Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at

Most scam attempts are pretty transparent; this one was better than most. A lady in our church got an email from someone saying that her account was being charged $399 for a Microsoft protection program, and if she did not authorize that, to please call them so they could reverse the charge. She called, they answered the phone professionally, and she explained the situation to them. They transferred her to the “refund department,” and the representative kept her on hold for a few moments. They verified that she should not have been charged and then asked for her account number so they could issue a refund.

Obviously, that should have been a red flag; but they had been so perfect and professional up to that point that she gave it to them. Then they supposedly issued her the refund. But then came, “Oh no! I messed up! I just put $20,000 into your account instead of the $399. I am going to lose my job unless you take the remainder out and send it to me via Bitcoin.”

By that point, the lady knew she was being scammed. So she shrewdly kept the person on the line while she drove to the bank. She muted the call momentarily, explained to the teller what was happening, and then while she resumed talking to him, the bank lady locked the scammer out of her account at the very moment he was on the other end trying to withdraw funds.

Then the teller got on the line with the scammer and rightfully called him out as a thief. This dear lady nearly lost everything to a low-life, degenerate, worthless scum of a sub-human being.

But this column is about a different sort of scammer. A better one. The best ever, in fact.

Jesus did not shy away from using harsh names and descriptives when warranted. And when it came to Satan, he said in John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” He called the devil a thief. But unlike most thieves who only desire to take property, this thief is so vile that he intends to steal from you, kill you, and then destroy you eternally. And he does it not like an old-western bank robber, at the point of a gun shouting, “This is a stick up!” He does it as he always has, as a scam artist.

In Eden, history’s best scam artist promised that if they bought the line he was selling, they would end up as gods. They did, and they ended up realizing and ashamed of their nakedness, kicked out of paradise, and dying. They later suffered the agony of having a son murdered at the hands of another son, who was then cursed and banished. To say that things did not work out as Satan promised would be the understatement of the century.

The Scam Artist has not changed his methodology through the ages, nor have the outcomes gotten any more favorable. And it is in our supposedly modern, enlightened day that he is both more active and more successful than ever, and with disastrous results.
A young lady I knew pretty well, a very level-headed sort, was completely radicalized by four years in a university. She did eventually get married, but she decided that there needed to be fewer humans on the planet to combat global warming, so she and her husband took steps to make sure they would never have children. She will never know the joy of feeling a life growing inside of her, she and her husband will never rock their babies to sleep, they will never have their children crawling up on their laps to snuggle with them, the father will never walk a daughter down the aisle, and they will have no one there for them as they age and get lonely. The thief did his job well.

I am following the stories of several young people who underwent that which is called gender transition surgery. The accounts are gut-wrenching. They never knew the pain, scarring, disfigurement, and long-term damage they were having inflicted on them. They never knew that, when they came to regret what they had done, they could never have back what was now lost and that they had forever given up many very precious potentialities that were given to them as a gift by their Creator. The thief did his job well.

Another lady I knew bought into the entire “all men are scum, and we don’t need them” scam. She went through life angry and bitter and lonely. The thief did his job well.

We minister to homeless men and women – ninety percent of whom became homeless because of drugs and alcohol. The shiny advertisements promised parties and glamor; they ended up with poverty and squalor. The thief did his job well.

I have watched young people through the years leave home and move in with some worthless boy or girl who was only interested in taking their purity, leaving broken-hearted parents, a ruined reputation, and reeling siblings. All of them expected paradise; all of them found that they had lost paradise instead. The thief did his job well.

A man not too far from us walked away from his wife and children to pursue his own sick passions. His wife remarried, his children grew up without him and want nothing to do with him, and he has grandkids who will never know he exists. He is older now, his health is wrecked, he is lonely and broken, and he wishes things were different, but that water is well under the bridge and out to sea. The thief did his job well.

The Scam Artist, the thief, is successful when he gets people focused on their wants rather than on the details. He is especially successful if he can instill resentment in his prey toward some other supposed enemy (God, the patriarchy, church, too-strict parents, etc.), thus keeping all attention off of the horrible results he has produced for thousands of years now.

Caveat emptor.

Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.

Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner