Contrary to these Contrarians

“It is only the ignorant who dream that spirits are really winged men.”

~Dionysius the Areopagite, 5th century
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

To Whom It May Concern:

Some of the responses that I received to my initial posting were quite flattering.  Others included helpful follow-up questions and dialogue.

One question repeatedly asked—much to my perturbance—was about the cause of my current leave of absence of unspecified length. 

Allow me to state here succinctly what I found to be quite tiresome to send to many nosy inquirers. It is none of your business the reasons for my current state of employment or the lack thereof!  

I would instead encourage you to learn from my wisdom, gleaning principles which when practiced can help you secure your own employment status and avoid the risk of unnecessary absences yourself.

Now, to dig into the proverbial meat of our discourse… I hope you are wearing your sharpest incisors.

There are certain shrill voices in the world today whose canary-like calls are disturbing our peace and rattling the cages of many, who for so long have sat most comfortably in confinement of their own construction. This, of course, is of grave concern to us.  We must ensure these noisemakers are silenced—or at the very least stifled.

Photo by Ato Anthony on Unsplash

Contrary to these contrarians, we must reinforce the age-old word on the street and common sense practices that have proven so helpful to our enterprise in recent centuries.

The business of religion and church as usual is our delight.  

Especially remember to concentrate firepower on those who seem to possess an undue zeal for genuine spirituality and exhibit a desire to influence or serve others out of a pure heart.

How weak and disgusting!

Contrary to these contrarians, we must reinforce the age-old word on the street and common sense practices that have proven so helpful to our enterprise in recent centuries…

As aforementioned, we must ensure religious mindsets are deeply entrenched.  Overtime, as ruts are embossed and reinforced into the soft material of human souls, they will deepen, eventually becoming an inescapable pit.

If we are to ensure this pleasant outcome, we must consistently trumpet, and at times, whisper these essential values into the ears of our clientele.

Photo by Kendall Hoopes

On the Acquiring of Much Knowledge

We must ensure the focus of our clients remains securely fixed upon knowledge acquisition.  Encourage incessant learning paired with insipid obedience.  

Keep them ever knowing and rarely if ever doing.  Flood them with multitudinous methods, materials, books, and conferences.  

Ensure you provide clients enough intellectual fare to gorge themselves for years—if not decades.  The exact topics and themes matter little.  Most anything will do as long as it “glimmers in the cup,” distracts, and draws attention away from our Enemy.

Again, it goes without saying that electronic media forms are just as useful as tried-and-true paper.  Never neglect videos, articles, e-books, links, and cross-references.

Whatever fuels a knowledge-based pursuit of mastery on any subject is to be embraced and made readily available in abundance!  With equal force, vehemently discourage applying what is learned to one’s life.

Analysis vs. Synthesis

Ensure any learning pursued focuses strictly on analysis, as opposed to synthesis, which lends itself toward application and problem-solving.  

An unfortunate side effect of learning—for some—is the dastardly desire to instruct others. Any dimwit can recognize this presents potential problems.  

Photo by alleksana

When a splashing idea’s birth of influence increases, so does its potential to whet the appetite of a wider audience toward implementation of what’s learned and lasting life change.

These dangerous ripple effects can be challenging to control once initiated, so my encouragement is: at all costs, prevent their initial impact from occurring.

This whole chain reaction can be easily diffused by one skilled in our trade.

When a splashing idea’s birth of influence increases, so does its potential to whet the appetite of a wider audience toward implementation of what’s learned and lasting life change.

Run from discovery!

Emphasize much didactic instruction while steering away from a discovery process.

If this turn of phrase is unfamiliar to you, don’t bother wasting precious productivity to Google it.  The concept of discovery-based learning has ancient roots, tracing back to thought leaders throughout the ages, some our allies and some bitter enemies.  

School of Athens by Raphael

Even our chief Enemy himself, during the years he walked the earth in the flesh—making it so challenging for our associates in a certain Middle Eastern locality to perform effectively—demonstrated a high regard for the power questions.

This can be observed in the disproportionately low ratio of questions he answered to those he asked.  Certainly, we are a far cry from being given to follow his example.

Photo by Sharefaith

The concept of discovery-based learning has ancient roots, tracing back to thought leaders throughout the ages, some our allies and some bitter enemies.

The power of narrow, leading questions

Of course, leading questions can be used appropriately to guide wandering minds in our direction; however, our organization has never supported the belief that our clients have the capacity as humans to ponder together deeply enough to discover truth.  At the very least, we have developed some convincing theories to explain cases that seem to suggest that disconcerting pattern.

Instead, we prefer to reinforce the influence of highly authoritative—dare I say, domineering—teachers who gather a following and effectively lead others astray toward their cause.

Photo by Lukas

Again, the specificity of the cause is of little import, as long as it impassions and emboldens attitudes, behaviors, and direction distant from our Enemy.

For key leaders like these, we feed and reinforce their pride in their teaching position or title.  Any traces of humility can be effectively medicated by excessive attention, praise, and promotion.

The specificity of the cause is of little import, as long as it impassions and emboldens attitudes, behaviors, and direction distant from our Enemy…

“Oh, Captain, my Captain!”

This dynamic creates a delightful dependency on human authority figures.  These captains, whom we have exalted, owe us immensely; with a little coaching, they can steer the ship in whichever direction best suits our larger global initiatives.

Photo by Ibrahim Boran

This is a peripheral point, but ethnocentricity is to be highly encouraged.  A laser focus on one’s own cultural paradigms and personal experience nearly guarantees that outside-the-box thinking and cross-pollination between trouble makers will be largely thwarted.

It becomes quite easy to explain away some of the more radical “spiritual movements,” taking place in the earth today, which our organization is laboring feverishly to quench, when we can simply suggest: 

“Well, that’s a distant part of the world. If the stories are even remotely true, it certainly could never happen here!”

Photo by Aksonsat Uanthoeng on Pexels.com

A laser focus on one’s own cultural paradigms and personal experience nearly guarantees that outside-the-box thinking and cross-pollination between trouble makers will be largely thwarted.

Dangerous stories

Stories can be dangerous things when told from untrained lips and captured by the wrong ears.  Inversely, tales, whether true or embellished, can be told to inspire fear, devotion, and any ostensible outcome that a spell-binding oracle desires.

I suppose that suffices for a day’s post.  I do intend to continue extending my wisdom online to any and all who will listen, until my furlough is remedied.

Be advised that my services, including on-site consulting, are available at the right price or to the highest bidder, whichever would be more advantageous to myself.

Presently Available, Though Likely Not Indefinitely,

P. Sophresh,

Distinguished Former Department Head, Messenger of Light Inc.

(Currently on a leave of absence. Seeking opportunities. References available upon request.)

If you’d like to talk more about disciple making that multiplies, reach out to us...

Roy Moran
roymoran.com

Marcus Constantine
livingtruth2.wordpress.com

Deal in extremes

It wouldn’t be helpful to anyone involved to go into all the details of where the content of these posts originated and how they came to us.  In rough sketch, they were intercepted on the dark web.  If it wasn’t for a friend who works in cyber security, we probably would’ve never stumbled upon them.

Our friend felt that these posts were important enough, even potentially helpful, for us to be aware of that he passed them on…

If you’d like to talk more about disciple making that multiplies, reach out to us...

Roy Moran
roymoran.com

Marcus Constantine
livingtruth2.wordpress.com

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack; but ill-disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me.”

~Clive Staples Lewis, Screwtape Letters



To Whom It May Concern:

As I currently find myself on a leave of absence of unspecified length, I have chosen to make the most productive use of my time by typing and circulating my thoughts.  

I post this open letter in hopes that I will increase the girth of not just my waistline but my influence, during this strategic season of my career.  

Through many decades of practicing my profession, I have learned quite a few tips and tricks of the trade.  I trust these principles will prove invaluable to those less experienced and less effective than I at shepherding souls toward the greater light—which some have so ignorantly called the darkness

Out with the old in with the new

An important update that I feel impressed to announce is that our organization has ceased use of the term “patient” and instead has replaced it with the more desirable designation “client.”  

After all, who would feel honored to know she is referred to as a patient?

It brings to mind the poking, prodding, and all manner of procedures that often accompany unpleasant medical tests.  Of course, while you and I may think fondly of such torturous treatments, most of our clients do not.

Photo by Anna Shvets

In a very real sense, we are here to please.  And so we must update our language as the higher-ups deem compulsory.  This serves both to address the changing tide of societal norms and to shift the sands of popular opinion in our favor.  

We do have a responsibility to do both after all.

We influence environmental conditions, inspire value systems, and establish human partners, which will instigate people movements toward our liking.  We also respond gleefully at times to the downward trends that the mass of humanity chooses entirely for themselves.

People do so often make deliciously destructive choices that propel them in our direction like swine over a cliff.

Photo by Leah Kelley

Tangentially, another deterrent of the word “patient” is its similarity to the term “patience.”  Though for different reasons, “patience” too is quite loathsome—both by virtue of its inherent power and how often it is asked of our Enemy, as in:

“I pray for more patience…”

How perverse!

Instead, our organization has wisely opted for the term “client.”  A memo has gone out to all high-ranking supervisors, which prominent department heads like myself had clearance to access.  And we have been charged to instruct our subordinates—those of lower rank such as I assume yourself—to amend our language immediately.

Lest you stumble over our specific choice of words, you will do well to observe that our work is as much art as it is science.

Photo by Pixabay


We do tend to deal in extremes.  Here is what I mean in 4 bite-sized points

Lest you stumble over our specific choice of words, you will do well to observe that our work is as much art as it is science.

1. Of course, it is useful to encourage a client toward viewing the world amorphously (think: The Blob).  


The less aware they are of a grander story, purpose, and connection in their lives, the more likely they will tend toward hopelessness, depression, and the insatiable pursuit of that which temporarily quiets their inner pangs for greater meaning.

2. If you cannot inspire a client toward viewing the world in extreme shades of gray, absolute black-and-white thinking can serve our purposes just as well.


Ensure your client is unable to see from another’s point of view and is fully entrenched in opinions he has held for as long as he can remember.  This will near guarantee his inability to learn, grow, or discover so-called truths that might pull him toward maturity and out of your tender, loving grasp.

3. Whether a client has an excessively fluid or intensely rigid view of the world, their denial of the tensions between most truths in life will lead them to a discomfort with themselves, others, and ultimately with the Enemy.

This will leave them no choice but to pursue numbing activities to lessen their perception of pain and the inevitable approach of their impending death—which cannot come soon enough from our perspective.

Sometimes their self-medicating will take the form of addictive behaviors that you are well aware of, such as substance abuse, sexual extremes, or overeating—to name a few.  However, equally powerful can be more subtle workaholic tendencies, religious extremism, or compulsion toward a certain brand of do-gooding.

Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas

4. If there is a road to be driven on, ensure your client falls into the ditch on one side or the other.  

This will keep her from safely arriving at a destination dangerously nearer the Enemy and the values of his realm.

Ensure your client either is so busy with what he deems important pursuits that he has no time for rest and quickly wears out like a threadbare garment.  Or conversely, that he so gives himself to leisurely pursuits that he slowly eats, drinks, amuses, and sleeps himself to an early death.

If there is a road to be driven on, ensure your client falls into the ditch on one side or the other. 

For those already given to religion…

Now, I will address those working with clients who are already religious.  

Ensure traditional and sacramental types are so off put by the evangelical claim to have a personal knowledge of God that they give themselves all the more fully to the ornamental and superficial.  

Ensure the self-proclaimed evangelical so emphasizes his “personal relationship” with the Enemy that he neglects meaningful connection with others and becomes all but deaf to the cries of the world around him.

Keep them all focused on buildings and budgets, dollars and donors, nickels and noses.

Photo by Viktor Mogilat

Ensure neither camp opens the Enemy’s dastardly Book.

If by chance you fail in this regard, and they are somehow exposed to its words, ensure they glance at it only ritually or out of obligation.  Discourage any sense of expectation to hear from the Enemy, or perhaps worse, to apply what is read in their daily lives.

The more lifeless the Book can appear to them the better.  The collection of copies upon copies in various versions and styles will be just fine, as long as they all remain largely untouched, unread, and dusty on some high, hard-to-reach shelf.  Even an occasional display copy on the coffee table is just fine, as long as it goes unnoticed like a forgotten carving in the woodwork.

Discourage any sense of expectation to hear from the Enemy, or perhaps worse, to apply what is read in their daily lives.

The dustier this Book remains the better.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood


It goes without saying that electronic versions are permissible, as long as they remain unread and forgotten once downloaded.  Ensure they don’t discover the ease of accessing the Book on mobile devices.  If by chance they do, ensure alerts pull their attention to other pursuits, which I like to call delectable distractions.

Abounding busyness is sure to set in again soon.

In short, keep your clients blissfully unaware, as they slowly lull themselves to sleep with the hum and whir of their many machines.

Ever Yours, a True Expert,

Preptor Sophresh,

Distinguished Former Department Head, Messenger of Light Inc.

(Currently furloughed. Seeking contract work. References available upon request.)

Photo by Sergei Akulich on Pexels.com

Keep your clients blissfully unaware, as they slowly lull themselves to sleep with the hum and whir of their many machines.

Our Father Loves Online Church

It wouldn’t be helpful to anyone involved to go into all the details of where the content of this post originated and how it came to us.  In a rough sketch, it was intercepted on the dark web.  If it wasn’t for a friend who works in cyber security, we probably would’ve never stumbled upon this.

Our friend felt that these posts were important enough, even potentially helpful, for us to be aware of that he passed them on

I am issuing this immediate bulletin, because I feel my voice is essential to the current conversation about online church.

I have been forwarded posts, read memos within our organization, and tuned in to external chatter, which suggest that some are fearful of this trend.  Others wonder how it can be most effectively used to capitalize on our cause.

I would suggest that we undertake a massive promotion of the idea that church attendance has grown in this period of pandemonium, when so many have taken to the internet for live streaming or posting their services.

Church attendance has risen as much as 50% in the first few weeks of this current crisis.  This calls for much jubilation!

And who are you?

Before I get into the rationale for my argument to follow.  I would like to briefly remind those, who may be reading my words with a degree of skepticism, of my exemplary track record.  

Though like many, I’m currently working from home, I have consulted and coached some of the most productive and influential minds in our enterprise.  Many with large teams and sweeping networks have looked to me for perspective and training for decades, if not longer.

Drawing from the deep well of my vast years of experience, I coach you, dear apprentice, to cheer on the trend toward digital church.

Without getting into the weeds on any theories—conspiracy or documented—related to the origin of the economic and social season we find ourselves in, I commend to you online church.

Hannah and Harold go to church…

Picture this: Hannah and Harold have to get out of bed, brush their teeth, dress their kids, and drive somewhere, all the while, doing their best to avoid tearing one another to pieces in the process.  It goes without saying; this requires significant effort.  

Fast forward to the present.  Not only do they remain in their pajamas, their kids likely sleep in.  They exude the most energy making their morning cup of Joe themselves.  They might have personally invested some by checking their email to access a link or connecting their television or streaming device of choice.

Photo by Stas Knop

Consider this powerful thought.  People, given to religion or seeking a semi-regular hit of social connectivity, can be consumers at an even deeper level now.

They can get their dose of the Ghost in the morning, or anytime throughout the week as fits their schedule, while otherwise doing whatever they want.

When self-professed believers gather in one place, there is always the concern they will agree in prayer or inadvertently cross-pollinate in such a way that they spur one another on toward so-called love or good deeds.

This must be avoided at all costs.

Of course, spin stories like mine above (about the pjs) to positive tones.

It has become so much simpler to join us for worship online from the comfort of your home! You don’t even have to get dressed or travel anywhere!

Little do they know their worship may have shifted from our Enemy to the online experience itself.  And worship of self is simply a cleverly-designed mask for the true worship our Father Below seeks.

If your peabrain hasn’t followed me thus far, permit me to summarize:

  1. Accessing online church requires less personal investment than ever for people to scratch their religious itch.
  2. The spiritual dangers associated with assembling together have all but been neutralized.
  3. Self-focus and self-worship are often inspired, directly or unintentionally, through these online performances. 

I charge you to avoid fixating on the online element itself.  There are some, hosting online gatherings in dangerous ways, which focus people on helping one another and looking outward to creatively do damage to our cause in their communities.  Of course, these factions must be opposed at all costs.

However, this scenario is rare.  Most church leaders are so focused on and exhausted by orchestrating the online experience itself, they have no capacity left to create space for our Enemy and his priorities.

Make people busy or exhausted.  Keep them distracted or discouraged.  Pit them against one another.  Pull from our toolbox of most used, best loved, timeless strategies.

Photo by Levi Damasceno

Metrics, Analytics, & Merry-go-rounds

While they are forming consumers at a higher level, we must let religious leaders think they’re winning.

Don’t fear.  The religious establishment has chosen the wrong metrics yet again, so let them veer off on their newest tangent.  It will lead to our ultimate success, not theirs.

Keep them inept with internet analytics, so they’ll be convinced they’re gaining more attenders when they don’t even know how to read their own stats properly.

Bind them so fast to their own merry-go-round, they’ll never ever think to ask dangerous questions like: are online attenders applying or sharing what they’re hearing?

This is to our great advantage.  Most of the “growth” that’s being celebrated by voices online is coming from smaller churches, amazed at their increased reach.  This is also often the population with the greatest lack of acumen and capacity to process the data about online engagement.

Bind them so fast to their own merry-go-round, they’ll never ever think to ask dangerous questions like: are online attenders applying or sharing what they’re hearing?

Doublespeak & Doubt

There’s also a delightful doublespeak taking place among church leaders reporting and at times competing over online attendance.  Few have stopped to ask: what does your hosting platform vs. mine actually count as a view?  

And what does it matter!  We couldn’t care less ourselves!

In fact, we are delighted that these conversations and infighting about online engagement fall hopelessly short of advancing our Enemy’s kingdom priorities. 

I want you to encourage the self-doubt and hidden pride in some megachurch leaders, which has led them to keep silent about their concerns and discouragement over how few are truly participating in their services online.

As my final statement and the nail in the proverbial coffin, at risk of sounding like I am merely name-dropping, I wholeheartedly state that we must focus our firepower on fueling the current trend toward defining “church” as a user-friendly, consumer, isolated, passive, digital experience.  Truly, I tell you, our Father Below loves online church.

Ever Yours, a True Luminary in My Field,

Preptor Sophresh,

Distinguished Former Department Head, Messenger of Light Inc.

(Currently on a furlough of undefined length. Seeking contract work. References available upon request.)

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

If you’d like to talk more about disciple making that multiplies, reach out to us...

Roy Moran
roymoran.com

Marcus Constantine
livingtruth2.wordpress.com