The Tapeworm Gallery: Keep Church Normal

            I saw your church had a savory visitor on Sunday. That was some big hair—any tiny shorts. Well, she did mention she hadn't attended church in years. Shocking. Someone should have told her the church with the leather-pants preacher is up the street. And that the hookers' convention comes to town next weekend.

            I sensed your surprise mixed with disappointment at her desire to return next week—and your fear over her excitement to bring her friends. Tattooed, pierced strippers and LGBT's, no doubt. You know—the people too despicable for people, but not too despicable for God. The church will have to Scotch Guard the pew cushions before they arrive. Maybe you can email her the dress code in the mean time? Well, at least the bruises on her arms will have vanished by then.

            She did choke up talking about the fresh break-up from her live-in boyfriend, and about losing her job. Poor thing. But if you're prancing around town with your butt cheeks hanging out the back of your shorts, you'd hardly land a pediatrician for a mate—nor gainful employment.    

            Well, maybe she'll clean up her act before she returns. Or at least clean up her appearance.

            I have to say, I've tripped up people for thousands of years. And yet, when it comes to keeping people out of church, you surpass me in greatness. I think it's the way you question who Jesus deems acceptable. How else to remain carbon copies of one another? And how else to maintain a safe haven for the Barbie's and Ken's who never say four-letter-words, never watch R-rated movies, and never think about sex?

            DO NOT think to invite this woman to your hen par—I mean forty-going-on-twenty cli—I mean Bible study. Too awkward. You have worked hard to maintain a core group of whitewashed tom—I mean godly women.

            Besides, the last thing you need is a church full of weirdos. Unless by weirdos you mean Bible belt wackos. Those are the kind of weirdos I like. But anyone who does not fit into your sterile evangelical box cannot expect to attend your church. You know…the types of rejects and scum Jesus sought company with.  

            But you can still help this woman with her anxiety and loneliness. My suggestion: start by covering her pain with a Christianese pep talk. She'd die to hear your predetermined churchy answers to her wounding. You know—those annoying pat answers that over-spiritualize everything, but help nothing? Make sure to drill her with Bible verses too. Because Bible drills offer cookbook solutions to all of life's problems.

            And people love hearing the truth—especially from a jerk. So don't forget to tell her, in your omniscience, that God will send her to hell. I've seen this work well with strangers. Because everyone wants to hear, "You suck in God's eyes." And please…don't hug her. You don't need to bring home ringworm.

            Hey, don't feel guilty. She chose this life. God only bestows sunshine and lollipops via money, good relationships, and six-pack abs to true Christians. And true Christianity entails a level of spiritual maturity (translation: superiority) that most cannot obtain. Her status as bottom-dweller gels with her spiritual weakness.   

            Convince her that church consists of a bunch of people who object to everything, and she will be left with the notion that evangelicals don't think. If nothing else, it will prevent her from returning and bringing friends. Because I know you don’t want your child's Sunday school BFF to be the kid of a drug dealer.     

            Keep church normal. Don't let church get weird.

            Because as people leave church, Christianity loses relevance. Keep it up, and one day the church will fade into obscurity.    

            So continue making things difficult for people seeking God. Because the last thing I'd want for Ms. Butt Cheeks…is healing.


Warning: The faint-hearted should proceed with caution. The Tapeworm Gallery has as its main character, Tapeworm, a demon out to undermine Christian women. Inspired by Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, this fiction satire series exposes the author's interpretation of what a demon might say to a Christian audience. With data collected from current events, the news, articles, theological study, and face-to-face interviews to uncover context and paradigm, the author feels the blog practically writes itself. Enjoy and please comment.

Blessings, Salma

American-born Salma Gundi graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2017 with a Masters in Biblical and Theological Studies. Salma has a passion for leading women, and has led women's Bible studies, and multiple small groups for women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. Salma enjoys speaking at women's events, and is known by the catchphrase, "Stop faking the funk—start keeping it real." She hopes to continue ministering to women through writing, speaking, and teaching. Salma, who grew up in California miles from the Pacific Beaches, came to saving faith in 1991 after a Campus Crusade for Christ Creation vs Evolution debate. The (unofficial) black sheep of her family, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Feather Ruffling. Her consanguineous relatives consume a strict vegetarian diet, and were it not for lobster with lemon butter sauce, she would do the same. Salma's husband is a psychotherapist, and also at graduate of DTS.