The Problem with AND (C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters 25)

The demon Screwtape continues to instruct his understudy Wormwood about how best to destroy his assigned human. This time he encourages Wormwood to use a strategy called “Christianity and…” The goal is to get the human to add ‘and’ to his Christian belief. Christianity and… elevates other things and diminishes Christianity. It is a mixture which does not purify, but dilutes. The goal is to pull the man away from Christianity and pull him toward fads.

I know I have been too willing to jump on the latest fad and connect it to my Christianity. Unfortunately, I have been too willing to tie my Christianity to other ideas and then assert that I am the best Christian because I have added “AND” to my Christianity.
Christianity AND avoiding all R-Rated movies.
Christianity AND conservative politics.
Christianity AND certain ways of doing church.
I’ve had my own list of ideas and practices that I have added to the faith over the years.

The problem with ANDs is that we end up placing them on the level of Truth. We have to be careful to keep a personal opinion a personal opinion. We should not try to elevate personal opinion, conviction, or desire to the place of Truth. Our opinions change, the Truth does not. Our opinions can be misguided and even wrong, the Truth is correct.
We would do well to check periodically and see if we have any ANDs that are diluting our faith and making it something it was never intended to be.

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