I knew Sparks’s voice. I knew the question was just him but still couldn’t help quietly chuckling. I managed to withhold a snarky answer.
As it turns out, good choice. I went on back to perusing the football schedule for the week. One must make concessions when the fave team’s ace quarterback is out for the season. Collarbone. Hmm. Let’s see…
“Got a minute?”
I froze for just a second or two. Sparks is a good-sized man, usually not quiet with entrance/exit strategy. I hadn’t heard him come in. It was a good reminder that Sparks had survived two tours in Middle East war zones by being night cat-stealthy when necessary. It was also an indicator that something unusual was pulling his nose hairs.
I swung around in my desk chair, my back to the computer, and picked up my coffee cup. And waited.
The young man sat motionless for a few seconds, an expression of distaste on his face.
“So I heard a guy speaking over the weekend who says Evil is merely a concept embraced by The Church to control the thinking of simple people with shallow reasoning skills. He said even Satan could be forgiven if The Church would stop hammering on things like sin and Hell, and concentrate on loving everyone more.”
“And your response to that?”
His face scrunched up like a collapsed pop can. “Like you don’t know? Granger, it’s guys like this who confuse the issues and conflate differing ideas like some huge religious buffet. I guess I just needed a Granger fix to reestablish that my brain hadn’t taken a sick day.”
“Okay. Well, yes, there is too Evil in this world. But it didn’t start here. It was a white-hot, insane spark of vanity, of uncontrolled arrogance, envy and self-worship that finally imploded in the heart, mind and spirit of Lucifer – the brilliant ‘Cherub Who Covers’ who once had God’s very ear.
“It was an instantaneous fission, an implosion of soul that sealed this magnificent angel’s fate. For him, the last vestiges of amenity and allegiance to God, of appreciation for His genius and amazement at His holiness were instantly vaporized in Lucifer’s unleashed, total self-absorption.
“Evil’s birth took place long before “In the beginning God created…” For it all to work, all involved had to be able to make their own choice: accept or reject God’s ultimate authority and oversight over His universe and entire created order. That included all His angels. ALL of them.”
Sparks sat thinking. “Okay, I get that–but what about Satan being forgiven?”
“He doesn’t want it. Not interested. In fact, I remember reading that Satan isn’t omniscient like God is; and because he’s not, he still thinks he can win. I’m not sure how well that tracks theologically, but it is one hallmark of the narcissist. One thing’s for sure: he has no use for you, me or anybody else with skin on ’em–other than to use us as pawns to somehow get back at God.
“Satan, the Adversary, hates being reminded of it and is narcissistic enough to not believe it, but he is just one more part of God’s created order. He won’t have an end, but he definitely had a beginning; and it was God who created him and every other serving spirit who was foolish enough to listen to his spiel and follow him in challenging God. Hell isn’t going to be a pleasant place, considering everyone from Earth stupid enough to believe and follow his lies will be right there with him, forever getting in his face and sneering at his inability to take God out and take His place.”
The young man slowly sat up from where he’d been slouching in the comfortable old chair.
“Wait. Satan can’t do anything to them, right?”
“And they can’t get away from him, but he can’t get away from them, either, can he?”
“Okay, so people who say Hell’s gonna be one big party can’t imagine—-”
“Hey, I got east county patrol tonight, so I better run. But, hey–thanks for the little lift. I know we got the Bible and all, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit and reaffirm what exactly our faith really is worth. See ya!”
His exit was, ah, lively.
Huh. I swung back around to my monitor. Ravens, maybe? Chiefs?
© D. Dean Boone November 2013