Chapter 1 in my book, Close Your Church for Good, is called “The Satanic Church.” Please note that due to some of the feedback I received on these posts, this chapter might be radically revised for the final edition of the book. These changes will only be available in the print or eBook version when it comes out.
Here are the posts that come from this chapter:
- A Church in Your Town
- It May Be Your Church
- Destroy This Church
- Jesus vs. Satan
- Three Strikes
- Falling to Temptation
- Fool’s Gold
- What Now?
To read the content of any other chapters, check out the post which contains the Table of Contents to Close Your Church for Good.
Jeremy – May I critique? If you prefer, take down this comment and we can communicate by e-mail.
You are a very good writer, so I won’t critique your grammar, sentence structure and that sort of thing. But I do have a few ideas on drawing your readers into your topic.
Will most people get past the beginning of chapter one? If they get the idea that the book is going to tell them that their church is really the church of Satan, they’ll probably read no further.
What do you think of this – The church has gotten off-track in a lot of ways, such as ………(how this happened). Satan uses this to his advantage to make the church almost impotent. How can we reverse this and focus on the ways of Jesus?
Among my many careers, I once did computer consulting and repair. The most common problem (this was in the 90’s)? – Users had added and changed so many things, especially the software, that the original operating system was so modified and messed up that it barely functioned. The solution? – Reinstall the original operating system, figure out the stuff that had been added that was incompatible with the original operating system and throw out that stuff, most of which was entirely unnecessary junk (certain screen savers and games were notorious for causing conflicts with operating systems).
I’m sure you see the parallels here. I wrote a piece on this a few years ago which a Christian author wanted me to expand on for a book he was writing, but I was too busy. (I didn’t save the piece.)
I think you’re saying the same thing – throw out the pretty screen savers and games and reinstall the original operating system and this thing will work. As it is, it is barely chugging along. This delights Satan, of course. I’m guessing people want to make their church (or computer) work as intended rather than be told that the devil is really running it. Maybe they can swallow they idea that the devil is fine with the idea that it’s not running so well these days.
As we say in critique group, if you don’t like this idea, ignore it. Personally, I agree with the Satan idea, but wonder if most people will read further.
Jeremy Myers says
Yes. This is similar to some of the other critiques I had. The actual chapter 1 has been radically revised to be kinder, gentler, and more gracious. I thought about not even posting this series of old blog posts since I don’t really stand by them anymore, and cringe at how I was saying what I said.
Maybe what I need to do is post some of the revised material and get rid of this old, hurtful stuff. At the bare minimum, I probably need to make the disclaimer on this landing page a little clearer.
Something like, “I apologize for what you are about to read! I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote it. It is harsh, rude, and mean. Please know that I love you and your church and don’t think you are controlled by Satan.”
What do you think?
Perhaps you might use bits of the rewrite, teasers that make us want to read the entire rewrite, kind of like a movie trailer that makes us want to see the movie. Unless you’re targeting the “Satan junkies”, maybe quotes from the rewrite that make us think that this book is just what we need to help our church survive and thrive would work.
I would think that the message “it’s all about Jesus, not the building” should be well-received, but I know there are those who might be very upset with that sentence.
Anthony Ehrhardt says
Jeremy, you should write 2 versions with 2 separate titles, but they ar essentially the same book, but one has the harsher stuff in it..and see which one gets more bites. I think the harsh one stands out, and if truth be told, the truth hurts.:)
Jeremy Myers says
That is a good idea. Right now, I am just trying to finish the first draft!
Thank you Jeremy for the work and time you are sharing with me. What you’er saying is so vital to the will of God. I am sorry a long time ago things got twisted around. God knows everything and He knew that would happen. I feel He is looking at the hearts. As all things work together for good He is using these truths to change the ones who will accept it. I was one of those people who felt judged and hurt while in some churches. Even today I seem to come up against a wall. I so want to love my brothers and sisters but it is almost like I am pulling their teeth instead. Jealousy,power and control. Clicks. In order for me to keep my love for God strong I have church everyday. I seek and pray every time I can. More now than ever. Even though the church is looking to grow for the wrong reasons and things are really wrong it is my opportunity to help younger girls not make the mistakes I made. Also to help them learn Scripture more and ways to practice it. I can teach the primary class how to laugh and sing scriptures. I can teach them stories in the bible. I can feed them healthy snacks and teach them to give. It is a open door for me to reach them. I am able to get to know widows and love them. I can pray for the church and what the Holy Spirit reveals to me. So far in a year and a half I have prayed and God has moved. I thank Him for moving so quickly. You are right it is hard. It has taken courage to address things out of Gods will. I do it anyway and He changes things. I look forward to your book and thank you again for sharing what you have so far. It will help me a lot.
Jeremy Myers says
One of the things God is showing me recently is that just as He brought me out of the system of jealousy, power, and control to follow Jesus in liberty and freedom, so also, I can trust Him to do the same for others. I am always willing to present my perspective (something I do on this blog) and talk with others who are still in that system, but I try not to judge or condemn them for where they are at. I can simply love them and have compassion on them and trust Jesus to lead them as well to wherever He wants.
I am the one with the issue here on judging. I see so much not of God. I know I am not better but how do I stop. Judgement. Righteous judgement. I thought of a way to break the habit of criticizing. Each time I become aware that I am doing it do two things pray and or compliment the person I judge if possible. Please let me know how you stop judging. Is your book finished.?
Jeremy Myers says
Not judging is difficult to do. I too am quite critical, and have been trying to practice the same thing you are. Stopping judging begins with seeing the person the way God sees them, which is a person worth Jesus dying for. Once we see that, it begins the process of rewiring our brain to see the worth in people instead of the failures.