God, the Devil and the ‘Dark Knight’ Tragedy

by | Jul 25, 2012 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Last week’s shooting in Colorado should remind us that Satan is not a fictional character.

Plenty of mystery surrounds last week’s movie theater massacre in Colorado. Why did the suspected gunman, James Holmes, stage his bizarre killing spree during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises? Why was this guy so angry that he would amass $15,000 worth of weapons and ammunition and then break into a crowded cineplex to kill and maim people? Did he dye his hair orange because he identified with The Joker, the most sinister villain in the Batman universe? I’m not a crime sleuth. But if you ask me, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this tragedy.

It has always baffled me that people question the existence of Satan—especially when something as horrific as the shootings in Aurora, Colo., makes headlines. But according to a Barna Research poll from 2009, the number of people in the United States who believe the devil is real is declining. A growing number of Americans believe he is just a mythological personification of evil.

Despite the fact that the devil is clearly described in the Bible, even some Christians doubt the existence of a literal Satan. Famous theologians and Christian leaders from the past, however, were convinced in the personhood of Lucifer.

  • Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, said: “The world is a den of murderers, subject to the devil. If we desire to live on earth, we must be content to be guests in it, and to lie in an inn where the host is a rascal, whose house has over the door this sign or shield, ‘For murder and lies.’”
  • British preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Certain theologians, nowadays, do not believe in the existence of Satan. … Those who are most deluded by him are the loudest in repudiating all faith in his existence.”
  • Author C.S. Lewis wrote: “There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.”
  • Evangelist D.L. Moody said: “I believe Satan to exist for two reasons: first, the Bible says so; and second, I’ve done business with him.”

Jesus Himself affirmed the existence of Satan. Jesus did not describe the devil as a beastly creature with horns, a pitchfork and a red cape. But He did call him a “thief” who comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10, NASB). Jesus also described the devil as “the enemy” (Matt. 13:39), “the evil one” (Matt. 13:38), “the prince of this world” (John 12:31, NIV), “the father of lies” (John 8:44, NASB) and a “murderer” (John 8:44).

Satan is the ultimate terrorist—a mastermind of wickedness, far more diabolical than any comic book villain like The Joker or the trigger-happy Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. In a sense Satan is a masked criminal, since he hides behind the people he inspires to do his work. But we can be sure that wherever there is evil—a mass shooting, genocide, exploitation of the poor, global sex trafficking, organized crime or religious deception—Satan is pulling the strings behind the curtain.

The Bible says Satan was originally an angel of the highest order. When he rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven, Jesus saw him fall like lightning to earth (see Luke 10:18). Since that time, Satan (his name means “the adversary”) and his demons have waged war against God—and his plot is to destroy as many people as possible by deceitfully luring them away from God’s love and protection.

Satan hates God, and he craves God’s glory and throne for himself. His pride drove him to become the ultimate psychopath. When he couldn’t have the authority he wanted, he declared all-out war on the human race. And he has duped millions of people to join him.

You can call me simplistic or old-fashioned, but I still believe the devil and his demons are real—and that Satan’s existence is the reason people like James Holmes carry out horrible crimes like the one we witnessed last week. You can’t explain that act of terror using psychology alone, and you certainly can’t blame it on God.

What gives me comfort is the fact that Jesus defeated Satan once and for all when He gave His life for us. Just as Batman saved the day in The Dark Knight Rises, Jesus not only defeated Satan but promised to send him to hell forever. Once this chapter of history is over, the father of all villains will come to a very bad end.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The...
Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]