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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Shepherd's Heart: The Devil's Advocate

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We've all heard people say, during a conversation, that they are being "the devil's advocate." I sometimes wonder if they know what they are saying. I have been giving that phrase a lot of thought lately, and I believe I've come up with a few things that I might do if I were, indeed, the enemy of the faith.

I think I would first and foremost try to infiltrate the churches with people who live as if they are not believers; those who live openly immoral lives. This would accomplish at least three strategic "moves" against what is right. First, it would discourage other believers who are trying to live circumspectly before God. Second, it would tempt the weak to follow suit by making a mockery of the grace of God. And third, it would provide ammunition to be used against the church by those who do not believe. In short, it would bring the House of God down from the inside out.

I think I would then encourage compromise among the brethren. Instead of leaning on the authority of the Bible, I would get people to thinking that everything is relative; that there is more gray in the world than there is black and white. I would encourage people to think along the lines of "I'm O.K. - You're O.K." and to ask things like "What's so bad about that?" and "Do you think God would really send someone to Hell?" and "What's the big deal?"

And I think I would throw in a couple of other obstacles just to make sure the first two work well.

I would work hard to take away the people's trust and respect for ministers and other church leaders. We all know that God appoints leaders to shepherd the flock. Most leaders are in the place they are in because they have demonstrated certain leadership qualities. But if I were advocating for the enemy, I would try to stir up disrespect and distrust against pastors and preachers and teachers. This would be a great tactic to pursue to compliment the first two strategies I mentioned.

Finally, I would make sure that everyone put there own interests above the interests of others and of the church. I know that the Bible tells us to look out for the interests of others, and that we are to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, but if I were working for the devil, I think it would be so much fun to see church members stabbing each other in the back in the interest of self-interest.

Holy Cow! On second thought, maybe we should all do some soul-searching to make sure we are not already working as an undercover operative of the enemy.

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BOB G. STEWART, Columnist
The Shepherd's Heart