Why You Should Absolutely Take the Devil Seriously

Beware Uncle Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood

Kimberley Payne
Mar 28 · 2 min read
Photo by Annca via Pixabay

Back in the early 2000s, my husband rented a movie for our weekly Friday night pizza and movie ritual. He chose “Scary Movie” — an American dark comedy that is a parody and makes fun of horror movies like Scream, The Sixth Sense and the Blair Witch Project.

He chose this because he knew that I love to laugh. But what he didn’t realize is that I take Satan very seriously.

He convinced me to watch the movie but we got in only a few minutes and I couldn’t take any more. While he was laughing, I was already spooked and knew I’d be having nightmares that night. We turned it off and instead watched an actual funny movie.

Some people may balk at my squeamishness of horror films but because I believe in the devil I don’t find entertainment in watching his antics betrayed on the screen.

I believe that he is capable of lies.

I believe that his is capable of hurting, maiming, torturing.

I do not take his schemes lightly.

“But it’s only a movie. It’s not real.” I hear my husband explain.

But he’s wrong. The devil is real.

I believe in him. I believe in the reality of both the good side of spirituality and the evil side. I believe that Satan will do exactly what he is intent on doing.

Jesus took Satan seriously. He was tempted by him in the desert and used the Word of God against him.

Matthew 4 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil.

James, Jesus’ half-brother, took Satan seriously. He warns us to run from the devil.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)

Satan is not a comic character with a red forked tail and horns. This portrayal of him is a joke and most people laugh at such an image. C. S. Lewis shines a light on this particular tactic in the Screwtape Letters with Uncle Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood:

“The fact that ‘devils’ are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”

The devil is the enemy. The enemy is real. I believe that the first step in defeating him is to stop believing he’s not.

Kimberley Payne

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