Tag Archives: Satan

Nightline’s “Satan” Panel; pt. 3; Driscoll & Lobert…

Now for the “there is a Satan” side of the debate.  There were also two individuals; Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert.   Driscoll is pastor at Mars Hill Church, and Lobert is the founder of “Hookers for Jesus.”  Yes, I just typed “Hookers for Jesus.”  My old pastor, Doc Scott, would be proud…that just sent any judgmental legalistic types running for cover! ;)  But, really, “Hookers” does mean hookers, but it is also a play on words; former hookers, as Lobert is herself, putting the gospel message out there, and hence becoming hookers (as in fish hooks) for Jesus.

Just to make sure we are clear: Mark 1: 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

Oftentimes when I talk about evidence for God, I talk about personal evidence, and objective evidence, in this case, the same holds true for Satan.  Driscoll is the more scripture oriented Christian; he provided the scriptural, objective evidences for Satan.  Lobert was much more personal; she discussed her personal experiences of things like demons, and direct experiences of evil, as she was on the receiving end of some very horrible things.

Driscoll talks a lot about free will and evil, and mankind’s act of disobedience in the garden as bringing about death and suffering for all of us.  This is pretty much in line with the Free will defense to the “Problem of Evil” I’ve already gone over in my blog.    In my opinion, Driscoll definitely held his own, and countered several mistaken conceptions that Chopra and Pearson espoused…of course, it didn’t sink in.

Lobert did well too, especially considering the stories she had to relate and the emotional trauma she suffered going through them.  IMO, it made it a lot harder for her to relate her stories when Chopra and Pearson pretty much laid all the blame at her own feet…you know, for getting raped repeatedly, beaten, kidnapped, things like that.  She actually kept pretty calm in the face of such idiocy, and did a much better job controlling her temper than I would.

So, Lobert recounted several instances of what she considered direct experiences of evil, including getting a glimpse into the eyes of a demon after one particularly harrowing experience.  I found it interesting that she was asked to clarify over and over again if she was claiming to have seen a demon, and if she really believed demons were in the room when these bad things were happening to her…for goodness sake, people don’t understand English any more; YES! She is claiming demons were in the room, literally.  (“Now, you really mean….” this is only the second time the host was annoying, the first was when he asked another inane question about free will, anywho…)

Lobert makes the point that this type of evil is what drove her to God, so she knows that she was saved because she went through those experiences…hence backing up the idea that God can indeed work in all things to make good come of it.  She did good talking about the reality of things like Satan, demons, and Hell.  There is only one area where I felt she needed just a bit more balance, and that was her repeating that God is Love, which He is, but His character also includes other things too.  He is also absolutely Righteous, Holy, Just, Merciful, etc… and it is always important to discuss these other aspects of God alongside the idea that God is Love.

So, in short, I think these two did pretty good.  I particularly liked some of  Driscoll’s responses to Chopra and Chopra’s odd, non-historical view of Jesus, and his misinterpretations of scripture.  Driscoll was definitely prepared to discuss this issue with the people present; he had done his homework for sure.

Everyone has to listen to Lobert’s recounting of events and see if they think it actually happened or not.  There are many Christians who don’t believe we can see into the spiritual realm at all…though I believe that contradicts scripture; Angels can become visible, and logically that would mean it is possible to see fallen ones too.  God can also open our eyes to the spiritual realm if He wishes.

The two held their own, and represented Christian views pretty well.  I’d have liked to seen everything unedited to really get a feel for more of the context, but overall it was a good debate as an intro. to this issues of Satan.

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Nightline’s “Satan” Panel; pt. 1 Deepak Chopra…

My last blog post included the video link to Nightline’s “Does Satan Exist?”  I wanted to describe and discuss the people on their panel, and their views.  Apparently the producers wanted to try to make the “sides” equal, so there was a panel of four individuals; two who believed in Satan, two who do not…or at least they don’t in any conventional sense.

The two who don’t believe in Satan: Deepak Chopra, and Carlton Pearson.  The two who do think that Satan (and demons) exist: Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert.

The name most people will recognize out of the four is Deepak Chopra.  Chopra didn’t leave any of his new age flare behind for this panel, let me tell you.  As always Chopra tries to correlate all things spiritual with our own “consciousness.”  Some of the more hilarious moments of this show came in when Chopra basically insists the he is more evolved than the rest of us, and is on a higher plane of consciousness.  I have to say that if I could wrap up Chopra’s stance in one word, it would be “prideful.”

How does this color his view on Satan and evil?  Well, first he  presents a straw man version of what it means to be Christian.  For example, he talks of our supposed obsession over sin, guilt, and shame.  In fact one of the tenants of Christianity is to be set free from sin, guilt and shame, not to obsess over it.  If we are to obsess over anything, it is to be Christ.  Chopra degrades any belief in any sort of spiritual being, as an actual being, as “primitive.”  So short answer; no, Chopra doesn’t believe in Satan.  If we left it there it would have gone a lot quicker.

What really gets me is that Chopra tends to make us his own belief system as he goes, and never offers actual evidence to back up his opinion.  He doesn’t really believe in evil, but rather a stifling of creativity.  We apparently need this stifling, however, because in Chopra’s made up religion, for any creation to occur, you need “contrast.”  Hunh.   Then, he went on to say that belief, and beliefs, are a cover up for insecurity.  Okay, let’s run with it as one audience member did.  So, beliefs are cover ups for insecurity, and Chopra is adamant about his own beliefs…so they too are a cover up for insecurity, with no real bearing on reality.  What’s funny is that when an audience member pointed out this blatant logical flaw, Chopra didn’t get it all.  It doesn’t inspire much confidence in anything he posits.

So, what then does Chopra do with the idea of evil?  Well, you see, it is all generated by our negativity.  If we get raped, murdered, mugged, if we step in gum, it’s all because of our own negativity.  Our states of consciousness are so un-evolved that we actually cause harm to ourselves.  Wonderful.  If we could just be more positive and creative in our consciousnesses we could imagine a world without AIDS, Cancer, bad people, hurricanes, etc… and cause that world to come about.  Yeah, we should all get right on that.

No surprises here, but the whole time I’m thinking how Satan had to be rather proud of this one.  Chopra put forth his own new age views on evil, and as I said, doesn’t believe in Satan.  Next installment I’ll take a look at Carlton Pearson’s “words of wisdom” as he makes his case against the reality of Satan.

Edit to add; I was looking over my notes, and another interview with Chopra and I forgot to point out something.  When Chopra feels certain verses of scripture (taken out of context and language, I might add) fits his needs when trying to make a point, he’ll quote it all day.  However, when other verses are pointed out to him in their proper context, he shoves the scriptures aside as mere made up myth, funny how that works innit?  Don’t get me wrong, he’s not the only one who likes to do this, but is indeed one amongst many.

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Yes Virginia…

There is a Satan…but does he have claws? (Pun intended, if you didn’t get it, read it again…heh.)

Recently, on several national news channels, there has been a discussion on whether or not Satan exists, and if he does, is he an actual entity or more like some kind of odd, general malevolent force…or is he simply a personification of some aspect of human nature?  Nightline, on ABC, ran an episode entitled “Does Satan Exist?”  You can currently watch the video of this here: Does Satan Exist?

If that video gets yanked, there is always youtube.

So, yes, in a (hopefully soon) future post I’ll be reviewing the guests on that show, and commenting on their arguments.  I’ll also discuss Satan from a biblical perspective and add my own thoughts.  I just wanted to link to the show and give everyone that hasn’t seen it yet, and wants to, a chance to do so.

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Angels (pt. 2); Satan…

In part 1 I focused mainly on the holy Angels; those that serve God, and did not follow Satan.  According to scripture 1/3 of all angels sided with Satan.  Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…

As with angels in general, one in particular is misconstrued in popular media, and that is Satan himself.  A red mustachioed figure lugging around a pitchfork.  The king or ruler of Hell.  An omniscient being with direct power over the saints.  These are just a few of the skewed ideas about Satan.

First, his real appearance would not be a disgusting visage, or a cartoonish fire-engine red.  He was chief of the angels and there is an interesting set of verses in Ezekiel Chapter 20, overtly about the king of Tyre, though most scholars agree that the message is about the king of Tyre through a comparison between the king and how Satan fell as well, and it is also probable that Satan was the true power behind the king:

Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

There seems to be a part of us that desires evil to seem overtly evil…to look evil to the naked eye.  But, part of his power is that he can indeed appear as an angel of light, something beautiful to behold.  If evil appeared evil, we wouldn’t have been instructed to test the spirits, we’d just be able to tell by looking.  1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

We can actually turn to another major religion to see, perhaps, were this fits in.  Within Islam, it is believed that an angel calling himself/claiming to be Gabriel appeared to Mohammed and dictated the Koran to him.  Islam denies two key aspects of the fact that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; they deny He is the very Word/Wisdom/Logos of God made flesh, and they deny that He was resurrected bodily (they deny the crucifixion of Christ too).  I don’t think it was Gabriel appearing to Mohammed, but perhaps it was the father of lies himself; Satan.  Of course he would look like an angel; he is one.  Another interesting aspect that possibly ties this in with Satan is that, if you read the description of Satan in Ezekiel, you see that tabrets and pipes are part of his being; music is a part of who or what he is.  The Koran is claimed to have rhyme and rhythm just as music does…

As for an example in recent literature; I love Frank Peretti’s angel novels (This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness), and think he portrayed the holy Angels really well…but, I have to point out that those beings on the other side, the evil beings in the novel are portrayed as evil, ugly, hideous creatures, which does set the mood and give us the creeps, but we have to realize that they won’t always appear that way.

Anywho, onto Hell.  Hell, and/or the lake of fire is a prison, not a party with Satan in charge; he isn’t ruling Hell.  At the time of Job, we see that he still had access to the Throne.  Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. Hell isn’t his “playground,” this earth is.  Adam was given dominion over the earth, and gave up that dominion when he fell.

Notice, when Satan is tempting Christ, one of the thing he offers is: Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. The Devil offers Christ the world; Jesus doesn’t say that it isn’t Satan’s to give.

Nowhere does scripture indicate that Satan is omniscient, omnipresent, and it definitely does not say he is omnipotent.  And, while we should not be flippant about the Devil and the rest of the fallen angels (Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.)  we have not been given the spirit of fear, and Christ has indeed taken the keys to Hell, death, and the grave (Rev. 1:18).

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Again, always turn to scripture for facts, not to popular media and fanciful ideas…

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