Tag Archives: holiness

Satan vs. God

There’s an interesting little discussion going on “over here”:http://www.temple-of-lore.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=133813#133813:

the thing i always wonder about is how much evil was there in Satan to begin with? i mean if God hadnt cast him out of heaven and ostracized him so much, would he really have been that evil?

[…]what makes God so right and Satan so wrong? isnt God being just as selfish as Satan by not allowing anyone to disagree with him? what makes God’s rule any less tyrannical than Saddam Hussein?

[…]so i ask you, why is god any more worthy than Satan to be the supreme being?

There’s a lot of tough questions in this discussion, many of which do not have comprehensive answers, many that require a certain degree of faith. Partial answers have been supplied, though, so let me see if I can bring some of them to light.

It’s interesting that people tend to view good and evil in terms of quantity – “Oh, that’s just a little bit bad” or “Oh, that was just a little white lie. It wasn’t as bad as if I had actually stolen anything” or “He’s not that bad of a man. He just got a little confused and depressed there for a while.” – when the Bible pretty clearly delineates good and evil in terms of a “binary system”:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=3&verse=9&end_verse=11&version=31&context=context. You are either 100% good, or you are 100% evil. There is no middle ground. So to question just how much evil there was in Satan to demand his eviction from Heaven is an incorrect starting point. The very fact that he went against God dictated that he forsake his righteousness and embrace his own will. In effect, his own selfishness is what turned him from an angel of light to an demon of evil. He gave up any hope of remaining in God’s fellowship for no chance of overthrowing God and usurping His throne.

Isaiah 14:12-15

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

13 You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”

15 But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit. “#”:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2014:12-15

I love this statement:

what makes God so right and Satan so wrong? isnt God being just as selfish as Satan by not allowing anyone to disagree with him? what makes God’s rule any less tyrannical than Saddam Hussein?

It’s a tough question to answer, and honestly, it’s one that I’ve asked a few times myself (which is probably why I like it). The answer, though, is found by readjusting one’s perspective. We ask the question from the perspective of the created, from the viewpoint of one is who used to having one’s own way about anything and everything. By adjusting one’s view to that of the creator, however, we can again ask that question. You may find that you understand a bit better. If you were the creator of something, then that thing you just created belongs to you. You, therefore, have the complete right to set all the rules, to determine how things work, and to set your own image and personality upon the creation. It is an extension of yourself, an expression of who you are. The creation, as the created, cannot tell the creator how things ought to be. It has no rights with the creator, except for those rights that the creator grants the created. ((And fortunately, God grants the created a generous portion of rights, particularly to those who have accepted His Son, by making them co-heirs with Him.))

There’s an additional part of this, however. God is, by His very definition, holiness. He is the epitome of all that is good and right. As such anything that is a violation of God’s being, of His nature, of the rules that He has established is wrong and is sinful. Is it selfish of God to expect His creation to live in such a way as to abide by those things that are good and beneficial for it? God has demonstrated time and again that He is good and that He does all things for the good of those created in His image. He is not a tyrant, since it is clear that He allows people to live as they see fit, choosing whether or not to actually follow Him (along with all the consequences that go with that decision).

So why is God any more worthy than Satan to be supreme being? Because God created everything (including Satan, originally as Lucifer), He is the very definition of holiness and righteousness, He loves us and has our greatest good in mind (unlike Satan, who only wishes to destroy all that God has made), and He gives us multiple chances to choose to follow Him and allows us entire lifetimes to do so. I don’t know what more we, as the created, can ask for. Can you?

Relief

This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.

———————————

Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.

I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.

I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.

Moral Attack

So how does one live a holy and moral life when our society is so absolutely immersed in the immorality that the media so blatantly promotes? It’s tough being a Christian in the midst of this, let alone a Christian married man, when every other TV commercial or show is all about half-naked (or even mostly naked) women (and latetly, even guys). It’s on the TV, on the radio, on the Internet, and even in our email. The message is being sent this is all ok, and since truth is such a relative or non-existent thing in our society, there’s really no base for a stance. And it is our youth who are so vulnerable to this. They are being brainwashed right out from under us. It’s no wonder that they think so much differently than we do.

Now, we can fight against this at every avenue, and it is our Christian responsibility to do so and to promote biblical morals (old-fashioned as they may sound sometimes), but with all honesty, we probably are not going to do a whole lot to change things. We are woefully outnumbered by the moderns and postmoderns who are submerged in their own despair. As unrewarding and unsatisfying as it feels, the main area where we can find success in waging war against relativity and immorality is by training up the younger generation to think differently than the majority of their peers. I thank God for His grace and my parents for their training that I think “old school,” with a sense of absolutes. I can’t imagine just how confused I would be right now if the only truth I knew was the one I made for myself. It would be so fluid and changing. And so it is up to us to mold and train the younger generation to continue the battle with us and after us.