A Devil of a Time

Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing.  Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles.  We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all.  So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.

– Martin Luther – 
The devil’s first trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.  
– Charles Baudelaire – 
An interesting article about the new pope and his persistent treatment of the devil in his sermons and other statements.  
In light of the recent idiocy at Harvard, one may well wonder whether we have enough talk about the devil these days, in the Church let alone anywhere else.  You remember Harvard – they were about to allow a Satanic black mass to be celebrated on campus, but backed away from it at the last minute.  A school that would likely personally arrest anyone attempting to lobby against gay rights or abortion rights or spouting anything anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim, that school is all about freedom of expression and intellectual liberty when it comes to a ceremony explicitly bent on insulting and mocking and defiling Christian worship (specifically the Roman Catholic mass).
What is our reaction as Christians?  On one hand we’re so weary of all of this anti-Christian publicity that we may not even react.  Or we may think that it’s a Catholic issue that we don’t need to be concerned about.  Or we may think it’s all silly hype and just ignore it.
Should we be concerned?  Not simply morally indignant and outraged, but concerned spiritually?  Concerned because the Prince of Darkness, the enemy of humanity and creation is being worshiped and invoked?  What is the proper response to this sort of thing?  We can and should protest, but what else can be done?  Catholics in Boston held a counter-mass (or at least were scheduled to – not sure if they continued with it once the event was cancelled), and this seems like a healthy response.  But is it only Catholics that should be in prayer about this sort of thing?
We don’t give the devil his due, so to speak.  We are so focused on our own contributions to the state of the world that we forget that there are other powers at play as well.  While we needn’t fear them personally as Christians, we should fear on behalf of those who are not in Christ.  Satan has been defeated in the death and resurrection of the Son of God Jesus of Nazareth, but he still seeks to inflict collateral damage on creation.  That ought to concern us.  
Shouldn’t it?

2 Responses to “A Devil of a Time”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Yes, it should concern us. Growing up Lutheran there’s not a lot of talk about spiritual warfare but it is real and all around us. Though living where I do has brought it far closer to the forefront of thought, it is going on everywhere. I’ve been doing about half an hour at a time of this video series this past week. It’s worth checking out. I’ve only done one other study but I really like his Secret Church series: http://www.radical.net/media/schurch/series_list/?id=63

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Thanks for the link, Sarah!  I look forward to checking this out next week.

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