Below are the opening few paragraphs in a book I am writing called Close Your Church for Good. More is on the way. Feel free to comment and provide suggestions (even spelling and grammar corrections) as I go.
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Imagine that a Satanic Church exists in your town. Though they have never done anything overtly Satanic that you are aware of, certain members of the surrounding community are uncomfortable with such a church existing, and want it shut down.
The church members argue that they have the right to exist just as much as any church, and have embarked on a community relations campaign to improve their public image. They change their name to “The Church of the One World Hope.” Their services begin to copy those of a typical Christian church. They meet on Sunday mornings. They sing songs. They listen to an encouraging sermon by one of their leaders. They even start “outreach” programs for the community. They host an after school program for children and volunteer down at the homeless shelter. Some of their members serve on school boards and another gets elected to the city council.
Slowly, the voices of protest fade away, and over time, people forget that the church had Satanic origins. The church is accepted among the other various religious groups in the community, and allowed to coexist with them. For a while, the church actually becomes the most prominent church in the community. It has the largest building, the most people, and the biggest budget. It gains power, prominence, and authority. Nothing, it seems, can slow its growth.
How would you respond to such a church? What would you think about its continued existence? Would you hope and pray for such a church to close?