whatever) never justifies forwarding something with wrong information, and it ends up seriously damaging the position anyway. For me personally, the problem is so bad that I actually assume the facts contain some significant inaccuracies (with respect to forwarded emails). Usually they simply do not interest me, but at times I use or other sources to check information. I know that this was probably a bit outside of the scope – you might have been only referring to emails that say something in general (like a ‘nice’ message or something), but it reminded me of the above.

Dave: Thanks for your response. And I agree with your 110% (not sure what that extra 10% contains though). I thought about mentioning that “accuracy piece” but did not want to divert too much from the main topic, but your point is something that I would have stated as you have done.

G: LOL Amen, good job. I forwarded to 9 people.

Dave: Stinker.

Linda B – Much like political emails, I delete all chain letter stuff. I pass on what I am led to share, not what I’m ordered to share. Blessed day all. 🙂