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Not Peace but a Sword

It’s strange how the Lord of all these family friendly churches today never had much good to say about families. All believers in Jesus tailor him to some extent to meet their needs, of course, but it’s good once in a while to meditate on the dissonance between the raw Gospels and the ways in which they’ve been processed to serve the modern church. Not necessarily so you can repent of your shameful distortions of the clear and absolute Truth, but simply to be aware of what you’re doing, to own it.

One of my favorite passages from C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is the letter where the young tempter Wormtongue asks his uncle and adviser whether he should encourage the man he’s trying to lure into hell to tell more dirty jokes. Uncle Screwtape responds that there are two kinds of people who tell dirty jokes: some who find sex a fertile ground for humor, and other’s who find humor a good excuse to talk about sex. And which way does Screwtape advise his nephew to push his “patient”? Which group will Lewis express his approval of and which his disapproval?

“Find out which group the patient belongs to — and see that he does not!”


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