A Thank You to Older Men

father-and-son_fist-bumpLast week I published my challenge to older men. My generation of young men have been largely abandoned to find our own way and I hope to wake up the older men of our desperate need for them.

It’s not going well.

But that is not to say we have been completely abandoned. My story is one littered with the investment of older men in my life. I would be remiss not to properly honor them for their time and effort. This is my thank you to the individuals who have shown me the way. So, without further ado, I would like to say Thank You to:

Dad

We are all heavily influenced by our fathers. My dad was far more influential on me than I will ever know. I remember my sixth birthday. My dad bought me a chessboard and taught me how to play. We played nearly every night for months. He won every time, of course, but I caught on. About ten months later I finally, through concerted effort, was able to draw him. About a week later I beat him for the first time.

Today I mop the floor with him every time.

I think this is analogous of all my dad offered me. Unlike in chess, I don’t exceed his skill in most things, but I am so glad to have been taught by him. The most important lessons dad taught me was his fanatical dedication to my mom. He taught me this well and it has served me well in my own marriage.

He also worked for many years in a job he didn’t like to feed us. The determination and effort that took is truly an inspiration for me. To this day, I am irritated with men who won’t work really hard to care for their families. My dad showed me that you sacrifice for your family and I can’t imagine why anyone would do anything else.

Thanks dad!

Pastor James

Behind my parents, the most influential person in my life was Pastor James. He came to the church where I grew up when I was about 10 years old. You must  understand that I was born as a tiny attorney who wanted a very logical explanation for everything. I often would overwhelm and exhaust the adults in my life.

But not Pastor James.

He was very patient and would struggle with me through hard issues in scripture. Pastor James taught me to be a Christian Hedonist and showed me a God who was not simply right, but delightful. God stopped being just morally good but also experientially good. Heaven will be fun because the most fun and satisfying being ever will be there.

Pastor James taught me so many things. I remember in particular one Wednesday night when Pastor James was being accused of something (I don’t remember what). He stood in front of all of us and said, “I know you think you have dirt on me. But I promise you that no matter what you’ve got on me, I know of worse things I have done.” His response to the accusation was humility. To this day I still ponder that evening and am challenged to be gracious with those who accuse me.

Thank you Pastor James.

Mike M.

The fourth most influential person in my life was Mike, behind Pastor James and my parents. Mike invested heavily in me. he spent a great deal of time working with a teenager who needed logical explanations and arguments. He was very patient with a million questions and challenges. Mike also got me exercising for the first time in my life.

Mike’s influence on me was subtle. It was not as much a couple single events as much as a thousand little conversations. Mike’s time investment in me was enormous. It is humbling and challenging to me. Would I invest that much in a teenager? I’m not sure.

Thank you Mike.

In Summary

Anything I accomplish in my life will have the stamps of Dad, Mom, Pastor James, and Mike on it.The debt I owe them is profound. I hope that one day I will be able to serve a young man in the ways that these men (and women) have serve me.

Thank you.

-Chip

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Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 23, The Great Smog

the great smogFrom February 5-9, 1952, London had a problem. A prolonged period of windless conditions caused the cities to be covered in a thick suffocating smog. The source was not mysterious, the many coal-burning factories in the area along with personal coal use to heat houses was the source. But for those several days, the wind didn’t take it away.

The problems it caused were numerous. Public transport ground to a halt as driving became quite dangerous except in the subway system. Ambulances stopped running. Film screenings and shows were canceled because even the indoor air quality was so poor that people couldn’t see the stage. In some places, visibility dropped to as low as three feet.

That would mean that I couldn’t see my toes.

The people of London were frustrated by this, but not alarmed. Smogs had happened before and they dealt with it. Smog masks were used by those who could afford them and small charges were placed on railway lines to warn everyone that a train was coming when it hit the charge and they would explode. This was the price of progress and London was willing to pay it.

What London had no prepared for was the days following the smog. The death rate in London skyrocketed. Modern estimates are that about 12,000 people were killed by the smog (4,000 is the low estimate, 25,000 is the high one). That got people’s attention. Much of today’s environmental movement get its spark from those few days in London.

We live in a similar situation today. Pornography is so endemic that it is considered normal. Possibly a little shameful, but it is a private matter. Many people have spoken against it, but the vast majority don’t feel it is a big enough problem to address.

That is until we see the growing consequences of the smog. Today more American children will be born outside of marriage than within it. Japan is facing a demographic crisis because porn is easier to acquire than sex, so there are many young people giving up sex and certainly giving up on the idea of children. American men are increasingly averse to taking responsibility for their family.

We are in the midst of a great smog today and the negative effects of this smog are about to take center stage. It will be our responsibility as Christian men to stand up and call it what it is. The world will not know that children are delightful unless we show them. Young men will not know it is good to serve our wives unless we show them. Young women will settle for marrying losers unless we show them that they should expect more from men. God will not be shown as deeply satisfying unless we stand as a breath of fresh air in a dying, congested world.

-Chip

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 22, A Tough God

wwjd-whipOne of the myths that we believe today is that God is a bit of a wimp. Since every picture we see of Jesus he has long flowing hair and has a gentle, peaceful expression in his eye, clearly he couldn’t handle himself in a fight. In fact, all he does all day is look thoughtfully into people’s eyes and tell them how much God loves them, right?

Well, not if you read Matthew 23. Jesus walks into church while the pastors are there and publicly says this:

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:13-15

Let’s briefly review, he said they were hypocrites, they don’t let people into Heaven, and that they themselves were going to hell. One begins to understand why they were trying to kill him. He says much more in the chapter, but this is a good summary.

Far from being a wimp marching through Palestine telling everyone to be nice to each other, Jesus has a sharp edge to him. Certainly he advocated loving your enemy and turning the other cheek, but not like a wuss would. He did not love peace out of fear but out of courage. He trusted his Father so deeply and loved his enemies so much, he would publicly humiliate them to show them their hearts.

He also loved the crowd too much to let their hypocrisy reign unchecked. There were confused people in this crowd who were following these teachers. They needed to be warned.

One of the most influential works on my view of Jesus is The Visual Bible – The Gospel According to Matthew. Their interpretation of Jesus’ confrontation is here. Bruce Marchiano, who plays Jesus, did the whole scene in one take and when he was done, he walked away and told the director, “He Loved them. It broke his heart because he loved them.”

Far from the macho super independent man of the James Bond films, Jesus was tough because he loved.

Be Honest with God

There is a few important lessons for us in this. First, God is tough enough to take our honest prayers. I think we somehow protect God from our frustrations and anger with him because we think he has a sensitive ego. We don’t want to hurt his feelings so we aren’t honest with him. This is flatly not how Job, Moses, Elijah, David, Jonah, and Jeremiah talked with God. They clearly respected him, but as a Father they knew they could be honest with.

One of my favorite exchanges in all of scripture is Jonah’s complaint to God when he spared Nineveh.

And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:2-3

Jonah had a sinful heart and he trusted God enough to be brutally honest with God about how he felt. And notice that despite Jonah’s rank immaturity while he threw a tantrum to the God of the universe, God was patient with him. Even at Jonah’s request, God didn’t kill him.

We need to take a lesson from this. God is trustworthy not simply with our nice feeling, but our mean and selfish ones as well. It is hilarious that we try to hide our faults from an all-knowing God. We are a bit stupid sometimes.

Love Isn’t Always Nice

The second lesson we should take away is that loving people will involve aggressive conflict sometimes. Love is always kind, but it is not always nice. Many times the grace of God to me has been men and women pushing me in not very nice ways. Sometimes they were outright sinning against me. But that did not mean that God was not teaching me something in it.

We need to be much more interested in serving people than in having smooth relationships with them. I fear that I am part of a generation of wimps who are much more interested in being liked by people than loving them. As I watch men grow in their relationship with God, almost universally they become more bold. With that boldness comes conflict. With the conflict will always come the criticism that they have become arrogant.

You see, none of us like to have our sin called out. It is much easier to blame the messenger than to search our hearts. Shooting them down as arrogant or the church word, legalistic, is a lot easier. That is not to say that there aren’t arrogant and legalistic people in the church, but we should first search our hearts to see if they have a point.

Courage Comes from a Relationship with God

Jesus did not have his courage from a vacuum. He was doing “only what he sees the Father doing.” We have the courage and wisdom to know when to confront people by being like God. If we stay close to him, that shields us from arrogance because it is a but silly to stand arrogantly next to God. We also live knowing that he is behind us and if I have his approval, I can deal with your anger.

Correction is Done with Gentleness

It is not enough to simply correct each other. We must do so with gentleness.

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. 2 Tim 2:24-25a

We are being like our Father when we correct gently and patiently. There are many men out there correcting out of their anger and not out of love. The man who corrects out of love is looking to win his brother, not destroy his brother. The gentle, patient, and firm correction is a trademark of just such a man.

Gentlemen, we serve a tough and wonderful God. Let’s lean heavily on him to give us the courage to not only do the nice thing, but the right thing.

-Chip

Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 7 Neutering the Clergy

The Count Vicegrim LettersThe Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 21st Year

Mudpot,

Engaged! You let your patient become engaged and yet you have not gotten him to fornicate yet. What am I to do with you Mudpot!? This is a male college student in the Western world. ALL OF THEM FORNICATE…except yours. To be clear, almost all of them fornicate. How is it that millions of tempters are able to pull this off and you can’t? I’m not asking you to get him to renounce the Enemy!

You are an idiot.

I suppose I have to write your review now.

The Acceptable

I see you have further encouraged your patient’s ‘tolerance’. In fact, I even heard from another tempter how helpful your patient was by encouraging a friend to sin by saying, “God would want you to be happy.” This is my personal favorite excuse for sin. As if the sin we encourage will make them happy. Mudpot, you aren’t simply working our ends for your patient, but are making him an evangelist for the destruction of others. Good work.

Keep the tolerance coming. An important area to press this into is ‘religious tolerance’. In centuries past, this meant that the various religious groups didn’t declare war and kill each other. We have so changed it now that it means that tolerance means that one can’t even really believe their religious teaching. If one really looks at their religious text and believes it, that is now intolerant. The religion of the day is that all religions should be nice to each other and that no religion is really right.

Of course, no one really believes that. Not even the vermin. When someone is murdered, suddenly they all believe in right and wrong. When one of them steals from another, no one ever says that they simply have a religious preference about ownership. Like most of our teachings, this would be easy to disprove if the vermin didn’t want to believe it so badly.

His increasing isolation from other children of the Enemy is very helpful. Along with the notion of tolerance, we have added the idea that religious preferences are not just personal, but exclusively personal. So personal, in fact, that to mention them to others is rude. We have been able to drag more of the Enemy’s children out of the church with this than any other tool I can remember. The church, of course, is a place where beliefs are not personal but are subjected to being either true or false. Not a place we want to go.

Mudpot, you need to foster in him the very American belief that he can go it alone. That he needs nothing and no one. He can make up for himself men who did it by themselves without support and conquered their enemies. He needn’t consider that no man has ever done anything without help from others and no man has ever worked against us effectively without the Enemy’s Spirit. Let him believe that accepting help or correction is somehow weakness.

I love how you have gotten him so deeply convinced that the “forgiveness” of the Enemy’s Son is really just a chance for him to do whatever he wants. Fight any notion of guilt or remorse. The Enemy’s Spirit in him will be making him uncomfortable, it is your job to make him complacent. A few good statements to keep him saying are “nobody’s perfect” and “everybody makes mistakes”. These are so glorious for us because they recognize that there is a sin and the fail to do anything about it. I like to call those two statements the Conscience Killers. Use them often Mudpot.

The Totally Unacceptable

He is engaged and not fornicating. Some of the poorest tempters out there can pull this off Mudpot and you can’t. I don’t think you realize the harm this can do to us. If he can avoid fornicating before his marriage he will be much better prepared to avoid adultery after he is married. The patience he is learning will be a very dangerous tool in the Enemy’s hands. Get your patient fornicating!

Convince your patient that if he feels committed that he is “married in God’s eyes”. You see, the vermin really do mix up felt commitment with commitment. None of them would tell their pastor that they were just impatient so we need to equip him with a good excuse.

His plans to go to seminary have been moving forward. This is causing great concern in the Lowerarchy. It is doubtful that you will be able to persuade him to become a plumber, so I think you should focus your energies on getting him into one of our seminaries. You need to use ‘tolerance’ to its full potential now. Guide him to seminaries that are ‘open’ to ‘alternative lifestyles’. If he can come to believe that ‘acceptance’ is the same thing as Love, then we have him.

You see, acceptance is nice. There is no conflict with it. It makes one look enlightened and kind. Love, on the other hand, can often lead to conflict. To truly love someone, the vermin must press them toward the Enemy. This is not very ‘accepting’.

I have included a list of seminaries that will meet our needs. Make sure he gets into one of them. I have also included a copy of the book Neutering the Clergy by Lord Blackmist. It is the best work on how to handle this very dangerous group.

Finally, I would like to emphasize and important section from Neutering the Clergy. It is the five ‘Anything Buts’. If you can get your patient to go for anything but these, we have already won. They are:

Anything but the Enemy’s Book

Anything but Faith

Anything but Grace

Anything but the Enemy’s Son

Anything but the Enemy’s Glory

Work hard to take away these pillars of the Enemy. Review the ‘Anything Buts’ every day and hammer at them. There is hope to neuter him if you do this thoughtfully.

Not that you are good at doing anything thoughtfully.

Count Vicegrim

Image created by Cavin and used with permission

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 20, What if He Won’t Change?

Man using a laptopA recent commenter to the article My Husband is Looking at Porn, What Should I Do asked a very important question. She had tried bringing the problem to her church and it hadn’t helped. She asked, “How on earth does someone (have hope)?” 

I pondered on this for some time. This usually means that I didn’t have a simple answer for her. It also meant that if she asked, there were a hundred women who had the same question. The topic needed to be addressed.

Everything I mention below assumes that you have confronted him about his sin in a gentle and firm way, that you have prayed for him, that you have brought it to your church, and he continues to look at porn. Those are the first steps. But what if those don’t work? It is certainly a complex question so forgive me if my answers don’t apply to your situation. The details matter. I hope to offer some help.

A Brief Theology of Marriage

Biblical marriage is a life-long covenant between a man, a woman, and God. It comes with obligations and benefits. It is meant to somehow present a picture of Jesus and the Church. The connection is so clouded that Paul says “this mystery is profound.” Within that picture, the husband stands in the position of Jesus and is commanded to love and serve his wife in a deeply sacrificial way (see the book of Hosea for even more on that). The wife, in the position of the Church, is to respect her husband and submit to his authority.

The Bible repeatedly refers to a married couple as “one flesh” and Jesus is insistent that God has made it this way. “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” Within that, Jesus does teach that if there is sexual unfaithfulness, divorce is permitted but not required.

One final clarification, despite Jesus’ discussion of lust being adultery (Matt 5:27-28), lust by itself is not a Biblical ground for divorce. The sin in the heart is profoundly evil, but the act of infidelity is the grounds Jesus allowed divorce.

Now, what can a wife do if her husband will NOT stop looking at porn.

Keep Praying

The fact is that God alone can change his heart.

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1Jn 5:16 ESV)

There can be some debate about what a “sin that leads to death” is, but it would be a small category of sins (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, unbelief, etc…). Pornography on its face would not be such a sin.

So we are left with the instruction to pray for our spouse’s sin. Don’t give up. Sometimes God pushes us to the end of ourselves precisely because he can then be given the glory for what he is about to do. You have a Father who loves you and wants to grant your prayers, keep asking him to bring your husband to repentance.

Be Gentle and Firm

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2Ti 2:24-26 ESV)

To correct a husband who is looking at porn and won’t stop, the wife should not be quarrelsome but should be challenging her husband with patient and gentleness. Take note that God is the one responsible to “perhaps” grant them repentance. I love how Paul describes that they “may come to their senses.”

Know that There is Justice for You

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:18-21 ESV)

I have more often heard Christians say, “Don’t get bitter” but then fail to explain why you should not be bitter.

If your husband is not a believer when he dies. He will awaken facing the God of the Universe. He will be accused of every sin he ever committed. The evidence will be certain, overwhelming, and damning. He will look and no one will come to his defense. As he raises his eyes to see the Judge, he sees a deep rage: a profound indignation for every single time he failed to love you. The almighty God of all things will loudly declare to all living things that he is condemned.

He will then be dragged, screaming to a lake of fire. As he stands on the brink of that lake, he will know without a doubt, that he will never escape it. As he falls toward the flaming waters, he feels the dread of his last moments of comfort. The pain of contact will sear him to his bones and as he screams, unable to bear this for even a second, he despairs knowing that it will never, ever end.

I think that is sufficient justice for what he has done to you. God will make sure that every sin is avenged.

If your husband is a believer when he dies, then all of that suffering mentioned above was pour onto Jesus. Jesus was so afraid of this that he begged God for another way. Yet, he loves you and your husband so much, he willingly went to the cross. He endured an eternity of Hell in a few hours. For the only time ever, he was rejected by God. He loves your husband that much.

Your husband was the one who stayed up late looking at porn, Jesus was the one who was declared guilty. Is it fair? Of course not. It speaks to the profound character of God that he would choose to suffer for sinners like us.

If Jesus has taken your husband’s sin away, who are we to say that justice has not been done. It is that same mercy that holds you and I out of Hell as well.

So rest in the fact that justice will be done. At some point, you will look at the depths of Hell or into the eyes of Jesus and say, “that punishment is enough for what he did to me.” Trust God that he is not a wimp but a warrior who will see all of this made right. In that trust, don’t be bitter. Surely God’s justice is so severe that we would have compassion on those who will suffer so much at his hands. God does the justice so that we are free to love.

Have Hope

Back to the original question, how should we have hope? The answer is that our hope can never be in a husband, child, church, or friend. Those are good things, but if we hope in them, we will be stunningly disappointed. No, we hope in a sweet and kind Father who loves us so much. He will never, ever fail us. Your hope is in your true husband, Jesus, who knows what you are going through and has “been tempted in every way.” He loves you. He will set this right.

Some trust in chariots (or husbands) and some in horses (or friends),
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright. (Ps 20:7,8 ESV)

I know this is hard. God never promised that it wouldn’t be. He just promised that it would be worth it.

-Chip

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 19, Bibles, Husbands, and Abuse

gun-on-bible-spritual-abuseAbuse is gross! And the absolutely slimiest and most putrid kind of abuse is abuse using the Bible. To take the good word of God and to use it as a weapon against your wife, disgusting!

So imagine my surprise when I found myself unknowingly contributing to such abuse. To be sure, I don’t know of any specific case, but someone may have read my blog and walked away with a false and dangerous belief.

I would like to correct that today.

As God does sometimes, he smacked me around. I was innocently reading the Desiring God Blog, minding my own business. I saw an article by Jonathon Parnell call When Sex Should Stop. The title piqued my interest. Then God began the beating. Jonathon lays out the case that we as a people (and I as an individual) has been misinterpreting 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Let’s look at those verses.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The verses are fairly straightforward. married couples should make sure to have regular sex unless there is a need to separate to “devote yourselves to prayer.” As a guy who is a big fan of sex, what a boon. Now I have a verse for my wife!

Jonathon (and the Holy Spirit) don’t let me get away with that. He clarifies that this is not Paul saying, “My body is mine AND your body is mine!” This is saying that we each have authority over each other’s body. Far from verses I can use to manipulate my wife into more sex, these are verses that press me to serve my wife with sex. She has authority over my body. My body is there to serve her.

That hit me hard. I have pressured my wife before. It was very hurtful to her. I wasn’t treating her as a fellow heir in Christ but as a body that I had a right to. Rather than asking why she doesn’t want sex, I became irritable and entitled. Remember, the Bible does say her body is mine, right? The fact is, I didn’t marry a body. I married a person. She wants to be loved as a whole person, not as the only body the Bible says I can have.

Gentlemen, we have felt entitled to our wives for too long. I feel that because I believed wrongly about sex, that I may have lead you to use the Bible as a bludgeon for your cravings. God expects us to be like Him and to love her sacrificially like Christ loves the church. For my part in leading you away from that, I’m sorry.

Please read the article. Jonathon Parnell has challenged us to love our wives by being their servants. He’s right. We can do so much better.

-Chip

Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 4 Fraternity Life

The Count Vicegrim LettersThe Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 18th Year

Mudpot,

Considering your massive failure last year, I have to say you have bounced back well. Of course, nothing can truly make up for allowing your patient to become the Enemy’s, but you have done well under these difficult circumstances.

That said, let’s get on to your review!

Thing that Were Acceptable

It is quite good that you have gotten your patient into a fraternity. Chi Sigma Lambda serves our purposes beautifully. It is risky to have your patient in a fraternity that might get him in trouble legally as this would be difficult to hide from his parents and home church. This is wonderful, he can be constantly exposed to serious sins without risk of actual immediate harm to him.

When working with a patient in a fraternity, it is important to remember that the purpose of any group of vermin is to provide for the needs met by a church without having them in a church. Loneliness, meaninglessness, and the feeling that one must belong to something larger than oneself, all of these feelings can lead a patient into a church and then into the arms of our Enemy. A fraternity is an ideal counterfeit. It allows for community, purpose, and belonging all while ignoring any substantive parts of those feelings. It is always so delightful to have these men give a hamburger to a poor man, then feel righteous before the Enemy, then go and fornicate.

Be careful to keep your patient busy with video games, pornography, and parties. He needs to be so full of activity that he can ignore the empty feeling in his soul. The Enemy’s Spirit is still there and he is crafty. He can take advantage of the slightest misstep. Be careful.

Didn’t I tell you that the World Religions class was wonderful? Can you believe that those vermin think they are more “thoughtful” and “well-rounded” after hearing that? I have some vacation coming up and I might just have to attend one of those lectures. It would be good for my heart to see them launch themselves into our abyss. The only thing better than a vermin going into Hell is a vermin who smiles as they go!

Finally, I want to say that it was a work of art to see you hold back on sexual temptation for four months. I wondered if you waited too long. But then you hit him so hard that he fell so profoundly back into his love of those naked vermin. You did well. He did what we hoped he would. He was so disoriented by the sudden force of temptation, he doubts whether there is a God. Keep the temptation strong. It is no use to let up now. Keep it coming.

Things that Need Improvement

The Enemy may be a liar, but he was right to say “Pride goes before a fall.” You are way too cocky. You act as though you have won. Not only have you not won, but you have lost his soul. Yes, there are victories to be had, but the most important battle has been lost.

You underestimate how very sneaky the Enemy’s Spirit is. Many a demon has thought they have won only to have that vile Spirit flip everything on it’s head. Some of our most dedicated servants have been turned into some of his most dedicated warriors. Remember the Apostles Paul and John Newton. Their demons were too busy celebrating to see what the Enemy’s Spirit was doing right under their noses. Don’t let your guard down!

I want to equip you with one of the key words for covering up sin. Responsible! We want to promote drunkeness, so we tell them to “Drink Responsibly.” We want them to fornicate, we tell them to responsibly have “Safe Sex.” We want them to murder their babies, we tell them it is “the responsible thing to do.” Surely a baby would rather be murdered than to be poor as a child. Mudpot, make “Resposibility” your refrain. Every time the Enemy’s Spirit is resisting you, try to figure our how to make the sin, “Responsible.”

Overall, this year has been a better one. You have still failed miserably, but this year does some good in redeeming you in my eyes. Keep up your work. Don’t be overeager. The path of destruction is a slow one. Be patient as you walk him down it.

Doubting you always,

-Count Vicegrim

Image created by Cavin and used with permission