Does God Struggle

The various Christian theologies teach of a battle between God and Satan. Why would there be a struggle? According to those same teachings, God created Satan, and God is almighty with power far above and beyond Satan, so there really shouldn't be any need for a struggle. God can supposedly extinguish anything with a single thought. And, would a loving creator torture his own creatures by first creating them then at once bringing an evil foe to their doorstep who is bent on crushing them? This teaching of a struggle must therefore be quite erroneous.

Furthermore, if there is a Satan, why would he cooperate by leading astray Gods creatures? Surely, if Satan really wanted to oppose God, he wouldn't participate in the game according to Gods rules. Satan could deliver far more pain to God by letting humans stray from God of their own accord. Yet, playing the scapegoat by intentionally leading humans astray provides each human an excuse for choosing a different path, which is quite easily forgivable and far less painful.

It seems like any Satan who devotes even a single micro-second of thought for his existence would just go to some cozy corner of the universe and have fun with toys of his own, rather than challenge the inevitable all-consuming flame of an omnipotent power.

The idea of a struggle forces a pivotal set of questions: Is God unable to extinguish him? If God can extinguish him; does he not because he wants Satan to lead us into eternal fire, or because he thinks Satan is redeemable, or is there just no such person as Satan? Maybe the actual Satan is just our own desires when they are different than Gods desires. That would fit quite well with the biblical story of Satan tempting Jesus in the desert, offering Jesus power; this sounds possibly like the mind of someone thinking to himself that he could establish his own power. It also fits with the story of eating the apple in the Garden of Eden, where two people thought that partaking of something forbidden would be a way to gain power and knowledge for themselves. Even today, Satan is blamed for our own desires and behaviors. I submit the possibility that the definition of Satan is not of a person, but of our own self-centeredness.

Indeed then, our direction is not so much a choosing between God and Satan, as it is a choice between our own desires versus the desires of our creator. That seems to be closer to the real truth than the story of an almighty creator battling feverishly with one of his own tiny creatures.

~ June 4, 2010

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