Friday, March 27, 2009

Applied Memetic Demonology 103

I suppose it's inevitable in any talk about demons that a Christian has to mention...
satan. Sssh. He's very


Here's where I talk smack to the Lord of Hell. Yeah, I'm talking to you, you sorry little meme. You want a piece of me? Come get some. What? No power? C'mon, Daystar. You're the Ruler of the Fallen Angels, a Man of Wealth and Taste. Whup my uppity primate behind. Yeah, Bible says not to put God to the test, but you ain't God, and I'm a-testin'. Bring the rain, baby.

I'm waiting.


Helloooo? Jeopardy Theme's all finished playin', and I don't see no deviltry going down.

Honestly, there's very little room in my theology for Ol' Scratch, unless you want to call him Mr. Concupiscence. The classical Hebrew ha-satan was just an angel, after all, one whose purpose in the divine court was to serve as the prosecutor. He was the accuser, the wise-cracking cynical detective on CSI - Heaven who never met an innocent perp yet. What Satan wasn't was this almost-all-powerful anti-God, whose control of the universe was almost...but not great as God's.

That dualistic view of Satan's role in the universe only entered Judaism's uncompromising monotheism after Israel's deep exposure to the dualistic religion of Babylon. Suddenly, this formerly minor figure was elevated to a higher status, the Jewish equivalent of Tiamat in eternal battle with Marduk.

Now, of course, Satan is a staple of dualistic Christianity, arch-nemesis of Jesus and the excuse your pastor gives after he's wandered off with the mission funds for the third time to go tour the
Bangkok fleshpots. I don't so much mind the personification of sin, and I think the idea of our accusation and unworthiness to stand before God as the root and aim of all evil has some merit.

But I don't think that Satan has any authority...or any reality...that isn't given to him by human beings. He might be Sin Itself, but if we were all filled with God's Spirit, there'd be no place in the universe for Satan to go.

He may indeed be the ruler of the darkness of this world. But he is also less than the least of us.