Satan: The Greatest Bible Myth?
We have spent a considerable time on this blog, addressing Biblical myths. HeIsSailing wrote on several myths of the Bible including the Leviathan, the creation story, the tower of Babel, and the origins of languages. I compiled an entry on the Exodus. Richard recently wrote on the Apocalypse. However, I believe one of the greatest myths of the Bible is the existence of the creature we call the devil.
On his personal blog, Gary has a post entitled The Grand Myth of Lucifer in which he describes in detail what the Bible says, or what most evangelicals believe the Bible says, about this mythical creature. In the post, he describes the origins of Lucifer, the part he played in the fall of Adam and Eve, the crucifixion of Jesus, and what he knows of his own destiny.
Even as a Christian, I began to have my doubts in the existence of the devil. I struggled with the story of Job in which Job was a pawn in a great cosmic battle between God and the devil. If God was the great omnipotent being and the devil was simply a fallen angel, why did it seem as if they were somehow on equal terms? What was the devil doing in heaven approaching God?
Then of course, there was the talking serpent in the Garden of Eden (see HIS’ post on creation for more on this) and the introduction of demons who could possess humans in the New Testament. In fact, what we now know of as diseases, such as epilepsy, were labeled demonic possessions and cured with the casting out of demons. What were the origin of demons anyway? Were they fallen angels? If so, could the angels who did not “fall” possess humans?
Add all this to the charismatic belief of the well organized, hierarchical kingdom of darkness in the “heavenlies”, I began to seriously doubt the existence of a real being called the devil who had some sort of power over me to control my actions or possess me.
I know a Christian believes that the devil himself tries to deceive others by convincing them that he doesn’t exist. To them, this is known as his greatest lie when in fact, it is one of the greatest truths.
– The de-Convert