To my dearest Wormwoods….

          Tonight original words escaped me, but I felt as if I needed to post this. It is such a powerful book, and it holds such simple and practical truths that every Christ follower should know. What follows is chapter 2 of “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. The underlying themes of this chapter were exquisitely crafted, and I encourage you to read this brief “letter” and to search within yourself and see what it means to you. I will be writing a blog here in the next few days, or as the Lord directs.

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thescrewtapeletters.jpg

MY DEAR WORMWOOD,

          I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian. Do not indulge the hope that you will escape the usual penalties; indeed, in your better moments, I trust you would hardly even wish to do so. In the meantime we must make the best of the situation. There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a I brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us. All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favor.

          One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do riot mean the Church as we see her spread but through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes I our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate. When he goes inside, he sees the local grocer with rather in oily expression on his face bustling up to offer him one shiny little book containing a liturgy which neither of them understands, and one shabby little book containing corrupt texts of a number of religious lyrics, mostly bad, and in very small print. When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbors whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbors. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like “the body of Christ” and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy’s side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous. At his present stage, you see, he has an idea of “Christians” in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which, in fact, is largely pictorial. His mind is full of togas and sandals and armor and bare legs and the mere fact that the other people in church wear modern clothes is a real—though of course an unconscious—difficulty to him. Never let it come to the surface; never let him ask what he expected them to look like. Keep everything hazy in his mind now, and you will have all eternity wherein to amuse yourself by producing in him the peculiar kind of clarity which Hell affords.

          Work hard, then, on the disappointment or anticlimax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman. The Enemy allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavor. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His “free” lovers and servants—”sons” is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to “do it on their own”. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt.

          I have been writing hitherto on the assumption that the people in the next pew afford no rational ground for disappointment. Of course if they do—if the patient knows that the woman with the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge-player or the man with squeaky boots a miser and an extortioner—then your task is so much the easier. All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won’t come into his head. He has not been anything like long enough with the Enemy to have any real humility yet. What he says, even on his knees, about his own sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believes he has run up a very favorable credit-balance in the Enemy’s ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he is showing great humility and condescension in going to church with these “smug”, commonplace neighbors at all. Keep him in that state of mind as long as you can.

 

Your affectionate uncle
SCREWTAPE

 

(Click the picture of the book to buy it at Amazon.com!)

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~ by Tim Kurek on October 26, 2007.

12 Responses to “To my dearest Wormwoods….”

  1. […] New blog at Uriah! https://uriahministries.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/to-my-dearest-wormwoods/ […]

  2. I personally would not recommend this book to anybody that has no clear foundation of being a true Christian and having learned from the teachings from the Church of God. The author tried to make a conversation using Satan’s point of view but beware, if you do not know the mystery of Satan, you yourself can be entagled in the weblike trap he created.

    Church of God was maded a spectacle to angels, men, and the world. The author has no idea of which Church he is describing. We should be the one being read by angels, men, and the world. That our light shines to them. Read the Holy Bible instead.

    1 Timothy 6:20

    Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.

    Turn away

    from godless chatter and

    the opposing ideas of

    what is falsely called knowledge,

    21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.

  3. Wow… You just proved your ignorance. C.S. Lewis was one of the most godly examples we have and has written more influential theological work than almost any other Christian other than the writers of our Scripture. You continually astound me brother.

  4. I hope God will bless you in away that you will understand the following chapters and verses from the Holy Scriptures:

    2 Corinthians 11
    1Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.

    2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

    5For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

    6But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

    7Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

    8I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

    9And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

    10As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

    11Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.

    12But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

    13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

    14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

    16I say again, let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.

    17That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

    18Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.

    19For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

    20For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

    21I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.

    22Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

    23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

    24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

    25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

    26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

    27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

    28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

    29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

    30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

    31The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

    32In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

    33And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

    2 Corinthians 3

    1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

    4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    The Glory of the New Covenant
    7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
    12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

  5. Read the book before you say anything else… Your ignorance in this matter baffles me.

  6. I have read an e-book version of the screwtape letters.

    That is the main reason why I am not encouraging anyone to read it, especially those who have not studied the bible enough to be able distinguish the mystery of Satan.

    I wonder how a person like you who asks for humility and who is against pride are able to speak out those kind of words to me?

  7. Because I never see you build anything up, I only see you tear apart people who don’t believe the exact same as you… That makes you someone I am weary of because the Holy Spirit works good and peace and love within the body and you do none of that in any of your comments or messages. I am worried about you to be honest. Don’t respond to this please, I am sick in bed and this conversation is superfluous.

  8. I think we should focus on the topic, of what we know and learned.

    Here’s Bro Tim Kurek who has never given his stand based on what he learned and from whom he learned of what a non-hypocrite christian should become and should say.

    Bro Tim Kurek, I think you are the one moderating your blog’s comment areas and deciding which comment shall remain and deleted.

    https://uriahministries.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/to-my-dearest-wormwoods/#comments

    I hope that my comment that is supposed to be an anwer to your last answer was just deleted mistakenly or remained unread by you. Because if not, this is a proof of hypocrisy. After saying a personal attack on me and if my answer to that attack will not be permitted to stand, obviously, it is you who is trying to destroy instead of build up a rational and biblical conversation or argument.

    So, for this reason, it’s the proper time to let us know your stand! We are talking about what you believe in.

  9. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they (A)may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

    I am sickened by your focus on things other than showing love to those who need it.

    “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27

    Where does it say in scripture to monitor people’s sites that you don’t even know to do nothing but condemn them and what they say. When was the last time (to someone other than Bro Eli) have you merely offered positive input? I have seen your conversations with others and you demonstrate the same ignorance you do here. I did not post your last comment because I told you not to comment again, and you did. The only reason I allowed this one is because I wanted to say once and for all, that I do not care to hear from you anymore. Your pride and your “brother’s keeper” mentality is not only wrong, but it is unbiblical. I invite you to take a long look at what you have been saying and then to reevaluate how you are interacting with the brotherhood of believers. Please do not respond to this. Agree to disagree and leave me alone.

  10. 1 Thessalonians 5:2
    for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

  11. And when that day comes, I will be with God, worshipping Him in Heaven and thankful that God’s mercy and love were so great that He let me come to Him. What a day that will be!

  12. The Screwtape Letters is one of the few books beside the Bible that each time I read challenges me in a specific area. I would HIGHLY recommend it to any believer if they want to grow spiritually. I love the chapter you quoted as well Tim.

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