By Lane Noble
The Jugtip Letters are a series of fictional blog posts that imitate C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.” Jugtip, a senior demon, mentors his nephew Murdrid, in how best to tempt humans towards sin and detract glory from God.
My dear Murdrid,
I’m delighted to hear that your training went very well, and I couldn’t be more proud. To be honest, you remind me of myself in my days as a junior tempter. I was just as ambitious and diligent as you were at mastering the craft of seducing humans away from the Enemy.
I want to take a moment and write a word of encouragement to you regarding your first assignment. I know that in your last letter you expressed discouragement at the fact that you were given a Christian. Admittedly, those are more difficult to deal with, because the Enemy doesn’t let go of His children.
You have also expressed concern over the fact that your assignment is a student at a Christian middle school. What I wouldn’t give for such an assignment! I don’t think you realize just how enjoyable of an experience this will be for you.
You see Murdrid, it is always best for Christians to believe that our most deviant work is done outside of church walls. Yet, our hold on the culture has much to do with what happens inside the walls of a church.
Why is this the case? It is because in order to keep a culture in darkness, you have to blow out the lights. Healthy churches that are faithful to the Enemy serve as lights to an otherwise dark world. If a culture is going to be won over, the church must become defective.
The same is true of Christian academic institutions. The truth of the matter is that being a student at a Christian school can be a quite damning experience if certain habits and attitudes are cultivated.
You can turn a Christian school into a death trap in just two simple steps:
The first is to cut out what strengthens Christians the most: discipleship. Discipleship is our greatest threat when it comes to the growth of the church, that is, the universal church.
The truth of the matter is that ministers and this includes youth ministers, are constantly rating how well they are carrying out what the Enemy has called them to do. Therefore, they naturally prioritize based on spiritual “maturity.” They usually ask themselves if there is any fruit in the lives of the students that they are ministering to.
That said, and you’ll want to confer with whoever is assigned to the boy’s church leaders, it needs to be made sure that it is emphasized in those leaders’ minds that they don’t prioritize him. Let them assume that he is already being disciples by his school teachers and the staff at school. Let them believe that, because he is being taught the Bible, he doesn’t need quite as much discipleship as the others. Let them assume that he will be okay and that it’s those that don’t hear the Bible quite as much that need to be disciples.
Passivity is often our greatest weapon against the Enemy. You’ll find that, if all else fails, you can always count on it.
The second step towards success depends on a well-known secret amongst us tempters. Ironically, it’s also a well-known secret amongst many humans, but it is not acknowledged enough by them for that to be a serious concern.
The secret is this: Christian schools are filled with more false converts than people realize.
In your particular instance, I would say about half of your assignment’s teachers are legitimate children of the Enemy, and approximately ten percent of the students are. Without discipleship, there won’t be much for your assignment to draw on to do effective spiritual warfare against the temptations that he will have to face. With the help of the other tempters, you can successfully create a culture that is practically anti-Christian.
Here is the most humorous part of all: The vast majority of the students are going to know this, but they will never say it! They will know that they are not glorifying the Enemy at school. They will not even care! They will be worshipping their appetites instead of our Enemy, but will not acknowledge that reality out loud, and that is ultimately what we want.
As a result of this delightful series of events, students will graduate from the school and go onto adulthood, and one of two things will happen: Most of the students will either use the fraudulent faith other their teachers and classmates as an excuse to walk away from the church, or those who are true Christians will go out into the world with not much to fight, as our Enemy would put it, “the good fight of faith” with. Thus, they will not be effective “witnesses” for the Enemy, and they will not win many false converts.
It is likely that your particular assignment will realize what he’s missing by the time he graduates high school, but there are ways to effectively deal with that when the time comes. For now, just implement the wisdom that I have imparted to you, and you have my word that chaos and disorder will ensue in the world.
I believe that you will have a greater impact than you think.
Let me know how everything goes.
Your beloved uncle,