Sunday, January 18, 2009


I found a lot of wisdom I could relate to in Letter 12 of Lewis' Screwtape Letters.  Screwtape urges Wormwood not to "hurry the patient" (the patient being the Christian he is attempting to lure away from Christ) because it could cause an awakening, or realization that their life is moving in the wrong direction.  We can so easily be distracted subtly... our own hectic lives take us away from our relationship with Christ slowly and sometimes unnoticeably.  It usually takes a major realization--some sort of "wake-up call" to bring us back on the right track.  Screwtape apparently has this figured out, and he tries to help Wormwood to understand it as well. 

I also found what he said about the patient being a churchgoer being a good thing for the devil's cause to be very true.  It's a common misconception that those who go to church every Sunday are more "Christian" than other Christ-followers.  Yes, going to church can build and strengthen one's relationship with God in amazing ways, however, some make it their only form of weekly worship.  Many Christians just go out of habit or because they believe it is expected of them, or, as Screwtape explains it, go because in retaining the external habits of a Christian one can believe that they truly are so.  

Basically, Screwtape is saying that if we remain stagnant and apathetic about our faith, we are allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to whatever the devil throws our way.  If we are not living out our faith every day we will not be completely fixed upon the Lord and will then be subject to whatever the devil may use.  We are all sinners by nature, so anyone who doesn't make faith their number one priority is likely to falter. It's a common misconception that we must commit an unbelievable sin to be condemned to hell when all it takes is an inactive faith. "Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."

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