Friday, August 10, 2007

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

Well, the Fish House was a hit with the family. We started with the Calamari with spicy Thai sauce and California Sushi Roll, salads, then the Girts a Ya Ya, and one dish of grilled Tilapia. Having had the Shrimp and Grits at Crooke's Corner (supposedly where this all started) and now the Fish House, the Fish House was the favorite!

part 3

If I were the devil, when these pastors decided to actually share the gospel, I’d have them preach a message that sounds like the gospel but is really no gospel at all. I’d get them to make the sinner "say a prayer" whether he truly understands and embraces the gospel or not. I’d have them challenge those who are unregenerate in their audiences to commit totally, try harder, submit fully, and surrender all. I’d get them to preach anything and everything but faith alone in Christ alone for the salvation of their souls. I’d empty a great word like "repent" of its true meaning and fill it with the filthy rags of good deeds cloaked as the gospel of grace. I’d deceive them into evangelizing with a self-centered gospel that focuses more on what the sinner does than on what Christ has done.

If I were the devil I’d get pastors to tolerate youth leaders who teach more devotionally and less theologically. I’d convince them that it was okay if their teens weren’t learning theology and how relevant it was to the everyday life of the average teenager. I’d challenge them to encourage their youth leaders to give safe talks about safe things, things that teenagers related to, enjoyed and understood. I’d encourage them to avoid complex theology like the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, justification by faith and the like so that they "don’t lose" their teenagers. Instead I’d motivate them to embrace youth leaders who serve McNuggets of truth, deep fried in fun and dipped in sweet sauce so that their kids don’t get bored and their parents (aka “tithers”) don’t get mad and leave the church.

If I were the devil I’d get good churches to do lots of good things. I’d get them to build houses for the needy, give food to the poor and reach out to the hurting. I’d encourage them to do all of these things in the name of Jesus but without ever actually sharing the gospel message to those they serve. I’d motivate them to "hack at the leaves of evil" and feel good about it, not letting them realize that they have left “the root of evil” intact. I’d convince these pastors to convince their churches that preaching the gospel was action and service alone. I’d paint a picture of Jesus that only served the poor’s physical needs and leave out his drive to fulfill their deeper, bigger, spiritual needs. If these pastors insisted on preaching the gospel I’d get them to focus only on the proclamation of the message and convince them that serving the hurting in their community was not important at all.

If I were the devil I’d attack the writer of these words with his own inadequacies. I’d remind him of every time he has messed up and failed. I’d show him his own hypocrisy. I’d convince him that he had no right to write such judgmental words. I’d challenge him to take the kinder, gentler course of typing safe, funny things. If that didn’t work I’d convince him that he is somehow better than any struggling pastor.

But I’m not the devil. Satan is. And he doesn’t need any help. He is already doing a very good job at attacking pastors. Don’t you think?

If you were the devil how would you attack pastors?

*After writing much of this article I realized that Paul Harvey wrote his own version of "If I were the Devil" long before I wrote this one. Shout out to Mr. Harvey. Good day! this entire article written by Greg Stier

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