Takes Two to Tango
Satan goes by a lot of names in the bible: the Devil; Lucifer; the Accuser; our Enemy or Adversary; Angel of Light; Beelzebub; Prince of the Power of the Air; Ruler of the Darkness, and the Father of Lies.
But it was only until a colleague posted the following question on social media that I stopped to reflect on the last one: How does one father a lie?
Unless you’re an amoeba, you cannot biologically father something by yourself. An entity must, in some way or another, partner with another being to father something. That ‘partnership’ may or may not be consensual, enjoyable or within an established, contract or relationship.
Based on the premise that the natural is a reflection of what happens in the supernatural, I used my spiritual imagination and a lot of poetic licence to draw this conclusion:
“How does one father a lie? When pride rapes truth.”
Highs and Lows
The essence of pride is looking God in the face and telling Him that we know better than He does.
Even though His ways and thoughts are infinitely above ours (Isaiah chapter 55 verse 11), Pride will still insist that our understanding of our needs, our perspective on life’s circumstances, and our trajectories about the future are more informed than that of God.
While we normally associate pride with puffing ourselves up, this is only one side of the coin. High pride is placing ourselves on a pedestal beyond where we belong. This originated with Satan seeing his beauty as surpassing that of God (Ezekiel chapter 28 verse 17).
However, low pride is just as sinful and potent a problem. When we writhe in guilt instead of accepting God’s forgiveness or disqualify ourselves from things God has called us to accomplish, we are equally guilty of pride. It is another form of telling God we know better than He does.
Rapists never want to learn about their victims’ childhood memories, to navigate their personality quirks or to guard their most intimate secrets. They only want one thing - their victims’ body - and they callously disregard and discard the rest of what makes their victims whole human beings.
Similarly, Pride never wants the whole truth.
High pride will focus on how much further we could have gone sexually in a pre-marital relationship instead of focusing on God’s standards for sexual purity (I Timothy chapter 2 verse 5). We focus on our relative righteousness instead of our definitive sin.
Low pride will scoff at Christ’s death as being insufficient to ever make us sexually pure again.
The whole truth, however, is that sexual activity outside of marriage is both sinful in God’s eyes and forgiven by God’s grace. Pride just cherry picks the aspects of the truth it wants to hear.
Turn the Tables
In a godly marriage, a husband and wife prioritise the other’s dignity over their own desires (sexual and otherwise) and “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 21). Their engagement is built on mutual respect (and leads to mutual ecstasy).
Rape is the exact opposite. It bulldozes over another’s rights and autonomy, and asserts its individual agenda over a victim. Likewise, Pride bulldozes over the dignity of truth, and subdues the truth according to its convenience or pre-conceived notions.
In high pride, we dilute the holiness of God and think it’s unreasonable to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans chapter 12 verse 1).
In low pride, we say that God can never truly love us unconditionally because no one else in our life ever has.
Truth is supposed to tell us who we are, how we can behave, or what we are allowed to have and enjoy. But Pride turns the tables, relegating the truth of God’s word as secondary to our lusts and life experiences.
Pride will make us lie to others.
We suppress truth, even doggedly at times, to protect our reputation in the eyes of others around us. We will hide the shameful things we have done, selectively highlight facts that paint us in a better light, and vilify persons who do not praise us.
Pride will make us lie to ourselves.
We are obsessed with and defensive of our self-image, so we refuse to admit our weaknesses and faults, even to ourselves. We downplay the gravity of our actions by comparing ourselves to others who have done worse, or we trivialize the pain we have caused others.
None of us are the Father of Lies. However, we all need to do a paternity test on our thoughts and beliefs every so often to stop pride from fathering lies in our hearts that end up on our lips.
A better Father
The only solution is to adopt a posture of humility according to the steps laid out in James chapter 4 verses 7 and 10 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you …Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
By humbly submitting to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we can steer clear of the Father of Lies and come onto our Heavenly Father instead (John chapter 6 verse 14).
Kacy Garvey is a Christian poet, speaker and activist. In 2011, she launched "Rahab", an outreach to prostitutes in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a USAID certified HIV Testing and Counselling Provider and has also successfully completed training in Trafficking in Persons conducted by the International Organisation on Migration (IOM). She performs original pieces of spoken word poetry to various audiences, and in 2014 and 2018, she launched “Undone” and “Water Jar”, the first and only Christian poetry albums published in Jamaica thus far. As a founding member of the Love March Movement (since 2012) and #MarriageMattersJA (since 2018), she is a regular presenter on the science, politics and biblical worldviews on sex and sexuality. In January 2021, Kacy launched Caribbean Christian Response, an online movement that reviews the news from a biblical worldview and gathers millennials across the region to pray together and seek God’s heart on these issues.