A Letter from the Devil
By the Rev. Ken Wyneken
Our enemy is sly, but he's also careless. Sometimes he slips up.
This past week, the devil read our Sunday bulletin and noticed our emphasis on having "a heart change." If there's one thing the Devil doesn't want, it's a congregation with a strong, expanding heart. He much prefers a tight, constricted, narrow heart. So when he found out we were going to be dealing with money and stewardship in 2002, he faxed a letter to his Bourbonnais town office on 666 Main Street. The letter was intended for his field rep who covers King of King's Lutheran Church, but when he went to fax the letter, he slipped up. He mis-dialed. And the letter came to our church office. And so, courtesy of our enemy's carelessness, here is the letter he sent, a fax, from Satan himself . . .
Text From Fax
Dear D.T., (Devil-in-Training)
Received your emergency message on the Undernet Wednesday evening. I wasn't surprised. Your handling of the King of King's account has made your name mud in the lower region. Our losses there have been horrendous. The church has made quite a dent in our clientele and plans. Need I remind you that most of your peers are leading people astray and hardening hearts? This doesn't look good on your permanent record. Here are some of my comments to help you fix this bad situation:
First of all, remember that tithing is evidence of a restored relationship to God! As I understand it, the preacher at King of King's is starting the year by emphasizing a "heart" change and taking about stewardship of time and money. Let me explain to you what we're up against.
A long time ago the Creator crafted a luscious garden and put our clients in it. He gave them everything they needed and he gave them the run of the place, except for one tree in the center of the garden. It wasn't that the Creator was selfish about this tree; He just wanted it to stand for respect. The tree became a test of the relationship between God and humankind. That's where I came in. Forgive my humility, but my plan was brilliant. I was able to deceive the woman and then the man. First, I made them think that the Creator was holding out on them. Then, I convinced them that nothing would happen if they raided the Creator's tree. It worked! I just love it when a plan comes together. So they raided His tree because they cared more about controlling things than about having a trusting relationship with You-know-who. He would have given them everything He had-apples, branches, trunk and all-but He knew that greedy hearts had no room for honor. And so just as I planned, the relationship was broken. Well, ever since then, they've been easy pickings! As you know, D.T., most of them are still raiding His tree, pocketing His tithe, controlling their turf, and defending their stuff. What this no good preacher is attempting to do is help them to restore the relationship with You-know-who, to honor their Creator, and to give the tithe as an act of trust and respect. Remember as an employee of Satan Inc., you have many great tactics to stop stewardship! It is imperative that you put as many roadblocks as you can in their way. Here are several proven strategies to keeping them for their goal:
Reel 'em back, D.T.; reel 'em back. And be sure to sit on those who declare that 90% with God on their side is better than 100% without God. Put a sock in it. Don't let that word get out.
Well, D.T., that just about does it. Good luck this Sunday. I'm expecting a lot from you, but you've got plenty of weapons in your arsenal: greed excuses bad theology flabby hearts
Fight hard. You're up against the gospel, and we both know the power it holds. I need not remind you how important it is to keep Christians from tithing and giving generously. If you lose this one, you might be in for a transfer to somewhere much, much warmer.
So ? how is your heart doing?