A Screwtape Letter: The Importance of Theology

Hello!!!!!!!!! It’s April!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been warm here!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve actually gained a lot of new online friends that I’ve actually been talking too!!!!!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Ok but for real – I’m in SUCH a good mood right now. I’m in the middle of Marie Kondo-ing my room, it’s warm ish (!!!), I’m only 5 weeks out from finals, and I wrote my quarter paper weeks early! YES!!!!!!!

As far as the paper goes, I’m not actually sure it’s the one I’ll be turning in. I only ran the idea by my teacher this morning and he hasn’t responded to the email yet, so I may have to rewrite it depending on that, but I wrote it anyways!

The assignment was to essentially mimic Lewis in the Screwtape Letters and argue from a devil’s point of view. We had to argue about a topic touched upon in Mere Christianity, and while mine isn’t actually overtly stated in the book (at least I think O_O), it is very consistent with some of the ideas and reasons behind the book.

With that being said, before I get into the essay, I wanted to just say something as a precursor. No, I am NOT against larger churches! In the essay I am merely demonstrating how new Christians can fall into pitfalls because of a lack of theology, and that generally happens more often in extremely large churches rather than smaller churches. And yes, there are SO many exceptions to this – small churches can be just as theologically unsound, and not everyone accidentally falls into heretical beliefs! This essay is not to offend, but rather to point out a growing problem these days. If people don’t know, they can so easily be lead astray while thinking that they’re being super spiritual!

So. Please don’t get mad at me! Theology is very important to me, and it has helped me greatly in defining for myself what I believe. I do hope very much that you do not see this as me just being a “snobby” Presbyterian. (Yee haw?)

 


 

My Dear Wormwood,

I have recovered, though it did take me quite some time, from the news reporting that your man has become a Christian. I hope that they did not hesitate in showing you the full extent of your wrong, but I am inclined to think that several good things may yet come out of this pickle you have put yourself into.

I shall not hesitate in saying that the lack of “good theology” in churches these days is one of our greatest assets. Over the years we have painstakingly grilled into the humans’ heads the idea that theology is pretentious and snobby. This, of course, has cultivated among them a love of simplicity. Whether they realize or not that simplicity of thought is a ridiculous idea is not, at the moment, very important; all we need to do is to make sure they never understand that wanting a “simple religion” is really only going to cause them more problems. That is precisely what we want.

Now, in terms of theology, it is to our advantage that the churches shove it into the corner to appeal to younger crowds. Good theology, when taught well, completely and utterly obliterates any doubt in a Christian’s heart. It is the very pedestal upon which the great apologetics stand, and of course is detrimental to any progress we can try to make upon a Christian. Good theology has and will always be the hardest to reason against for our part, so instead of crafting insanely complicated lies, we can trick Christians away from it with a few trivial ideas. The first is that theology is too complicated and annoying to understand; and the second, coming from this idea, is that theology and those who dedicate themselves to it are overly pompous, very “holier-than-thou” snobs.

These days it is getting increasingly harder to even find churches that are fully rooted in this good theology. Most pulpets preach a feel-good Gospel, one that requires very little except “being good” to get into heaven. Solemn hymns and reverent, thoughtful worship has given way to one that closely resembles a pop-concert with a few emotional prayers sung in between other songs. The songs themselves are surprisingly similar to love songs – if you take out just a few uses of the Enemy’s name, nobody would know that it was not a heart-aching ballad for a pretty young woman! Hundreds of Devils have wrought this change in worship over the years so that you could stand on their foundation and more easily pull people astray. And this leads us into something often feared but little known of how extensive it really goes: heresy.

If you talk to any one of the humans about heresies, they mostly picture medieval witches burning at the stake and other extreme thoughts of that nature. Very few from among the Christians have ever studied the great heresies because of the lack of theology in churches, and from this we get our greatest tool. If your man does not know the heresies and does not know why the heresies are wrong, will he not more easily fall into that trap? If you can slowly start to convince him, without outright use of the term, of the truth of Manicheism, Marcionism, Docetism, Nestorianism, or any number of deviations from “good theology,” you will be well on your way to securing your patient.

I will say it again: churches can be useful if they’re the right type. And these days, most churches are! Herd your human to a very large church, perhaps even to the type that has an extremely famous pastor with a cult following. Use the “feel good” gospel on him; convince him that God is only his best friend and mold him into the type of person whose prayers are all bits of fluff. You can easily make him into a Sunday-Christian with no lasting damage done! Spirituality is of no use if he falls into the idea that God is only one of many gods, or that the Trinity is just God putting on different hats. Therein lies our strength! Plunder it!

I beg you, dear Wormwood, do not let him fall into a safely grounded church. Start with a place that is all stuff and no matter, and I do not think that you can easily fail. Please, don’t mess it up this time!

 

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape

 


 

And that’s it! I hope you liked it – I had a shocking amount of fun writing it. I would actually recommend you to think about your own ideas from the other side; it is incredibly helpful in forming your ideas even more, and it can give insights to you that you never would have thought of otherwise.

Anyways, have a great day! I’ll (hopefully) see you on Thursday!!!!!

 

alittlebitofrunion sign-off

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8 thoughts on “A Screwtape Letter: The Importance of Theology

  1. I remember having to write something like this in TGC1! I wrote it as though wormwood’s man was Eustance from the Dawn Treader which was extremely fun! Great job as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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