Wednesday, January 29, 2014

4 More Temptations of Screwtape

Im back again with 4 more Temptations of Screwtape.  If you are not familiar with C.S. Lewis and the Screwtape Letters click HERE  for the background and first 4 temptations of Screwtape.

1."We become easily distracted by the little things it's no longer the big sins that keep us from our prayers but little things. You no longer need a good book which he really likes to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep , a column of advertisements in yesterday's paper will do. you can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes but in conversations with those he cares nothing about on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods."

Yea you know you spend way to much time on facebook mindless scrolling .......and scrolling ........and scrolling. Or watching tv for hours on end, playing video games, and for the ladies all that time spent shopping. Its so easy to be distracted by the litttle things in our short attention span culture. Matt Chandler shares his thoughts on this topic in his blog: Inspirations 
Before you set out to do something ask yourself will this deepen my affection for Christ? Will it impact me to grow in the Lord? If the answer is no, maybe limit how much time is spent there and move on to something eternally beneficial.

2."surely you know that if a man cant be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that 'suits' him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches. "

In our day this would be called "church hopping". One way to keep a christian from growing spiritually is  to keep them away from community and accountability in a local church. If one likes to visit a  new church every other week they will never have the opportunity to be discipled and again be held accountable for their sins. A popluar excuse why one might church hop leads to the 3rd temptation............

3. Factions and Divisions in the church

Screwtape urges Wormwood to get the patient into a church of factions and divisions. You know the type of church were attendees make a big deal out of something so little just to cause a fight. The carpet color, the pastors tie, the last song of worship....etc. It's very easy to complain then to lay aside your self to serve and better one another. If we can learn from Paul about putting others interests above our own there would be less knit picking and divisions in our churches:

Philippians 2:1-8 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

And Finally......... 

4.Sexual feelings is the only prerequisite for marriage. 

The lie that Marriage is only "binding as long as the feeling of being in love is experienced." God said marriage is a man and woman as one flesh, not " a happily married couple or a couple who married because they were in love". The Culture tell us that marriage is for love not the purpose of children and representing the gospel to the world (Christ and the church). The world throws the word "compatible" around to get you thinking that you should run from marriage until you find that perfect "compatible" mate.  That is the biggest lie out there. Christians should be seeking a husband or wife that will point them to the Cross. Someome that will love you unconditionally because Christ loved us unconditionally so much so that he died for us while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8).

I pray these few snippets from the Screwtape Letters encourages you to pick it up and read it. Its easier to be on guard against temptations when you know the enemy's game plan.

Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
Grace and peace as you strive for a lifestyle of Worship

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