Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 9 Sabotage

The Count Vicegrim LettersThe Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 23nd Year

Mudpot,

Stop telling me about the wedding. I know they are grotesque. I get it. The filthy vermin celebrating as two of them begin bonding. That insufferable bond. The Enemy really does unfairly handicap us by creating such an environment for exposing sin and learning to love. If he had any sense of fair play, he would not have created marriage.

What matters much more to me is what things you did at the wedding to start disintegrating relationships. The pressure is so intense on all parties that this is an opportunity to drive life-long wedges into relationships. Normally, it is more difficult with the couple getting married, but you can often build tensions into the relationship with each vermin’s in-laws.

Of course, because you didn’t write about this, I’m sure you didn’t take this opportunity. How typical of you!

On to your review.

Successes

Sometimes, even you trip over a good idea. You have begun to define what “in love” mean to your patient in a most helpful way.

You really have two options. You can define love in terms of only feelings. One is “in love” as being emotionally pleased with the other vermin. One is only “in love” when the feelings and desires are there. Once the feelings are gone, even for a moment, then one is “out of love.” The advantages of this are numerous. It is much easier to justify divorce with this definition of love. One of the great delights of being a tempter is to hear your patient say things like, “God would want me to be happy” as if divorce is the way to one’s happiness.

The other path is to describe love as a choice that is devoid of any feeling. “Love is an action” is often used to describe this. It speaks of love only in terms of commitment and honor. It is much harder to get these couples to divorce but the serious unhappiness they live in is nearly as good. It takes a special kind of denial to say that love does not need any feelings. Of course, the vermin are specially good at being in denial. The fact is, love is both commitment and feelings. It is both definitions at different times. That is why you need to convince your patient that it is either of them (we don’t particularly care which one) so that he will exclude the other one. Sometimes the miserably married Christian does almost as much good for us as the divorced one.

Your choice of having him define “in love” as exclusively a feeling is good. His personality lends itself to this error. Now your work must be to make sure he falls “out of love” as soon as possible. I noted that you mentioned he has a tendency toward depression in your last update. Why haven’t you mentioned this before!? No one is more out of love than a depressed man. More on this later.

One key to making him fall “out of love” is to exploit any native differences of personality between your patient and the female. Work so that both  feel that the differences are all because of bad intentions. With your patient’s existing selfish bent, make sure he is walking in the door and expecting her to care for him. If you can start with that, soon there will be a buffet of delights waiting for you. Moping, complaining, sexless marriage, depression, etc. The list is endless if you can make him wholly entitled to her time and attention.

I was pleased to hear how you have kept his mother as a closer confidante’ than his wife. This is great. Make sure that his wife knows of it and that she embittered by it. If you play this right, he can then be upset with his wife that he “has a good relationship with mom.” Never let him see that this is a sign that he does not trust his wife.

Failures

You have been writing me for this many years and have never once mentioned that your patient is prone to depression. Mudpot, I don’t need to ask for everything. You need to give me valuable information like this. We could have been exploiting this for many years now. I have instructed an associate of mine, Count Peacefail, to offer you some private tutoring on how to appropriate cause and manifest depression. He is one of the subtlest tempters I know with causing despair in the vermin.

I shall briefly review some of the material that Count Peacefail will teach.

The keys to despair are two-fold. First, you must convince your patient that a melancholy feeling is actually a sin in and of itself. As if sadness were wrong. This is obviously foolish because even the Enemy feels sadness and pain, but claims never to sin. This can add to the existing sadness when he is repenting of being sad at all. What is important about that is that he keeps staring inward into his soul and not looking outward at the Enemy. Additionally, he will be busy repenting for how he feels and not about the real cause of his despair (should that cause be sin).

The second key is to search for a cause for his sadness outside of himself. The key to maintaining despair is that he continue feeling that he is the victim of the sadness and has little to do with the cause. This is bolstered significantly if he has believed that sadness itself is a sin. As long as he is looking for who to blame for his despair, he will not look at his own soul to see if he is lacking trust in the Enemy.

What we must avoid, Mudpot, is that he will feel accepted by the Enemy in his despair? That is the path to the Enemy. If he feels accepted he will trust the Enemy and might pray and read the Enemy’s Book. He may find passages where other men and women were deeply distressed and the Enemy rescued them. He might seek real assistance from the church. He might avail himself of the graces that the Enemy provides.

So he must constantly feel that the Enemy is outraged at him. That way, he will always shy away from addressing the Enemy and seeking real help. I will let Peacefail address more specific strategies for your patient.

Overall, I am pleased with your progress this year. Together, we may be able to bring this dangerous patient down.

-Count Vicegrim

Image created by Cavin and used with permission

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Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 12, The Beginning of Hope

Hope is pretty illusive. Many times looking at my heart with its dark dry cracks, I saw no reason to believe there was life under there. The creeping guilt constantly gnawed at me to give up and enjoy the filth I loved. A quiet inner voice saying, Just look at the porn. Why fight it? I knew I would never be free of it. Wouldn’t it be better to at least enjoy the beautiful naked women without all of this nagging guilt?

Alas, my heart was hard and cracked, but God had placed life there that simply must break through. The green leaves of it pushed through again and again despite my ongoing temptation and failure. It was God who would not let me go. He had given me that life and he would see it through.

That is the nature of hope. I do not hope that Chip Gruver is such a good chap that he would never walk away from God. I hope in a God who loves me and won’t let me go. In that vein, I want to share with you reasons for you to hope. Don’t trust in yourself, that is hopeless. Trust in Jesus who loves you, there is hope beyond imagining in Him.

Have Hope Knowing God is Patient with You

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Matthew 12:20-21

We gentiles need a special promise to have access to a God who specifically chose the Jews for himself. God was very kind to us to send Jesus and give us hope. Are you bruised and and bending under the weight of your sin? Good, Jesus will not break you. In fact, in the name of a Jew (Jesus) we will have hope.

Have Hope Because All Sins Will be Forgiven

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” Mark 3:28-30

Usually these verses are a source of fear. We ask, “have I committed the unpardonable sin.” That is a topic for another day, but look at that small phrase at the beginning. “All sins will be forgiven the children of man.” Your sin is gross. That vile feeling in your gut is justified. But Jesus knew that there would be a sinner like you and he didn’t flinch to say that those sins can be forgiven. And not just some of them, all of them! 

Have Hope When Your Heart is Heavy

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Many times we feel these unbearable burdens because they are, in fact, unbearable. Sometimes we struggle to carry things that only God can carry. I often try to carry my own sin. It crushes me because I was never strong enough to hold it up. Jesus, on the other hand, is very strong. He is gentle and kind. He will walk with you. There is real rest with him.

Have Hope Because a Weak Person Like You is God’s Kind of Guy

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

God is not impressed by those who have it all together. He is here to get glory from losers like you and me. He is going to show the world that weak and foolish men like us can be used to show how magnificent he is. Are you weak, foolish, low, and despised? Great! God is looking for you.

Hope in Jesus Alone

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13

There are two options, Jesus and hopelessness. If you are trying to get better without Jesus, you will die in despair. So what if you beat porn and rot in hell? No, hope only in the grace of Jesus. If you are trying to win God over with good behavior sexually, I promise he isn’t impressed. Don’t try to win him over, stand next to Jesus who has already won him over. Right next to Jesus is the most hope filled place in the universe.

-Chip