The post below was written as a response to Mere Christianity. This post has nothing to do with class but rather my own thoughts and feelings. I've been wrestling with a few things, hopefully someone may help bring clarity to my mind.
I have lately been struggling with the idea of a devil. A complete opposite of God. This sounds foolish at first, but let me start off with what I think God is like.
To me, God chooses to operate under the rules he established in his created world. It's as if he created this sort of video game.
He knows the cheats.
He knows what's coming.
He knows how it works.
But he also knows who to get the most out of it. He knows that defying the rules of the game (universe) will not bring happiness and enjoyment (or whatever correlates with life - not a video game). This is why Jesus was so necessary. We are tainted with sin. Everything we touch or use, in some way, becomes tainted. So in order to repay the universe for our sins, we needed a being who was completely sinless. You can't replace a broken motor with another broken motors or even a million broken motors. We broke the world, Jesus took it's place.
If God did not operate within his own rules, and is indeed infinitely wise, he would have done things differently (or at least, this is what it seems to me. But who am I to place myself in the Almighty's shoes? (If he even wears shoes?))
So to me, God operates on his own rules.
Perhaps you are beginning to see why the Devil is such a hard concept for me to grasp onto. Obviously I've been tempted and misguided, but is it the result of the Devil's work or my sinful self trying to achieve 'positive feelings.'
Lucifer was an angel who fell. This is my first beef. If angels are above us and more holy and closer to God, are all angels still to be trusted? Could perhaps, Micheal decide to deceive or make a mistake regarding our fates? This is a lesser argument as the spiritual world transcends this one, but one that remains on my mind.
My next struggle lies within Satan's purpose. Was it his choice to tempt or is it a position deemed by God? Are they truly at odds with one another? If Satan was previously an angel - and angels are above humans - it seems appropriate to assume that they know the world better than we. If this were so, how could anyone or anything possibly defy all the laws by which things operate? How could he resist God and attempt to over throw him? It's nonsense. It's like attempting to jump and jump and jump until finally being able to fly. It's utterly ridiculous.
So then I come to a conclusion that Satan and God always were and they share this world. They are not at odds but rather God understands Satan's role and vice verse. Perhaps, Satan even being appointed by God. But then this says that God indeed gives in to suffering and even creates it himself. Those who believe we grow through suffering may be rest assured, but those who believe suffering comes from ourselves are left confused. My beef here (beef is an odd term) is that to me, God creates and operates on a level that causes no harm. I don't think God would procedurally harm something for the sake of the end result. Everything God created is good, it is us that force it harmful or healthy.
My only other option (hopefully this is where someone points out something I left out completely and I can rest assured knowing that clarity is still possible) is that perhaps the devil does not exist. This is also backed up by the idea of bringing heaven to earth.
If we are to restore all things in the direction of God, are we then too capable of destroying things in the direction of hell? We reform the world around us in hopes of bringing Heaven and earth closer together. Heaven on earth is a common phrase, but hell on earth is just as prevalent if not more so. My point here is that we are capable of bringing hell to earth as well.
We are the ones who do this.
Though they may be ABLE to do this, they chose not to. It's up to us, we're the objects of this ongoing spiritual warfare.
It all just seems to contradictory to me. I know that as humans we are not able to comprehend things even of this world. For example:
Infinity exists. But not just one infinity, but an infinite amount of infinities. Just in the distance between my seat and you (the teachers) there is an infinite amount of distance. There is an infinite amount of space between 1 inch and 2 inches. 1.1 inch, 1.01 inch, 1.001 inch, 1.00000000000000001 inch...and so on. The Bible claims we have free will but are also dictated by predestination. It doesn't make any sense. I believe this too is like infinities, we just won't get it.
Perhaps this is just as cluttered as my previous post, but I hope my idea is coming across ok? Comment and questions, hopefully I may answer them.