My Dear Stinkbreath

I am a huge fan of The Screwtape Letters. What is one of the most significant ways demons tempt parents today? In this scenario I imagine a senior demon, Sharkhook, instructing his underling, Stinkbreath.

My dear Stinkbreath,

When tempting your young father, keep constantly in your mind the Pharisees. They were extremely well-behaved, but had no love for the Enemy in their hearts. Now, when tempting your young father, convince him that the point of parenting is only to raise well-behaved children (not to seek to glorify the Enemy through parenting no matter what). Notice this is all modern parenting “wisdom” is about, raising well-behaved children with no reference to the Enemy. We have successfully raised a whole generation who are well-behaved and decent human beings, and because they are so well-behaved, they believe they have no need for grace.

Curse James for pointing out that there is such a thing as demonic wisdom (James 3:15)! You must convince your young father of the attractiveness of demonic wisdom and the ugliness of Christ on the cross. When you have convinced him that demonic wisdom is wise and that heavenly wisdom is folly, you can then present the choice to him as being between “wisdom” and “folly” and not between heavenly wisdom and demonic wisdom. This is a lot to swallow, but think very carefully about what I am saying. You must make him see the attractiveness of demonic things that will get instant results (i.e. getting angry), and discourage him from seeking forgiveness. But then with heavenly wisdom, you must not only make him see the ugliness of lowly service, self-denial, and suffering, but also blind him to the joy. “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2)? Really? Ick. It makes me sick even saying it.

Happy tempting!

Your Commander,


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