I was recently stopped in my tracks while watching television. A relatively sophomoric comedy series that I had been watching, called Reaper, managed to make a statement within that caused me a great deal of pause. I had hoped to be able to find a clip of it on the internet, but, well, apparently not too many other people were struck as deeply by it as I was. . . Perhaps because not too many people were actually watching the show during it’s run.
The show follows Sam, a 21 year old who finds out on his 21st birthday that his parents had sold his soul to the devil. Now he’s become a bounty hunter for the devil, rounding up the souls that have escaped from hell in order to get them back down to their eternity of torture. Yeah, some real deep stuff. However, Sam spends a lot of time with the devil, and as such, gets to have some rather intimate (and silly) conversations with him. One of them, the one that sparked my interest, was regarding a girl that Sam was interested in.
When the devil was offering his advice, Sam interjects and asks him, “I thought you didn’t believe in love?” Here’s the rest of the conversation:
Devil: I don’t believe that humans can feel true pure love. But I know that it exists. I’ve experienced it myself. I’m not human, remember?
Sam: You actually loved somebody? Who? [Devil looks up] You mean God? Didn’t you try to overthrow him or something.
Devil: Well, let’s just say we had a little fight. I may have been a tad impetuous.
Sam: But you loved him.
Devil: With everything that I was, I loved him. And he loved all of us, too
Now, although I tend to consider the idea of Satan being a fallen angel to be somewhat questionable, based on the lack of direct Scriptural support of the idea, Satan must come from somewhere, and seeing as we are unaware of there being anything that God has not created, well, Satan must come from God. He and God have interacted directly several times in the Scriptures, most notably in the account of Job. Satan knows God, he knows the Scriptures, he has been in the presence of God and therefore must know the True Love that radiates from the Creator. As such, whether or not Satan was at one time an angel, he knows that love, and to be separated from it must be complete torture.
Obviously this brings so much to question about the nature of who Satan is. But for the ease of discussion, let’s consider him a fallen angel.
For whatever reason, Satan and God had a disagreement of sorts, which caused Satan to be expelled from God’s presence. I can’t even imagine how he would have been able to do such a thing considering the idea that God radiates true love, which would, in theory, bring about complete allegiance, wouldn’t it?
But think, for example, about Judas. Judas was one of the men Jesus requested to be at his side as one of the apostles. He needed Judas to betray him so his plan could be completed. Although standard Christian doctrine does demonize Judas, he was a necessary fixture for Christ’s work, and, well, Jesus brought him to his side to put him in the position to fall to the temptation of betrayal.
Judas’s act was, in many ways, unavoidable. Could Satan’s have been as well? Is there some greater master plan in effect that we have not completely understood yet? Although God saw his creation as good, is it possible that we need to go through some sort of purification process here on earth in order to complete his plan?
Looking at Satan in this light changes the picture slightly. Just as we see images of the Christ in earlier Scriptural accounts (such as Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land), is it possible that we see such images of Satan? Could Judas be one of those?
The Bible story really is the account of the battle between Satan and God. We start right at the beginning with how Satan tarnished God’s creation, and we see at the end in Revelation, the destruction of Satan with God’s tarnished creation.
But is God’s love incapable of also reaching Satan himself? If Satan had known God’s love, he must surely want nothing more than to return to it, right? If Satan is the creation of God, then he too must be viewed as the Prodigal Son, off on his own to make his own way, only to find out that he is stuck in depravity and wishes to return. What if the story of the Bible really does come down to God’s intended salvation of the devil? That might be pushing it a tad, but just random questions based on a random thought coming off of a rather non-philosophical TV show.
There’s a relationship between God and Satan that we’ve never fully been able to understand. The conversation that occurs in Job makes that all too clear. If it weren’t for Satan’s existence, would we even require our Father? Our focus definitely wouldn’t be on salvation.
My gears have been turning on this for almost a month now, and I’m still not really all that much further yet. But, I couldn’t help but put the question out here and see anyone else’s thoughts on the matter. Where does Satan truly fit within the picture of Christianity? Right now I think the basic thought of him doesn’t extend much further than that of Hades, the ancient Greek god of the Underworld. But there must be more to him, right? He’s not God’s brother (assuming that Zeus is the Greek equivalent to the Father). He is God’s creation (by all probable reasoning). If God has a purpose, a plan, for all of his creation, surely he didn’t create Satan to be condemned, did he?