You Shall Not Surely Die (Jul – Dec 1995)

By Matt Dabbs

by C. Ben Mitchell
July – December, 1995

Allegory has always been a powerful tool of communication. John Bunyan, C. S. Lewis, and more recently Frank Peretti used allegory to describe imagined conversations between the devil and his minions. Here is an allegorical conversation on a contemporary topic. My apologies to Bunyan, Lewis, and Peretti.

Diabolos: Minion, are you ready for your next assignment, my little devil?

Minion: Oh yes, Master, I can’t wait….What do you have for me?

Diabolos: Well, you remember how we created confusion about alcohol and other drugs?

Minion: Yeah, it was such fun. Once those silly people started that “Just Say No” campaign, we got the advertisers to run television and radio spots with that handsome sportscaster who told everyone, “If you drink, don’t drive” and “Think when you drink.” Of course, everyone got the message we hid in the ad. We subtly told everyone they should drink, but just be careful. We knew once they were drunk or high they couldn’t be careful, much less think. That was brilliant, Master.

Diabolos: This job’s a lot like that one. We have to keep them confused. We started that “free love” ball rolling in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it’s bowled them over in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Now those stupid Americans are dying of AIDS. I love it. This job is too much fun for one devil.

Minion: Oh yes, Boss, it worked better than I imagined. In 1990, 53 percent of girls ages 15 to 17 were sexually active. The average boy was having sex by the time he was about 15 years old. Seventy percent of teen pregnancies were unplanned and 2.5 million teenagers are now infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Hehehe.

Diabolos: We just keep ‘em confused. Keep telling them the oldest lie in the Book: You shall not surely die.

Minion: If we say it often enough, they will believe it, huh, Boss?

Diabolos: You have learned well, Minion. But we have a couple of problems, my wicked imp.

Minion: Problems? What problems, O Great Deceiver?

Diabolos: Well, some Christians are still talking about what the Creator said.

Minion: No not that….I thought they had forgotten all that hogwash.

Diabolos: Nope. Some still believe it. Can you imagine? Those foolish disciples think God’s ideal for human sexuality is for one man and one woman to enter into a one-flesh relationship for life.

Minion: How quaint, Master. Where did they get such a ridiculous idea?

Diabolos: They got it from that blasted Book! It says right there in Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

Minion: I thought we had killed that idea three decades ago. Aren’t those idiots having illegitimate sex? Aren’t teenagers still getting pregnant out of wedlock? Hasn’t divorce become an epidemic? Aren’t we winning, Boss?

Diabolos: [Growl] It seemed like we were for a while, you peabrain. But it’s starting to change and we have to change our tactics.

Minion: What should we do?

Diabolos: Well, it’s already being done. You and I know that the only truly “safe” sex is no sex at all—unless you are married to a faithful partner. Phooey! What a stupid thing.

Minion: Yeah, Your Wickedness, we know they can’t do that. Why, their little hormones will make them crazy. At least that’s what we want them to believe.

Diabolos: We are getting our message across, my dimwitted friend. We started a massive campaign of confusion like the alcohol campaign.

Minion: Oh, tell me more!! Hehehe. I love confusion!

Diabolos: One prominent government official preached our message — “If you have sex, wear a condom.” She even became known as the “condom queen.” She’s a great spokesperson for our cause. We should make lots of converts because of her.

Minion: Yeah, and we know condoms fail as often as 20 percent to 30 percent of the time, especially with teenagers.

Diabolos: That’s right, bubblehead. Even better than that, most kids and many adults are convinced they won’t get pregnant or get AIDS. They don’t think it could ever happen to them. But it does!! I love it!

Minion: Yeah, Boss, me too. Hehehe.

Diabolos: But those Christians are a wily bunch. They’ve come up with another plan.

Minion: Oh no, tell me, Boss. What are they doing?

Diabolos: They started a “Sex Respect” program. They are promoting sexual abstinence in over 2000 schools across America.

Minion: Sexual abstinence? I don’t like the sound of that. What is it?

Diabolos: Where have you been, you little snake? Sexual abstinence means you put off having sex until you are married. Oooh, it’s so terrible I can hardly say it. Abstinence.

Minion: But, Boss, surely they aren’t buying it!

Diabolos: WRONG, my little hellion! In 1989 in Wayne County, Georgia there were 17 unplanned pregnancies in the school system. By teaching Sex Respect they really got to those impressionable lads and lassies. In 1992 there were only three unplanned pregnancies. Drat! They teach them things like “Score on the field, not on your date” and “Pet your dog, not your date.” And it’s working!! [Snarl].

Minion: But, Boss, that’s only 1000 schools. We can get the rest.

Diabolos: Not so fast, lover of darkness. Now the Southern Baptists are getting in on it.

Minion: What? What could they possibly do?

Diabolos: Well, they’ve got this program called “True Love Waits.”

Minion: True love waits!? Gimme a break. True love wears a condom!

Diabolos: Whoa, boy. That’s what we have to sell. But they’re not buying.

Minion: What are they saying, Prince of the Power of the Air?

Diabolos: You really know how to flatter a devil, don’t you? Here’s the thing. They are gathering teenagers from all over the country and telling them about God’s plan for sex and joyful marriage. They are reminding them of the tragedy that comes to those who do not follow His plan. And can you believe it, Minion? Thousands of those teenagers are signing covenant cards that say they pledge not to have sex until they marry.

Minion: What do the cards say, Boss?

Diabolos: Listen to this: “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, my future mate, and my future children to be sexually pure until the day I enter a covenant marriage relationship.” Have you ever heard anything so sickening?

Minion: How many? How many of them are signing those cards?

Diabolos: Well, fur-ball, they reported just a month or so ago that 500,000 teens had signed.

Minion: [Gag] That’s a quarter of a million teenagers lost to our cause. Oh, no!

Diabolos: Uh, math wasn’t your major in demon school was it? That’s half a million, Einstein! And they made a public display of it too. They put those cards on plexiglas holders on the lawn of the nation’s capitol.

Minion: You mean in Nashville?

Diabolos: So you didn’t do so well in geography either? No, not in Nashville…in Washington, D. C., between the Washington Monument and the U. S. Capitol building.

Minion: No big deal, Boss. That’s just the Southern Baptists.

Diabolos: Where have you been? This isn’t just a Southern Baptist thing. Several denominations and para-church groups are participating, including The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth for Christ, Assemblies of God, Church of God Cleveland, Pentecostal Church of God, Youth With a Mission, several churches of Christ, and others.

Minion: Boss, we are in BIG trouble. But at least we’ve got the rest of the world.

Diabolos: Not so, RedRum. Churches from all around the globe have called to learn more about “True Love Waits.” You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many.

Minion: But, but, what are we going to do, Lover of Lies?

Diabolos: Remember that Joe Camel guy we used to trick teens into smoking?

Minion: That was a cool one, Boss. He was so cute and innocent looking. I can see those young, pink lungs turning brown and shriveling now.

Diabolos: We have another tool just as effective. We’re putting cute little condom ads on network television. The kids will think true love is found in a foil wrapper.

Minion: Great, Boss. Let’s keep ‘em confused.


For information about Sex Respect, call 815-932-8389 or write Respect, Inc., P. O. Box 349, Bradley, Illinois 60915-0349.

For information about True Love Waits, call 1-800-LUV-WAIT. To order True Love Waits resource materials, call the Baptist Sunday School Board’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-2772.
C. Ben Mitchell is director of biomedical and life issues for The Christian Life Commission, the moral concerns, public policy, and religious liberty agency of the Southern Baptist Convention.Wineskins Magazine

C. Ben Mitchell

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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