‘Tell the truth and shame the devil’: an adage all ought to live by. Hugh Latimer said it was a common saying in his day in 1555, and William Shakespeare immortalised it in Henry IV in 1597. Shakespeare also wrote, ‘Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.’ Of the devil and lies? Jesus says that the devil ‘is the father of lies’ John 8:44b. Thus, as Satan opposes Christ, so a lie opposes truth. Contradiction is the habitat of lies. This is where the head devil and his cohorts live.
When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate (or was it the other way round?!) He said, ‘“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate” John 18:37b-38a. Jesus says that God’s Word, i.e., the Bible, is truth (John 17:17) and that He, Himself, is the Truth (John 14:6). After His resurrection Jesus berated a couple of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. He said to them, ‘“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself’ Luke 12:25-27. And, to those opposing Him He said, ‘“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”’ John 8:44. Thus, Christ Jesus is the Truth, as is the Bible that reveals Him as such.
Enter Postmodernism, i.e., the devil’s latest strategy in his war on truth! Postmodernism can be hard to define, but at its base it is a rejection of absolutes, including God and His Word. Postmodernism is happy with contradiction, such as its dogmatic mantra: ‘There is no such thing as absolute truth!’ To which Christianity responds by asking Postmodernism, ‘How can this be true since this is an absolute statement?’ Thus, ‘In war, truth is the first casualty.’ Aeschylus, Greek tragic dramatist (525-456 BC). Which war? The war being waged by the devil (and those he has blinded) against God and His Anointed (i.e., Christ), (see e.g., Psalm 2:1-3 & 2 Corinthians 4:4).
The war was begun by Satan who subsequently deceived Eve who in turn offered her husband, Adam, the forbidden fruit which he willfully ate. Thus, Adam consciously joined the devil in rebellion against God. How did the serpent manage to pull it off? By asking a very pointed question, ‘Did God really say?’ Genesis 3:1. Questioning God and His Word, Adam and Eve set themselves up as the arbiters of truth, not God. Like Postmodernism, they rejected absolute truth and made it relative, i.e., relative to themselves. Regardless of contradiction, one person’s truth is as good as any another’s – as far as it agrees with the Postmodernist narrative of no-absolutes! However, Jesus makes an absolute statement by saying, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ John 14:6. As does His Apostle Paul, ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ Acts 4:12. The truth is that, ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil’ 1 John 3:8. Thus, the Truth will shame the devil!