Crushing Satan

As an addendum to When Satan Attacks or, “How to Train Your Dragon”, a few months ago I was reading in the greatest theological treatise of all time (you should know immediately that must be either Romans or Hebrews), and I noticed something I’d never noticed before. See if you catch it: “For the report of your obedience has reached to all, therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)

Did you notice that shift in the last sentence? It’s not us crushing Satan under our feet, and it’s not God crushing Satan under His feet. It’s *God* crushing Satan under *our* feet. We can’t do this on our own, and yet He lets us participate in it. It happens not on our own power, but on our “watch” and in our presence, when we are obedient to God, wise, good, and innocent!

Bumper Sticker Sidewalks

As I walked across campus to my first class one October morning at the college where I teach, I was delighted to discover that almost every square inch of sidewalk had been covered in propaganda. It was nice to see that our sidewalk space was not going to waste, especially since the quality of thought and artistry put into the decorations were almost as good as the thought and artistry found in average bumper stickers. At least it aspired to be. In reality, the reasoning was about as compelling as listening to two junior high boys argue over whose fart was smellier. Here are a few of the more entertaining examples:

  • “LGBTTQQIA” – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, ?, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed, Allies. My problem with this one is that it’s just not inclusive enough. Yes, I know the list has grown from just LGBT a few years ago, but really, we can do better people. Where are the pedophiles, for instance? Why are the incestuous, and the bestial, and the Sado-masochists excluded? What about those who enjoy relations with aliens (let’s not forget Katy Perry’s song “E.T.” here, people!)? I propose that next year we include those truly marginalized groups: LGBTTQQIAPIBSMX = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, ? (still no clue), Queer, Questioning, Intersexed, Allies, Pederasts, Incestuous, Bestial, Sadists, Masochists, and Xenophiles.
  • “<3 + <3 [heart + heart]= marriage.” Really? Why not “<3 + <3 + <3 = marriage?” Or what if the two hearts share a relationship by blood, or if one of the hearts is a little young? For that matter, why even limit this to hearts at all? We shouldn’t discriminate against people with artificial hearts, for instance, or even against people with no hearts at all.
  • “What God would damn a heart? What God drove us apart?” Ooh, I love brain-teasers, and this one is upping the ante with a two-part question. I should write exams like this! Ok, lemme give part A a shot. What God would damn a heart. …   … Ok, so since damning is sending to hell, a place of judgment, I want to say that the answer is “a just God,” because he’s interested in judgment and justice. But… tricky! Since sending to hell requires moral authority, I want to say the answer is “a holy God.” Unless… I got it! It has to be both! A just *and* holy God would damn a heart! Wow, that was tough. I didn’t expect the trick question. Now for the second part. “What God drove us apart?” … … Oh, good, this one is more straightforward. Since we already used “a just and holy God” as the answer for part A, that leaves just one answer for part B. “What God drove us apart?” The god of self.
  • “Love is for everyone.” Did someone say differently? Don’t think so. Did someone challenge you on your fatally flawed definition of love? Definitely.
  • Rainbows in chalk: The rainbow is the symbol of God’s promise never to destroy the Earth with a flood again, and a timeless symbol of the redemption of God’s people. Why co-opt a Christian symbol? What was wrong with the pink triangle? It brought attention to how homosexuals were persecuted in Nazi Germa… What’s that? Hitler and some of the Nazi leadership may have been homosexual? Errm. Nevermind.
  • This next one, as an announcement from the registrar, should have just been placed on their website, but I guess they’re suffering from funding being diverted for all of the LGBTTQQIAPIBSMX activities (and the related healthcare costs): “You can’t major in hate.” It wasn’t clear if this means the entire department is being abolished, or if they are just merging with the LGBTTQQIAPIBSMX department. At any rate, the hate minor is still alive and well, apparently. No word on whether or not the “Reasoned Disagreement” major will ever be approved.
  • I’m not sure how to type this one, but picture the male symbol, and picture the female symbol. In marriage, the two symbols are interlocked. In addition to this symbol for marriage, the homosexuals also drew their own combinations, such as two male symbols together, and two female symbols together -which is par for the course around Coming Out Day. What confused me was the strange combination of fused symbols, such that two male symbols were combined with a female symbol all into one, and this one symbol was paired with another similar to it. Does this represent the as-yet-undiscovered sexes? Speaking of sexes, what’s up with this whole “intersexed” and “transgendered” thing? Why is it that sexual orientation is supposedly determined genetically, but actual physical sex can’t be determined genetically? Or finally, why is gender a fluid concept but sexual orientation fixed?
  • “Someone loves you.” Can’t argue there. There’s always one “Someone” who loves you. Not coincidentally, it is the same just and holy God that can damn a heart to hell. That’s good news, because that means he can do something about it, if you’re willing to accept his pardon. I guess I’d better go back and change my answer to number 3: “A just, holy, and loving God.”

 

When Satan Attacks or, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Gandalf and the BalrogWhen we are working on serving God and developing an effective ministry for Him, Satan often attacks – that much is common knowledge for Christians in ministry. But when Satan attacks us like this, sometimes he only attacks us as long as we are going to be less productive with the attack than without it – or when our faith in God will be harmed by the attack. Continue reading

I Do Not Think It Memes…

I once called memes the bumper stickers of the internet, but sometimes they end up trying to be informational graphics that actually try to make a case for the meme creator’s viewpoint. Unfortunately, such argumentative memes rarely demonstrate better reasoning than their bumper sticker counterparts. Here is one such meme I encountered the other day (apologies for my comments in red!): Continue reading