Pastor Robin King presented two ideas in his recent column but does not explain either of them.
The first is that there is no devil. He does not actually state what he means by this assertion. He states that God is eternal, “energy of life,” “the power of creation,” “the web of life that connects all creation,” “a higher power,” the Great Spirit, love, and creator. What King fails to do is say who or what the devil is. To say that God is love and created everything good does not address fully the question. What then is the devil?
Everyone has a concept of the devil. This existence of such a being has been thought about, discussed, and written about throughout human history. The absence of a devil is not an assertion that can be made lightly. It is one that must be defended vigorously. These beliefs were cast off far too lightly for this reader, especially from a pastor.
I would have thought that King would have made recourse to the Bible when talking about the devil. Perhaps this is out of vogue for pastors today. Who is this that Jesus refers so many times in the gospel? If not who, then what?
The closest King comes to an answering the first assertion is that God does not need an adversary.
God does need one but who is “the adversary” that is mentioned in the Old Testament? This is what the word Satan means. An adversary to God? An adversary to humans? An adversary to creation as a whole?
King does mention “sin” which he defines as those things which distance us from God. How do we distance ourselves from God? King does further define evil as not the opposite of good but “as a consequence of its absence.” Please describe this void. If God is all good, where does this absence come from? Who or what creates the vacuum? Is free-will the sole agent for the absence of good? If so, how?
We have known since the Garden of Eden that “the devil made me do it” argument does not work. It is interesting to note that both Adam, Eve and the devil are punished following the eating of the forbidden fruit. All are created and all are guilty of distancing themselves from God. But why did they choose to distance themselves from God?
I would ask that King elucidate his thoughts. I know that his idea is not original, but I would like an explanation for such a bold assertion from a pastor.
Timothy N. Nelson