SCREWTAPE PROPOSES AN EPISCOPAL TOAST... TO JOHN SHELBY SPONG
With apologies to C.S. Lewis
By David W. Virtue
October 14, 2013
A recent online article on the theological and ecclesiastical "triumphs" of John Shelby Spong, former Bishop of Newark, by a writer from the Religious News Service could not go unchallenged. You can read it here: http://ncronline.org/news/people/aging-maverick-episcopal-bishop-john-shelby-spong-has-no-regrets
My dear Wormwood,
It's hard to fathom, even by our standards of non-compliance with the Other Side, what a marvelous catch this John Shelby Spong fellow has turned out to be.
I doubt we could have created a more perfect model of apostasy and heresy all wrapped up in one man. For more than four decades, he has steadfastly aided and abetted our cause of disbelief. Atheists and skeptics are obvious sinners, but they are not a patch on a man who wears the cloth of his religion while defaming and declaiming it. Spong beats it to death with every ounce of energy he has while getting paid handsomely for doing so. Even our Father, who goes into fits of anger and rage when we lose even one soul to the other side, shakes his head in disbelief at the antics and utterances of this purple-clad mad man.
When we saw, some years ago which way the Diocese of Newark was going with that sodomite Crew fellow, our Father immediately put agent Slubgob into the diocese and thus began their slow but accelerating march towards us that has not abated in decades. That their churches are emptying and dying with some 35 openly gay priests in their pulpits is sweet music to the High Councils ears.
The article you sent us by that Gibson fellow of the Religious News Service was a marvelous puff piece, the kind of thing our Father warms to and welcomes for all religious leaders who prevaricate and ultimately roll over onto our side.
We have kept Spong alive. Now at 82, he is smug and secure as ever in the knowledge that he has won the culture wars in the Episcopal Church. Indeed his influence has widened into a number of major denominations, made him a darling of talk shows, and his heretical utterances garner more unrepentant sinners to our side. We have made videos of his work. New agents are made to watch them before launching out into their own avenues of service for our Master.
If this Spong fellow had been a Unitarian, he would not have garnered nearly the notoriety he has attained and pushed so many into our arms. That he is an Episcopalian, though hell knows that can mean almost anything these days, his influence would have gone basically unnoticed and unrecognized.
His Twelve Theses of unbelief have been nailed to his cell wall for when he arrives here, as soon he will. We especially like the one about the cross being child abuse. Hell is filled with child abusers. When he arrives he will have an opportunity to really mix it up with them. Our Father can't wait to see his reaction.
Deception and deceit are our hallmarks and they have worked brilliantly on this bishop. That he questioned long-held doctrines and literal interpretations of the Bible from The Virgin Birth to the bodily resurrection of Him, to the historical accuracy of His sayings in the Gospels while at the same time becoming a best-selling author who routinely and famously dumped the whole Christian message, positively stunned the High Council. Radical Muslims killing Christians is actually a victory for the Other Side as martyrdom actually spawns new converts. Spong, on the other hand, is a total victory for us.
If the pen is mightier than the sword, as these mere humans believe, then Spong's pointed pen aimed at orthodox believers was his mightiest weapon and our greatest success.
The then Archbishop of Canterbury called his mad ravings those of a 6th former discovering religion for the first time. Fortunately this turned out to be nothing more than a skirmish in the Culture Wars. When Rowan of Oystermouth keeled over to our side on sodomy it was soon forgotten.
The High Council particularly liked that line in the interview where he said, "The older I get the more deeply I believe but the fewer beliefs I have." Precisely.
Mercifully, unbelief in The Episcopal Church does not affect one's pension or he and most of the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops would be bankrupt and forced to re-evaluate everything they don't believe in. We can't possibly have that, Wormwood. From what we understand, as unbelief grows, their Pension fund just gets healthier. Security in money and mammon is to be maintained and cherished at all times. Unbelief is to be nurtured.
We particularly liked this line of his: "I have a sort of mystical awareness (of God) that's indescribable, but I can't avoid it. When I'm asked to define God I'm almost wordless." Our father chortled for days when he read those lines. That the word became flesh seems to have been lost on him. Let him keep wandering off into clouds of unknowing and pillars of pepper. He will join Katharine Jefferts Schori in no time at all. We gather she likes piloting two-seater planes by herself.
That he has written 24 books and made a pile of money describing The Wordless One has our Father in screaming fits of laughter, which I can tell you is far better than when He goes off on one of his rampaging fits, then all Hell trembles. (You will recall, Wormwood, our father's famous altercation with Him over his inability to get him to bow down and worship Him in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world. It still rankles him that he lost that challenge.)
It is important now to keep up Spong's revisionist enfant terrible image, Wormwood. Make sure his pronouncements for gay rights and his opposition to traditional dogmas continues to scandalize Christendom. Above all, make sure they begin to seep into those dreadful Global South Anglican fundamentalist provinces that insist on such make believe doctrines as the bodily resurrection of Him. Make sure The Episcopal Church keeps using its money to influence African dioceses.
The triumph of the Song of Spong made a Gene Robinson inevitable and now we have a Mary Glasspool as an encore performance. Except for a small handful, nearly all the bishops in TEC have rolled over to our side. A mighty triumph indeed, Wormwood. He single-handedly promoted a new generation of church leaders who now carry his progressive torch: 11 clerics from his tenure are now bishops, more than from any other diocese. This is a remarkable achievement for which he will be richly rewarded when he arrives down here.
After all if you deny there is a Last Judgment, and he surely does that, he has nothing to fear. The more he is stroked and adored, the greater his conscience is seared his hubris heightened and his pride elevated. What better recipe for Hell than that.
I remain your affectionate uncle,
On the Mainline
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