There is a continuous struggle for good and evil to reign inside a man who would have such struggle for his entire life. Lewis (2009) explained in the book Screwtape Letters the senior demon Screwtape exchanged letters with his nephew, Wormwood. The younger demon should follow orders of his uncle because he is less experienced on how to tempt the patient or man to believe more on Satan than the enemy God.
The four main strategies the demons use against the patient are (1) Encouraging the patient to have extreme wants. According to Screwtape, “All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged” (Letter VII). (2) Allowing the patient to enjoy pleasure. Screwtape claimed, “Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form… All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, ...view middle of the document...
Screwtape even added that a spoiled saint, a Pharisee, and inquisitor, or even a magician becomes a better patient to sport in hell than having a common tyrant or debauchee. Thus for the demons, they wanted the patient to accept Christianity as a means preferably as a means to their own advancement. Then if the patient fails, it becomes his own means to social justice. For the demons, the patient should initially value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. (4) Imposing injury to man through his thoughts and disbelief. Screwtape said, “But here, as in everything else, the way must be prepared for your moral assault by darkening his intellect. Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. (Letter XXI)” There are many times a patient or a man who has been so faithful to his religion soon rebuke God as his creator and savior because there are times man believed that God is not listening to him or not giving him what he wants. A person who lost a relative, a child, a parent, a love one or even his work would start to question God and God’s plans.
A true Christian can combat such strategies by strengthening his faith. In the book, Screwtape was very disappointed when the patient married a Christian woman and decided to have more faith. Man should realize that prayers weaken the evil’s power. Screwtape explained that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches… The search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil (Letter XVI). At times, man doubt God’s power and even search for the real God. At this moment, there are others who try to make a new religion and create new interpretations of the teaching of God. If this happens, there is now a shaking of the faith in God which the devil enjoys very much. A person should respect all religions and yet should be firm on his own because God is loves man.
"The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis.