When I was seeking my Diploma in Theology back in 2002 in Ft. Worth, TX, I entered a competition through HarperCollins to write a “Screwtape Letters” type of work of fiction. They were about to republish The Screwtape Letters and in addition they would publish the winning piece of work on their website during the time when all the fan-fair came out with the reprinting of the Lewis book. In honor of starting the process of discussing The Screwtape Letters with my class at Bryan College tomorrow, I thought I would present to you my entry: “Letters to Lustmoth.” I will present them one letter at a time in individual posts. I hope you enjoy them.
Letters to Lustmoth
By J. Truett Glen
My Dear Lustmoth,
I am exceedingly intrigued over the details of your young patient’s lot in life. The fact that he has entered such a darkened educational institution and has become even more hardened away from the light during the last two years there is very encouraging. That institution is firmly in our grasp and the fact that few of the educated members of the enemy’s camp want to teach or study there is helpful for our cause. We have done a wonderful work in manipulating masses of the little vermin to view such strongholds of ignorance and lies with great esteem. Oh, I do admit that we do have some educational institutions in our grasp that outwardly seem much more centered in our Enemy’s camp but in actuality are just spiritual graveyards. They may have a thousand religious organizations running around on campus but very few, if any, actually do us any damage. The detestable creatures are more concerned with impressing the opposite sex of their kind in a culturally acceptable way than they are with furthering the enemies cause or getting to know Him more. Their so called “mission trips” are little more than excuses to travel with the objects of their affection into foreign countries to perhaps obtain a midnight kiss on some exotic shore. Let me return again to the focus of this instruction.
The young man is not in one of these institutions and therefore must be treated in a different manner. It sounds as if this patient of yours is of the critical thinking kind, so do not entertain the idea of introducing him to any of our more physically manipulated patients. I have known many a young man and woman who have gone over to the enemy’s side after a brief stint in a very outwardly immoral lifestyle. The act of pulling them into numerous physical bondages might work for some but it often times reveals to others a desire for some help from the enemy Himself in their pursuit to return to modesty. This idea in itself, detestable as it is, is not extremely threatening to us unless they discover during this process of seeking that they really can’t do any good for themselves under their own strength. As soon as they convert and lay themselves at His feet we might as well look temporarily elsewhere for fresh prey because of the irresistible trance He puts them under. This is not to say that you abandon the patient altogether, it is just to say that you use your energy in a more effective way until the patient ceases to fervently adhere to the Enemy’s presence in his life. But your patient, thankfully, is not in this condition and can therefore be attended to regularly.
We want to press our boy to reach the pinnacle of success in this post-modern world only to be achieved on the day he dies, lest he has time to find it unfulfilling in the end and repent. We want to keep him occupied with social status and political correctness. We want him consumed with all the little snares that we have set up in this barbaric world of his to keep the wretched creature from ever really taking notice of our greatly maligned Enemy. Find this young man some ignorant philosophers to keep him busy on some non-threatening tangent and make sure he does not come into contact with any of the Enemy’s great warriors.
Your loyal mentor,