Satan has been mischaracterized
Last week I mentioned an article in the World Herald from 8.4.09 about Henry Kelly attempting at a recent conference to clear some misconceptions about Satan. I promised more commentary on this article.
Let me continue.
Kelly states that if we make Satan God's enemy we then turn into a dualistic religion where there is a good God and an evil angel. He said that people instead should focus on the causes of bad behavior: Be more accountable; don't blame it on an invisible force below.
I date myself by quoting Flip Wilson of TV comedy and when there were only three channels to choose from. On his show he would state in a sketch: "The devil made me do it."
That is what Mr. Kelly is saying we should avoid. Don't blame sin on Satan. Satan tempts us, but there is a choice we make.
Now, I disagree with Henry Kelly that society and culture has created a misunderstood angel. The Bible is very clear that "your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion look for someone to devour." We know that Satan was out to divert Jesus from His mission [Lk 4.6-7 ] rules the kingdom of darkness [Colossians 1.13] and is the "Father of Lies." [John 8.44]
However, I do find myself agreeing with Kelly in that we essentially make excuses for our behavior by blaming it on Satan. When in actuality our behavior is a choice.
Here is the summary of sin. "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is draged away and enticed. Then, after has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." [James 1.14-15]
Remember, temptation is not a sin, but choosing to sin because of the temptation is wrong.
Send me your thoughts and reactions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the journey,