Fer all yew fundamentalists: Beelzebubba Ain’t Makin Ya Do It!

Whys Everybody Always Pickin On Me

Why’s Everybody Always Pickin On Me?

While I was asleep in June and ignoring an Amazon series staring and angel and a devil, it seems like a lot of spiritually immature fundamentalists were petitioning to have the series removed because ”

 “An angel and demon are good friends, and are meant to be earth’s ambassadors for Good and Evil respectively.” The second grievance is: “This pair tries to stop the coming of the Antichrist because they are comfortable and like the earth so much.” The third: “God is voiced by a woman.”

The list goes on, deploring the fact that The Antichrist is portrayed as a “normal kid” and that the four riders of the Apocalypse are “a group of bikers.” In short, it believes that the show “mocks God’s wisdom”.

In the culture of my upbringing and in later life’s  dragging around, Mormon beliefs about this fellow Satan were and still are are quite specific.

Satan is the villain in the LDS drama theology. Without this eternal Oil Can Harry, a lot of what is offered in the name of good versus evil would have much less substance. In fact, most fundamentalist/performance-based religions actually NEED a Satan figure at whom to cast stones of blame for … well … for leading us into temptation.

Mormons are not unique in bearing a literal-minded acceptance of an belief in the reality of Satan, known elsewhere as Lucifer among other handles. I use the Mormon sample because that is the Satan in whom I sustained a literal belief for half my adult life.

There’s the official LDS PR statement about Satan/Lucifer – buttressed as usual by literalistic scripture reading:
Answering Media Questions About Jesus and Satan

This statement has been expanded since it was originally released on 12 December 2007.

Like other Christians, we worship Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel, diametrically opposite from Christ in every attribute.

As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

The Apostle Paul wrote that God is the Father of all. This means that all intelligent beings were created by God and are His spirit children.

Jesus Christ represents all that is good, true, virtuous, merciful, just and godly.

Lucifer is the adversary of everything that Christ stands for. He embodies all that is evil, false, immoral, and devoid of any trace ofgoodness or divine light.

He is the enemy of God and of every human being who seeks to follow Christ.

There’s an endless roster of ecclesiastic sermonizing against this erstwhile Oil Can Harry. Some of the more recent, and mind you, these are verbally dispensed with few if any smiles, in an almost funereal gravity and in full assertion that Harry is no laughing matter.

O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One – Apostle Ballard

Withstand Every Temptation of the Devil – W. Rolfe Kerr

4 of Satan’s Best Strategies and How to Resist Them – Elder Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy

Dare to Stand Alone – President Thomas S.
Monson

From my perspective, a case could be made that Satan is the biggest myth – not only of Mormon theology, but across the entirety of atonement-based Christianity.

However … and if I must start my “however” with holy scripture, I could begin with that trouble maker that God authorizes in Job … and I can see mischief in the tradition of other points of view.

 

To wit …Them pesky Pagans and their more grown-up and believable evaluation of resistance, temptation, allure and mark-missing. (Notice, “mark-missing” is my descriptor of choice. I do not believe in “sin.”)
Wow.
Wouldn’t it be hard to be terrified and wary from someone whose actions and motivations are better explained and understood, and accurately compared to Lex Luthor, Oil Can Harry, Captain Hook and the Gremlins?
And this from what I consider to be a superior class of mythology upon which to base a reverence to reality system of belief.
There ya have it.
So here’s my guy … and as my current tactic for internally responding in my own knee-jerk way to the tossing around of the Satan/Devil/Evil-One/Adversary like ketchup and mustard at a barbecue.
The following is the internal image I cultivate every time some sober-faced or tear-stained testifier preaches about The So-Called Adversary:
And tonight my wife and I commence watching Good Omens on Amazon.

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