86. The Turnspike Emails: Misleading Church Leaders

TMTF solemnly presents another hellish look at life from a demon’s perspective. This is an email intercepted from the demon Turnspike to his colleague Goreflak; a previous email from Turnspike and TMTF’s commentary thereupon can be found here.

My Dear Goreflak,

I am curious, my dear devil, as to whether you can do anything without making a mess of it.

Your Patient has joined the leadership committee of his church. I am revolted by your attempts to excuse your mistake by claiming it is “not a serious problem” because your Patient “had been attending church anyway.” It is a very serious problem.

Whereas before your Patient sat harmlessly in a church pew and dozed through sermons, he is now seizing opportunities to work against us. Your Patient was previously a parasite, benefiting from his church and contributing nothing to it. He is now a dangerous enemy.

What we want is a world full of Christians who are contented to do as little as possible—but that is another topic for another email. At present, I must restrain myself to addressing your current blunder.

In dealing with your Patient and his newfound role as a church leader, you have two great tools.

First is lack of perspective. Followers of our Enemy—even those who are far advanced in his service—can become so blinded by the day-to-day minutiae of their lives that they overlook things a child could see.

For example, church leaders, if we put them in the right frame of mind, will devote thousands of dollars to a new carpet (which the church does not really need) without even pausing to consider whether missionaries, who serve our Enemy all over the world, might need funds for living more than the church needs a change of furnishings.

Let us consider an example on a grander scale. A prosperous church builds a gymnasium, where its younger members play games once a week. For the same amount of money, five churches could be built in a poorer country or hundreds of children treated for disease or thousands of Bibles given away. Such uses of the Enemy’s money would have devastating consequences—but, fortunately for us, the money goes to a building that stands empty all but a few hours every week, and our work continues unhindered.

When your Patient is entrusted with church money, let it never occur to him that poorer churches may need a new roof more than his own church needs a new sound system. Our ultimate goal in dealing with church leaders is to equip them with spiritual blinders, rendering them oblivious to the needs of any churches but their own.

The second tool you have in dealing with your Patient is pride. Millennia of study by our best researchers have not uncovered any sin more useful for destroying the Enemy’s workers. Let but a seed of pride be planted in your Patient’s heart, and you will have him doing whatever you please.

A common mistake among inexperienced devils (such as yourself) is to assume pride can only be applied to a person. Pride can be applied to anything. You need not make your Patient believe he is better than everyone else. It is enough to make him believe his ideas are better than everyone else’s ideas.

Of course, for all I know, his ideas might be. That does not matter. What matters is that your Patient believes his ideas, opinions and plans are infallible, and that anyone who disagrees with him must be either ignorant or willfully foolish.

Should your Patient begin to suspect that he is being guilty of pride, remind him that he is not exaggerating his own reputation. Make him think he is merely standing up for ideas that are sensible, correct and useful. Never let him suspect that sinful pride can apply to his own ideas as readily as it applies to your Patient himself.

So much of the strife we have sown among the Enemy’s people is rooted in pride. We convince many Christians that their way of thinking, and only their way of thinking, is correct.

When we get the followers of our Enemy to make outrageous, opinionated statements in the name of Jesus, we have won.

Our Enemy himself advocates humility. He commands his followers to listen to each other, to seek to understand each other and to accept each other in spite of disagreements.

In the case of your Patient, make sure that does not happen.

Do not think, my dear devil, that I will overlook your blunder in allowing your Patient to become actively involved in his church. I have already referred you to the secret police, the high caste of demons devoted to straightening out incompetent devils such as yourself. You may expect a visit from them any day now.

Your affectionate colleague,

Turnspike

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