Wednesday, August 08, 2007

If I were the Devil…this is how I would attack pastors...

Vacation is great- love the beach, the rest, world's best wife, Debi, and most awesome kids, Ryan, his wife Charity, and Jason! Life is good and the devil is defeated! Also, thanks for yesterday's comments.

part 2

If I were the devil I’d convince pastors that they didn’t need accountability from their closest friends inside the church. I’d persuade them that they needed to keep up the facade and not fess up to their inner struggles. I’d convince them to avoid baring their deepest spiritual battles, hurts and sins to a close, godly friend whom they trust. I’d use scare tactics to accomplish this. Things like, “If word leaked out of your personal struggles you could lose face, influence and, maybe even, your job.” I’d get them to have close friends but not too close. I’d have them buy off on the age-old lie that a pastor cannot have a best friend in their own church. In doing this I’d be helping them to perpetuate a dual life, the fake life they proclaim truth from behind the pulpit and the real life they live when nobody else is watching, listening or applauding. The hypocrisy would make me smile.

If I were the devil I’d convince pastors that they had to do everything. I’d challenge them to lead all the meetings, do all the counseling, oversee all the marrying, do all the burying, to be involved in all the everything of the church. I’d remind them that the former pastor of their church did all these same things. I’d coerce him through the expectations of the old guard in his congregation. I would do everything in my power to get these pastors to avoid Ephesians 4 verses 11 and 12. The last thing I would want them to realize and embrace is that their primary responsibility is to equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry. If they were to read and apply these dangerous verses they could lose their inner sense of self-importance and probably gain ten, twenty or maybe fifty times their spiritual impact on the congregation. That would make me mad if I were the devil.

If I were the devil I’d undermine the typical pastor’s confidence in the Word of God. I’d get them to believe the lie that something so ancient could never truly change a tech savvy generation that is so sophisticated. I’d do this by raising up an army of brilliant philosopher "theologians" who would slowly and subtly undermine the faith of these pastors in the reliability and relevance of Scripture. I’d use these theosophers to communicate fine sounding arguments through cool conversations, hip books and brilliant blogs. I’d use all these tools and more to create doubt about the truth of God’s infallible Word, the relevancy of truth and the power of the message of the cross. Oftentimes I would come at these pastors sideways through another pastor or the youth leader on staff to make pastors feel like they're preaching an obsolete message to a too-cool-for-school crowd. I’d go beyond getting them to change their methods of communication, I’d convince them that the Scriptures, the gospel and the truth is powerless to deeply and wholly transform a soul. I’d use the vast intellect of my blogging pawns to create anger, confusion, discouragement or distraction in the minds of ministry leaders. I’d unleash a new brand of repackaged gnostic pietism on the body of Christ and label it relevant.

If I were the devil I’d convince pastors not to preach the gospel weekly. I’d try to persuade them that the service schedule was too packed with music, sermon points and announcements to take a few minutes out to present the most important message in the world. I’d soothe them with thoughts like, “The church is for Christians” or “You elude to the gospel enough in the flow of your weekly sermon” or “You present the gospel on those special outreach weekends” or whatever. I’d try to distract them from realizing what the early church embraced, that the gospel was “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes….”

part 3- friday


Anonymous said...

Pastor David, don't take this too much to heart, but looking at the picture of the devil, and then the picture of you, there is an uncanny similarity!

Pastor David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastor David said...

Thanks for that keen observation-