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Satan: Just Another Hollywood Horror? Part I
Is Satan real? or is he just another Hollywood horror who can be tamed along with all the others that Hollywood has introduced us to over the years? When we turn to scripture for an answer we are told not only is Satan real, he is in fact our sworn enemy. But what do we think about that today? How seriously do we take this threat?
A definitive study was released on this very topic in 2009; the Barna Group* conducted research about whether or not Satan was real, and whether or not the Holy Spirit was real. According to the Barna study*, four out of ten Christians thought that Satan was “not a living being but [was] a symbol of evil” (Barna Research Group, para. 5, 2009). Additionally, “much like their perceptions of Satan, most Christians [did] not believe that the Holy Spirit [was] a living force, either” (Barna Research Group, para. 7, 2009).
Offering one reason that might explain why Americans take Satan lightly, “George Barna, the author of nearly four dozen books analyzing research concerning America’s faith suggested that…Americans, even those who say they are Christian, have doubts about the intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world. Hollywood has made evil accessible and tame, making Satan and demons less worrisome than the Bible suggests they really are. It’s hard for achievement-driven, self-reliant, independent people to believe that their lives can be impacted by unseen forces” (Barna Group, para. 2, 2009).
Evil isn’t evil anymore. Vampires and the like have become sympathetic figures or anti-heroes. Because they are not good in the traditional sense of the word “hero”, they are much more interesting and we are drawn to them. There are a plethora of Vampire TV shows that fall into this category and now the show, “The Antichrist” follows suit with a man who appears to have been dealt a bad hand when he discovers that he is destined to be the “Antichrist”. Another show, "Lucifer" chronicles the life of Satan as he visibly lives in the human world; he reads into the hearts of human and takes great delight in compelling them to speak the truth thereby exposing their sin.
In reality, we have a very real unseen enemy who is engaging us in spiritual warfare; The good news is that the Bible is still relevant today to help us recognize this Enemy, so we can fight this battle successfully. Scripture is full of spiritual solutions on such topics as temptation, and living in a fallen world. Is Satan real? - check it out for yourself; you will find him all through the pages of scripture. It's critical that we learn to recognize him, so that we can defeat him! Stay tuned for more on what Satan is like in Part Two.
*The Barna Research Group is a private, non-partisan, for profit organization that conducts primary research since 1984