2/18/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy SteveS ~
Angels and demons are two of the most pivotal beings in Christian mythology. Fighting for the souls of humans below, these entities meddle in mortals’ everyday affairs. You can be sure that a majority of Americans, liberals and conservatives alike, believe in such beings. The growing consensus among Christians is that we have free will, which God cannot violate. But there may be something else tacked onto that consensus – namely, the belief that although God cannot interfere with human’s free will, he also cannot interfere with the free will of angels and demons, leaving them free to roam about the earth, doing as they will. This has been a counterpoint that Christians are starting to use more frequently – God gave Satan free will too, after all.
I wanted to bring this up because although it might seem like a way for the Christian God to wriggle out of the bear trap of the problem of evil (but even if it did work, there are still many hurdles to jump through before a person can actually make an educated choice about which deity to believe in, worship, and give 10 percent of his income and one hundred percent of his life to), it is an explanation full of holes. First of all, Christians who propose this theory are likely to say “natural disasters and sickness are brought on by demons.” Birth defects, cancer, elephantitis, malaria, syphilis – yup, there’s a demon for that. This is laughable! We know how these diseases are caused, not by demons, but by a range of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Why should we go one step further and postulate that demons are controlling these beings? Where are the angels? Can’t they stop this stuff from happening if demons can cause it? Surely if demons can possess bacteria, viruses, or parasites without our help, angels can drive them out without our help. Why should an angel have to work through the hands of a human whereas demons can work through these organisms? Do you know of anyone without a surgeon’s license who can perform surgery as well as a surgeon with his Ph.D.? Now that might be an example of an angel at work!
This “spiritual warfare” excuse for the problem of evil runs into another problem as well; how the hell can demons directly meddle in God’s creation? I thought God was the only one who could create life and take it away? Maybe demons can just add on to what God has created – but what kind of God would allow for such a possibility? In that case, it would be like god’s creation is the canvas, and the demons are the painters – they may well actually have more of a role in our world than God Almighty himself! What kind of theodicy allows for that? How the hell can a demon modify DNA created by the all-perfect Creator and cause a birth defect? Couldn’t an angel restore it back to normal? After all, demons are just fallen angels. It seems like the angels of heaven really don’t give a damn about their boss’s kids.
If angels and demons are really at work, then why does it seem as though they aren’t? Why does it have to be humanity who suffers from God’s petty battle, in which only humans suffer and die? Why do immortal beings fight if they can’t kill each other? If suffering builds character, are demons truly agents of God Himself because they cause so much suffering? It seems as if God and the Devil may very well be in cahoots if that is truly the case. Also, what have angels done for anyone lately besides help somebody find their car keys or get the best parking spot at Wal-Mart? Why does this heavenly battle seem so one-sided and why does it make God out to be a trickster? Why haven’t Christians thought this through? Why can’t they just cut out all this nonsense about spiritual entities that don’t even have a shred of real evidence, just dubious anecdotes from a bunch of easily-swayed, emotionally overloaded humans (which the vast majority of us happen to be).
Life is so much better when you realize that you are the only one controlling your fate. My heart aches for those who are stuck in their bed at night, praying for divine protection and seeking divine favors. Christians, it’s time to give these outdated beliefs a rest and grow up. We’re all excited to progress together as one human family, and it’s beliefs like the ones I’ve just mentioned that hold us back. May reality have mercy on your brains.
As a side note, I'd love to hear how you would respond if a Christian told you demons were responsible for natural disasters and sickness, and that despite all this, God was still omnipotent and omnibenevolent.
Filed Under: Opinion