Saturday, November 18, 2006

Screwtape to Wormwood

The ever-insightful Tobias Haller offers a delightful new "Screwtape Letter" over at In a Godward Direction: Screwtape to Wormwood, 2006. Here's a small hors d'oeuvre, just to whet your appetite:

Just a bit of avuncular advice as you continue your work: by all means keep them focused on themselves, and on institutional questions — Who Gets to Be In Power. I mean, you can be creative as you like with the details, but the “tried and false” methods are always best to Fall back on. I think I do not need to remind you of the First Principle of The Tempters’ Manual, “Remember the Apple.”
Which brings me to my central concern: this unfortunate attention on the part of some of your patients to these so-called Millennium Development Goals. It would really be most unhelpful to our cause to have them actually do the things the Enemy wants them to do, to set aside self-obsession and do something about disease, poverty, ignorance, and so on. Anything you can do to persuade them that these MDGs are just “secular” will be to your advantage. I had a lovely curried Goat last night — one of the Old Souls that I’d kept in reserve; and you know, he still didn’t get it! As I savored him bite by bite, he kept whimpering, “But when did we see you hungry or thirsty or in prison...” Delicious.
So, Nephew, in closing, I advise you to apply yourself to this two-pronged approach: play up the institution and downplay what it is actually meant to accomplish, as it could turn out to be a disaster for us if this movement catches on.
Your Uncle,

Screwtape


He's right, you know. We must stand firm against some of the shenanigans being perpetrated against the Episcopal Church -- and those seem to be coming more and more frequently right now. But we also must keep our eyes upon Christ and upon what Christ calls us to do in the world. And fighting about power and authority is not our mission. Loving one another is. Feeding the hungry and healing the sick is. And so is doing justice and loving mercy and walking humbly before our God.

Thanks for the reminder, Tobias.

The rest of you: Click here and read the whole thing.

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