Recently, “Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made headlines recently when he declared his belief that the devil is a real being who has a presence in the world today” (from here). Consider the excerpt below (Jennifer Senior of New York Magazine did the interview: In Conversation: Antonin Scalia.).
Senior: Have you seen evidence of the devil lately?
Scalia: You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.
Scalia: It’s because he’s smart.
Senior: So what’s he doing now?
Scalia: What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.
Senior: That has really painful implications for atheists. Are you sure that’s the – devil’s work?
Scalia: I didn’t say atheists are the devil’s work.
Senior: Well, you’re saying the devil is persuading people to not believe in God. Couldn’t there be other reasons to not believe?
Scalia: Well, there certainly can be other reasons. But it certainly favors the devil’s desires. I mean, c’mon, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place. That always puzzled me. What happened to the devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament.
Scalia: What happened to him?
Senior: He just got wilier.
Scalia: He got wilier.
If the devil can lead us to believe he does not exist, how do we prepare a child for spiritual warfare? What is spiritual warfare? What does the Bible say? When Christians speak of spiritual warfare, doesn’t conversation eventually bring this passage to mind?
Ephesians 6:10-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
We live in a sinful world, and the evil powers of this world seek our soul. To prepare for confrontation with the forces of evil, we must put on the whole armor of God, but how does one don the whole armor of God? Don’t we begin be carefully studying the Word of God? Don’t we begin by respecting the Bible as a trusted source of Truth and Wisdom.
When we raise our children we must do our best to instill within them both a love for the Bible and a deep knowledge of its contents. Unfortunately, an unbelieving world has no intention of cooperating. Many commercial interests just see our children as targets for marketing their too often vile goods. Moreover, advertisements often appeal to and even encourage the worse aspects of our character. On the other hand, many of our government officials provide us little reason to trust them. Over the decades the public school system has stripped almost all Christian content from the curriculum. Instead, politicians now insist on inserting content pleasing to certain favored special interests. Thus, even in schools where children once learned about the Bible, they now are told it either has no relevance or that it is just wrong.
What is the solution? The answer is school choice. If Christian parents want THEIR children to attend a school where the Bible is both respected and taught as God’s Word, they have the right to make that choice. However, unless parents demand it, our elected officials will not respect the role of parents in childrearing. Instead, government officials will continue to assert they have the primary responsibly and authority for the education of children.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Good News Translation (GNT)
4 “Israel, remember this! The Lord—and the Lord alone—is our God. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. 8 Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
- Dressed for Battle (www.intouch.org)
- Putting on the Full Armor of God: Engaging in Spiritual Warfare (www.iamadisciple.com)
- Whole Armor of God (www.navigators.org)
- What is the full armor of God? (www.gotquestions.org)
- Spiritual Warfare (truthnet.org)
- Armor of Faith (socioculturalangle.com)
- Spiritual Warfare (shoutingthemessage.wordpress.com)
- Yes, Justice Scalia Deserves to be Mocked for Admitting He Believes in the Devil (patheos.com)