Sympathy for the Devil

I was listening to classic rock today and a Rolling Stones tune called 'sympathy for the devil' came on. Reminded me of an article I wrote many years ago and published, but you've probably never read it's so old. So here it is. After you read it, you'll know why I titled this blog entry the way I did.

I’ve read dozens of evangelism strategies through the years. But, I’ve never seen an anti-evangelism strategy until I came across this. When I found it, I knew I had to share it with you. According to the author, this strategy is guaranteed to keep an entire planet of people from experiencing God’s love through Christians in small groups.

1) When interacting with friends, neighbors and co-workers, talk about your family, your job, the weather, your favorite sports team, the new restaurant you found or your increasing drive time to the office. Never mention that Jesus is your best friend and what He’s doing in and through you today, or that you have friends who are closer than a brother. Unbelievers would be jealous if they knew about this exclusive arrangement.

2) Whatever you do, don’t invite unbelievers to your group meetings, to Sunday services or over to your house when your Christian friends are present. Revision: Whatever you do, don’t spend time with unbelievers or believers who are pro-great commission. Create new plans to insulate yourself from the world by investing your free time with religious friends who feel nothing for the lost. An old Chinese proverb states “Choose your cohorts well, for they will be your destiny!”

3) If you feel obligated to serve someone in a way that could be considered an act of kindness, don’t tell them God prompted you to do it. Just perform the act with the attitude that they will owe you a big favor in the future and tell them you’ll be calling in that favor soon. Revision: If you feel obligated to serve someone, take a moment to think about all the really important stuff you have to do at work, around the house or for your family. This should help you see how really foolish you’d look ignoring your own needs over the needs of others. The only rule in this world is too look out for number one … no one else loves you as much as yourself.

4) Never tell a friend, neighbor and co-worker you will be praying for them (or pray with them) when they come to you with a problem. The favored response should be “My thoughts are with you.” If you do slip and say the word prayer, walk it off. Chances are you’ll forget to actually pray for the person within five minutes anyway … hard statistics aren’t available, but five minutes is the average time to forget a prayer request!

5) If you pray and talk to God, only ask Him for really cool stuff and personal needs. Just remember that praying for healing or miracles for your lost friends is absolutely not a part of this strategy. If you catch yourself naturally doing it, just take a deep breath and think about winning the lottery.

6) Set a good example for your children. If they don’t see you sacrificing time to be with lost people or let them hang around your house when you’re having “quality family time” you’re on the right track. This is solid modeling for a whole new generation of anti-evangelists who won’t need a strategy … it will be a normal lifestyle.

7) Talking about evangelism in your small group won’t hurt this strategy. It’s when you make plans and hold each other accountable for follow-through that makes it harmful. Praying for the lost when you gather is also very damaging to the cause, so avoid it and fill the evening with prayer for your own needs. Or, why not use your time together in your small group to plan picnics and parties just for yourselves? Go ahead, call them outreach events, but don’t actually invite any lost people or bring them along when you come. Better yet, don’t make any plans at all. Run from temptation!

8) Keep to yourself. Spending time with fellow group members during the week only leads to a heightened sense of community and you might run into lost people when you’re hanging out with them. If you’re not wearing out a set of batteries in your remote once a month, you are not investing enough time with your television.

8a) The “world wide waste of face-to-face” interaction (the Internet) is also a wonderful way to keep to yourself. Remember, you’re just three mouse clicks away from millions of great anti-God web sites!

9) Put a couple of bucks in the plate the next time a mission offering is taken. Feels counter productive, doesn’t it? Not so! Although it’s not “a widow’s mite” in your tax bracket, you can get a lot of mileage out of that small token. Missionaries don’t need much money to live in third world countries. And, with exchange rates being so high, they could probably take the whole family out to a movie for the price of your donation.

10) Ignore the call to small group leadership. You will be challenged to share your faith in this position and be a role model for others. No anti-evangelist could remain in this environment!

Yours truly,

The Prince of Darkness
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...thoughts, comments, angry rants about the author? Bring 'em on.
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1 comment:

Scott Stevens said...

A good dose of reverse psychology! I like it! :)