Derik R. Girdwood’s The Church of Jezebel, Hijacking the Gospel is a Christian fiction
novel depicting the dark side of churches-hidden beneath a thrilling mystery novel. The
purpose of this work, other than to superbly entertain, is to unveil the false doctrines that
various churches and televangelists use to reel in na?ve believers.
The Church of Jezebel weaves a fictional mystery amidst the concepts of the Christian
faith, and not only exposes false doctrines, but also enlightens readers through scriptures
from the Bible. The main character of the story is Christina, an eighteen-year-old who
is excited about being admitted to Bible college. Although she is easily awed by the
power of the dynamic speeches and doctrinal messages, there is unmistakably a sense
of foreboding from the beginning of the book. This apprehension is best depicted in the
passage, “I’ve read some people don’t like him, and that he’s been criticized by some
books and especially on the Internet.”
The antagonistic figures in this novel are Pastor Smith, who is only concerned about
bringing a cash flow-at all costs-into the church, and the church prophet, whose
lectures are more sinister and spine chilling than they are Christian.
Alarms should be sounding at certain passages right from the beginning. For example,
when Christina states, “The church prophet uses a lot of big words that most people
don’t understand, and sometimes he speaks in tongues that no one understands but the
Holy Spirit, but it was about a return to righteousness.” The church prophet is using lofty
language, perhaps intentionally, so that no one can understand as he misconstrues the true
meaning of the scriptures for his own benefit.
The plot offers much intrigue when Christina’s pregnant roommate, Becky, allegedly
commits suicide. Ironically, Becky is impregnated by the pastor’s son, Mark, who is also
a freshman. The school is thrown into mayhem when, layer after layer the truth unfolds,
and one by one, events indicate that Becky did not commit suicide, but was murdered.
Coincidentally, or perhaps for the sake of convenience, the brunt of the blame is laid on
The suspense builds as the truth comes out, and there “might be evidence of some type of
cult at work, maybe satanic, or something similar to voodoo or Santeria.” From here on
out, it’s a roller coaster ride for Christina, who hits an emotional low that all but destroys
Ultimately, Detective Preston’s relentless efforts to uncover the details behind the murder
lead to the unearthing of a church scandal that goes beyond the realm of imagination,
with captivating elements such as drug-dealing, murder, and the Santeria drug cartel.
With its fast pace and bold content, The Church of Jezebel, Hijacking the Gospel is
reminiscent of the famous Dan Brown novel, Angels and Demons. Overall, this is a must-
read book with intriguing possibilities regarding the state of churches and false doctrines.
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