Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Uh-oh, is Satan missing?

Denying Satan
by Carl Bloch.
Whatever happened to Satan? While belief in God is still credible in America today, belief in Satan represents lunacy to some. Is it some great leap of faith to believe in an evil spiritual being? If so, what is the point in believing in a good spiritual being? I wonder if the cumulative effect of the enlightenment, materialism and rampant secularization has so influenced us that Satan seems no longer plausible, even to believers. If indeed Satan is real and represents God’s arch-enemy, if he is the root cause of the “evils” we see in our world, if he is intimately connected to the fall and sin and the need for forgiveness, if he is constantly tempting believers to fall and preventing others from coming to faith, if he is destroying individuals, marriages, families, whole societies and nations – then one would think he would figure a bit more prominently in our statements representing organizations devoted to advancing the Kingdom among all the inhabitants of this earth.

Of course, we all believe in Satan and his works, but we need to do more to address and resist him. Without a theology that includes him in a prominent way, we easily end up blaming God for evil and shifting the identity of our enemy onto human beings.

(excerpted from Dave Datema, General Director, Frontier Mission Fellowship, 2010 Statements and the Whereabouts of Satan, Mission Frontiers, March-April 2011)

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