February 16, 2020

iMonk 101: Plan 9 From Lower Space

iMonk 101 features posts from the iMonk’s vast archive of provocative material.

A blast from the past; August 2005 to be exact. “Plan 9 From Lower Space” was an excursion into one of my favorite literary forms: The Screwtape Letter. In this episode, “Scrawlwart” orients “Bebblerot” to the greatest discovery the demonic realm every made: Without much trouble, the church will do your job for you.

One problem: none of the links work anymore and I’m too lazy to fix the ones to other pieces at IM (Wretched Urgency.) The referenced “file” was a story from our stalwart and dependable state Baptist newspaper telling pastors that parking and landscaping was more important than preaching in a visitor’s decision to return to your church. (Really, by the time that discussion is happening, things are so far gone there’s little hope for recovery. Check back in ten years and hope there was a split.)

READ: “Plan 9 From Lower Space.”

Comments

  1. I have always liked these Screwtape letter type parables. Since you mentioned the broken link phenomena, can you enlighten me on which NT story you are referring to with, This business of getting large enough to fill up a civic arena by rarely, if ever, mentioning Jesus seems too good to be true when one considers that the one passage in the New Testament that speaks of non-Christians in a worship service hopes that the enemy is so clearly manifested that the seeker calls out for mercy.
    I am not quick enough on the uptake to figure it out I guess. Either that or it is way too late and I should be in bed already.

  2. Boethius says

    Because I read your piece about who visits your blog and then read this one, I could not help but notice that the people who commented on this piece the last time no longer are commenters to this blog. I wonder why that is.

  3. Boethius: Some are some aren’t. My experience is that most people’s time doing a lot of blog commenting is relatively short and then they move on. In fact, I think interest in blogs tends to be a very short-term thing. That’s why I do iMonk 101 frankly. The audience didn’t read the old stuff

    Jeff M: I Cor 14, where Paul says the unbeliever who is in worship will fall down and worship.

  4. and I thought you dislikes Sci-Fi.
    I thought you coped a part from a bulletin from NAMB

  5. iMonk,
    Thanks, I gotcha. I noticed after my comment appeared that I forgot to close the italics before the last sentence, which proved my point about being tired I guess.

  6. Bob Brague says

    True story.

    I was 21 and had been a Christian for about a year. One Sunday-evening I happened to attend a service at a church of a denomination that shall remain nameless (*cough* Methodist *cough*). The word “God” was never spoken, or “Christ” or one word of Scripture. Certainly not “sin.” The sermon consisted of a pep talk based on the preceding week’s Andy Griffith Show on television. There was a lot of stuff about Aunt Bea and Opie and Barney Fife but no mention of Jesus. When the minister said, “Let us pray,” there was about one minute of silence followed by an “Amen.” And yet at the end there was an invitation to come forward and kneel at the altar/communion rail and pray, and many did. I have never understood why. Tradition, I suppose, or habit.

    It’s not a new phenomenon. It happened in 1962.

    The world has always been too much with us.

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Nya Ha Ha, My Dear Wormwood…

    Like to see what other of these memos are circulating. Especially the ones dealing with the origin of Pre-Trib Rapture and/or the development of Islam…

    (Actually, a Screwtape Letters is really hard to pull off. I’ve read several lame attempts at it, and it takes some real ability to avoid descending into a cheap propaganda rant about the mortal writer’s pet peeves.)

  8. diversion may well be the enemies greatest weapon.

  9. I agree with Headless; the Screwtape style has got to be hard to do well – yours is very well done.

    Through the magic of the Internet Archive: The Referenced File.

  10. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    The word “God” was never spoken, or “Christ” or one word of Scripture. Certainly not “sin.” The sermon consisted of a pep talk based on the preceding week’s Andy Griffith Show on television. There was a lot of stuff about Aunt Bea and Opie and Barney Fife but no mention of Jesus. — Bob Brague

    The Gospel According to Mayberry?

    Looks like they kicked Christ off the Gospel Bus (or threw Him under it) some time ago…

    Through the magic of the Internet Archive: The Referenced File. — Aaron Pelly

    What determines church retention is landscaping and greeters? WTF?

    “Welcome to Wal-Mart — I mean Our Church!”

    They didn’t kick Christ off their bus — He bailed out the window on His own!