The Preacher Was Right About How The Devil Could Destroy America

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   6/4/2012

In 1965, the cost of a stamp was a nickel. The L.A. Dodgers had won the World Series and U.S. soldiers had entered Vietnam.

Also in 1965, a preacher-like voice crossed over radio waves into homes of U.S. citizens. His message begins, "If I were the devil..." and the words seem to carry a bit of prophecy into today.

Paul Harvey's broadcast is less than three minutes long and could be divided into three categories: If I were the devil, I may

  1. redirect the minds of the young,
  2. demoralize culture, and
  3. cause the good to fight with each other.

In his broadcast, he said that of the young, he would whisper "The Bible is a myth." He would convince them that "marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public..." He also said that if he were the devil, he would "encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions-- just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you'd have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door."

In regard to demoralizing culture, Harvey said that if he were the devil, he would "threaten TV with dirtier movies." He'd also push the drugs to the point of selling alcohol to "ladies and gentlemen of distinction."

"Within a decade," Harvey said, "I'd have prisons overflowing, I'd have judges promoting pornography-- soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress." He later said, "If I were the devil, I'd take from those who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious... I could get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich."

Harvey also noted that if he were the devil, he'd weaken the good by causing them to fight with eachother: "I'd soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves, until each in its turn was consumed." He also said, "I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money."

I'm not sure what it was like in 1965, but Harvey's words seem to be the real thing today. He even stated that if he were the devil, he's make "the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle."

Harvey must have had an inkling that the workings he stated above were in progress, slowly rolling, and possibly unstoppable. In fact, he concluded his talk by saying, "if I were the devil I'd just keep right on doing what he's doing."

I'd assume that Christians living in 1965 may have also had an inkling that culture was shifting, but the shift was likely so gradual and harmless that for most it didn't raise an alarm. Small steps can be easily justified, even if in the wrong direction.

In response to this, however, Christians do have a role to play. I'd like to title it, "If I were a Christian..."

If I Were A Christian

If I were a Christian, I'd recognize the supremacy of God and the frailty of my broken self. I'd fall in humility to tearfully repent for my sin, get up, and walk forward as a new, redeemed person.

If I were a Christian, I would not be surprised at the disintegration of the word "sin" and the integration of the word "free," as if the latter could be obtained without taking care of the former. To avoid being sunk in this way of thinking, I'd practice discipline in word and thought, controlling my tongue and casting aside every thought that gives my emotions more power than what I know to be true.

If I were a Christian, I'd seek to honor God by practicing the song "Be careful little eyes what you see" and refuse to give my ratings to raunchy sites on TV and elsewhere (today, the internet). I'd research and elect officials who would vote for a better country, not a demoralized country.

If I were a Christian, I'd choose my children over my career. I'd reach out to one who is at the brink of making poor choices. I'd take him in, mentor him, pray for him, and hope God had used me to make an empty jail cell.

If I were a Christian, I'd remain bold when someone defamed God's name or existence, but I'd also offer grace, knowing I could have easily done the same. I'd speak with love and sound conviction, admitting my own errors first. If I were a Christian, I'd share my testimony more freely so that those struggling with sin would know that there is hope and peace from Jesus Christ.

In essence, it seems seeds of arrogance toward God have been planted and well-watered in our culture. In fact, Harvey also interestingly stated in his broadcast that if he were the devil, "with the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: 'Do as you please.'"

So finally, if I were a Christian, I would seek first His kingdom and ask myself at each fork in the road not, "what is most satisfying to me," but, "what is most satisfying to God?" If I were a Christian, I would pray, pray, pray. And I'd thank God for being the unchanging ruler of my soul.

Though these measures might not stop the course of a movement, they could save a few from its destruction.

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