Satan’s Not the Problem

Dana Carvey and the ‘Church Lady’ sketches always made me laugh, especially when she referenced Satan. During a Christmas-themed December broadcast, using a magnetic spelling board, she rearranged letters spelling “Santa” to reveal “Satan.” There are a lot of serious Christians who do the same thing. Satan isn’t behind everything. We give him way too much credit.

C.S. Lewis wrote this about the devils in the Preface to The Screwtape Letters (1942):

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.

I’m certainly no literary competitor to Lewis, but I believe there is another error, and that is to pin everything on the devil. He’s only one fallen angel who has no more power than any other angel.

Rick Santorum’s 2008 speech about Satan is getting a lot of attention by the media. Here is some of what Santorum said:

"Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition."

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country — the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost 200 years, once America’s preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.”

Here’s my problem with his comments. He should not have blamed Satan; he should have blamed those who have steadily taken our freedoms away, weakened our resolve, broken our economy, spent us into debt, created millions of hopeless dependents, wrecked our education system, and left us disillusioned about the future.

Santorum let our nation’s political, social, and cultural saboteurs off the hook by blaming Satan. There are sinister forces at work in America, and they don’t need Satan to exact their will on us. They’re to blame, and that’s where Santorum and the other candidates should focus their attention. This is how the book of James makes the case:

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14–15).

The lust for power in fallen creatures is man’s great sin. Today’s institutional leaders believe they can be gods if given enough power, control, and money. It’s up to us to show them that they are wrong.

Let's not give these guys a way out by giving them Flip Wilson's Geraldine Jones defense: "The Devil made me do it." No he didn't. You did.

Comments

comments

  • JimN.

    Well said...

    • LTCB

      Actually, not well said. The problem is, the author has forgotten that ALL that a group does is normally laid at the feet of that group's leader. So, the devil gets the blame. Yes, he is not like God at all. But, with 1/3 of the former angels at his beck and call that does not mean he is incapable of organizing anything. What always amuses me is the way the dummy doesn't pay any attention to God's Word. The devil tries to twist it and distort it all of the time but, he doesn't seem to grasp that he has little time and he will be thrown into a bottemless pit.

      • daves

        Santorum says that Satan has his sights set on the United States of America. And today Satan said he tries to avoid politics because it makes him feel dirty.

        • Ken

          Originality is evidently not one of your strong points. Or else plagarism is.

          That joke was on Leno the other night...you should at least attribute your sources.

    • Clodmcgoo

      To Gary DeMar...Excelent article! I have only 3 comments. 1) Satan is not the same as the other demons. He is the Prince of the power of the air. He is the most powerful created being. 2. The lust for power is not the greatest sin. It is the rejection of Jesus Christ. Only He can forgive sin and only He can make us holy. 3. Basically there are four things God wants you to know:
      1) Your need to be saved. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." John 3:3 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Romans 6:23a "For the wages of sin is death--"

      2) You cannot save yourself. Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us--" Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast."

      • Clodmcgoo

        Continued...To Gary DeMar...Excelent article!
        3) God has provided for your salvation. John 3:16,17 "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 11:25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."
        4) You must receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Acts 16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." John 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."

        • Clodmcgoo

          Continued...To Gary DeMar...Excelent article!
          The Lord Jesus Christ was the only perfect sacrifice for sin because He had no sin of His own. When He died, He paid your penalty for your sin. He loves you and He wants you to be one of His children. If you would, right now, just bow your head and in your own words, tell God that you want to be saved from the penalty of your sin and you want His free gift of eternal life.
          I did that when I was eight years old, (69 years ago) and He saved me, gave me eternal life and has led me ever since. He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
          In addition to the above scripture verses let me suggest that you read the first three chapters of John and the first chapter of Romans. The first three chapters of John describe who God is and what He has done for us. The first chapter of Romans describes what mankind has done and what God thinks of us.

  • screeminmeeme

    Well said and spot on. Adam began it all when he blamed God for giving him the woman who led him to sin and ever since man has blamed someone, anyone, other than himself for the messes in which he finds himself.

    One note though: The bible teaches that Satan has been keeping tabs on each one of us since birth and knows exactly what bait to put in traps meant for us. He uses our minds as a channel to plant sinful thoughts and our flesh gleefully responds while he sits back and twiddles his thumbs, watching us deceive ourselves and justify our immoral behavior. So we need mature discernment and determination to resist and cast down those wicked imaginations and bring into captivity every ungodly thought, aligning our minds with the mind of Christ.

  • Potawatomi13

    Gary Demar you are dead WRONG! It is the devil that has deceived and allowed all those who don't believe in him or really believe in Almighty God to deceive themselves into believing there is no wrong and there is no consequence eternal or otherwise if they can hide their dishonesty and violation of the Constitution, of common morality and more importantly of Gods law. The last of which they likely put little stock in. The devil is the father of LIES! The devil is the father of all deception which is just another name for a LIE. For you to disingenuously say "don' t blame the devil" means you either don't believe he exists or YOU are deceived or YOU are his witting servant and are misleading your readers to not believe in his power either. Any one of which misleads your readers and endangers theirs as well as your own immortal soul.
    What Rick Santorum has done is told the liberals without mentioning names that they are controlled by the devil and no less! And may God bless him for his honesty and willingness to speak the truth.

    • grandma caesar

      if someone drinks and does something wrong, the person can't blame the alcohol, as he/she is responsible for putting the alcohol in their body.. if someone takes pills and does something wrong, it is not the pills' fault, the pills didn't just jump into someone's mouth. if someone willingly picks up a gun and murders, it is not the gun's fault. we are not responsible for what satan does...only for what we do. sure, satan is active, satan is at work. but we as individuals choose whether or not we allow satan to work thru us. we can't change satan's actions, only our own.

  • Myrtlelinder

    You can depend on one thing, Satan is responsible for all of the evil of the world. I am not saying that he forces us to do his evil. but he knows every nerve and which nerve to touch to get us to obey. he cannot force us to do anything. That is where our part comes. Our will power is weak. That is our part of the sin. We do not choose to use any self control. If we choose to resist Satan GOD is with us all off the way BUT HE WILL NOT DO IT ALL, AT LEAST ALL OF THE TIME. Satan knows uf very well,indeed and he knows exactly how we feel about GOD and how much will power we are willing to use against him. To overcme Satan's wiles we must accept JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR and HE will be with us all of the way. If we do not want HIM HE will not force HIS way on us but is willing to help every step of the way IF WE WILL ALLOW HIM TOO DO SO. WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAS TO MAKE THAT DECISION, IT IS UP TO US.

    • TheEkstaza

      So is it not in god's power to stop satan. And if god allows satan to commit evil acts, is he not complicit with evil. Or could it be that neither satan or god exist and we have no one to blame for good or evil but ourselves?

  • Myrtlelinder

    Matt. 25:31-40
    31: When the SON OF MAN shall come in HIS GLORY, and all the HOLY Angels with HIM, then shall HE sit upon the throne of HIS GLORY:
    32: And before HIM shall be gathered all nations: and HE shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33: And HE shall set the sheep on HIS right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34: Then shall the KING say unto them on HIS right hand, Come, ye blessed of my FATHER,
    inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35: for I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37: Then shall the righteous answer HIM, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungry ,and fed thee: or thirsty, and gave you drink?
    38: When saw we thee a stranger, and took the in or naked and clothed thee?
    39: Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40: And the KING shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    33:

  • 1599

    Santorum is a good one to blame satan while he himself is guided by satan, especially as it relates to his twisted Middle-East views. Or, is he just cowtowing? Either way he is an example of a weak leader.

    • screeminmeeme

      1599...twisted Middle-East views? He's right on target as our president should be. America used to believe in peace thru strength and was respected in the world. Obama has done everything he can to change that...to weaken us in the eyes of our enemies and disarm us, making us vulnerable. It's pussy Obama twho is the weak leader.

  • http://twitter.com/CielRougeLeSoir @CielRougeLeSoir

    What you said: Quote: "Here’s my problem with his comments. He should not have blamed Satan; he should have blamed those who have steadily taken our freedoms away, weakened our resolve, broken our economy, spent us into debt, created millions of hopeless dependents, wrecked our education system, and left us disillusioned about the future.

    Mr Demar, IMHO you are wrong on this. Satan is alive and well, and when he fell, he took with him a third of the heavenly host that God had created. All of these fallen beings are devils and evil spirits that are roaming the earth, perverting and twisting as many human souls as they can. They love evil and destruction, and are responsible for corrupting all good. All of those you mention above are people who have allowed themselves to be controlled by Satan. He is the deceiver, Lucifer, and controls many important people who are making decisions affecting world finances, as well as much of the Media, the Entertainment industry, politicians, etc.

    They are free to roam and corrupt and do so constantly. Santorum hit the nail on the head, actually, and it would behoove us to beware! Who do you think causes man to have that lust for power??

  • Spyder Dalton

    Obama is the problem. Not adhering to our laws is the problem. Controlling our lives is the problem.

  • http://n/a Earth Angel ~

    Very easy to feel good when you have someone else to blame for your own mistakes, stupidity in making wrong decisions. This mixup between blaming and/or taking the responsibility is the difference between a strong person or a weak person. Anyone in their right mind would choose strength over weakness.

  • screeminmeeme

    Myrtle....remember :
    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Satan knows man well. He plants a thought and then kicks back and watches us go to town, sinning and indulging our flesh. Yes...he is the god of this world...and has fabricated the world's economic, political, and false-religious systems. He is powerful....but....1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

  • C W Scaggs

    Ephesians 6:12
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.

  • Brad

    Let's go back to Eden. Adam blamed God for giving him the wife that tempted him, the wife blamed Satan. Yes we have a deceiver in the world but he works through others. In regards to this political race the bottom line is "you will know them by their fruit". Ron Paul was correct in labeling Santorum as a "fake". Ron Paul was simply exposing his "fruit".
    Three very pagan institutions now own most of the money in the world and therefore its resources. They control anything money can buy. Between the Vatican, the Cabalists (those who study and adhere to the luciferian kabbala introduced by pagan worship during the reign of Solomon), and the mafia, there is little human chance of changing the politics in this country other than the second coming of Christ when all this evil on earth will be destroyed.
    We need to stop believing the "devil made me do it" and take individual responsibility for not praying enough and for relying too much on others to tell us what we believe rather than researching things ourselves.
    PS If you have not heard of the Cabalists then your ignorance is proving my point

  • Leah Brooks

    Heavenly Father sent us here with the gift of agency. We will have to answer for our decisions. Greed and power have corrupted those in positions of power. As pawns in the chess game of life, our power can only be gained by joining with like minded people, staying informed and voting. Obama was voted in as President, I didn't vote for him but enough did to give our country away.

  • samtman

    Hard to believe, people actually believe in a Satan in this scientific age. I thought the dark ages were behind us.

    • John Williams

      Anyone who denies the existence of Satan is living in the. DARK AGES ! You have bought into the Most dangerous lie of all - Satan does not exist ! If you deny his existence , you are in greater danger than you know ! He is the master of his craft - deceit ! He's got you convinced ; 6 billion more to go. !

  • Bear

    I am a born again Christian, but I see things in a different light than most (God In A Box) denominational professing christians do. Satan 101 for true believers. Yes God kicked him and 1/3 of the angels out of heaven, more precisely cast them down to earth! Satan understood one thing that most humans don't, but his twisted mind wrongly divided God's words. We are created in God's image, therefore we are also creators! Yes and No! Think of your own mirror image when you stand in front of a mirror, nearly perfect except your right side is in the left and it is only as thick as the glass and it can do nothing without you! Which was the part Satan missed because of his pride! We humans are creators just like our own creator, the collective words out of our mouths creates the reality we live in day in and day out here in this God created realm of time and space! When we break the link with our creator through sin, or creation becomes warped by the sin! The proof of my statement is a simple logical ispection of the physical reality we are currently living in day to day. America founded on In God We Trust 200 plus years ago has murdered 53 million babies in the womb since Roe v Wade! Don't try to tell me God isn't mad enough to send us all straight to HELL do NOT pass Go do Not collect $200. Think about it, open your eyes before it is too late!

    May God richly bless and keep all his children during the days leading to the Final Judgement!

  • Lois

    While I agree with the point which Flip Wilson was making when he had Geraldine constantly claiming that "the devil made me do it," we need to ALSO keep in mind that that there really is a Satanic force at work in the world. Satan is a Hebrew word which means adversary. At St. Peter warned: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8. St. James points out that the antidote was a simple one: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7. St. Jude also had a simple suggestion for dealing with the "ungodly" who wanted to "slip in unawares." But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20-21. It is indeed unfortunate that so many religious leaders have allowed themselves be hoodwinked by the unkept promises of the liberal political agenda. However, it is equally true that those leaders who have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked have likewise allowed their institutions to become so weakened that they are no longer effective. Those who followed Jesus were supposed to become the salt of the earth. But, as Jesus Himself observed: You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13. Those religious leaders who have decided to drop the Gospel message so that it would be easier for them to embrace the various gospels of various liberal think-tanks are, unfortunately, like the salt which is no longer salty - not good for much. Surely not strong enough to protect their members from an adversary who is searching for whomever he can, to devour!

  • SEAN MURRY

    A bunch of devils in Washington.

  • John Williams

    Gary reveals his ignorance of the bible ; history ; sin ; and the origin and nature thereof ! Flip Wilson , who made you laugh with his
    " the devil made me do it " line , was more correct than he realizes ! Gary is correct in his assertion that the devil does not
    MAKE US do anything ; but he could not be more wrong when he says " the devil is JUST ONE FALLEN ANGEL and is no more powerful than any other angel " ! Christ said that serpent , the devil , is a liar and the FATHER OF LIARS " ; in other words , he is the master of delusion , and Gary has become succumbed to his craftiness - " only one angel " ! Sounds harmless enough , Gary , and it illustrates what a master he is of his craft ( lying ) ! Gary , in all sincerity , I suggest that you read the first Genesis 3 and get a more biblical perspective on the devil and how he approaches his craft ! " you shall know the truth , and the truth shall st you free " ,
    That is free from error !

  • Mary Rutkowski

    An amazing collection of comments ! I echo the post by - JimN - 'Well said', Gary deMar and thank you ! Satan is NOT the god of this world - "All power in heaven and on earth is given to me" said the Lord Jesus. ALL power - I hope Gary deMar will explain to what degree, if any, the Evil One, the Adversary, has anything that could be described as 'power'. Is he not now a chained enemy, limited greatly in what he can do ? Gary, perhaps you can write on this.

  • Mary Rutkowski

    - Also, Santorum is more than brazenly arrogant when he proclaims that 'Satan' has the USA in his sites because we are 'good, decent, powerful etc...' and that there is no one else to go after - This is hard to believe, even out of the mouth of politician Santourm !! Tell it to the millions of aborted babies ! Tell it to the myriad of victims of our unust wars, both Americans and others ! Tell it to the thousands whose liberties are assaulted continually by our growing police state !!! Whose influence was Santorum under when he voted to fund Planned Parenthood, to support Arlen Specter, when he supported Whitman from New Jersey and whose inluence is he under when he advocates WAR ??! Whose influence persuaded him to not keep his oath of office to uphold the Constitution ??

  • Peter

    It's a cop out to blame the devil. it's also a generalized statement that could mean a variety of things depending upon the listener. It would be much more productive to discuss specifically what people are doing that is destroying the country and explain it to the people.

  • pat

    Satan is a symbolic word for evilness (evil things, evil events, evil ideas, and evil people). "Satan is attacking the great institutions of America" just means that evil people are attaching them.

    The word evil comes from the word devil, just as the word good comes from the word God. Satan=evilness. So Santorum did not misspeak.

  • casey

    The sheep are being divided from the goats right here on this thread. Lucifer is real and his time is about up. But prior to his demise he will turn the streets of this nation into rivers of blood. I pray that it be Gods Will that we will be strong enough and smart enough as aa people, to push this time that's upon us down the road aways.

  • casey

    We will see if Santorum is a fake. My guess is if elected, like Bush everything that goes wrong will be his fault. What the left is really saying is where is your God now. Santorum maybe better off individually losing this process, because Christ is on trial each and everytime a Man of Faith in Powerthe stands on Biblical Principles. Besides I am so convinced that Santorum is the real deal, my guess is he will too be Raptured with his fellow Christian brethren (thepatriot Church), leaving the non believers here to fend for themselves.

  • casey

    That's (the church), Not the patriot church.

  • Ithamar

    Santorum misspoke about more than just Satan. He broad stroked Protestant Churches as reprobate in the faith. While no one should question the apostasy that has taken over a multitude of Protestant churches, we don't need some Roman Catholic setting us straight. Civil and religious liberty was the accomplishment of Western Protestant Christian theology and an ethic founded upon the Bible. Roman Catholicism has never proven fertile ground for liberty, just the opposite. Wherever the Roman Church prevails, religious and civil liberty is lost. Santorum needs to be reminded that it was not Protestants who elected Obama. Obama found his major support among the followers of Rome.

  • Mary Rutkowski

    Most interesting, Ithamar ! I didn't know that Santorum had attacked Protestant churches - as reprobate no less !!! Can you please refer me to where, when he said this ? I guess I shouldn't be shocked at anything he says but I am - was it widely publicized, was it recent ? And he is apparently garnering the support of evangelicals ?

  • casey

    He has good reason to question what many protestant churches have become. I was raised methodist and they have formally turned on Israel. Most of these denominations no longer stand on the Rock. Like Obama they use to distort the word rather than stand on it. Anything not to offend and to fill the pews and the collection plates. This was predicted in Revelations and like all prophecy written in the Bible, IT ALL COMES TO PASS.

  • casey

    Grandma Caeser, I agree whole heartidly with what you have said. But this is about a one World Government, and about serving the USA up on a platter so all the World can stand astonished by its collapse. This is about life and death decisions being forced on us by these same people that has sleighed America from the inside, (also known as healthcare), this movement is Satan and his pawns are running OUR government.

  • Rev. Anony Moose

                 I agree with Santorum!   Those evil men are actually following the devil(John 8:44)!   Please read
    such verses as Dan.10, Eph.6:10-18 especially vs.12, and II Cor.10:3-6.   Also II Cor.4:3&4!    Those evil
    men are doing  just what the devil wants them to do!
                         It sounds like the author of this article is underestimating the devil!