The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” – 1 Corinthians 12:21
***Inspired by C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.***
The deception that church members can be autonomous
My Dear Wormwood,
I would warn you to not be overly obvious as you work to place the Patient and his church gathering fully in our grasp. You must subtly cause him to take his focus off of our Enemy’s Son. If he keeps that Crucified One at the center of his idea of church, you will lose any sway you once held.
I suggest slowly redirecting his focus, helping him remember the many flaws in the church (you will have many examples to choose from). Then move the Patient’s mind specifically to that member in his church who neglected to reach out when the Patient was in need. Then remind him of the church member who cut him off at the four-way stop last week. When he listens to gossip about his church, cause those false words planted by your coworkers to ring true. Cause him to think of the many differences he has with his local church and let them fester. Remind him of the music and how he doesn’t like its style. Remind him how irritating the pastor’s voice is. And above all else, keep in his mind the beliefs that there is no one in the church like him and that the church devalues him and ignores him.
Then remind the Patient how simple it is to gather information from the Enemy’s other children online. Let him feel how clean and refreshing it is to be alone as a follower of the Enemy. Yes, you can even twist the Enemy’s very words in His Book to draw your Patient away. If doubt creeps into his mind about missing church gatherings, remind him again of how messy church can be and how different your Patient is from them. Then, reinforce in the Patient’s mind a sense of self-worth and a heightened understanding of the Enemy’s ways. Remind him of that great line, “The Church isn’t a building” and reinforce that he does not need the fellowship and accountability of those Followers of the Enemy in his church.
The deception that views other church members as dispensable
If the Patient is unwilling to abandon the local church, you still have ample opportunity to cause catastrophe. You can cause much division if you again keep him from looking to the Enemy and His Son and erode your Patient’s relationships with other church members through delicious, savory comparison and sweet self-exultation.
In his church, remind him how much better he serves than that other member. Have him tally up the number of Bible studies he has led. In comparing himself, the Patient will find all others below his level of devotion, tedious and less useful. Then encourage him to create a sense of separation in his mind from the most uninvolved members to view them with indifference. In thinking of those lesser members, let him add to that list those members who are poor and those who may cause rumors in the community about the church. Let the Patient also add that person who doesn’t hold to his views on the end times. Have him throw in the person who offended him and the one who was given recognition for the project the Patient did all the work on. Lastly have the Patient add any who he deems annoying, too charismatic, too bookish, too selfish, too different than him, and the mooch, and the one who is just an oddball. To any on this list, tempt him to feel a twinge of joy when they suffer loss. When they are humiliated, let your Patient feel vindication, even the slightest amount. Slowly he will create divisions in his heart between those he deems valuable and those viewed as unnecessary.
Dear Wormwood, you will reap full rewards and make the Enemy’s children unuseful in the current war if they feel they are autonomous and others, dispensable.
Your affectionate uncle,