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Screwtape slithers again (1)

One day Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. There he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake. They were fishermen. “Come! Follow me!” Jesus said. “I will make you fishers of people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
(Mark 1: 16)
Back in 1942 an Oxford University professor named C S Lewis published a paperback titled “The Screwtape Letters”. In it Screwtape was a senior demon who wrote to his nephew, a junior demon, several letters giving advice on how to turn people away, and keep them away, from Jesus Christ. 

This Info is also from Screwtape, letting his nephew know what to tell human beings about troubling things that Jesus said – things that were recorded by one of Jesus’ first century biographers named Mark.

Mark’s Gospel (as it’s commonly called – “Gospel” means “good news”) records the above incident around AD 27. 

Screwtape, writing to his nephew, is scathing about this. 

“Fishers of men”? All you have to do, dear nephew, is to get people to think about that. When you fish for fish you take fish out of the water – the only place where they can survive. They are bound to die when out of the water.

How stupid to say to these fishermen that they will become fishers of people. Are they going to fish people out of the world? This world is the one and only place where people can live – for a while at any rate. Fishers of people! Suggest that people won’t want to be fished out of their own water.
‘Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.’ (C S Lewis, Oxford Professor, The Screwtape Letters, 1942)
And in any case, why would these men want to become fishers of people? That’s a turn off. Just ask those who read Mark’s gospel if they’d prefer staying in a happy family-owned fish-fishing business or go around trying to fish out people who can only ever live in this world anyway. 

Tell them - no one can live other than here and now. Don’t ever let people think otherwise.

Screwtape’s nephew duly obeys. The next time that Mark records what Jesus actually said back there in Galilee in AD 27 also poses a problem for Screwtape’s nephew. Mark recorded this. His people are going to read it.  

Jesus and those with him went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue. There he began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching. He taught them like one who had authority. He did not talk like the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue cried out. He was controlled by an evil spirit. He said, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus firmly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man wildly. Then it came out of him with a scream.

This time Screwtape, writing to his nephew, was even more cunning. 

The first thing you need to know about this, dearest nephew, is that you and I have nothing to fear from Jesus. When he orders us to come out of people there are always many places for us to go. Believe me, for us it will always be like that. 

When your people are reading this, ask them quietly whether they actually want to be changed inside. You can be sure, dear nephew, that none of them will want to miss out on their particular desires, the things they enjoy in secret. Whisper that, if cleansed, they won’t be at all happy any more.

Screwtape summed up his message in a memorable way. 

What you need to keep doing is always reminding people that their only purpose in life is happiness. Then they won’t ever think they might be happy fishing people out of this world – or happy at all without their own secret forbidden fruits. 

‘Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.’ (“Screwtape” in The Screwtape Letters, 1942)
Your uncle, Screwtape.
Sinner Syvret

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