Christianity · Theology

Screwtape Letter 32: Persecution

Hello, everyone–

What I am about to show you is hands-down the greatest writing I’ve ever fashioned. It’s my second work of satire thus far (the first was something I wrote for school after reading Gulliver’s Travels) and is the work I shared with the most people before setting up Defy Augury, since my pastor asked me to read it before the congregation of my church.

By the way, this writing is inspired by The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, an epistolary novel exploring the advice a devil named Screwtape gives to the beginning tempter Wormwood as he attempts to seduce the human “Patient” toward sin.

I’m so excited to share this with you! Enjoy!


My dear Wormwood,

So!—I finally understand why you have proved elusive from me! You fool! Did you *really* (see my second-to-last letter) believe what I implied concerning my next meal in the last letter I sent? My dear, appetizing nephew, I would never love you so much that I would eat you—although it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
 But to the point of the matter. In your last letter, you wished for more information regarding the persecution of the Enemy’s church, with such insolent questions as, “Is it good for our cause?” or “How will the Enemy react?” Although I am very well aware that Slubgob isn’t the brightest of teachers, I shall try my horrible best to pass on my wisdom on the matter to you—the pig I am fattening with knowledge so that its slaughter shall prove all the more tasty and agreeable to Our Father Below.

It has been seventy-five years Earth-wise since I’ve corresponded with you last. The course of these years I have witnessed first-hand with delight as those two-legged vermin finally remove that pestilent blindfold of absolute morality the Enemy places over their eyes and live in Our Father’s rendition of freedom, the only true version of which exists. As this blindfold is ripped off by the most clever and subtle members of Our Father’s forces, the persecution of the Enemy’s most loyal servants increases in intensity. This is the basic principle I am sure Slubgob neglected to teach you young fiends; however, the more complex principles stemming from it are all the more important.

When we inspire persecution against the church, the latter splits into two groups.
The first and more dreaded category is best exemplified by such a country like China. There the government—which we have trained quite beautifully to comply with many of our dogmas—oppresses those who are called “believers” and “saints.” They send out secret police on the streets almost all the time, seeking out Christians to throw in jail, execute, etc. Although to you and the rest of the fools at Slubgob’s this is entertainment, for the mature tempters it’s horrifying for three reasons. First of all, many of the brutes persecuted in this manner are true believers; because of the “atheistic” government in place, not many people risk their lives to feign a Christian salvation. Second, because these people are true believers, they are immediately whisked away to the Enemy’s camp, where his blinding “glory” and “splendor” never leaves. This results in another famine in Our Father’s House (which, I hope, you will learn never to spark again in your soon-to-be-ended life). Lastly, and most horrifically, because the heavily persecuted believers are so unfailing in their “bravery” against the government, it creates even more vermin that turn astray toward the Enemy, who claims to be “the true Shepherd.” One Earth writer penned that cursed phrase “Persecution is the seed of the church;” and unfortunately, what he said proves over and over again to be true. Thus, although the government is heading mostly in the right direction, it has been quite difficult to successfully eradicate devotees of the Enemy via persecution. Luckily, however, the second grouping I’ve mentioned offers us some hope.

This other category, I pray, will serve as a prime example for the callow, disgusting tempters like you of how to turn the church to our cause. Our second persecution category is best exemplified by such places like the United States of America. You (simple-minded fool!) may be a bit shocked at this—it’s common knowledge that the persecution occurring in the U.S. is minimal compared to such countries like China. And that’s exactly the point! Although the government here is becoming increasingly secular as well, we have decided to take a different approach in “persecuting” Americans. We’ve learned our lesson from the Chinese and all others like them spiritually. Instead of having the White House try to oppress all of the believers, we decide to oppress only a few. Then we surround them with “the world’s” slogans, which have the potential of appealing to them greatly at their first sight. Such mantras as “Be Tolerant,” “Coexist,” and “Love, Don’t Judge” flood their media, their acquaintances’ minds, and many other mediums with which we strive to put these sayings and belief practices into their everyday lives. Finally, we permit them to relish in their great material wealth, for the high points (as I previously thought you might remember; but then, considering your puny mind, I now think not) can almost certainly be twisted to our advantage more successfully than the troughs can ever be. Although they can thank the Enemy for his “blessings,” many take the other course of action and say, “Well, who cares whether or not there’s a god out there? I’m happy here, and as long as that happiness continues, I’ll be all right.” This attitude, of course, is invaluable to our cause. Remember what I wrote earlier—“Prosperity knits a man to the World”? Note that this illusion of comfort also results in far more people only pretending to be Christians, which in turn emplaces those many people securely in Our Father’s House. Put these three ingredients together (real persecution, “worldly” slogans, and comfort) and there you have it—a cake of lousy believers in name only.

So I have discovered in the area of persecution. Do you see how we try to do something different from several Asian countries in places like the United States? In China and all the regions similar to it we started at the government and its laws, which then resulted in the oppression of the people and a mediocre brainwashing with our principles. When this didn’t work out, we switched the process, starting in the people first. We slowly push them into compromise of morals and values, eventually eroding the very core of their being. When they have nothing to stand on as a result, they are more prone to swaying in the breeze—the breeze we conveniently provide for them. In other words, we “[D]ull the minds of these people; deafen their ears and blind their eyes[,]” as the Enemy himself puts it in the cursed book of the “prophet” Isaiah. After we have successfully deadened these consciences, the government inevitably follows; and the ultimate consequence is a thoroughly eroded society.

Now for your other inquiry, which concerns what the Enemy is planning on doing about this “falling” world we call “Earth.” Because I am bound to it, I shall explain; but pray, do not speak of it again. This angers Our Father for some unknown reason. “True” believers in the Enemy also believe that the “corruption” of Earth signals forth the beginning of the end—the apocalypse. The only reason we can guess this angers Our Father is because in the conclusion of the damned book of Revelation, the Enemy’s Son is predicted to cast Our Father and all His servants into an eternal pit of fire. This is one thing no demon understands: since this book is not true, why then is Our Father Below so furious over its writing and spreading? All we can do is guess and persevere in serving Our Gracious Father, knowing that He will reign justly in the end,

Your enduringly ravenous uncle,
Screwtape

P.S. Now, my dear pig, time for the slaughter house and feast!


Brethren, pray for the persecuted church.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

~Matthew 5:11-12, NKJV

~Sarah Merly

October 9, 2017

Isaiah 53

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this Screwtape letter, I recommend reading Zach Philip’s letter on “reforming” the minds of teenagers. You can find it here.