Sunday, 8 November 2009
The Devil's Advocate
Time for a little word definition. What is an "advocate?" According to the Gage Canadian Dictionary, an "advocate" is: "v. speak in favor of; recommend publicly. n. 1. a person who pleads or argues for; 2. a lawyer who pleads in a law court; barrister."
So, if we were to use the word "advocate" properly in accordance with its dictionary definition, then a "Devil's Advocate" is a person who pleads or argues in defence of the Devil. The "Devil's Advocate" is essentially the Devil's defence lawyer.
Does a Christian really want to plead the Devil's case before God or man? Obviously not! If they do, can they rightly then even be called "Christian?" Hmm, there's a interesting question. Some might say that "Devil's Advocate" is just a saying that really means nothing. Perhaps yes, and perhaps no. Perhaps that's exactly what the Devil wants us to think.
Maybe it's time we all thought a little more about what we intend to say before we actually say it. Maybe it's time to "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37). Why would we want any association with the Devil, much less be his defence lawyer? How can we do that and then be devoted to Jesus at the same time? If we don't mean that sort of definition with that phrase, then why is it that we still use that phrase, given what it really means to be a "Devil's Advocate?"
One thing is for sure, and that is that I will be much more careful in using certain phrases and expressions in the future. I certainly don't ever want to be a "Devil's Advocate!"
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