Friday, July 20, 2012

What if Screwtape were at General Convention?......

This is the title of a very funny and ironic article from the Center Aisle (Diocese of Virginia) written by a deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, Mr. Belton Zeigler, and a  writer for that publication, The Rev. John Ohmer.  I will just give you a couple of paragraphs so you can decide for yourself whether you would like to read the entire article at Center Aisle. If you do, just click on the above link to the article.

Here they are:

The introduction to the article:

The sleep-deprived minds of Deputy Belton Zeigler, Upper South Carolina, and Center Aisle writer John Ohmer got to wondering about “The Screwtape Letters.” If there was an update for General Convention to C.S. Lewis’ famous exchange between two devils, in which the senior devil advises his nephew on how to win over a human soul, how might it read?

The beginning of the letter to Wormwood:

My Dear Wormwood:

So your patient is attending what they call their General Convention.

There is no need to despair. This General Convention of theirs is principally an unwieldy and expensive engine for producing bits of paper that the vermin call resolutions. You are correct in saying that irrelevancy is the great virtue of these documents and, in fact, no one outside of a small cadre of institutional insiders pays the slightest attention to the vast majority of what the poor darlings are laboring so diligently to produce.

The last paragraph:
Should calls for reform gain force, all is not lost. Encourage your patients to see every attempt to change Church structure as limits on the Church’s ministries, not on their personal power or agenda. Our patients lack the ability to see the irony in calling for radical changes to the society around them, while resisting so inflexibly the call to reform the one institution that they in fact control.

Your eager uncle,


I find it an incredibly funny and oh so true description of what happens at General Convention. I only wish the authors had waited until the end of General Convention to write the article. That would only be more funny and tragic considering some of the resolutions passed at General Convention. More on that in another post.

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