Vol.XVII No.III Pg.4
May 1980

Satan And Detente?

Robert F. Turner

Madelyn Murray O'Hare, in a speech delivered on the campus of Southwest Texas State University, ridicules the "Christian's belief in the existence of this being called Satan." Many today scoff at the idea of a spiritual conflict being fought over the souls of men — and it is not uncommon to hear the "more educated" of our country refer to Satan and this great battle as Hebrew mythology. It seems the "god of this world" has been highly successful in "blinding the minds of the unbelieving" (II Cor. 4:4).

But these are conclusions drawn by those who refuse to acknowledge a moral force greater than man. The unbeliever sees evil and human suffering as "proof" that there is no omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God; and consequently, no spiritual realm of any sort, whether good or evil. The Christian views the same as evidence that a great battle is being waged — sin, suffering and spiritual death being the consequences of that battle.

As people of God, we should be able to recognize the scores of casualties in this conflict: the drunkard, the drug addict, the unwed mother, the disillusioned and the atheist. Not only should we see the conflict in our surroundings, but we should accept the divine explanation for it— "Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Our own observations coupled with Biblical warnings should serve as constant reminders of our susceptibility to Satan's power and influence. Yet, even with these advantages many Christians have drifted into spiritual complacency. Some forge battles they once fought, and practices which were abhorred are "no really that bad — after all." We ca n see fellow soldiers who, at one time stood uncompromisingly for the truth— but now one "small" defeat after an other leads them further and further away from God. Still others have been deluded into thinking their "front line" days are over and they can now sit back and allow others to continue the fight.

It is time to wake up! "All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in this world is for enough good men to do nothing" (E. Burke) One of the greatest aids to the cause of Satan is the self-delusion that "there is no battle, or at least, reason for me to become involved in the conflict!" Satan has deceived many into thinking "Peace, peace when there is no peace" (Jer. 6:14),

His forces of evil are at work to lull us to sleep and subtly leads us into spiritual destruction. Remember... he is called "Apollyon and Abaddon (death and destroyer), "the tempter, "a murderer from the beginning" and "the deceiver of the whole world (Rev. 9:11; 12:9; 1Thes. 3:5; Jn. 8:44). Also, John records Satan as declaring war on those "that keep the commandments of God, and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Rev. 12:17). There is a Satan; there is a great battle being winged over the souls of men. If we are not actively engaging ourselves in this conflict, WE ARE BEING DEFEATED! Kevan O'Banion