Although we live in the world, we don’t fight our battles with human methods. Our weapons that we fight with aren’t human, but instead they are powered by God for the destruction of fortresses. They destroy arguments, and every defense that is raised up to oppose the knowledge of God. Thy capture every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corin 10:3-5, CEB)
Perhaps it was that first day going to a friend’s VBS when I came home in tears with the notion I was going to hell.
Or perhaps it was that dream, just a few years later than that, where I was at the entrance of Hell. I was myself, small and young, hiding wherever I could in the midst of a huge, windowless viking hall lit only by candles and huge fires in the fireplaces. The men, huge and smelly, wearing metal, leather and furs, laughed and talked and yelled and created a chaos. Somehow I knew they wouldn’t pay any attention to me, yet I was still scared. Sometimes, a huge oak door would open to reveal an elevator, where people seemed to be going down, but never coming up. After having the dream two or three times, it finally left me alone.
Or, perhaps it was that the Devil or Satan was never really mentioned in the churches I went to. Sure, we talked about the Fall, Jesus’ temptations, Jesus casting out daemons, and other aspects. But, any mention was glossed over as if Satan was a literary method to help show the virtues of the plot’s hero.
Even in seminary, my class on “evil” never talked about Satan. At least, not for long and not as a real figure.
Some would say this is completely not Christian. That those who don’t believe, or can’t believe, in Satan aren’t followers of Christ because Satan is right there in the Bible.
I believe the scriptures. I have faith in the scriptures. Yet can I believe in Satan?
I believe in evil. I believe in a battle between good and evil, with the knowledge that the good is and will prevail. Yet can I believe in Satan?
I have experienced evil. I have seen evil take over people. I have seen evil drag people into a living hell.
I have also fought back, using God’s methods. I search out evil in my life and do everything I can to get rid of it.
I’m uncomfortable with “Satan”, yet I know evil, and most importantly, I know Christ.