If I Were the Devil

[Do Christians really believe in a personal devil nowadays? We believe in a personal God and have no difficulties believing in personal angels, why not in a personal devil or personal demons. In the Church of England Baptism service the candidate is asked: “Do you reject the devil ….?” It also believes in the ministry of exorcism from “evil spirits” and “the snares of the devil.”]

If I were the Devil ….

I’d look out for enemy positions (churches). Some would be badly defended, and not strong or well armed – In fact not very aware of the need to fight. These would be easy prey. No need to waste much time on them.

No. I’d concentrate on the others – the ones that are really strong, well organised, well armed and protected, Those not only defending themselves but also – perish the thought – invading my territory and taking some of my people captive. These are the dangerous ones. At all costs they must be destroyed. Here is the plan of campaign I’d follow:-

I’d keep a constant bombardment at them to try to weak­en and discourage them. But most of it would be by “undercover” action.

I’d infiltrate my agents into the enemy positions -looking just like the enemy and so deceiving them. I’d try to get these agents into influential positions -official or otherwise.

I’d discover any of the enemy who were critical of or rebellious against their leaders and encourage their discontent, so that unwittingly they become collabora­tors in our attack. Our propaganda must be first rate and continuous, always containing a grain of truth. 

I’d find any weaknesses in the enemy leadership and ex­ploit them mercilessly.

By undercover action I’d precipitate suspicions and di­visions amongst the enemy to destroy their united front 

Through my agents I’d seek to encourage a relaxing of self-discipline amongst the enemy so that they become off guard and unfit to fight. Self indulgence would help here.

I’d always keep a low profile to preserve the element of stealth and surprise. My agents would encourage rumours that we were no real threat and so create inthe enemy a false sense of security, thinking we could be safely ignored. That way the more far-sighted amongst the enemy would be written off as scare-mongers.

That’s what I’d do if I were the Devil. But actually he’s far cleverer than I am.

© Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction