‘The day that story broke people bought half a million’
By Bob Unruh
Million dollar Gospel tract
The Way of the Master, a Christian ministry run by evangelist Ray Comfort and former child actor Kirk Cameron, is reporting a sudden rush by people getting the million-dollar bill Gospel tracts its Living Water Publications produces.
Todd Friel, a spokesman at Way of the Master Radio, told WND that while “Gospel tracts usually turn out to be litter faster than a candy wrapper,” the opposite is true with these Gospel messages.
Even an event such as the recent incident in Pittsburgh when police arrested a man who handed a $1 million bill tract to a grocery store cashier generates a way for the biblical message to be spread.
Officers in that case reported the bill originated with the Dallas-based ministry, but the man was arrested after he flew into a rage, slamming an electronic funds-transfer machine into a counter and reaching for a scanner gun after the clerk refused to accept the tract as money and the manager confiscated it.
Friel said he sometimes wonders why a Gospel tract with a picture President Grover Cleveland and a message of salvation gets so much attention.
“That’s exactly the question we’re asking ourselves,” he told WND. “And with all the different phony bills out there, why does this particular one seem to get so much attention?
“Maybe it taps into that human desire for money,” he said, but whatever the reason, the ministry is happy to print and distribute them as fast as possible, based on its ministry mission statement.
Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron
“One hundred fifty thousand people die every 24 hours – most without the Savior,” that statement says. “We are deeply concerned that so few Christians reach out to the lost. Statistics show that this is as low as five percent. One of the reasons for this is that many don’t feel equipped. As a ministry, our sole purpose is to inspire and equip Christians – to teach them how to share the gospel simply, effectively, biblically … the way Jesus did.”
The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself -”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.
The publishers hope the demand for the tract is because of the message. At a minimum, they know the message is getting distributed.
“The day that this story broke – God has a funny way of working things – people bought half a million of these tracts,” Friel said. “Maybe they were afraid they’d all be confiscated.”
He said the ministry, which produces more than 24 million of all of its tracts annually, has discovered that the million dollar bill has staying power.
“At a baseball game, I’ve almost been mauled when I start handing them out,” Friel said. “People actually want them. I’ve been stopped at Customs and they see them in my luggage and everyone wants one.”
He said he’s also seen them posted in bank windows, stashed in tip jars and he’s heard from Muslims in Pakistan who have gotten them and seen a positive change in their lives.
The tracts have been in the news before: About a year ago the U.S. Secret Service seized a stock of the tracts in Texas, alleging they were counterfeit, even though since 1969 the highest legal denomination in the United States has been the $100 bill. That case currently is on appeal.
Friel said the message will continue, no matter what the outcome.
“If the government takes these million dollar bills, the ministry has a Billion Dollar bill tract that is in full color, and very popular. If those are seized the ministry has plans to get a Brazilian Dollar Bill printed, with a picture of the Brazilian president on it,” he said.
So far, they’ve also been subjected to confiscation in Nevada and California.
Jim Thomas, who with his wife Charlene had just finished an evangelism training program at their church, told WND he was handing out the tracts near an escalator at a downtown Los Angeles mall “and everything was going very well.”
Then, he said, a man approached him and told him that “there’s a problem here.”
He introduced himself as a Secret Service agent.
“He began to ask me questions, like ‘have you read the rules and regulations about bills similar to currency?’” Thomas said. “So he just kind of informed me what I could do to be in compliance.”