On August 13, 1971 (a Friday, I believe), the devil invited millions of demons from the far corners of the Western Hemisphere to the annual Creative Chaos Convention held 300 miles beneath Texas. It was a hot day even above ground, and attendance was mandatory.
“Fellow enemies,” Satan began in his keynote address, “we have had some victories. We have split some churches and burned some Bibles, and we’ve got them arguing about music again like we did in the 1600s. I congratulate you on a terrible job!”
The demons began lobbing fiery darts at one another and booing loudly. Lifting his hand, Satan calmed their gleeful enthusiasm. “But let’s be honest-though none of us finds it easy,” he continued. “We haven’t stopped these Christians from reading their Bibles, loving their neighbors, or worshiping God. It’s time we tried something else.”
“Like what?” Shouted a particularly ugly little demon whose name tag read “Hal.”
Satan emitted a long and sinister cackle, then adjusted his notes and gazed out over the darkened auditorium. “We will gradually distract them,” he wheezed. “We will keep them from God by making them too busy with other things. Oh, let them go to church, but start stealing their time. If they have no time for a relationship with Jesus, we’ve got ’em.”
“But how?” Shouted ugly little Hal, who was still trembling at the mention of That Name. “How do we steal their time?”
“Redefine success for them. It’s not about people or faithfulness anymore, it’s about things. Make them equate success with stuff. Keep them borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. Lower the prime rate. Replace the front porch with a garage. Convince them that they need bigger houses and more cars. Keep the husbands and wives working longer hours to get out of debt and rarely let them see their kids. I’ve hated the family since the beginning. This just might fix it.” “Is that all?” Shouted another demon near the back.
“No, I’m just getting started,” said Satan, who was met with another enthusiastic round of jeers and catcalls. “Make them comfortable and complacent. Blind them to the needs of others. And would someone invent seedless watermelons? They’re having way too much fun spitting them. I hate it when Christians laugh.”
“What else, what else?” Sneered Hal, just before being pelted by a rotten egg.
“Make silence a fearful thing. Create so much noise that they can’t hear the still, small voice of God. Turn the music up in restaurants and supermarkets, pound their minds with 24-hour news channels, invent something better than that awful 8-track and keep the music loud. The sound systems in our cars are lousy-do something about that. There isn’t nearly enough junk mail either, so have it increased. And we need more television channels. How about a shopping channel? See if you can get away with a golf channel, though I doubt you can. Offer free products and sweepstakes and trips and pyramid marketing schemes. Get them to take excessive vacations and return broke. Keep them away from nature. Let them find their rest in amusement parks, sporting events, and movies, and could someone increase the cussing in Hollywood? There isn’t nearly enough cussing. Hal, you take care of that.”
You could barely hear Satan now above the rising enthusiasm. But he wasn’t finished.
“Speed up the world!” He yelled above the roar of the minions. “Don’t give those Christians time to think. Or rest. Make them too tired to walk with God. Too weary to lift a hand to help others. Keep them busy with good things-with programs and charts and reports-but don’t let them rely on Christ. Let them think they can get by on their own. Let them sacrifice their health and their family and their God on the altar of busyness. Then they will be ours.”
Over Satan’s sinister cackle, the demons began to stomp and chant, “We will, we will, rock them.”
Some say the standing ovation is still going on.
Callaway, Phil. Who Put My Life on Fast-Forward? Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2002, p. 17-19.