Bringing Down The House: A Nod to Church Politics and the Screwtape Letters (J. J. Santiago)
Bringing Down The House: A Nod to Church Politics and the Screwtape Letters
by J. J. Santiago
Satan and his minions are having their weekly meeting to see how much destruction, division and death they’ve perpetrated on the human race in the last few days.
“So boys, how’s it going? Who did you take down this week? We’ve got plenty going on around here but I especially want a progress report on that small church we’ve been focusing on. Have you run that preacher off yet?? ”
“Oh, Master, we’re getting SO close,” one of the demons pops his head up to claim his victory. “They’re bickering and gossiping…picking him apart!! He can’t do ANYTHING right! I think we’ve got him right where we want him…he’s emotionally down and they just need to keep kicking him.”
“SPECTACULAR news, boys, spectacular! The last thing we need in that community is another church on fire for You-Know-Who!!! That one in particular has made too much progress in the last five years…we MUST cut it off at the head right now. I LOVE IT when a church turns on itself and those disgusting Christians start tearing each other apart! And you know I have a particular disdain for PREACHERS!
Satan rubs his hands together, throws his head back and laughs. “This is just SO eeeasy!! Those Christians and their smug little opinions of themselves. You’d think they’d put up a fight FOR their BEloved man of God…the one they searched for, for sooo long. And so soon after we got rid of that other one! What was his name? Never mind, it doesn’t matter. Oh, how quickly they forget. HA!”
The demon continues with his report, “Master, we’ve had tremendous success with planting thoughts in their minds AGAINST him, like “He might be a preacher, but he’s NO PASTOR!”
“Perfect,” Satan says quietly.
“And… and,” the demon stumbles from his excitement, “Never mind your own family and your own responsibilities…WE need you! You should give an accounting of your activities to the church, because people are getting their feelings hurt! You didn’t go see this one when she was sick and you made that one mad because you’re too blunt! Your hair is too long and who told you that you could wear jeans in the pulpit? We need you to be ALL things to ALL people, Preacher Man!”
“Oh that’s very clever. Very clever indeed. Plant that criticism, self-pity and superiority!” Satan adds, commending his ranks. “Hypocrites! It doesn’t take much for all that grace and mercy foolishness to go flying out the window. As it should! Ha! Good job, you CHRISSS-TIAAANS…” He drags out the word.
He pauses in the moment, taking it all in.
“Yes, you boys certainly know how to play them. You think they’d catch onto us after all this time. It’s just our luck that they forget which side they’re on and how much power they actually have against us…but SHHH!! Satan holds his finger to his lips. “We’ll just keep THAT to ourselves now, right boys??
He giggles to himself and continues,
“Good Christians, good Christians…Oh, this is just TOO fantastic! That preacher is dangerous to our cause! He spends entirely too much time studying that hideous book. We certainly don’t want him continuing to teach those simpletons so in depth, week after week after week. They’ve been maturing just a little too much for my comfort. How many baptisms have they had there in the last few years anyway?? Oh, never mind. DON’T remind me. THAT MUST STOP!”
Satan smirks as he thinks out loud, “Oh, this has such divine implications, not only in this little church with all of its pitiful little Christians, but for ALL those around that love this kind of drama. And we know there are PLENTY of those around… hmmmm, boys?? Let me reassure you that you’re doing a mighty fine job of casting aspersions on the entire faith throughout their dismal little community.”
He shakes his finger at the group as he continues his taunting, “Let this be a lesson to any young, innocent fellow wanting to preach the Word of You-Know-Who! Oh yes, they might LOVE you in the beginning boy, but you just wait…a few years down the road, you’ll do or say something that SOMEBODY doesn’t like and WAM! I love it when THAT happens!”
“And don’t think about challenging their traditions or long-held beliefs…it will disrupt their whole world…why…how DARE you??”
Satan is really enjoying himself now. He turns and focuses on his protégés again, “You see boys, our goal is not only to bring THIS preacher and THIS CHURCH down, but we want to do this time after time after time. We want to make it look so bad that no one else in their right mind would EVER WANT to be a preacher, much less a CHRISTIAN!! We want these unsuspecting sways to be a shining example. Keep people OUT of the church, for Hell’s sake!! Oh, yes, your work here has far-reaching implications, my precious ones.”
With renewed energy, Satan commands, “Keep it up boys! Go after those pastors by whatever means necessary!! Do you hear me??!! You bring those pastors down and the church follows!! Keep it stirred up! Christians are such easy marks.”
“Take them down, boys, TAKE. THEM. DOWN!”
Satan begins to laugh again. It grows into a howl…a maniacal howl. His demons join in, smacking their mouths and growling, “Yea…let’s take them DOWN!”
Compliments of J. J. Santiago.