Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Devil's Sort of Bible Study

A fellow pastor in South Jersey, Michael Wallenmeyer, wrote this Screwtape Letters-like reflection on his blog, Missional in Suburbia. I found it thought-provoking and convicting:

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder.” -James 2:19

Slysnare: Mindpleasure, did the enemy have their Bible study again this past Wednesday night?

Mindpleasure: Yes, they continue to meet faithfully every Wednesday night from 7:00 till 8:30 PM. They are like clockwork.

Slysnare: Good, good. What did they discuss this week?

Mindpleasure: You won’t believe it. They were discussing some of the most dangerous teaching in the enemy’s book. They read from James 1, the stuff about true religion. You know the garbage, “religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Makes me shudder to think of what would happen if….

Slysnare: Yes, if they only knew the hideous power of those words. I trust that you made sure all they did was talk, right?

Mindpleasure: As you know, it is not in my nature to be honest, but I must tell you that I did not have to do much. Jimmy and Sarah, who have been in the enemy’s camp for years, were only concerned with the style of teaching and so they were mentally distracted the whole time. Craig was mad because someone had offended him earlier in the week so he’s been existing in a self-imposed prison. The beautiful power of unforgiveness! Chris and Stacy had brought their highlighters and were marking up their Bibles like crazy but I know that they are so busy with life that there is little chance that these words from James will ever seriously impact them. Child’s play.

Slysnare: Mindpleasure, I see a promotion in your future. Tell me about the neighborhood in which they have their Bible studies.

Mindpleasure: That is the best part! Their Bible studies have had almost no impact on their neighbors or their neighborhoods. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some close calls. There are rare occasions in the Bible study where I can see the enemy begin to open their spiritual eyes and they start using phrases like “living it out” and “let’s do something.” But very subtly I remind them how busy they are or get them to argue about the exact meaning of a Greek word. Sometimes it is just too easy.

Slysnare: Good, good. I have noticed that for some in the enemy’s camp Bible study is like a drug. They are always chasing the next buzz, the next high. They pursue a little bit more knowledge believing that this is the end game. Long ago we came to realize that dead religion is just as effective as crack, maybe even more powerful when it comes to immobilizing the enemy. Keep up the great work and let’s meet again after their next Bible study.

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