You can take it from me. I’ve tried most of these, and they really work.
10. Golden Age
Preach about the Golden Age when everything was perfect and then demand that people reconstruct it so everything can be perfect again. Then, like every generation that has gone before us, we will fail (and that’s when you use #2 below).
9. Focus on trying harder, that’s what its all about
Assume a Non-Christian view of human nature. Push people to achieve. Assume that if people will just try harder, things will be better. Then stand back and watch as this house of cards begins to slowly fall…
8. Never laugh at yourself or admit weakness
Never Laugh at yourself and your follies, or admit your weaknesses or flaws. Even though Ethel Barrymore said, “You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself,” she was just an actor. And St. Paul did say “His strength is made perfect in my weakness” but then again Paul always was a softie.
7. Be the strong silent type
Don’t talk to official leaders or Influential people in your church. If you have to communicate at all, don’t do it in person. Instead send really long emails. Or better yet, talk about them to someone else.
6. Tell people how to feel
If you really want to put on the pressure, don’t let people have their own feelings. Tell them how they should feel. Even though emotion is mostly personal and subjective. And even though the Psalms are filled with a whole range of emotions. Some would say that you can direct people to the God who love us no matter what we feel, but that would be peaceful (and our job here is to stir it up!).
5. Reduce all tension and remain in total control
Spend all of your time trying to prevent any conflict or tension…of course you’ll waste a lot of time and energy that could have been used elsewhere. And by spending all of your time anxiously trying to prevent tension and conflict…you’ll set the stage for even greater and more damaging conflict!
4. Do-It -Yourself
Don’t seek outside coaching or advice from professionals or wise people. Never, I repeat, never ask anyone for help. If you do get desperate and seek help, wait until there’s already a massive conflict or immediate crisis and look for quick fixes or demand that someone else give you a sudden solution. Even though Proverbs 15:22 says, “in many counselors there is much wisdom.” Even though some crisis are preventable. Because the last thing we want is for someone to know we need help!
3. See people as means to an end
Talk about church all the time, and your personal goals and how they can help you achieve those goals. Every time you meet a new person, immediately start thinking about how they could be used to accomplish some task or fund some project. Even though even Jesus Christ himself doesn’t see you as a means to an end, but as a human being that is beloved. You have little time for that kind of thing.
2. Play the Blame Game
When something does go wrong, spend all of your time trying to figure out exactly who to blame. Never mind original sin that affects everyone. Never mind that “love covers a multitude of sins.” Never mind that even Jesus came not to condemn but to save, if you really want to stir up an old fashioned conflict, just play that blame game. By the way, a variation of this step is to always blame yourself for everything that goes wrong.
1. Love conditionally
If you believe that God only loves you when you do good stuff, and then you turn around and love other people that way, then you will have laid the ultimate foundation for unnecessary crisis and useless conflict.
We can’t cause all of the crisis and conflict. But by following these ten proven steps, we can sure do a whole lot of damage. If that’s your thing.
Photo: Public Domain.
Greg is the founder of Anglican Compass (previously known as Anglican Pastor). He is an Anglican Priest of the Anglican Church in North America. He served in a non-denominational church before being called into the Anglican church in 2003. He has served as an Associate Pastor, Parish Administrator, and Rector. He currently serves as the Canon to the Ordinary for the Anglican Diocese of the South.