The Satan statue is back in the news. This time the target is the Arkansas State Capitol grounds.
For those unaware of this statue, Satanists created the hideous statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed “deity” often used to represent Satan. What makes the statue particularly hideous are the two adoring children at the bottom of Satan’s throne.
True confession here: When I first heard of the Satan statue and the attempt to place it on Oklahoma’s State Capitol grounds, I was livid.
I signed a petition and asked others to do the same.
…things didn’t play out as I thought they would. Yes, the statue was denied a home in Oklahoma, but it also meant the removal of a statue of the Ten Commandments (link to Fox News report).
Obviously, the Satan statue demands a response. But what is the best way for believers to respond, especially considering that a statue representing God’s Word and Christian beliefs is also on the line?
I won’t presume to answer that question for you. Quite honestly, it’s a question each of us should take to God.
In this post I hope to look at the situation from all sides, including our real enemy, a relevant story from the Old Testament about our all-powerful God, and other key Bible passages that give insight on how best to respond.
Identify the Real Enemy Behind the Satan Statue
At first glance, it might seem like the forces behind the statue are Satan worshipers. While they call themselves Satanists, you’ll find that these people are actually atheists and secularists whose agenda is anti-Christian. They have no sentiment attached to the Satan statue. They just want all religions equally represented as being equally valid. And backing them up is the ACLU.
But even these people are not the real enemy.
While we might want to lash out at them, let’s consider this: these people have bought Satan’s lie. They’re deluded and under his control. They’re lost and headed to destruction. When we consider Jesus’ teaching/earthly ministry and God’s Word, our response toward them is to be one of prayer, concern, compassion, and love.
The real enemy here is the one who’s strategy is to “kill, steal, and destroy.” He’s out to devour people and their souls. Even worse, he’s stepped up his game in the past few years because his time grows short.
It might appear that Satan is winning. But taking that perspective is dangerous. It causes us give up, concede defeat, write people off as hopeless, and fail to recognize who our God really is.
Recognize God as Our True & All-Powerful Sovereign
The God we profess faith in is all-powerful. He spoke the world into being. He raised Christ from the dead.
Do we truly believe He is able and Almighty?
If so, we must also realize that He knows what’s going on in the matter of the Satan statue and can handle the matter better than any of our puny human attempts. (That being said, He also uses His people to impact our world for Him.)
Time after time in the Bible, we see God go to battle against false gods. Each one of the plagues carried out against Egypt specifically attacked their man-made, little-g gods. In every instance, God was completely victorious.
Let’s look at a less-familiar passage where God soundly defeated a Philistine god named Dagon.
After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. -1 Samuel 5:1-4
Our Best Response – Verses For Consideration
1. Wage War God’s Way.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Why use worldly weapons when our God-given supernatural weapons are infinitely more powerful?
Government, legislation, and petitions may seem like a logical place to start in this battle, but we must remember these weapons often backfire. I’d much rather reach for spiritual weapons.
What I find particularly striking about the verse above is that waging war with spiritual weapons demolishes arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. And isn’t that what this particular battle is really all about?
If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14
I truly believe every spiritual battle should first and foremost be fought on our knees. God’s battle and victory against Egypt was because He responded to the cries of His people.
That same scenario of God responding to the prayers of His people has played out time and time again in human history, even during our lifetime. It was no coincidence that the Decision America Tour initiated by Franklin Graham played so strongly into the outcome of the recent election. When God’s people pray, God shows up!
If you’re in a faith struggle about the effectiveness of prayer, I highly encourage you to watch the movie War Room (video trailer below).
3. Don’t Get Distracted From What’s Most Important
The enemy is a master at distraction, chaos, and confusion. If we’re not especially careful, we’ll be so distracted by what he throws our way that we’ll miss what is most important.
Fellowship With God
As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
We are created for fellowship with God. That was His plan from the beginning. Then Satan stepped in and marred our intimacy with the Father. Fellowship was restored by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Love God and Our Fellow Man
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” -Matthew 22:36-39
All the commandments are summed up by loving God and our fellow man.
Here of late, the enemy has done extremely well at breaking up the love between believers and other humans. We see these people as the enemy, and then respond out of hatred rather than love.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20
Making disciples, both more and better, is at the very heart of why Jesus came to earth. He passed that task on to us.
We simply cannot allow the enemy to get us sidetracked from this all-important task.
Satan Statue – Conclusion
While I intentionally didn’t spell out how to respond to the Satan statue, I do hope this post is a jumping-off point for all of us.
God’s Word has much to say about fighting these types of spiritual battles. Prayer is critical. Only in that position can we find answers on how to best respond to the Satan statue.
Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, but remember to do so respectfully.
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