As I walked home, wearing black PVC batwings (I was bringing them home to Aeire, and decided wearing them was more fun than carrying them), I imagined an incredulous rube asking me if I was Satan. I look like a preppy Jesus in Biker Boots -- why wouldn't I be Satan?
So I imagined my honest answer. It took me interesting places. Let's see how well I can recreate what went on in my head as I walked and jogged my way home tonight.
The word translated as "angel" originally just meant "messenger". It was a job title, not a species. In some Bible stories, it seems as if God is speaking through humans, who are called angels, and sometimes it seems as if He is talking through beings of a less fleshy nature. Followers were taught to treat all people as if they were angels, because they might be. Satan/Lucifer was said to have been the highest and brightest of the angels -- like a general or supervisor of angels. During the Fall, he and 1/3 of the angels left the side of God and began feelancing. They were fired.
Now, as I read the Bible, it comes to me that Satan's M.O. is NOT to do evil -- in fact, he seems to still have a job. A little research shows me that "Satan" is translated from a word that means something like "adversay", "accuser" or even "prosecuting attorney". Again, a job description rather than a name. Satan's job was to list Man's sins at Judgement -- but also to test and challenge Man during life. This is not evil, mind you, but a way to ensure that Man grows stronger. Either Man passes a test, and knows He is fit, or He fails a challenge -- yet learns thereby His weaknesses. If He is paying attention, He will then apply Himself to working on those weaknesses, and grow stronger still.
Satan is a sort of force for moral evolution.
Being tested by Satan is therefore not a bad thing, but a very good thing, though it may suck ass in the moment. Likewise, his angels, or messengers (human or otherwise), will be challenging and testing mankind. The original meaning of "tempt" is more like "test" than "attempt to corrupt".
It should be noted that Demon, Lucifer, Devil and Antichrist do NOT actually refer to the same being as (a) Satan, though they are often used interchangeably. Demons and devils are evil spirits. Lucifer is an old god ("light bringer") co-opted by Judeo-Christian mythology, and Antichrist litterally means not "against" Christ, but "in the place of Christ". My old church used to believe that the prophesied Antichrist (note: not reports, PROPHESIED -- he didn't exist yet) is the Pope. Maybe -- not my business.
So, in answer: am I Satan? If I say things or ask things that challenge you, if I test you, if your beliefs become stronger after talking to me, then perhaps I *am* Satan. Or one of His angels. And that's not a bad thing.
It then occured to me that "Being Satan" is exactly what I've been doing in the forums of late -- pissing off some, but not all. My challenges strengthen some and discourage others. Is this what I actually intend? I'm not sure, but it's an interesting thought. In any case, I really must learn to be SURE that's the role I want to play before taking it. Doing it accidentally is not working for me.
It should be noted that none of the above is the theology of the Satanic Church of Anton Levay, and while it is derived from my Biblical exegesis, I doubt it jibes with any Christian doctrine, either. Jes' call me a heretic.
Image and text ©2004 Scott "Scix" Maddix