If I were the devil, I wouldn't wear redI started thinking about the Devil, and I was surprised by what came to mind.
I wouldn't breath fire cause it might give me away.
I realized that I don't believe in Satan, and I don't think I have for some time. Is this wrong? Do you have to believe in the Devil to get into heaven--or hell?
Let me explain.
A few years ago I read a book review about the History of Satan. It talked about how different cultures had tried to personify Evil, and it mentioned that Satan hadn't even been introduced into the Bible until people like the Second Isaiah came back from exile in Persia. The more I thought about it, the more I figured the Embodiment of Evil must be some kind of a cop-out--you know, an intellectually lazy way to identify evil and run with it.
As I was listening to the song, I thought about the whole "war in heaven," scenario where Lucifer was cast down, but instead of being killed--"the wages of sin is death"--he was allowed to live indefinitely. Human beings were created, then, to pay the wages of the sins of Lucifer and his angels. And when they messed up, they really got it, even though Adam was a "son of God" and both he and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Life. Jesus, the Son of God, came to save humanity, but will not save Satan, whom he will destroy in the Judgment Day.
Am I missing something here?
This is a story within a story. The story of humanity's creation and redemption happens within the meta-story of Lucifer's Fall and his FALL/destruction. I understand my part--and God's--in the middle layer. Does the meta layer really concern me? I can't imagine any way to actually prove either that this took place or that my understanding of it can in any way affect the very real battle I wage with Evil every day.
At best, it is a simplistic way to explain where evil came from and where it's going to end up. At worst, it is a trick, a diversion to take my focus off the real battle. "Watch out for the guy with the pitchfork. Evil comes from the outside, not from within."
So if there is no Embodiment of Evil, what do I believe in, then? I think I'm more pre-Exile in my approach to Evil. The world is full of false gods and overwhelming temptations. I serve the only God who can deliver me from that. I'm not sure that temptation comes from an outside source as much as it originates within my own corrupt character--my insatiable appetite, how easily I am distracted from pursuing Good. God's Blood and Body within me extinguish this corruption, and bring the evil of my own heart to light. I don't know that they have any affect on Satan.
Does this make sense? This is the first time I've really written about this or expressed these thoughts, although I've had them for quite some time. Some people can grapple with Evil better when it is personified. I don't have a problem with that. I do wish to call evil by its right name. I have seen what it can do, and I look forward to its ultimate destruction.