Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Screwtape Emails

I have to admit, I don't really get these, but I thought some of my readers might and they might be able to "get them" for me. :)


From: “Screwtape”
To: “Wormwood”
Date: May 7, 2007
Subject: Re: Theology List

My Dear Wormwood,

I gather you are distressed because your patient has joined an online theological discussion group. You fear, perhaps, that his participation will foster a sense of community with other servants of the Enemy as well as providing him with indoctrination in the Enemy’s cause—spiritual nourishment, I believe they call it.

Nothing could be further from the truth, my dear nephew.

While it is indeed possible for these online discussion forums to strengthen our Enemy’s troops, there is also great potential for doing them harm. The opportunities for spreading twisted distortions and bizarre variations of the Enemy’s teachings, for offending fellow servants of the Enemy, and most of all, for multiplying rancor as the bitter discussions spill onto various blogs—oh, the possibilities!

You are familiar with the term “blog,” I hope. A Luciferian can not afford to be a Luddite as well.

I look forward to hearing how you plan to exploit your patient’s new pursuit.

Your affectionate uncle,


From: “Screwtape”
To: “Wormwood”
Date: May 10, 2007
Subject: Re: Theology List

My Dear Wormwood,

I see that you have not kept up with current trends in technology quite so well as you might have. I am rather disturbed to discover that you don’t own a computer. You are rather imposing on Slumtripet by constantly popping in to use his, I am sure. May I suggest you procure your own immediately? And I would also suggest selecting one that uses the Windows operating system; it was designed by some of our own people and is very likely the most significant catalyst for spontaneous profanity currently in existence. But I digress.

The first step in using your patient’s new online theological discussion group to full advantage is to plant the idea of his creating an anonymous username. This will likely result in far more unreasonable and hysterical rants than he might otherwise engage in if he were to use his real name. Doctrinedude or 4Truth4Evr would do nicely, I think.

As for his participation in the group: remember that not all theological debate is helpful to Our Father Below. The Enemy, after all, says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Therefore, you will need to see to it that your patient goes about this in the proper way. For example, it is important that he take whatever is written by fellow list members out of context, and in the worst possible light.

He may use emoticons such as the smiling or winking face at first, but at some point should be weaned off them lest they have the effect of making his attacks seem less harsh.

Restraint in posting is to be avoided at all costs. As the Enemy also says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

It is best if your patient regularly responds to those with whom he disagrees immediately after reading their posts (or better yet, after only a quick skim), lest he have time to reflect on what they are truly saying or, even worse, take time to craft a careful and charitable response.

Impatience and escalation should be the modus operandi.

Your affectionate uncle,


From: “Screwtape”
To: “Wormwood”
Date: May 16, 2007
Subject: Re: Theology List

My Dear Wormwood,

I see that your patient is getting along rather nicely in his discussion group. I note with particular delight that the “h” word has begun to appear in several of his posts. I refer, of course, to “heresy.”

He is currently using it in a rather oblique manner. If I may quote him: “I don’t doubt Re4mation2’s sincerity and love for the Lord, but there are signs that his unusual interpretations could lead down paths better left untrod, especially the path with the sign reading ‘Heresy, 2 miles.’”

You expressed some concern about his desire to expose “false doctrine.” Of course, if Re4mation2’s ideas are truly heretical by the Enemy’s standards, then your patient’s warning could indeed be harmful to the cause of Our Father Below.

However, the word “heresy” is increasingly used to label theological positions with which the hearer simply vehemently disagrees. This use is to be encouraged, for then the word becomes meaningless.

Your patient should eventually be nudged to drop the H-bomb in full force. For example: “I hope Iztagodthing likes the idea of hangin' with Arius, assuming heretics are grouped together in hell!!!”

You see what I mean.

He should be encouraged to think of himself as a modern day Athanasius, standing alone for truth against the entire world--including fellow servants of the Enemy. “Too many Athanasii spoil the Bread and Wine,” as we old-timers are fond of saying.

One final note--try to keep your patient at his computer as long as possible each day. The many hours spent without interacting with those nearest him—whether friends, family, or neighbors—can only be good for our cause.

TTFN (please ask Slumtripet if you are unfamiliar with this acronym).

Your affectionate uncle,


jen elslager said...

Are you familiar with "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis? It was written many years before computers, so someone 'added' to the story with this.

Screwtape is supposed to be a demon who sends letters to his nephew, Wormwood, detailing how best to thwart God's plans by distracting Christians from their work. It actually has interesting insights into how easily distracted we humans can be.

Annette said...

i heard of them, never read them. And from all this, I found this confusing, so don't think I'll read it. :)

Angie said...

I wrote the "Screwtape e-mails" you have posted here. It is an imitation of "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. As Jen has said, "The Screwtape Letters" are written from the point of view of a devil advising a junior devil on the best way to get a new Christian convert off the straight and narrow. I highly recommend reading Lewis's work: it is, as Jen said, very insightful into human nature as well as an entertaining read.