Our charge from the master to tear down the church involves fostering the belief among the Enemy’s people that their resources are their own. Here we are after reducing their offerings with respect to their time, talents, and treasure.
First, seek to merge Saturday and Sunday to the point of homogeneity. It has proven relatively easy to convince husbands and fathers, and by extension those under their headship, that their “Lord’s Day” is strictly for their own pleasure. We must capitalize on this by inspiring them to cognitively reserve every holy action for Sundays. When Sundays come around, however, encourage their abundance of excuses to remain bound to the couch. Service in their church will become their last priority, something they do only if the time is right and all other options are exhausted. Our goal is to make them busy yet unproductive. This is inevitable if they understand time as a precious commodity to be hoarded for their own purposes. If they begin to conceive of time as something they ought to steward faithfully for the Enemy, we’ve begun to lose critical ground.
Our charge from the master to tear down the church involves fostering the belief among the Enemy’s people that their resources are their own.
If they are inspired to selflessly dispense of their time in spite of our tactics, shift your focus to coax them into a state of despondency for having gifts that contribute relatively little to their church. The introvert and the anxious are easy targets. Fortunately, His followers have often convinced themselves that the charismatic and gregarious person has the real gifts. But for those churches that encourage the laity to serve in various capacities, we must undermine that work by encouraging feelings of insignificance. Convince the usher that his work is inconsequential. Induce the empty-nest mother to see her gifts and purpose as expired. Tell the nursery worker that hers is second-rate work. This may prompt them to exercise their gifts outside the church, not inside.
For those who are unconvinced that their time and talents are their own, move on to treasures. Incline Christians to interpret the tithing principle as an old covenant burden. Elevate “responsible budgeting” to the point that giving to the church is an expendable line item. Encourage families to feel liberty to skip a month or two of giving when finances are tight. Make pastors hesitant to exhort tithing from the pulpit out of fear that the congregation will think he’s after their money. Convince the poor that money can be an idol only if it’s abundant; convince the rich that money can be an idol only if it’s scarce. Make the college student believe that he’ll tithe once he has graduated. Slowly but surely, church funds will dwindle. It’s harder for the Enemy’s Son to build His church without finances.
Aaron L. Garriott (@AaronGarriott) is managing editor of Tabletalk magazine, resident adjunct professor at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., and a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla.