Faith Lies (with Darrell Smith): Lie #3, The Devil is God’s Counterpart

Continuing our Thursday series with Darrell Smith, sharing from his book Faith Lies: Seven Incomplete Ideas That Hijack Faith and How to See Beyond Them.

Faith Lies with Darrell Smith
Lie #3: The Devil is God’s Counterpart

What is at stake in this lie is not whether evil is real. It’s not even whether the devil is real. It’s whether or not that evil, or the devil, can stand against our God.

The question we need to ask is who have we said the devil is and how does that distort our view of God and of ourselves? This is a lie about a good God versus a bad god—what is known as dualism. Dual means two opposing forces. Good versus evil, dark versus light, right versus wrong.

The primary example of dualism in our world is the idea that there is a good, supernatural force guiding the universe that battles an evil, supernatural force corrupting the universe.

God versus Satan makes sense to us because it successfully divides and organizes our reality for us. It just seems simple to think that everything that is good and right is because of God, and everything that is bad and wrong is because of the devil.

As much as we might feel that such thinking is neat and orderly, it falls apart really quickly as soon as something that is bad and wrong touches our lives. When evil or corruption really hits home and affects us personally, we want answers. “Where were you, God?” “Why did you let that happen to me?”

In turn, those questions shine a bright light on dualism and lead to questions like, “If God created everything, why did God create the devil?” or “How did the devil get access to me?”

What originally seems orderly about dualism becomes confusing and disordered as soon as we start talking plainly about the devil. To be honest, we have every right to be confused. The history of our faith is rife with misunderstanding and misapplying information about the devil. The truth is, we don’t have a clear and consistent picture about the devil—not even within the pages of the Bible.

Don’t miss that. The Bible itself does not offer a clear picture about the nature, state, or identity of the devil. What the Bible does make clear, however, is that whatever the devil is, the God who is for you stands unopposed.

Next week, Faith Lie #4 – I Am Supposed to Protect and Defend God and My Faith

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply