Growing up in the 60s and 70s, my dad used to turn on the AM radio every morning in the kitchen as we all sat down to eat breakfast, and one of the programs we listened to was Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009).
He was a true professional. He never claimed to be a prophet. He didn’t use scare tactics. But one particular broadcast from 1965 seemed to describe our culture war and this present darkness permeating our land today. It was called “If I Were the Devil.”
The spiritual dynamic in play is undeniable as the satanic assault on God, Truth, the church, and family in America has affected every aspect of our culture. Many people dismiss the idea of demonic agendas and spiritual warfare. True believers in Christ must instead understand the times.
Paul Harvey often used humor as he commented on news of the day, but on this 1965 radio program, he detailed reasons for the decline in biblical values. He seemed to discern what too many busy people today still don’t get. We’re losing our country.
Truer than most of us want to admit, the following is what he broadcast, word for word:
“If I were the devil … if I were the prince of darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness, and I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee.
So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first—I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. And the old, I would teach to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war that themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and 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.
Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.
If I were the devil I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
In other words, if I were to devil, I’d keep on doing what he’s doing.
Paul Harvey, good day.”
In other words, the devil is having much success and has impacted every part of American society from the schoolhouse to the White House and sadly, to a lesser degree the church house.
Let’s briefly sum up progress made via demonic agendas that he alluded to: capture the nation of America, deceive and pervert churches, call the Bible a myth, declare there is no creator, man can be whatever he wants to be, infiltrate and pervert entertainment, media, and education; promote drugs, sex, and porn, remove God and His truth from institutions, encourage greed and socialism, downplay God’s Law, the Constitution, and patriotism; redefine truth and marriage, promote the perverse.
His commentary was ahead of its time, and a vivid description of how the father of lies deceives people with worldly pleasures and fleeting things. He plots and plans, seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and he will use and abuse anyone gullible or wicked enough to do his dirty work.
What is perhaps most concerning is the devil has been going after children at the youngest possible ages – and he uses people to do it. He works to recruit them to side with promoters of immorality and robs the most innocent of childhood joy by confusing them with things they don’t understand.
Enemies of God sows seeds of doubt regarding biological sex and exposes these little ones to sexual ideas and perversions they’re too young to process. Parents, be warned… again.
As they get older, the devil uses corporations, schools, government, media, and entertainment to encourage sexual experimentation, promiscuity, and abortion while destroying any belief in God, moral authority, or biblical values. Often repeated lies and propaganda produce disciples of humanism, globalism, political activism, socialism, and suppression of the truth.
It’s not over yet, but the hour is late and God’s judgment has begun. We must cultivate a sense of urgency!
This 1965 radio program is a reminder of how the enemy has advanced – on our watch, but we know in the end, Truth wins. Evil will be vanquished, sin and death destroyed, saints resurrected, and good will prevail through Christ our King.
There is much work to be done while we’re here, but I long for His return and eternal reign in glory.