I ran across this infographic at StuffFundiesLike.
Now, I’m not a big fan of oversimplification, but this one made me ponder an evangelical version of these events. If I were to write this from that perspective, the list would be similar, but with some minor differences. Here’s what I came up with.
How to make a self-fulfilling prophecy
1. Use unwritten rules, social pressure, and shunning to keep your congregation in line. All rebels must be ignored and completely invisible until they no longer attend your church. False harmony must be maintained, all interlopers and questioners must be expelled. Never openly gossip, but feel free to mention these people often in prayer circles.
2. Wait for any sliver of bad news about those who leave your church. Twist the information to make it “worse,” or completely make something up. Use any bit of this information to confirm that they were, indeed, bad. It is a good thing they aren’t besmirching your church’s good reputation.
3. While never naming names in public, be sure everyone knows what happened (your side of the story) so any future interlopers and questioners will think twice before they interlope or question.
4. Repeat often. You must not allow these people free reign in your church.