What Satan Wants Us to Believe about Satan

I suspect Satan’s most oft used tactic is to tear down Jesus—make people think less of Him either by calling into question His deity or His historicity. I’m guessing a close second, however, is a distortion of Satan’s own image. Here are a few things I think he wants people to believe so we will not be on the alert against him.

1. Satan isn’t an actual person.

Satan isn’t human, of course, but he is a real person—a former angel who has emotions, thoughts, a will, and a body, spiritual though it may be.

A growing number of people, however, at least in the US, no longer believe in Satan as a person. The hot trend right now is to think of evil as one half of “cosmic energy.” All of us experience our share, but the balance of the universe mitigates against too much or too little. Eventually because of karma the good will even things out.

In this position there is no room for a personal spiritual enemy. In reality, there’s also no room for our personal God. Taking away the belief in either God or Satan seems to water down the belief in the other as well. Who really needs God if evil is just stuff happening to you that will eventually even out when the good starts to surface?

2. Satan is a joke.

This belittling of Satan started some time ago. He was pictured with horns, carrying a three-pronged pitchfork, and dressed all in red. That image was followed with cliched lines such as “The Devil made me do it” (completed by accompanying laughter).

The purpose of this approach is clear: a cartoonish Satan is nothing to fear, no one to pray against or sound the alarm over. As long as people believe he is no threat, if he even exists, then he’s free to roam about seeking those he wishes to devour.

3. Satan is the king of Hell.

If people insist on believing that Satan exists and that he isn’t cartoonish, then he wants them to believe he is going to eternally maintain a kingdom contrary to God’s—a kingdom he’ll set up in Hell.

This place is where the “fun people” go after death, not the stodgy, rule-laden place where saints sit around on clouds playing harps. No, Hell will be the place where people can do whatever they want. Satan, who’s in charge of it all, will encourage everyone to live it up, to their heart’s content—just as long as they give him his due as the ruler of Fun City.

The fact is, however, that Hell is a place of punishment, designed by God first for the fallen angels. Nothing about Hell will make it a desirable place, even for those adamantly opposed to God. It is not Satan’s rival kingdom to God’s heaven. It is a place of eternal torment. People may actually get what they want—no God intervening in their lives—but that will intensify the torture, not soften it, as everyone, not just Satan, seek whom they can devour.

As I wrote up these false ideas about Satan, it dawned on me why we haven’t seen “recognizable” demon activity in the US for a long time: No demon possessed kids correctly predicting the future or throwing themselves into the fire or water. No foaming at the mouth or falling into fits. No living in graveyards. No herds of swine rushing over cliffs to their deaths.

Such unexplained behavior would alert us to Satan’s activity.

But now that our culture has moved past “superstitious belief,” we see a troubling rise of activity that mirrors behavior recorded in the Bible and identified as demonic—anti-social tendencies, self-destruction, unexplained violence against others. Instead of rising up with the armor of God to confront the enemy, however, we are rushing to psychology and sociology to explain these “new” problems.

Satan has successfully pulled the wool over many of our eyes.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 9:50 am  Comments (6)  
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