Furthermore, what Jesus wanted to reveal was that the most demonic thing about demon possession was not the demon possession itself, but was the diagnosis of demon possession. To diagnose someone as “possessed by a demon” is to diagnose them as being outside the grace of God, underserving of His love, care, and protection, and as having been so sinful as to incur one of His greatest punishments.
But to show us that God does not send demons and that God does not punish sin, Jesus “cast out demons.” When God is truly at work, it is not to punish someone with demons or accuse them of having a demon, but to rescue, deliver, and free people from such hopeless and condemning accusations.
So to accuse someone of having a demon or of being possessed by a demon is to remove a person from the sphere of God’s grace and love, and lock them in a prison of shame, fear, and darkness, which is demonic. Therefore, to keep from glorifying Satan, we must never accuse someone of being demon possessed.
In fact, this accusatory spirit — for which we Christians are often known — is the fourth way we Christians worship and glorify Satan.
4. Christians Worship and Glorify Satan When We Engage in Satanic Accusations.
The word “devil” in Greek is diabolos. It is built upon the Greek words dia, meaning across, and bollo, meaning to cast or throw. The devil is one who casts or throws across something. In the various contexts of diabolos, it refers to one who maligns, slanders, or sows discord and division.
The word “satan” is similar. “Satan” is a Hebrew word (the Greek is satanas), and it means “accuser.”
Both of these meanings are clearly seen in nearly every passage in Scripture where Satan, or the devil, is described. He accuses God of withholding something good from Adam and Eve (Genesis 3), and he accuses God of showing favoritism to Job (Job 1). In Luke 4 and Matthew 4, he accuses, challenges, and questions the mission and purpose of Jesus. The New Testament refers to him as the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:10).
While God only loves, forgives, and accepts, Satan only judges, accuses, and condemns.
So when we Christians judge, accuse, and condemn others, whose example are we following? Are we more like God or more like Satan?
When we demonize our enemies so we can condemn them, we mimic Satan rather than God.
When we accuse and condemn those who we think are “sinners,” we mimic Satan rather than God.
When we sit in judgment on others, because they believe something different or behave in ways we think are wrong, we mimic Satan rather than God.
If we were to mimic God, we would love unconditionally, forgive infinitely, and accept unreservedly.
But by mimicking Satan, we worship and glorify him instead.
And this judgmental, condemning, accusing attitude leads to the fifth and greatest way we worship Satan.
5. Christians Worship and Glorify Satan When We Commit Satanic Violence.
The most Satanic thing Christians do, however, is committing violence in the name of God.
If one person murders another, this is evil.
But it is infinitely more evil when one person murders another in the name of Jesus Christ.
The same goes for war, vengeance, lust, greed, gossip, slander, and any other thing that is contrary to the character and nature of God.
When Christians go to war against their enemies in the name of Jesus Christ, we are not worshipping the God who told us to love our enemies, but are worshipping the demonic being who loves nothing more than to get us to do his bidding while blaming it on God.
We commit adultery because “God wants us to be happy.” We retaliate against our selfish neighbor because “God wants us to stand up for what is right.” We become rich on the backs of the poor because “God wants us to be wealthy.” We tell lies about others because “God wants us to share prayer requests.”
And on and on it goes.
Satan, having failed to become like God, tries to get God to become like him. And though God will never fall into such a trap, we who worship God have made God into Satan by doing what Satan wants while attributing it to God.
The most blatant way we do this is by committing violence against our enemies and claiming that it was divinely sanctioned, that God wants our enemies dead as much as we do.
While it is the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, God gives generously to all, grants life to those in the shadow of death, and mends broken lives and damaged souls. If we are going to follow God, we will do what God does — even (especially!) for our enemies.
I know that this post will be somewhat controversial, but I believe that if the church is ever going to rise up and reveal to people the outrageous love of God, we must begin by jettisoning everything that looks like Satan.
I have suggested five ways Christians worship and glorify Satan. Do you have anything to add?