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Posts Tagged ‘devils’

C.S Lewis dedicates Screwtape Letters to his friend J.R.R Tolkien. It’s basically a sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of the demon Screwtape.

In this book, C.S Lewis presents in a comical and captivating manner the Christian’s battle with the devil which rages on and how the devil uses every means at his disposal to destract the Christian from doing what he is called to do; loving and worshiping God and using the gifts God has given him to serve Him and other human beings.

I think this book is relevant in the 21st century where it’s so rare to talk about devils (!) Even the famous ‘the devil made me do it’ is no longer there because we’ve in a way really forgotten about what goes on in the spiritual realms as Christians, we are in warfare, the battle rages on from within and without.

Of course in dealing with this issue, there are two extremes that we can go to;

(a) Disbelieve in the existence of the devil

(b) Believe in their existence and feel an unhealthy and excessive interest in them.

We must guard against such extremes.

There are a number of pieces of advice that Screwtape gives to Wormwood for him to be effective in distracting and dissuading humans from their duty to God:

  1. Materialism– It’s so strong, it’s the way to go… it’s a thing of the future. They (human beings) need to embrace it. And don’t forget about the worship of sex, it’s a huge asset. Remember ‘Once you’ve made the world an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.
  2. The Power Within– Keep reminding them that they have to draw strength from the inner self. Bring them to the point where they can constantly and routinely be shutting themselves from the outside world so as to draw strength from the inside. Could you try a bit more emphasis on Motivational preaching?!
  3. Relationships– Let them break up. Let it be easy for them to express themselves in offending yet find grievance when offended. After all, it’s all about ‘my good’ and not about the other person!
  4. Prayerless-ness– Make it hard for them to pray. Of course there are moods- easy for them not to pray when they aren’t in the mood of doing so. And oh, let them pray about feelings instead of the real fruit itself. I mean, pray about the feeling to give instead of praying about the grace to give!
  5. Moderation– Talk to man about moderation in his religion. The buzzword for the 21st century is ‘Tolerance’. But know that a moderated religion is as good as no religion at all.
  6. The Cumulative Effect– Use the ‘small’ sins. The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
  7. Pain and Pleasure– Keep humans from knowing the reality of these things. Let them always live in a dream-world of self-pity and vanity. Never ever let them know that there are realities!
  8. The Future and the Present– Keep them from the future, not necessarily by focussing on the present but by making them imagine a soon future that will be more agreeable. You see, you just managed to keep them away from the eternal and the present. Oh, in the 21st Century, it’s called YOLO (You Only Live Once) so blow up all you’ve got now, for after-all you’ll die!!
  9. Possessive-ness– Teach them to say ‘my God’ in the same way they’ll say ‘my shoes’ meaning ‘the God on whom I have a claim for my distinguished services and whom I exploit from the pulpit—the God I have put in a corner/box’
  10. Christ and His work– Just make Christ solely a teacher. Instead of being the Creator worshiped by his creature let Him be a leader acclaimed by a partisan.
  11. Christianity And/Plus– Disturb them with the horror of the same old thing. Let them think of how they can ‘improve’ Christianity by having add-ons! And also keep them from a devotional life- it’s a boring thing for them to do!
  12. Perseverance (Lack of)– You see, it’s had for humans to persevere. ‘Make them believe that earth can be turned into heaven at some future date by politics or eugenics or science or psychology.’

Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a shortcut to the nearest chemist shop.

The here and now is all that matters- Prosperity preaching does this trick very well!

This is of course comical but presents the realities of the dangers that we can fall into if we fail to realise that we’ve got enemies and that we are in a battle. With this then the thing for us Christians is ‘Beware and Keep watch’ – this is a genuine warning! And remembering the words of Ephesians 6:12:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

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