I just recently finished reading C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. The last book in the series is called “That Hideous Strength” and is about an organization called N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments) coming in and pretty soon, they have a worldwide following where they plan to use the blessings of science to remake man into God.
I won’t tell what happens in it. I really think that each person should read the trilogy for himself. The last book wasn’t entirely a page-turner, but at the same time, it sucked me in somehow. I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat until we got right to the end, but yet I had to know what happened. Lewis is just a masterful writer in that way.
There is one character that when I think about him, he is the most frightening character to me in the book. Is it the evil leader of the N.I.C.E.? No. Is it the Bent One himself? (referring to Satan) No. Is it the Deputy Director of the organization? It is not him either. This character only appears in a few places, but he has a rather significant role.
That is Reverend Straik.
Reverend Straik was once a good man, but then he had suffering in his life that was profound. He joined the N.I.C.E. and applies anything that has to do with power to being the will of God and fully supports the N.I.C.E. as being the will of God. He is willing to twist Scripture to fit this belief. At the end of the story, he shows exactly how depraved he has become. I shall not tell you what happens, but my blood runs cold thinking about it.
Why does he scare me the most? Simple. The other characters I know are evil. I expect them to be evil. However, I think of a reverend and think “Him as an evil figure?” However, it is true. The one who seems to have such zeal that the prophecies are being fulfilled is a man of darkness.
These are the most dangerous threats in many ways. The Apostle Paul knew that he was going to death when he spoke to the Ephesian elders. He didn’t choose to warn them though about persecution from Rome or the Jews so much as persecution coming from within for wolves would enter and devour the flock. This is the same one who said Satan’s servants masquerade as angels of light.
This is what makes Straik so dangerous and it’s harder when I think on how he used to be good. I know of many people who used to be good in ministry but then something happened and they want to the dark side. Today, they usually become agnostics and atheists. I think Straik is more dangerous though. At least with the others, you know where the line is. By Straik maintaining his title, the line is not so clear.
There are several Straiks running around today. Now they’re not out there trying to make humanity deity entirely. (The Mormon church though…..) However, they are bringing in false teaching and the real danger is they look legit. They look like devoted Christians. They may say they’re only studying the Bible, but be cautious.
A lady today told me about a church she started attending. She told me that they only say what the Bible says. They don’t have any opinions. The pastor just says what it says and that’s it. I want to look closer at this place. I would hope it’s legit, but the idea of no opinions bothers me. It is as if this one person is the final authority on what the Bible says. Such is breeding ground for a cult.
Friends. We can’t afford to be risky today in theology. When someone comes to you wanting you to join a new church or a new mission or movement, be sure to find out what they believe. Make sure that they mean what you mean when they use the words. Mormons will say they believe in the Trinity. Don’t think they mean what you mean by that word though.
Be on your guard. Straik does not exist only in fiction after all.