A Warning to Every Christian Student as You Prepare for a New School Year
In 1942, CS Lewis published a book entitled The Screwtape Letters. The book is a series of letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, a junior tempter named Wormwood, instructing him on methods of assuring the damnation of a character known only as “The Patient.”
As our students in Okaloosa County return to their respective Elementary, Middle and High Schools tomorrow, I would like to take the liberty – with all due respect to Mr. Lewis – of posting here a letter of my own creation in the style of The Screwtape Letters. In this letter, I imagine what Screwtape might say to Wormwood about school age children in 2010.
My Dearest Wormwood,
As you are well aware, the children of Man will be returning to their institutions of higher learning soon. These institutions provide fertile soil for planting seeds of doubt and confusion in the minds of these simple and innocent children. If we are able to pull them away from their God at an early age, we will have a much better chance of ensuring a miserable and hopeless future for them as they move towards adulthood and beyond. In fact, the more I think about this, the more I am sure that it is in these early years that we must begin to plant the seeds that will lure them away from the promises of Heaven and drive them further and further towards a living and eternal Hell. Here are two suggestions that I have for you. Implement them immediately and you will soon begin to see success:
Number one: you must ensure that their primary desire is for personal gratification and fulfillment. If you can fan the flames of self-centeredness and pride within their tiny souls, you will have achieved much. Self-centeredness will lead them to do things they never thought possible. I recommend making cigarettes, drugs and alcohol easily accessible .Self-centered students are looking for ways to “feel good” and the allure of these substances is very enticing. I also recommend creating ways for students to be alone together as much as possible. Alone time leads many young people to become increasingly aware of their raging hormones and to act out sexual impulses in ways that will fill them with guilt and shame, but at the same time, drive them to want more. Find ways for students to cheat as much as possible. Cheating on papers and exams is easy and oftentimes goes unnoticed. This will lead them to cheat more often and to ensure that they leave school knowing very little. They will also be unprepared to face a challenging world where knowledge and intellect would benefit them. If you succeed in these areas you will have achieved much.
Number two: I encourage you to find as many ways as possible to challenge their faith. Many of these young people have been raised in the churches and have a faith in Jesus that will be difficult to shake; but, I know you can do it. We have made great strides in instilling secular, humanistic values into the education machine. They will be taught by teachers that have been tempted by your elders for years and who have successfully moved far enough away from Christianity to be valuable resources for you. Use them in every way that you can; they will do the work for you, challenging the children’s simple faith and pushing them to question everything they’ve been taught. Above all ensure that their concept of Truth is challenged at all times. Force them to consider whether what they have been taught about Truth from a Christian perspective is accurate and logical. Fill them with doubt. Demand that they question everything. Peer pressure is a good weapon to use here. Put other students around them who will cause them to doubt what they believe. Do all that you can to ensure that their faith is looked down upon, that they are ridiculed for their intolerance, made fun of, and called names. This will go a long for you. Do not forget that the more names you get on your sheet, the quicker you will move from junior tempter to associate demon.
Wormwood, my faithful protégé, you have been given a prize assignment. The schools will be filled with thousands of lonely and insecure children and teenagers tomorrow. I want you to wake early and prepare a direct assault the instant they begin to prepare for their day. Tempt them early and often. Some will be difficult to bring around, and some you may never succeed with, but many you will. The ones you are successful with will look back one day and wonder with great sadness how they ended up where they are. They will one day become miserable, angry, hate-filled, lustful, jealous, self-centered adults. And this is precisely what we want. We chose a life of hell my dear nephew, and we suffer for eternity because of it. Now all we can do is see that we get as many as we can to join us!
Work hard. We are counting on you to fulfill your mission.