The devil is blamed for many things, and justly so. Harvey Weinstein is the latest celebrity to do so.
Contradicting allegations of sexual harassments against him, the award-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein said: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it.” An accompanying statement said: “My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”
If a Christian was to blame the devil, it would be considered humbug, but a celebrity gets off with it without any media comment. This is because everyone knows that it is simply talk and not used in a meaningful way. So why is it used at all in such an important and sensitive context? Because it is a method of deflecting responsibility and to elicit sympathy. It assumes that everyone knows about their own weaknesses and temptations by that fiendish foe, and it hopes to silence the voice of criticism with: ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone’ Jn 8:7.
Scripture teaches that the opponents of the Gospel are in ‘the snare of the devil, taken captive by him to do his will’ 2Tim 2:26. This should indeed elicit sympathy.
Scripture also teaches that man is responsible for his own sins Ezk 18:4,20. However, the solution is not ‘to conquer my demons’, which is a futile exercise for sinful man. Rather, the solution is to seek the grace of the Holy Spirit from the Lord Jesus Christ by humble prayer, so that ‘they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him to do his will’ 2Tim 2:26.
18 Apr 2017: Blaming God for the devil’s work.
23 Feb 2021: I don’t know about James Lee Burke nor his novels but I came across this quote from one of them: “How do people explain Auschwitz? They blame it on the devil. I don’t buy that. There’s enough evil in the human heart to incinerate the earth.”