God Doesn't Play Dice, Does Play Markets

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Sunday's New York Times Magazine carried a story on something that sounds like it came straight out of a Tom Wolfe novel--the church of Wall Street. Okay, it's not exactly worshipping the stock market. It's allegedly some sort of Christian outfit. But you judge for yourself exactly what it's about. Here's how the Times describes the conversion of church leader Dan Stratton, Yale college, Skull & Bones, Goldman Sachs commodities trader turned pastor of the Faith Exchange Fellowship:

The next stop on Dan Stratton’s Road to Damascus came on April 27, 1987. His official church biography tells the story: “For many months prior to this date, the precious-metals futures markets had been slow, prompting Dan to distribute his résumé. But on this day, God chose to confirm Dan on the Exchanges and launch his ministry by enhancing his reputation. It was on this day that God chose to rain $453,000 into his life.”
What happened next is recounted in “Divine ProVision.” “Just a few months later, Dan became a full member of the New York Futures Exchange. Then again, in May 1989, God blessed him to become a member of the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange. And again, in January 1991, YHWH himself opened the door for Dan to join the membership of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Now that Dan had the power of God’s spirit working with him in his business labors, the increase was no longer just gradual — it was supernatural.”
Stratton began evangelizing among his fellow traders. “During lulls in the action, they would mostly sit around reading betting sheets and porno magazines, or having silly conversations,” Stratton says. To counter this moral sloth, he began publishing a weekly Faith Exchange newsletter. Most copies wound up in the trash. But gradually Stratton found appreciative readers. “The newsletter birthed the church,” he says.

Preaching to Wall Street [New York Times Magazine]

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