Thursday, July 26, 2007

Protect These Ears From Satan's Lies

Last night, I came across a string of Evangelical blogs as I was surfing the web. I spent a couple hours reading through recent posts on a half dozen of them and the one thing that most stood out to me was an account by a blogger of how Satan had attacked her.

The attack occurred a year ago. For two weeks, she was constantly beset by "negative thoughts and feelings towards God". Fortunately, a pastor intervened by blessing her ears while saying, "Protect these ears from Satan's lies". She immediately felt as if "a thousand pounds had been lifted from [her] shoulders" and fell to the ground. After that, the negative thoughts and feelings towards God were gone. She deemed it a miracle, and one of the people who commented on the event declared what happened to her "shows the awesome power of the Lord".

I'm struggling this morning to understand why such an event is of any spiritual importance to her at all.

I'm pretty sure she herself sees it as quite important evidence of the presence of God in her life and the "awesome" power of God over Satan. Yet, the way she describes it, this was not a radically transformative experience. There is nothing in the way she's written about the event that indicates it changed anything about her, other than perhaps a detail or two of her beliefs. It was not the sort of experience that I suspect Jesus once described as "being born again".

Near as I can figure, the only reason her experience was important to her is because she believes she will go to heaven and avoid hell by the firmness of her belief in God. Hence, the two weeks in which she doubted God were perceived by her as a threat of cosmic proportions. It must have been very frightening to her, those two weeks, and quite a relief when they were over.

Yet, does what happened to her reveal the "awesome" power of God? What happened to her took place entirely within ordinary awareness or consciousness. There is no indication from her story that at any moment during those two weeks she transcended ordinary awareness and experienced a radically different awareness of herself and the world. So, what really interests me here is that someone could struggle with the content of their ordinary consciousness (i.e. argue with themselves), then perceive that struggle as a cosmic battle of God versus Satan.

The more I think about it, the stranger it becomes.


Mystic Wing said...

You're of course right. All concepts of God and Satan are, and always have been, allegories for our argument with ourselves. Religion is nothing more than a projection of an inner drama.

That's the way to interpret and use any religous practice. The danger comes when people don't realize this, and imagine that their own personal religious beliefs have some larger universal meaning that should be imposed on others.

stevo said...

The concept of Satan is hard for me to believe. I think the S-man is mentioned by name twice in the bible, yet is blamed for all and sundry evil by certain religious types. In the Book of Job, Satan is in Heaven chatting it up with the Big Man. It makes no sense.

I would like to read this woman's blog. I guess her two weeks of doubt was an attempt by the rational portion of her psyche to reject brainwashing. Luckily, the pastor set her straight again.