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Step 1. Present a test that supposedly measures one’s love for God. Every Christian young person desires to love God, of course, and will be excited to confirm their commitment to their Savior!
Step 2. Present scripture out of context that insinuates that one is God’s enemy if they fail the test. This heightens the spiritual stakes of the test, and makes it a much more serious matter. Helpful Hint: Be sure they don’t realize that God didn’t actually write the test.
Step 3. Present the test. The test should consist of a list of false dichotomies in which either choice (with one exception in the given example) is biblically acceptable. It’s especially helpful if both sides are even biblically encouraged, as in the second and fourth questions below. However, one of the answers must always sound more pious and godly than the choice on the other side. This will ensure that all who take the quiz will “fail” it.
Step 4. Conclude the test with another out of context scripture which will confirm that because they failed the test, they have left their first love and that God has something against them. This will result in severe guilt and anguish. Again, be sure they don’t realize they are feeling guilt over loving things that God created for them to enjoy, such as friendships, fellowship, music, and literature.
Step 5. Present a 10-day workshop that will help them deal with the newly created guilt by making a bunch of commitments and vows to deeper godliness, all of which cause them to sacrifice their God-given Christian liberty in order to fit within a man-created system of religiosity.
Step 6. Rinse and repeat. Once they’ve bought into your system, it will be hard for them to get out. The only way this will happen is if they figure out that God’s love isn’t conditioned upon their behavior, and that the only path to holiness is to walk daily within His sustaining grace. Once they figure that out, you’ve lost them. Sorry.
NOTE: The following example of this plan in action comes from page 8 of the Institute in Basic Life Principle’s Journey to the Heart curriculum. Journey to the Heart is a 10-day retreat program for young men and women aged 13-30, taught by Bill Gothard and other members of his staff.