My dearest nephew Wormwood,
Why do you insist on twisting my helpful words into an attack against me? Do you honestly think you can go to our lord with an accusation against me? You know good and well that I did not equate myself with our father below in my last letter. I sense pride may cause your downfall before it brings about your vermin’s fall. Nevertheless, I do want to see you achieve victory in this matter. I have heard that the Enemy sees a lot of potential in this one. Hopefully we can keep the potential unrealized.

In doing my research for this letter, I see your subject now has two blogs – one for his personal struggles and triumphs and a group effort to discuss faith in the culture. Why did you let him do this? This expands his (and His) influence even more. He is blogging less and less about trivial matters and more and more about that hideous faith. We must undercut the Enemy’s efforts and one way is to twist His virtues.

Take for instance your subject’s recent discussion of the Enemy’s calling on his life (how could you let that happen?), his personal experience with the Crucified One’s prodigal son story and his realization of the impact he has on his sons. All those, while they could have been written by anyone with a keyboard and half a brain, should not have been written at all. They work to destroy the stereotypes we have worked hard to build. Have him go back to some of the self-important posts he has made in the past. He is very prone to that as we discussed last time with his issue of pride. Arrogance makes him susceptible to many of our best perversions.

One area where he is weak – along with most of the Crucified One’s children – is the area of grace. I know what you are thinking: They talk continually of grace and how “amazing” it is. Yes, they do talk a good bit about grace, but that is all it is – mere talk. They do not fully understand what it is the Enemy means when He speaks of grace. (Even our lord cannot completely fathom the expanse that is the Enemy’s grace. I should like to experience it myself, purely for research purposes of course.)

Most of the ones who claim to know about His grace fall into one of two categories. Either they view grace as the Enemy finishing what they started or as a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.

Those in the former camp believe that the Enemy saved them, but part of the credit belongs to them. Oh, they won’t say that, but that is exactly how they believe and behave. They love to quote “God helps those who help themselves” as if it is part of that infernal Book. They view their service to the Enemy as how much they can do for Him in order to have Him reward them. Their motivation is completely racked with selfishness. Somehow we (I played a key role in the development of this strategy) managed to blind them to the truth of grace, to the fact that for some reason the Enemy loves them without any reason and this is what seperates their faith from all of our perversions.

The other camp has many followers as well (mostly Southern Baptists). They hold to the laughable position that because of God’s grace they can do anything that we encourage them to do. They tend to ignore (with a little help) those sections of the Book that speak of being a “new creation” or being a “slave” to the Crucified One. The imbeciles see no need to allow the Enemy to change them into His image, so they allow us to shape them into our image.

This is not to mention the hilarious legalism crowd. They do more work for our side than 20 demons could ever do. Never bothering to evaluate their own lives, they constantly harp on others, pushing them farther and farther away from the One they claim to represent and love. They are my personal favorite. I was once (because of my ingenious nature) able to dine on a miserable swine of a person who had come to possess all three perversions of grace at the same time. It was truly a remarkable achievement on my part. I am not sure if you are even capable of this, but I see a lot of the same traits in your wretch as I did in the slob I tortured so.

It is so easy to pervert these virtures in the minds of the human vermin. They will accept lust for love, arrogance for humility, legalism for grace, the list is endless. Do your best to push this “blogger” of yours towards our perversions and away from the Enemy’s real thing. The last thing we need is a loving and humble writer full of grace. Fortunately for us the list is very small.

Again, do not attempt to cross me dear nephew. Many have tried and all have failed. I’m sure you have eyes for my position (do not deny it), but I will show you no “grace” if you go against me. My affection for you as my nephew runs only so deep. I want us both to do as well as possible. The time will come for you to get the credit and praise, but for now I am supervising you and your work with this vermin.

Still Affectionately Yours,
Screwtape