Jun 8, 2017

My Screwtape Letter

I was recently going through some of my old seminary assignments and came across a paper that I apparently modeled after C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. I must confess that I do not remember the assignment or the course for which it was created. But, I have lightly edited it and condensed it because I was surprised about how timely it was. So with apologies to the esteemed Lewis, here is a reminder for whom it might be helpful.

Dear Wormwood,

Thank you for enlisting my help concerning Charles. Indeed I have had my eye on him for many years and I can tell you that he is so gullible at times that I even wonder if he is worthy of my expertise. However, I have learned that the Enemy sometimes delights in using one as insignificant as him so we must not take anything for granted. Therefore permit me to suggest possible strategies that you might use against him.

You can help Charles to become dissatisfied with his life by placing those who are more talented, intelligent, and wealthy around him so that he will quickly take his eyes off of the Enemy, forgetting all the undeserved blessings which he already enjoys. Make sure that you remind him how great a sacrifice he is making by going to seminary and is thus entitled to a reciprocal measure of prosperity. Take care though that you do not mention the words “prosperity theology” for he claims to reject it. Allow him to point a finger at the prosperity teachers without recognizing how close he comes to this theology at times. In fact it might even helpful in inflating his pride by reminding him how much more biblical he is than the health and wealth teachers. A little subtlety will go a long way here.

The beauty of cultivating envy is that you can also cultivate greed. By feeding Charles’ envy you can also create an insatiable appetite for more. Let me suggest that you proceed carefully. You must seek to develop this greed within reason. Ideally, greed is most effective when it does not involve much more than a person has, but just a little more than they have now. This approach is effective because most humans feel that they deserve a little more than they have now.

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