Thursday, January 9, 2014

"The safest road to Hell is..." (C.S. Lewis)

Let me begin by saying C.S. Lewis is a genius. One of my friends gave me the book Screwtape Letters and I would not be exaggerating when I say this is going on my "Top Ten" list if C.S. Lewis keeps opening my eyes to truths like this one stated on pages 38-39,

"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 h elides but also in conversations with those he cares nothing about, on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room."

Before I quote the best part of this particular letter, let me give you some background knowledge. C.S. Lewis wrote this fantastically, horrific, mind-boggling book about demons conversing through letters. The main character, Screwtape, is writing letters to his nephew, giving him advice on how to lead his "patient" to hell, away from the Enemy (the Enemy being Jesus Christ). The above quote was such advice. The advice is significant because we should constantly be looking upwards, spending time in prayer, worship, learning about Him through His Word, but the king of lies (Satan) does everything he can to keep us from what's important. How C.S. Lewis explains this process (through a letter from a fictional demon named Screwtape) in this next quote

"You will say that these are small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."

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