Just saw a video where an actor steps into the role of Screwtape, the evil tempter instructing a junior tempter on how to capture men’s (and women’s) souls. Screwtape, of course is the protagonist in the C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters. I immediately thought of the application to the whole culture of homosexuality, but the principle (and the passage in his book) applies to a whole host of issues from pornography, to drugs, to video games, to overindulgence in sports and recreation (or gardening, or cooking, or eating or anything that can bring pleasure to our lives). The pleasure is not the thing. Something more is at stake, something more vital, more fundamental.
“Never forgot that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the human to take the pleasure which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s souls and give him nothing in return — that is what really gladdens Our Father’s Heart.” (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, 44)
Real love for others demands that we speak the truth, even when the culture will persecute us for it. We must speak the truth in love because love edifies and brings glory to God.