A Devilish Good Time

Oh goody, I get an excuse to read The Screwtape Letters again. A student at church recently approached me about studying the book together. And I always learn something new each time I dive into this masterpiece.

The Screwtape Letters is a classic by C.S. Lewis. It is my favorite book of all time after the Bible. Although it is a work of fiction, I believe it to be an outstanding handbook on demonic and spiritual warfare. The language can be hard to read for modern readers. But it is well worth the psychological journey into the depth of despair that is the world of demons and temptation.

 C.S. Lewis once said that The Screwtape Letters was the hardest book for him to write. The subject matter forced him into a dark world that caused him much concern. Demons respect authority, yet they desire to undermine it. Demons are smart, but they don’t really understanding the ways of God. Demons know that the best lie is always coated with some truth.

Well, I’ll share some of my insights as I come along them. The first concept is from the introduction. Lewis wrote, “Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.”

With that bit of confusing advice, let the mental and spiritual games begin. Yes, Satan is a liar, and he’s really good at it. Just because you think something doesn’t mean the thought came from you or is indeed something you should be thinking. I believe demons like to plant lies in our heads like little seeds of death. We have to dig those things out by the roots or else they keep growing back. We feel guilty for being tempted when that is a normal part of life in this fallen world. Being tempted is not sin, giving into temptation on the other hand is wrong.

The problem is that a lie can become truth to you if you believe it or hear it enough. And just because you think something is true doesn’t make it so.

Oh, speaking of Satan as a liar. You’ve got to see this little video by LifeChurch.Tv called Satan’s Sex Ed. It is really funny and yet sad at the same time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxABegyOjHw

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2 responses to “A Devilish Good Time

  1. Yes, “Screwtape Letters” is excellent. I read it at a time I was struggle with evil in a particularly subtle way. My daughter, who is now 15, is reading it for the first time. I’m interested to see what she makes of it (and what it makes of her).

  2. I agree with your point of “A lie told often enough” It is a dangerous approach for a church to use a tool – even if to mock it.

    As I watched the video, I experienced very mixed emotions – on one hand I enjoyed the satirical humor but at the same time there was something very uncomfortable about it. I’m not so puritanical that I believe that the subject of sex shouldn’t be a topic of conversation. It is the method of approach that bothers me. Regardless of the topic – I find the approach off base.

    In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul addresses the subject of people preaching the gospel to mock. Paul rejoiced that Christ was preached.

    Philippians 1:15-18 (King James Version)
    15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
    16The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
    17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
    18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice

    Paul rejoiced that the gospel was preached even when it was preached to mock. How then does God look upon the “preaching” of sin – even when done to mock?

    The church at Corinth fancied themselves as edgy and progressive – so much so that they were prideful about it.

    They were so edgy and progressive that they cavalierly overlooked an incestuous relationship.

    Paul chastised the church for this – rebuking them for being puffed up rather than mourning the sin. (1 Corinthians 5)

    A good friend and brother often talks about the science experiment where a frog sits in water that is being heated and does not recognize it. The water can be brought to a boil and never realize it. We need to guard our hearts on all fronts in this age where world is lulling the church to sleep.

    Paul warned us to guard our hearts by our physical actions.
    Ephesians 5:15-16 (King James Version)
    15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
    16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

    Circumspectly come from the Latin word circumspicere – to look around, be cautious. We need to walk circumspectly at a time where the world is evangelizing the church.

    My largest concern in this situation is that our liberty doesn’t become a stumbling block to others for whom Jesus died.

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