My “illness” has led me on a journey through many hills and valleys. Much of this resembles the typical path of someone who is bipolar. They have highs where they think anything is possible; followed by lows of the deepest despair. In my case, during my “highs”, I often began interpreting commonplace events as having deeper religious significance. Sometimes, I gave religious events/objects more significance than perhaps I should have. I remember on one of my “highs”, I saw a political cartoon. The cartoon depicted God and Satan in a boxing ring with an onlooker at the edge shouting “Smite him! Smite him!”
I, of course, laughed, because that was absolutely the whole point of my “antichrist experience”—or so I thought. Basically, I believed that God was an absolute pacifist. There would be no smiting by His hand. The devil would like to convince us otherwise, but God will not strike him down; not even him. He could, of course, but He won’t. God was, in my view, like a giant “marshmallow”—kind of, sort of. You know what I mean.
But then, what to do about the devil?
Let him humiliate himself.
It is very much like Satan is God’s oldest child and this oldest child is so full of himself that he has challenged God to a “fistfight” yelling and screaming obscenities at his Father and Creator in a most disgraceful fashion in front of the rest of the Divine family (us). God simply sits there in quiet dignity and lets the devil expose himself as the foolish, childish, overgrown less-than-an-infant that he is. It would be undignified for God to “step in the ring” with the devil. He knows this. And now, I think, most of us do to. Honestly, what is the best response when an idiot challenges you to a fight? Ignore him and walk away. Or, in God’s case, sit there shaking your head—as he is no threat to you and you can undo any damage he does—and wait him out.
So, as an absolute pacifist, I thought that God’s response to Satan was simply a silent rolling of the eyes. Once Satan is exposed and we see him for who and what he is—a giant, spoiled angel needing his diaper changed—we will all, and I do mean all, choose God and His love over Satan and his empty promises.
Anyway, that is what I thought a few years back when I saw that cartoon in the midst of my highs. Currently, I struggle with this issue. Is God an absolute pacifist? Does He let Satan kill, maim, and destroy because He won’t interfere with the devil’s free will (problem of evil—solved)? Or am I simply deluded? There is such a thing as tough love. How does that square with pacifism? Of course, I’m the antichrist. Whenever I think I’ve got something figured out, I grow convinced it is what Satan wants me to think.
Anyhoo, those are my thoughts for the day.