Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PRIDE (inflated opinion of ones self) (02/19/15)
TITLE: The Tempters Counsels: Minutes of the Third Committee
By David Butler
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âShut up, you peasants! Why are demons so darn hard to get along with? Stop this bickering over superiority! Weâve got work to do!â
They were immediately cowed into silence. No-one messed with Senior Devils if they valued their gristly hides.
âNow listen up, you lot. Youâve been called in because you claim some success with the pride-weapon, right? Weâve orders from Lower Down to hit this new âAll Welcomeâ church hard before we lose more souls. Theyâre in Revival! The Lust and Greed teams are hard at work but arenât making headway. That Pastorâs leaders are too dedicated and disciplined. Itâs up to you now. Show me what youâve got. Do that âAngel of Lightâ thing.â
The oldest demon stood up, transforming himself into a medieval baron and bowed gracefully toward the Chair. The others hooted derisively.
âBehold, my lord,â he announced suavely, âThe time-honored power of prestige and lineage. I am sure that some have enough Norman blood in them to boast of and lord it over the rest, butâŚ.â
He transformed himself into a smart and ambitious-looking businessman.
ââŚour clients may prefer an updated version. Nothing like success to bring about a big failure.â He smirked.
MT was unimpressed.
âWhoâs gonna fall for that old gag? Theyâre street-born and trained, committed to helping street people. Try another approach. If they build another mega-church, they might fall for it then. Next!â
A dirty, slouching demon leapt on the table, taking the form of a belligerent working man. He gestured crudely to the eldest demon and came swaggering up toward the Chair, spitting and blowing smoke in the othersâ faces.
âStreet rats, are they? Well I can make âem proud of that. The mob rules! Pressure these precious ân pure little saints into beinâ hard-swearinâ, hard-drinkinâ womanizers, and theyâll think theyâll win the mob over. Itâs that useless, ârelly-vantâ gospel without no salt, hey?â
âHmm, well, inverted pride has snared many of the masses, itâs true,â remarked MT, slightly skeptical âbut these street-workers have already shown they wonât be pressured by public opinion. But try it anyway. Next!â
The next demon made it quite obvious how it would tempt the male Christians and distract the females from their gospel-focus. MT waved it away.
âYeah, Okay, Okay! Vanity might work for middle and upper class, and thatâs a time-honored method too. No need to pirouette in front of me â Iâm no sleazy human. But wait! Can you do a male version? Yeah thatâll do too. Go link up with the Lust Team and strut your stuff, but Iâm not that convinced itâll work. Those Christians are an ugly lot anyway. Next!â
A superior-looking demon came and sat in an armchair, assuming the form of a self-assured and eccentric intellectual, a custodian of wisdom. In cultured and measured tones, he explained, rather pompously, how the authority of the scriptures could be undermined. By stressing the superiority of highly-evolved 21st century man, there was no need for these religious fairy tales. Science had totally disproved the scriptures. Man had outgrown Christianity.
MT was impressed but cautious.
âA lot of fervent Christians have lost their faith by falling for that line. It could still work. We can keep the cultural pressure on them and keep them ignorant of the huge inconsistencies in the evolution argument. But donât let them think for themselves! Let them think that they gotta be ârelevantâ and âprogressiveâ and believe what their lecturer tells them unquestioningly.â
The fake professor sniggered.
âChronological snobbery. It gets them every time. Each generation thinks that previous generations are ignoramuses.â
âYeah, but donât overdo it. Appeal to their intellectual pride by all means, but donât let them investigate real facts and compare the evidence. Some of those people are too well-versed on the science/scripture harmony. Next!â
This demon didn't bother changing shape. A multi-headed serpent, it slithered forward, disappearing from sight. It came up behind MT and hissed in his ear.
âWe are the true predatorsss. We feed on sstrife. A little flattery here, a disssparaging word there. We whisssper in their earssss. âYou are right. They are wrong.â We maximizzze victoriessss, ignore failureses. They will sscorn good counselss. No accountability to anyone. Make them too busy to join small groupsess.â
âFinally! Mixed strategies that often succeed. (Except for the most mature among them, of course.) Do it!â
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