Is Satan Religious?
The book of Job was apparently the first book of the Bible ever to be written. In the book of Job, Satan approaches God and God says “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”(Job 1:8)
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything that he has and he will surely curse you to your face.” (Job 1:9-11)
Satan is convinced that no one truly loves God. He accuses Job of loving only what God gives him: God’s blessing. In essence, Satan is saying to God that people love religion more than they love God.
A religion is a set of beliefs about God. With any set of beliefs there are actions or behaviours that follow. In fact, there are rules. From my own experience with religion, it would seem to me that most people approach God with this idea: if I am a good person, good things will happen to me; if I behave badly, I will be punished.
Satan is accusing Job of believing exactly that. If God takes away Job’s blessing, Job “will surely curse” God. If you read the book of Job, you will discover that even when Job is stripped bare, he does not curse God. Certainly, he questions why, but his mantra is: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (Job 13:15)
Interestingly, Job’s friends accuse Job of evil doing. They have the religious mindset that Satan accused Job of having. They believe that curses have fallen upon Job because of his behaviour. (Example: Job 8:3-4)
Job’s wife is also religious. She knows Job has done nothing wrong, but she too believes that God has no right to treat them badly when their behaviour is so religiously upright. She tells her husband to “curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)
I believe that Satan too, approached God in this way. If indeed Isaiah 14 refers to the story of the fall of Satan, it would appear that Satan thought he deserved a reward – a throne; a crown – for his good deeds in heaven. He thought he deserved to be worshipped like a God. This is self-righteousness and pride: the truest pictures of religiosity. And yet this is anti-Christian and the only way God can purge this evil is to hand Satan over to his own desires and his own religion.
In my novel ‘Victori Song,’ I have depicted my understanding of Satanism based on the research that I have done. It would seem to me that even Satan rewards his followers according to their works. He rewards obedience, dedication and sacrifice. He punishes disobedience, betrayal and selfishness.
Later in this same series: Covenant-999, my opinions about the Satanic and Christian ‘religions’ will become overt. The real question here is not whether or not Satan is religious. The question is: do you approach God religiously?
I have approached God religiously all my life. Even today. I still want him to reward my hard work with success. I still want paedophiles to go to jail for their crimes. I still feel like I’m being punished for some hidden sin in my heart, when things in my life don’t go the way I them to – so I try to be perfect and appease God.
This year, to some degree, I feel I have been stripped naked like Job. My mother passed away. The dream of having my mother attend my wedding is now an impossible dream. I failed an important exam. I’m trying to sell my novel in my own strength and it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m still single at age twenty-eight and that is not how I expected life to pan out.
If I approach God with this idea that he owes me something; that he has to reward me for my good works … am I any better than Satan? On the one hand, grace is amazing because it is total freedom from sin and punishment! But on the flipside it is offensive to people because we feel that reward and punishment are necessary. If people are completely free, then they are free to hurt us and get away with it.
Maybe – just maybe – Satan’s most effective tool against Christianity, is in convincing people that we must still approach God religiously even after we have been made completely free. He makes us afraid of anarchy and drowns us in religious works to appease a God who is already appeased.
I want to embrace grace. I want to love God like Job did, just for being God – for being gracious and forgiving and loving even toward people who have hurt me. The God who died at the hands of religious Pharisees because his grace offended them.
Here again, I repent of my religion – even though I know I am already forgiven – and I pick up the offensive gospel of grace.