Ever look around the church and get discouraged? I do. The Enemy seems to be making gains on all fronts. However, consider how you'd feel if you were on the *other* side -- the Enemy's side. Put yourself in the shoes of one committed to destroying Christian faith. Talk about discouragement!
You'd be thinking something like this:
These Christians are a stubborn lot, almost impossible to get rid of. For twenty centuries we've tried to stomp them out; yet, in spite of our efforts, they've spread their religion to every corner of the world.
It's an awfully hard religion to destroy—you cut off a head, and twenty grow back. You persecute them, and they go underground and develop a purer strain of their religion. You kill them, and they build on their martyr's blood. Get them to water-down their faith, and a little group somewhere will rediscover the real faith and start over again. They have an infuriating way of regenerating themselves.
And these Christians know how to turn a negative into a positive. They turn our best-laid plans upside down. Get a couple of their famous religious figures to commit adultery or visit a prostitute, and they'll simply produce a thousand seminars and books on sexual fidelity, and the net effect will be greater morality among many of them, not lesser. It's discouraging!
Denominations are, of course, good targets. However, as quickly as one cools off, they'll start a new one. These Christians produce new denominations faster than roaches reproduce baby roaches. Same with local churches—no sooner do we get a local church to die spiritually, and there'll be two brand-new ones cropping up in some school auditorium across town. It’s hopeless, I tell you!
A few times in history, we've pretty well got the whole church to go lukewarm—but not for long. Along comes a John Wesley or a John Knox, and a whole nation turns back to God. Even when all of organized religion is waning, they go out and launch a new strain of pure Christianity in some religious order or parachurch organization.
Make 'em poor, and they praise God. Make them rich, and someone like St. Francis will come along and teach them to live the opposite way. Get them totally absorbed with their fancy buildings and elegant worship, and some Quaker-like group will sprout up and reintroduce a religion of simplicity and plainness.
Close all their buildings and lock their doors, and they'll shrug their shoulders and move into homes, declaring it an improvement. Close a nation to missionaries, and they'll sneak in as tentmakers and infect people one at a time. Kick out all the missionaries and suppress Christianity like we did in China, and what do you get? Twenty-five years later, we got several hundred thousand committed Christians who practiced their faith underground. They're hard to get rid of, I tell you.
Introduce division and strife among the churches, and they'll invent something like Promise Keepers or these new Citywide Worship Events to restore a sense of unity. Divide them, and they multiply; create strife, and they make peace.
And they've got money—lots of money! They give billions every week! That's "B" as in "billions," and "W" as in every "week"! Christianity is the largest single economic enterprise in the world, dwarfing pip-squeak outfits like Kraft Foods. Millions of them give 10% of their income every week—it adds up! Just think if non-believers were that committed.