The Withertongue Emails: Part XXII


My dear Filthpit,

Who is this retired pastor that has begin attending your client’s church? He is a disgusting man, whom your young pastor is getting to know too well. I noted in the records that he is on his fifth demon. This is no good for you, Filthpit. This broken down old fraud must be dealt with sooner than later. He will corrupt your client and undo everything you have worked for to this point. Be warned though. For him, all your usual methods are just parade-ground exercises. 

You must convince your client that this man is an immoral, lawless, burn out. He is a spoiled saint. At best, he is a warning to your young pastor about the dangers of compromising one’s convictions for the sake of love. He is debauched. He likes to go on and on, squawking about “faithfulness and love.” “The power of the gospel.” “The fruits of the Spirit.” Damnable stuff. 

The best point of attack will be the borderline between theology and it’s practice. Several of your young pastor’s colleagues are very much invested in fixing, helping, and changing the lives of people in their congregation. For them, this is the goal of their ministry. The more change they see for the better, the greater their value to the Enemy, and the greater their rewards in heaven.

The advantage of this is obvious. Your client is so wrapped up in presenting himself as glorious and beautiful in all he does for the Enemy he does not realize he has gone wrong. If this troublemaker of a pastor infects your client’s mind, the consequences will be catastrophic for us. 

For example, I noted in your report last week that this bible thumper convinced your young pastor that in the Bible, the end goal of the law is always Jesus. He has even got your client thinking that the whole Bible is about Jesus! What are you doing, Filthpit? Where were you when this was happening? Next thing you know, your client will begin to doubt that the Old Testament is anything more than a library of moral platitudes. 

Filthpit, turn all your attention to disarming their relationship. Your client must not be allowed to appreciate this old wreck as anything other than a cautionary tale. He is not a faithful man. Not a “good” man. He is nothing more than a trouble-maker. A church-wrecker. Coax your young pastor back into his own mind, his presuppositions, prejudices. Get him worrying about what his colleagues would think if they knew he has begun to question his theology and practices. If a rift is allowed to open between your young pastor and his colleagues, if he is allowed to get too close with that noxious old pastor, that is game over for us.

Your proud teacher,


Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, Online Content Director for Higher Things, a contributing writer at 1517 Legacy Project, Christ Hold Fast, and LOGIA. Pastor Riley co-hosts the podcast: 'The Higher Things Simul Cast'. He is pastor of Saint John Lutheran Church in Webster, MN. A graduate of Concordia Universities in St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon, Pastor Riley received his seminary and post-graduate education at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He colloquized into the LC-MS from the ELCA in 2008. He is married to Annie, and is the father of four children: Owen, Alma, Hoshea, and Hallel.
Twitter @DonavonRiley