Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Introducing Satan - He's Not Nice

Satan, in case you have divorced yourself from popular culture and rarely come in contact with his work, or are an American Christian, is an angel who rebelled against God, was cast down from heaven with a third of all the angels and now roams the earth looking for prey.

According to Rick Warren in a recent tweet, the biblical word for Satan is Diablos. Unfortunately Rick Warren he is again wrong, Diablos is a Spanish word that means devil, and often used to mean "spicy" as in Pollo Diablos (yummy!), the word he's looking for is the Greek Diabolos which means Slanderer, or literally "one who throws (something) across" the path of another. I'm not sure how in Greek an obstructionist becomes a slanderer but then all Hellenistic languages are Greek to me. So what does this teach us? Primarily that we should read our bible rather than twitter. 

There is one letter difference between Diablos and Diabolos - is that nit-picking? There's also one letter difference between Laughter and Slaughter, you tell me if it's nit-picking, especially for a minister who's primary job is Words; the Word of God, words that will protect his flock from Satan. In this case Rick was using those words to accuse those who do not agree with him of being spicy being Satan.

The reason why I mentioned "American Christian" in the first paragraph is that most American Christians do not believe that Satan exists. I've prayed over this trying to determine why people who profess themselves to believe the Word of God actually ignore very important parts, like Satan, or the Holy Spirit for that matter. I believe that C.S. Lewis has the best answer for this question when he wrote: 
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight” (C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letter. 1941, p. 3).
Just search the internet for Satan and you'll see both views, complete disbelief and unhealthy zeal when it comes to the subject of Satan. It looks like our younger generation is doing nothing but worshiping Satan, while on the other hand Christians ignore the fact that Jesus was tempted for forty days by Satan, that Satan caused our fall from grace in the garden of Eden. Then again, there's religions that were created by devout Satanists (Wicca for one) who's adherents don't believe in Satan at all. 

The original Hebrew term "Satan"  is a noun from a verb meaning primarily to obstruct or oppose. Another term from Hebrew is Ha-satan which mostly means The Opposer, so not only is Satan a name, but a title. Many people believe that Satan rules the dark side from hell. Unfortunately he doesn't live in hell, he lives here on earth:
The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”  (Job 1:7)
His ultimate fate is hell:
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Revelation 20:10)
Contrary to popular belief, Satan doesn't have horns or cloven hoofs, that description comes from early artists who used the pagan god Pan as a model. Satan was originally created as a cherub which is pretty big, up to 18 feet in height with four 8 foot long wings and each has four faces (Source), but angels are able to take human form, so Satan retains that power. How tempted would you be do sin if you were asked by someone who looked like a half goat imp, or an 18 foot tall creature with four faces? Satan is more subtle than that, but that's a subject for another blog entry.

Why does Satan attack us? I'm sure he has many reasons, but the best one I've read is that he's not actually attacking us, he's attacking God, for we were created in God's image, so is it jealousy? Every time we agree to Satan's scheme it's God who's getting hurt. It's an on-going war and we are square in the middle of it. So we have a choice: to chose whose side we're going to fight on, or to pretend it doesn't exist. Ever see what happens to someone who wanders unprepared into a battlefield? 

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