Would the Devil Do This?
If I were the devil, I'd be real upset at churches. I'd spend a lot of time and effort trying to destroy them. My major efforts haven't yet worked, so I'd go to work on pesky things that can be cultivated to destroy a church from within itself.
Maybe I'd start with poor people, people who can't afford to support the church very much. I'd spread the word throughout the whole church that there needs to be "special" attention paid to these people. A resolution would be nice thing to do, I'd say. Just a simple resolution, one to let the rest of the world know that one particular church is really going to accept poor people. Never mind that the church accepted poor people before their resolution. Other churches would feel their doors are not really open, because they have not declared they are really open with a similar resolution. So this would get the ball rolling.
Maybe the next issue, I'd try, if I were the devil, would be color. The arguments would go like this: Would churches accept poor people, officially, and not accept people of a different color, officially? Of course not! Another resolution would be the only answer, or maybe more, one for each color. Everyone would be assigned a color. I'd especially emphasize the color green. Everyone must go green.
By now, as the devil, I'd push a little harder for more and more resolutions. Almost everyone could present a cause to include in a resolution: saving the earth, sexual preferences, contemplating navels, etc. I'd try to have a lot more resolutions than could possibly be voted on at one time. The more emphases the better.
Maybe I could implant a few "leaders" who would claim to be authorized to speak for the rest of the church. These people would use the church as their personal power base, and begin to tell people outside the church what their "followers" must believe. They would also appoint themselves "coaches" over the rest of the church. Then everyone would know what to emphasize next.
Then one day, as the devil, I'd prompt someone to say, "We must compose a resolution to welcome atheists." And why not? This needs special emphasis. Of course, there would be some changes the church would need to make to accommodate atheists. As the intention of the resolution would be for conversion to religion, I would, as the devil, have an atheist accuse the church of trying to "impose religion on their minority group." To overcome the objection, then, it would be necessary for the church to drop all references to God and the Bible.
If I were the devil, I'd like that.
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)
By Paul T. Huling. Originally published March 1995, The Christian Conscience. Modified for blog posting by Sarah H. Leslie, his daughter. Paul is the author of Lunch at the Igloo and Other Stories - A Tribute to the Great Depression. A generation ago, this man courageously stood against the emerging apostasy in his own denomination, which now has so utterly changed as to be unrecognizable from its early Scriptural roots. Today's post is published in memory of the ELCA, which also has now fallen. May those pastors and sheep with biblical convictions receive courage and boldness from the Lord to say "Here I Stand" once again in this generation.