I Stole These Paragraphs Because They are So Good

Screwtape Quotes 1Joe Heschmeyer, over at Word on Fire had a great article on the 20th of July that I wanted to make sure my readers saw the following paragraphs. the article was titled:

“How the News and Politics is Destroying Your Soul
(and what you can do about it)”

Heschmeyer makes a number of discerning and powerful comments, but this quote from C.S. Lewis and it prescient comment on the current cultural moment is too good to let pass. 

I’m partway through C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters right now, and I’ve got to say that he has our number. The letters are written from the perspective of one demon (Screwtape) counseling another (Wormwood, the namesake for the teacher in Calvin and Hobbes) on how to destroy a man’s soul. So here is how the spiritual situation looks, unmasked:

All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged. Not always, of course, but at this period. Some ages are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep. Other ages, of which the present is one, are unbalanced and prone to faction, and it is our business to inflame them. . . . Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause,” in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of Pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material for obedience. Once you have 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.

Screwtape 2The enemy of our souls is always working to devour the unity of the people of God and to destroy any culture where the free discussion of ideas might bring the gospel into greater focus. Let’s not fall for his lies.

The full article is available by clicking on the link above.

 


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