Screwtape's take on current events...

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Yesterday I read an Acts 29 pastor's rebuke of a man for calling Christians in his church to turn away from their vain pursuits on social media, spending some of their bandwidth instead on expressing their Christian compassion for the unborn. The pastor said the usual things ordained men without conviction or faith would say to unordained men having both graces: the writer should wait until he had no sin to speak to others about sin; the writer is judgmental/Phariseeical; the writer is making abortion and Planned Parenthood into the only moral issue when there are lots of moral issues; the writer shouldn't exhort church members to speak against Planned Parenthood's sale of dead babies' body parts when those same members have shown their great Christian faith and witness by going on two-week jauntlets to foreign countries; and so on.

Abortion and Planned Parenthood will never end until pastors realize God will hold us accountable for our intensely defended indifference to the innocents being slaughtered down the street from our church-houses. It's no wonder simple Christians living under the authority of such pastors are silent about Planned Parenthood's murder of little babies. Add the R2K ridiculosity and the witches brew is vintaged finely.

Daughter Mrs. Benjamin (Michal) Crum wrote a reflection on the silence of Christians, taking on Lewis's artifice of speaking of these things from Screwtape's perspective. The title of her FB post is "Screwtape's Take on Current Events." Read it and post it yourself...

My Dear Wormwood,

I see that you have been promoted to the department of espionage and sabotage. Now you are working in the heart of the Enemy’s camp, attempting to wreak havoc within the structure itself. Your patient, they tell me, is in fact a Christian. While you may not have power to change the thoughts and actions of the servant himself, do not underestimate your power to gently manipulate. This patient is susceptible to lies just as any other patient would be. And, believe it or not, the more bald-faced lies are often the most effective.

Take, for example, this raging battle over the practice of child-sacrifice within their land—or as they call it, abortion. This really is the key issue right now. Yes, our Lord has many other worthy enterprises at work within their nation, but this is where it all comes to a head. If this long-established practice is abolished, make no mistake—the foundations of our American stronghold will be rocked to the core. I don’t want to alarm you unnecessarily, and there are many who believe that their camp is so thoroughly compromised by our three primary campaigns of lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life that there is no threat of rejuvenation. And indeed, their society is so beautifully rotten to the core that perhaps I need not fear. But I see the ripples moving out from the enemy camp—skirmishes here and there, awakening the consciences of many citizens. Sin is a luscious, black cancer that creeps to contaminate. But never forget that our Enemy is a consuming fire.

But here is where our success hinges. Do not allow your patient to participate in skirmishes. Whisper every lie imaginable to keep him from engaging anyone on this issue. If you allow him to even click “like” on a Facebook post, you are on a slippery slope to all-out failure. For even one little "like" can gain momentum and allow the patient to find his voice, and speak truth into our domain of darkness.

The key is to make your patient believe that his religion is a private matter, meant to be discussed over coffee with a dear friend in the privacy of his own home when every conceivable circumstance is ideal, and only when that dear friend asks. In fact, ideally you should convince him that child-sacrifice is a fringe-issue, that it has nothing to do with the Gospel at all, but is only a question of politics. Many of your worthy coworkers have convinced their patients that this is simply democracy at work, and that the voice of the people is not the responsibility of the Church. Try this tack.

At all cost, steer him clear of any topic that may awaken his conscience to remember past notorious “heroes” of their camp like Amy Carmichael, William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King Jr. When their camp succeeds at transforming culture itself, abolishing long-established customs of inequality, discrimination, oppression and genocide, then we have truly lost our foothold. Please, prevent your patient from ever publicly condemning abortion. Remember, the key is private religion.

One last thing: do everything within your power, in the midst of the larger lies, to convince your patient that he in fact has a very tender conscience. Again, this is a proven strategy. Whisper to your patient that he must not speak loudly about abortion because some of his friends—both in and outside the camp--may have actually had abortions. You and I know that this is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, and we have seen the tiny, exquisitely mangled corpses, but we must keep him vaguely wondering. Then you must convince him that his silence serves to protect those who are weak (ie those who have participated in the ritual sacrifice). Or even better, when he recoils from chance encounters with the naked truth on Facebook, whisper to him that he does not post these gory images and x-rated videos of evidence for the protection of his tender young nieces and nephews, who would certainly see it in their newsfeed. You see what I did there? We keep them silent about child-sacrifice for the protection of small children. As the patient would say, LOL.

Your Affectionate Uncle,


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Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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