Leaked Documents: Ichabod to Apollyon (Letter #26)

Editor’s Note: Administering a website like this occasionally makes editors privy to some exotic and intriguing correspondence. In light of the particularly dark nature of some letters we have stumbled upon—we can’t reveal exactly how—we thought it our duty to share this series of missives. We appear to be in possession of only one side of the exchange of letters—from a nephew to his uncle. The nephew’s name is Ichabod and his uncle’s name Apollyon, who seems to be in an advisory position of some sort. It’s not our intent to demonize anyone by divulging what we have seen, but we feel we are performing an important service by bringing this devilishly cunning correspondence to light. Here is the twenty-sixth letter we were given. 




My Dear Avuncular Advisor,


All of your talk of sowing and reaping makes me somewhat uncomfortable.  We may take some satisfaction in seeing these humans ignore the coming consequences of their actions, but with the Tyrannical Creator lurking out there, just waiting to end our game and toss us into the Outer Darkness, I can't say I look forward to seeing the score settled and the chips cashed in.  Humans, after all, can indulge in the foolish but comforting luxury of not believing in God.  We devils, unfortunately, don't have the capacity to hide under the blanket of physical existence and pretend we're nothing but a concatenation of atoms.  We're all too terribly and constantly aware of the spiritual realm and the high eternal stakes we're playing for.   I don't know why the Old Softie continues to let us do all the damage we do, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  I must try to relish the fact that for us, doing evil is its own reward.

I am continually amazed (but of course gratified) at the mental gymnastics by which humans manage to bypass not only all the evidences of the Creator's presence in the world, but their own moral and spiritual nature as well.  It takes a very "sophisticated" intelligence indeed to cast aside the very ground of one's being.  We of the Ultimate Rebellion know That with which we contend: we hate It and strive against It (but not without trembling), even though we know Its power.  These sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, on the other hand, choose to lock out of their cognizance the Source of their lives, while they nose around like animals in a trash dump to find scraps of superficial, man-made "spirituality" to satisfy their deepest longings.  Fortunately, we don't have to fully understand these creatures in order to damn them; and I'm not one to look a gift soul in the cranium.

I'm happy to say that there's trouble brewing in the home congregation again.  Sister Outreach and Brother Inscape have locked horns over a proposed new Sunday School curriculum for the adults.  Brother Lockstep, the Sunday School Director, has introduced a plan to have all adult classes go through an outline of the Bible in a year.  Now this sounds like a sterling suggestion, but Sister Outreach contends that people know enough about the Bible already and should be learning about the missionaries we support; and Brother Inscape insists that what is really needed is an hour of meditation each Sunday morning, or at least some really juicy sharing of our emotional problems.  Brother Lockstep has responded with a predictable "pox on both your houses," since both of their preferences are entirely too unstructured for him.  I am trying to cultivate the clash between them, since if they sat down and discussed the matter in a prayerful spirit, they might find out that each of them has something valuable to contribute to a solution, and that looking both inward and outward in a disciplined way might be upbuilding to the church.  My strategy is to convice each of them to continue fighting for principle’s sake and not to engage in weak-kneed compromise.

By the way, something ought to be done about the legacy of this Chuck Colson fellow.  In one of his books, The Body, he presents some dangerous threats to our work by attacking the popular idea that a church is to be mainly a haven from stress on Sunday for people who work hard making money and buying things all week.  If people actually start believing that the real Church is not defined by good-looking buildings and social respectability, we could be in real trouble.  He seems to think that persecuted (or at least "unrespectable") Christians may very likely make a greater impact on the world than those who fit well into the society.  Fortunately for us, that point of view is probably not going to be much heeded; in fact, we may even garner some opposition to it from the pulpit.


Yours for the respectability of evil,




image: "Dormitory Mailboxes" by J. Lillis. CC License. 


Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at Lulu.com. He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)