Readers of Dante will be familiar with the monster Geryon –a horrendous beast who carried Virgil and Dante down into the circles of Fraud.

Geryon has enormous dragon-like wings with the paws of a lion, the body of a wyvern and a scorpion’s poisonous sting at the tip of his tail–but here is the kicker: he has the face of an honest man.

Mythical beasts are the stuff of nightmares, and as such because they come from the world of dreams their physical manifestation is symbolic of their character traits. The Geryon has the body of a wyvern or dragon. So at the foundation he is a reptile–that old serpent–the Father of Lies–the ancient foe. His wings indicate that he is a spiritual, not a physical being. The scorpion sting in the tail needs no interpretation. After he lures you in he stings and poisons you for good.

Finally–beware: he has the face of an honest man. Satan smiles before he snarls.

These are the liars in the church and in the world today and amazingly, they deceive many, many souls.

In the world they lure people to false entertainments which turn into addictions. They smile and lure people into sin while telling them it is not sin at all. (remember the Geryon’s origin is the pit of fraud) They speak easy, nice and soothing words. They publish books with a peaceful and pleasing message. They have the face of an honest man. They have the smiling face of a nice man. They have the pleasing smile of the holy man.

If you challenge this kind of person in the church about their heresy or their immorality or their false teaching they will deflect your question with another question or with another smile loaded with self righteousness. If you question them they will look on you with condescending “compassion” and move on. If you persist in questioning that smiling face melts into the face of a one who is hurt, and the “honest man” plays the victim.

The Geryon never challenges church teaching openly. He does so through implication and stories and anecdotes about real people and difficult cases. Remember the Geryon has the face of an honest man, but the Geryon is a monster from the deep.

Do not be deceived. False teachers abound in the church today. Today they are enjoying a great resurgence.

Many are deceived by them because they have already given themselves to the lies that the present day Geryon sells so successfully.

Keep to the faith once delivered to the saints, and be critical. Be alert for your adversary as a roaring lion (or a flying Geryon) stalks about seeking whom he may devour.