Jul 15, 2010

The Screwtape Letters revisited (part II)

6) We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a humans mind against the Enemy.

This is so easy for the devil to accomplish these days. There are wars, economic uncertainties, health care issues, and the daily crosses of the attack on the family. All these culminate into a toxic ball of anxiety and worry. It makes it easy to fall into despair and focuses our attention on the "worldly things" instead of spiritual things. The anxieties of daily life can take our focus off of God.....OR we can use these daily "crosses" to increase our dependency on God, trusting in God alone and His will for our lives, for our future.

As Francis Bacon (and later FDR) said in modern times....WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF, which has some truth to it, but I like to stick with biblical teachings such as the ol' faithful "FEAR OF THE LORD LEADS TO WISDOM" (Proverbs 1:7).

7) I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. (The belief in demons)

It seems to me that today, more than ever, there is a scoffing at the belief in demons and sin (or at least the acceptance of excuses for sin).
I have daily encounters with people that think that just "being a good person" or going to church makes up for all the "bad" partakings in their lives. Once Satan can get you into the mind-set that "I'm to so bad" or that you have "good" excuses for your sins, then he has you....
It seems funny to me that those who wear rock band shirts depicting demons or those whom have demon tattoo's are usually the one's whom think least about Heaven, Hell or salvation. Where does their belief in demons come from?

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. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more "religious" (on those terms) the more securely ours.

Yes, even well meaning Christians can become so caught up in worldly things that we may neglect spiritual things. We might not have the desire for possessions, but we may have the desire for causes. We may get so caught up in doing good works that we forget the faith aspect of our beliefs. Sloth is the word that comes to mind. It is also one of the 7 capitol (deadly) sins....although Christians may fall to it in a different level than others. If we don't start our endeavors with prayer and continue to pray for guidance, then we can forget the ultimate goal of our charity.

8) So you "have great hopes that the patients religious phase is dying away", have you?

Undulation is the word that "Uncle Screwtape" uses throughout this section of his letter. It means a rising and falling, like a wave according to Websters dictionary, although in the Christian sense, it means peaks and troughs in our spiritual lives. Sometimes God allows us to hit rock bottom to help us climb to the top of the mountain.
A lot of "new" Christians (those whom were not brought up in Christian homes) find that their family and friends tend to think that their new found Christianity has just a "phase" they are going through; they think that once the phase is over with, their foolish Christian loved one will see the light of "reason" and come back to "reality"; but their mistake in thinking that is written upon the hearts of us all. We all have the desire to know THE TRUTH. We all have the capability to know THE TRUTH.
THE TRUTH is not a something, THE TRUTH is somebody...JESUS is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
It is true of very many Christians, that we all have times when we are weak in our faith, when we are beaten down by the world, but as Saint Paul continually encouraged us to "run the race to the end"....only those who persevere will be victorious.

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