The well-known demon, Screwtape, is mentoring his nephew, Wormwood, in the wiles of thwarting the plans of the “Enemy” (God).
With apologies to C. S. Lewis
My Dearest Wormwood:
You have experienced a few successes recently. Don’t let it go to your head! The Enemy is shrewd and His disgusting love for these miserable creatures never allows us a moment’s rest. We must constantly change our strategies to respond to His efforts.
You should know that outside your region many around the world are choosing to follow Him. I don’t know the exact numbers but in the hallways whispers of “almost 80,000 every day” are shocking if true. “Disturbing and unacceptable” our Dark Lord says.
Fortunately, in your area of responsibility, you have a net gain – almost 8,000 on a daily basis – are choosing to walk away from their earlier professed allegiance to the Enemy. Bravo, Wormwood! Prosperity and technology are our friends so keep using them to divert these mushy-minded morons from issues that matter.
Think back, nephew. Not long ago, we were reeling in confusion at the growth of church attendance and public acceptance of our Enemy’s plan. The more thoughtful among them saw opportunities to deepen the bonds of fellowship. If you remember, we panicked. They were becoming too unified.
But we were saved by the recklessness that success always brings. Their leaders grew arrogant with power and wealth. They built their own little empires and celebrated their influence. They translated that dubious message of grace, repentance and forgiveness into a short-cut for comfort and well-being. We can give them that without any religious baggage.
The downward trend continues. Now, they no longer see themselves as victors; but as victims. Make certain they continue to blame bad entertainment, bad government, bad culture, bad preaching, bad teachers, bad theology, and bad churches. Keep their minds off big visions and on small-time agendas.
Even now, as attendance and giving roles grow smaller, their doctrinal statements grow longer. Their holy book has become a bludgeon and their theology a tool; not to enlighten and unite, but to label and divide.
They are beginning to turn inward and attack each other.
As one of their own said, “Once the tide goes out, every shrimp has his own puddle.”
This may become more than we could have hoped for!
Let them continue to blame everyone but themselves. Let them swim around in their puddles and compose more rules to follow. Make them think they must tighten their grip.
Their once great churches and schools are shells of their former glory. Work hard to have them recalibrate success. Make them think they are among a faithful, dwindling remnant.
We can only hope the divisions continue to escalate. Wouldn’t it be grand if they return to the days when the Reformed leaders were drowning the Baptists? We might even have the Baptists drowning the Baptists.
It could happen, Wormwood! It could happen! Just be faithful to your commitment.
Keep me posted.