Don’t Be the Devil’s Star Witness
Have you ever been blamed or accused of something that you didn’t do? It’s a terrible feeling. Even if we did do something wrong, when someone points that out often times we are hit with shame and regret. It’s never a good feeling.
Yet, we so often times are quick to blame or accuse others. Many times we do this without even having all the facts. It’s just so easy to cast blame upon someone else.
There is always the opportunity to be an accuser or an advocate.
In the Bible, we are introduced to a character that uses blame, accusation and scapegoating all the time. He is known as Satan, or the devil. The word Satan is not really a name, it’s a title. In the Hebrew it is ha-satan – the satan. The word satan simply means adversary or accuser. To the Jewish people it was used as a term for anyone that stood in opposition to someone else. The ancient Israelites didn’t believe ha-satan to be a fallen angel. They believed that he was a messenger of God, used by God to give humans an opposition that would allow them to choose good or evil.
I believe that the New Testament gives us a more detailed view of the satan, and shows us that he is evil, purely bent on destroying the lives of humanity. Most Christians today believe that he was once an angel who rebelled against God, because he wanted to be God. God kicked him out of heaven, and for reasons beyond the time constraints of this blog, he now has access to earth and to humanity.
His primary tools against humanity are blame, accusation and scapegoating. He accuses people before God continually. He is always reminding God of the wrongs, sins, mistakes, iniquities and just general bad behavior that we human beings engage in.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. (Rev. 12:9-10, emphasis mine)
It’s interesting that the blame and scapegoating game got its start with the very first sin of humanity. When Adam and Eve were questioned about eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 2), Adam starts off by blaming God and Eve.
This woman that you gave me. Adam did not take responsibility for his actions; he blamed his wife. Eve blamed the serpent , which she actually had a little more ground to stand on with this because the serpent did, in fact, deceive her. She believed the lie. Adam, in my opinion, knew better and should have stood up and said no.
Blame, accusation and scapegoating. It’s always someone else’s fault.
It’s so easy to blame others. It seems that we human beings need things to make sense, and the easiest way for that to happen in a senseless situation is to simply blame someone. At least now we have a reason for something bad happening. It’s someone else’s fault.
This is so prevalent in America. To the conservatives, the liberals are to blame for all of our country’s woes. To the liberals, the conservatives are to blame for standing in the way of progress.
At the time of this writing, guns are to blame for all of the mass shootings that have been happening. Yet, to the gun owners and gun rights advocates, those opposed to guns are the problem.
In churches, people tend to blame the pastor or church leaders when things go wrong, while the pastor and church leaders tend to blame the people for not being committed enough.
Husbands blame wives for things wrong in their marriage. Wives blame their husbands. On and on it goes.
When we use accusation, blame and scapegoating, we become the satan to the one the we are accusing, blaming or scapegoating. We actually side in with the devil.
As the satan is accusing us before God, and we are accusing and blaming others, the satan could easily say, “See, even their fellow human being, their fellow Christian brother/sister says the same thing.”
God wants us to be an advocate for one another. Since we all understand what it’s like to have limitations, frailties, weaknesses, temptations and sins, we should be the most graceful to one another. Yet, many times, we are not graceful but judgmental.
When it comes to people being accused before God I would rather stand there in someone’s defense, even if they are wrong, than to be the one accusing them. When I stand there in their defense, I am acting like Jesus, our Advocate. But when I stand there in accusation, I am acting like the satan, our accuser.
He did it for the woman caught in adultery in John 8. In this story the accusers were right that, under the Law of Moses, the woman was to be stoned because she had committed adultery. It was a capital offense.
The crowd had truth on their side. This woman had been caught in the very act (where was the man?).
They had the stones in their hands. But Jesus didn’t go along with the crowd. Honestly, most of the time, the crowd is wrong!
Jesus reminds them of their own sin in a most interesting way. As they all leave, he turns to her and asks where her accusers are. She replies that she does not know because they all walked away.
“Neither do I accuse you!” Jesus replies. What an awesome statement. The very one that could accuse her. The very one that could have given her a lecture on the sinfulness of her ways does no such thing. Most Christians tend to focus on the “go and sin no more” statement (which is important), but I like to focus on the fact that Jesus didn’t accuse or condemn her.
In this very situation, to have sided in with the crowd would have made you part of the accusers, the satans.
To accuse, blame and scapegoat makes us the satan’s star witness.