The Dementape Letters: Three

Posts in the The Dementape Letters series

  1. The Dementape Letters: One
  2. The Dementape Letters: Two
  3. The Dementape Letters: Three
  4. The Dementape Letters: Four
  5. The Dementape Letters: Five
  6. The Dementape Letters: Six

[This is the third letter found in the storage area under our stairs. Sorry, no authentication as yet...still looking for a really gullible scientist. (Part of the problem is figuring out what kind of scientist to look for: archeologist? graphologist? spiritualist?) Read the first and second installments...if you dare.]*

My dear niece Gutrot,

Well done. I had thought your Subject was made of sterner stuff (and perhaps we shall find that she is – we should avoid counting our chicks before we see them hatch), but your suggestion to that smarmy book editor that he should pursue your Subject as a potential author has left her in shambles. One of the few things for which we can be thankful in this Emerging Church business of the Enemy’s is the adherents’ obsession with being “authentic” and “real”…your Subject’s profoundly conflicted emotions, which call into question her motivation for her Service to the Enemy’s blasted Kingdom, will (if we are lucky) lead her to suspend her activities all together, based purely on her interest in “transparency.”

But please resist the temptation to rest on your laurels. If I had a nickle for every tempter who has written off the Battle as won before It truly was…well, I wouldn’t be in Management, I’ll tell you that. This pertains to you, particularly, in this new paradigm in which you find yourself. In the old days, we had the demonpower to assign one tempter to each Person…but between the population explosion and the Emerging Church value of everyone being “interconnected” and “in relationship,” you have your hands full and cannot afford to call a victory until every last Person in your local Emerging Community is experiencing a serious crisis of Faith. (I will avoid the strong compunction to be nostaligic, but you must know that twenty years ago a hardworking tempter didn’t have to worry about a Subject’s so-called “Community;” once a demon had led a Subject only a little way down the Road to Perdition, the Subject’s Church would write him off as “backslidden” and focus all their energies on altar calls and tent revivals and shaming the Subject into Repentance, rather than Loving the Subject back into the Enemy’s Agenda, which is what would have actually been effective. The innovators in this new Emerging regime focus instead on drawing everyone in the Community so close that affiliates have almost no shame in sharing their deepest fears and inner struggles, so much so that I will not be surprised – saddened, yes…surprised, no – if your Subject has one or two conversations over a soy latte and comes out right as rain.)

It’s this beastly concept of Community that must be your primary hub of attack, for (if it catches on) it is the one thing that could reverse all our most successful initiatives over the last few centuries. The Western Humans’ Enlightenment was so good to us, Gutrot, and it would be tragic if the Enemy was able to capitalize on the discontent it has bred and come out on top. We managed to convince most of the Western population that each Person is an isolated entity, responsible solely for his own spirituality, fiscal success, and civic involvement, to the exclusion (or even detriment) of everyone and everything around him. Your classes at University will have covered the spectacular results: Creation’s natural resources strained to bursting, corporate greed and corruption on a massive scale, laws formulated solely to protect bloated wealth, homogenized and gated “communities” of People who hope for nothing more than never to be confronted with anyone different than themselves, and a bastardization of the Protestant work ethic that views poverty as the natural result of laziness. (It was a glad day Down Below when the ghastly Son’s ridiculous Beatitudes were conveniently forgotten in favor of the “Prosperity Gospel” that is currently en vouge.) The unfortunate thing, of course, is that many People are becoming frighteningly aware of the folly associated with living in such a self-centered way, and even more, are becoming interested in how they might live more closely aligned with the Enemy’s Original Design. Hence, this demoralizing curiosity about Community.

You must break it up, Gutrot, at any cost. Keep it simple (I always say), perhaps by taking advantage of the Emergetics’ reactionary protest against those who still buy into the bill of goods we’ve sold them. These Fundamentalist Souls are the ones the Emerging Community wishes (in their wondrously Darkest moments) they could cut loose like fish too small to keep. If you can make it so difficult to hold these Brothers and Sisters in the Grace of the Enemy that the Emergers can no longer abide their strident and restrictive presence, they will inevitably cut their “Community” legs right out from under themselves. (This will require little effort on your part; the legalism and self-righteousness of the Fundamentalists make it all but impossible for the Emergers to see that the “Fundies” are still under the Blood and might, perhaps, have something irreplaceable to offer the Church as She tries to regain Her precarious footing.)

Your work has been commendable so far, Gutrot, but this next phase of the Attack will be the true test of both your education and your mettle. I have (almost) complete faith in you. Do not disappoint me.

Your vile and affectionate aunt,
Dementape

*Disclaimer: I (Aly) want to make clear–though I hope most readers will assume the best about me and my intentions–that these letters are chiefly written to myself as a reminder and a caution, not to anyone else as some kind of manipulative exhortation. Even though all three letters (and probably those to come) relate to concerns discussed on this site, they are not intended to indict or accuse anyone besides my Darkest self. Really. Promise.

Previous in series: The Dementape Letters: Two

Next in series: The Dementape Letters: Four

7 thoughts on “The Dementape Letters: Three

  1. Chad

    If there’s one thing you DON’T need to worry about in this crowd, dear, it’s the ability to discern irony.
    .
    :)

  2. aly hawkins Post author

    Irony is not my main concern…I know everyone’s irony-dar is in perfect working condition. It’s the ability to discern my intentions behind the irony…and that has much more to do with my maybe at some point[s] in the long ago past perhaps being the teensy-weensiest bit underhanded. Paranoia, pure and simple.

  3. Morphea

    I think this is your best installment yet, Al. I very much enjoyed these. More?
    .
    Um, I don’t really understand the irony/underhanded/paranoia discussion…you were underhanded underneath your excellent sense of irony and are now paranoid? I’m missing something.

  4. michael lee

    fantastic.

    Your thoughts on community extending to fundamentalism are very, very well heeded. There is something immensely important about a faith that places a high value on holiness, otherness, willingness to be separate and “odd” for the sake of a higher good.

    Obviously, these are things that need to be tempered (every bit as much as authenticity, cultural immersion, and plurality need to be tempered), but an evolving and emerging church that is willing to leave these things behind is leaving something valuable and irreplacable behind.

  5. Morphea

    How interesting, Michael. Yes, I found Aly’s thoughts on that to be (at least for me) the first of that kind mentioned in Emergent Blogland. While my knee-jerk response is of course to poo-poo anything and everything that smacks of Christian Fundamentalism, even I have to acknowledge the worth of keeping bits of it around. I’ll think about that tomorra…
    .
    Cerise

  6. aly hawkins Post author

    Morph, regarding underhandedness and paranoia: I’m just trying to emphasize that I’m NOT being needly-manipulative-underhanded girl. The fact that I feel I need to emphasize it indicates (to me, at least) some paranoia that I sometimes AM needly-manipulative-underhanded girl.

    Mike, thanks for giving me credit for ideas I do not deserve, since you know I ripped this off our conversation on Friday night. Very generous of you.

  7. Morphea

    The penny drops.

    Well, I never figgered you for any of that, but I’m shite at under-the-surface anything, so…you might be a total dick and I’d never know it. I don’t think so, though.

    Cerise

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