The Satan Papers
Written by Kevin   
Thursday, 23 June 2005

Introduction

You probably read the title and wondered "what the hell is this?" (no pun intended), so let me explain. In college I wrote an opinion paper for my English class. As I normally do, I decided to pick a topic that would be controversial to most people, in this case the good side of Satan. Yes, is seems strange, but I do believe it came off well and I ended up getting an "A" on the paper.

One of my favorite memories of this paper is the fact that we had to have it reviewed by random classmates, and one of my reviewers (I never did find out who) put the following comment on my paper, "I refuse to comment due to my own bias.". It was ironic that I wrote a paper about how there is always a different way of looking at things if you are opened minded and got a comment back from someone who was so closed minded.

Soon after the paper was written I published it to my web site, along with another paper I wrote on Satan later in the class, where it remained for many months (maybe even a year or two). Eventually I rebuilt the web site, and "The Satan Papers" were removed and did not appear on my new site.

Jump forward almost 10 years to now.... My good friend Ryan has been asking me for almost a year now for the return of "The Satan Papers" to the web. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the original paper from my class, or the electronic version I put up on the web. So now I will write it again to the best of my memory, along with some new views/ideas that I have formed since the paper was originally written. I hope you enjoy.


The Other Side of Satan
or
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Devil

Beelzebub, The Antichrist, Lucifer, "Old Scratch", Belial, "The Evil One", Mephistopheles, "Prince of Darkness", Satan... just few of the many names given to the ruler of all evil. Just the mention of his name brings terror, darkness, anger, and hatred to most people's minds, but are those thoughts justified? Do people really have the right to "cast Satan down", tell how evil he is and say "Oh, the world would be a better place without Satan."?

There are many different mythologies that deal with a being that is "evil personified", but for my purposes I will focus on the Christian view of the devil as it is what I know. Christianity teaches us that Lucifer was cast out of heaven for rebelling against god. The book of Isaiah refers to this casting out of Lucifer:

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV)

As punishment for rebelling against god, Lucifer was cast away from the grace of god, which the Bible teaches us is the worst punishment imaginable. Yes, that is right... the worst punishment there is. We live in a society where people are punished for the laws they break, and with this punishment we "rehabilitate" those who do wrong. When their punishment is completed, we say these people have "paid their dues" and can go back to their normal lives. So could we not say that Lucifer has also "paid his dues" by receiving the worst possible punishment there is. Unfortunately as part of this punishment he cannot ever return to his "normal" life, but can we really continue to "punish" and hate him, after he had done his time?

Now in this position, what does Beelzebub do... does he continue to rebel against heaven? No he is sent to the depths of hell, and becomes master and lord to all who are sent to hell. And being truly "evil" does he congratulate all the sinners and evildoers in the world when they arrive at the gates of hell? No, he punishes them for eternity in the fires of hell for their evildoings and sins during their life, much like the warden of a prison. Once again, in our society we do not hate or despise prison wardens? Quite to the contrary, we praise them for doing a difficult job of dealing with the people we no longer want to deal with in our society. If the Prince of Darkness was trying to be contrary to God, then wouldn't he treat the evildoers of the world with respect and praise? Instead he punishes for all eternity in hell for their evil ways in life.

We also have to look at the fact that God himself would not be "good" without Mephistopheles. If you were to grow up in a community where everyone made minimum wage, you would have no concept of someone being poor or being rich. In fact, for all purposes there would be no poor or rich people in your community. Much in the same way, God cannot be "good" without having Satan around to be "evil". You truly cannot have one without the other around to compare to. Where would 'wet' be without 'dry', where would 'sound' be without 'silence', where would 'dark' be without 'light'.... where would 'God' be without 'Satan'?


Epilogue

In the many years that have passed since I wrote this, my view on this subject has greatly changed. It was in fact very difficult to write this again (and keep to it's original thoughts and ideas) due to the fact that some of the things I wrote 10 years ago I no longer feel are correct. Of course when I wrote this I was not really looking for 'truth' as much as I was looking for a controversial subject which would "raise the ire" of some people (which it did rather well I might say). Now I'm a little older, and hopefully a little wiser, and the 'truth' is much more important to me. So, the following is some points that I would like to address in which my views these days are different.

  • Has Satan paid his dues? First, Christianity teaches us not to judge each other, because we do not know what lies in the hearts of men. How then could we possibly know what lies in the hearts of Angels or Demons. Also, I do not believe that hell is a place where Satan tortures lost souls. Instead I believe that hell for man is the same as hell for Lucifer, the everlasting absence of the presence of God. Some may not think of that as hell, but then they do not know God in this life if they do think that. Regardless of what they think or believe in this life however, in death you will "know" God, and therefore if you do end up in what we think of as "Hell", what you really experiences is the knowledge of the Grace of God, but are refused admittance to His Grace.
     

  • Does Satan continue to rebel against heaven? Yes, the Bible teaches us in Revelation that there will come a time when Lucifer once again rises up against God, and is ultimately defeated. Therefore Lucifer is not someone who has "done his time and paid his dues", but instead is one who is biding his time in prison, planning on ways to break out and attack again (and attempting to gather the souls of men in the process to help him in his attack). He is not in any way like a warden of a prison, instead he is more like a fellow inmate who is planning and leading other inmates to rebel against the real warden of all things.
     

  • What is God without Satan? I truly do not believe that we can truly understand, or have a correct concept of God in this life. God has given us many clues to his plan, and instilled in our hearts what kind of person he wants us to be, but we cannot conceptualize what he truly is in this life. We live in a physical world where you cannot explain dark without explaining the absence of light. In a spiritual world however, the concept of light, dark, day, and night can be completely different from our "worldly" explanations of these things. God created the heaven and earth, the Angels and Men. He is, has been, and always will be God, and does not need anything or anyone to compare or contrast to.

A final note: some scholars do not believe that Isaiah 14:12-15 actually refers to the fall of Lucifer, instead actually referring to the King (and kingdom) of Babylon. Since I am not a Bible scholar I cannot tell you for certain that what I believe is right or wrong, however I do believe there are many other passages in the Bible that refer to Lucifer being cast out of heaven (do a Google search and see what you can find). Nonetheless, I just wanted to let everyone know of the controversy, lest people say that I do not know what I'm talking about, since that line does not 'technically' refer to the fall of Lucifer. It is up to each and everyone of us to come to our own decision on what it is truly about, and with God's help I believe that we will understand the point of the passage (chapter, and book) in the end either way.

Comments
The Deathbird
Written by Bragi on 2006-05-28 15:09:49
Just finished re-reading Harlan Ellison's "The Deathbird." By far, the best written take on the Judeo-Christian myth as retold from the Snake's perspective. The forward - "And for a farewell shot, a rewritten Genesis, advancing the theory that the snake was the good guy and, since God wrote the PR release, Old Snake simply got a lot of bad press." Fascinating - check it out! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002028361X/sr=8-1/qid=1148850358/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8849457-6312040?%5Fencoding=UTF8
Satan Papers comment-Piers Anthony wasn
Written by amyers on 2006-03-05 16:41:06
Dear Kevin: You were always a troubobble maker. But Piers Anthony, a prolific author, hardly was the first writer to portray the Devil as a sympathetic creature. Try H.P. Lovecraft, master of Horror, and his Necronomicron stories, from a full generation earlier. Or do a search on Amazon using 'satan' and 'devil' as keywords for the important books on this subject, serious, whimsical, provocative. Just read the reader comments to get the insights. Like Kersey Graves's book from the 1920s, now back in print, where he researches the origins of the Devil in Christian theology. Or LaVey, mostly a mischief maker, and his various Satan books. Or De Vito's 'Devils Apocrypha: There are two sides to every story'. Imagine if we had the search function of the Internet when you had to write this paper, what would you have come up with then. Or maybe Anthony simply got inspiration from 'The Devil's Dictionary', Ambrose Bierce's brilliant satirical dictionary. :p
Inspiration for the Satan papers
Written by ginger on 2005-08-09 15:37:18
The original english paper was written by Kevin after reading the science fiction series "Incarnations of Imortality", specifically "For Love of Evil" by Piers Anthony. Mom first introduced Anthony's "Zanth" series the boys attempting to get them "hooked" on reading. As I remember it, Kevin's original paper had a paragraph stating that evil must exist in order for mankind to use their free will and choose good over evil, thereby earning their salvation.
Rethinking things?
Written by Bragi on 2005-07-15 10:57:11
Gods below! Has my brother become a Christian? ;) Heavens forbid...
A classic.
Written by Ryan Rios on 2005-06-27 13:46:49
brings tears to my eyes..............

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