Playing the Devil’s Advocate

With apologies to Jon Acuff and his blog, StuffChristiansLike, please allow me to mention something that Christians seem to like…but I just don’t get. It’s been a long-standing puzzle for me, something that makes me cringe when I hear it.

It goes like this.

You’re having a discussion about something – ways to do ministry, methods of outreach, structuring of teams, what you want for lunch…you know, something relatively important – and as you start to reach consensus on an idea, someone says, “Well, let me just be the devil’s advocate on this.”

Really? He needs one? And he needs you to fill that role?

I would think if I felt that phrase about to come out of my mouth, I’d stop and say to myself, “Hmm. If I am about to align myself with the Prince of Darkness, maybe I’m not on the right side of this issue.”

I’m not sure how finding the will of God by being the devil’s advocate would work out. Perhaps a full and correct translation of Matthew 16 would read more like this:

Jesus I’m going to be killed. The Pharisees and other leaders are out to get me. I’ll rise again on the third day, but I’ll have to die first.
Peter Okay, Jesus. Let me just play the devil’s advocate on this…

Of course, you’re free to pick which side you want to be on. If you feel the devil needs your help…