"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reality of Satan

The former pastor of DENNIS RADER, who was the Kansas City serial murderer, is the focus of an article HERE.   A few extracts below.

Satan has the ability to use us, as I interpret it. Listen to all the experts on television. I have heard few if any suggestions from the experts indicating that there could be some kind of demonic force or a spiritual side to this. All of the top-notch experts have got him pigeon-holed and categorized as a sociopath, psychopath, whatever.
Quest:  If you had heard about a similar case elsewhere a year ago, would you have used those terms?
... I would have bought into that same thinking. ... But we've got a situation in which we are living off of a scientific model of understanding and explaining sin in people, a mental health model, whatever you want to name it, a psychiatric model. I use the phrase we psychologicalize evil in this world, and we explain it and justify it in psychological language. And the reason we do that is we can measure it, we can test it, we can diagnose it and then we can put it into a category. And it works.
Quest: How has your new understanding of evil changed the way you do ministry?
Well, one of the things I've found is that I'm not having any trouble speaking to the issue of Satan and the devil. Honestly, I would avoid that (in the past). I would just take that stuff out of the Scripture. But it's amazing. It's all over the place. ...
What I'm finding for the most part is that mainline, traditional Protestantism does not deal directly with the issue of Satan. You've got ... parts of the Christian tradition that do. You've got the Roman Catholic Church, which ironically is coming back and dealing with demon possession……………………………………………
Because of the fog and the muck and the mire of the pain and the suffering, it's sometimes difficult to recognize God's presence. I think that's part of what we're going to work with here. The things that have happened around the Dennis Rader case have definitely had an impact on people in terms of anger, bitterness, hardened hearts and confusion as to how God can allow these kinds of things.
A realization I've had in the last few weeks is that this has been a blessing to me. Had you told me that two months ago, I would have told you that you are crazier than heck. But as I am able to look back on it, it has been. And I realize more clearly that often we expect the blessings to take place on the mountain tops. But often they take place in the valleys.

In my own life I’ve found it to be true; blessing often take place in the valley’s of our existence where we’re scared, hurt, angry, shamed etc.  PAIN!  What’s it good for?   Quite a lot.

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