Published October 15, 2013

Paul's Epistle...
"A Judge's Faith"

Last week the U. S. Supreme Court began its new fall session which promises a number of rulings in high-profile cases, many touching on Christian freedoms and belief.

So it's no wonder that the leftist media (sorry – that was a redundancy) are having a field day with comments made by Justice Antonin Scalia in a recent interview with New York Magazine. In the course of the wide-ranging interview, Justice Scalia had the effrontery (according to the media) actually to express his belief in God and in (gasp!) the existence of Satan.

That last assertion sent much of the media into an apoplectic frenzy. One supposedly neutral news story actually began, "In disappointing news for the intellectual health of the nation..." before reporting the results of a poll that found many Americans actually do believe the devil exists. The media are variously branding the Justice's remarks as "weird," "bizarro," and proof that Scalia is obviously a terrible man. (Why do the media do this? 1 John 4:5 has the answer: "They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.")

So... what did Justice Scalia actually say?

As part of his wide-ranging interview on many topics, Scalia noted, "I even believe in the Devil... Yeah, he's a real person." When the incredulous interviewer asked Scalia what evidence there is of the devil in today's world, Scalia said, "You know, it's curious. In the Gospels, the devil is doing all sorts of things. He's making pigs run off cliffs, he's possessing people and what-not. And that doesn't happen much anymore."

But, Scalia noted, there's a reason for Satan's different approach in today's society. "It's because he's smart. What he's doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He's much more successful that way."*

Amen and amen! I've been saying that for a long time. Satan uses his skills of deception, honed over the millennia in dealing with mankind, in the ways he's found to be most effective in particular societies, people groups and even individual circumstances. While his old tactics may be extremely effective in some lands – demonic possessions are still reported, especially in primitive cultures – in America he is much more subtle and sophisticated. If he can simply get people to believe he doesn't even exist, that it's all fairy tales and nonsense, then he's achieved his goal. He whispers, "If there's no devil, there's no God. So do whatever you want." Deception is — and has always been — Satan's forté. He is, after all, the "father of lies" (John 8:44).

When the interviewer asked Justice Scalia, "Isn't it frightening to believe in the devil?" he said, "You're looking at me as though I'm weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in [the existence of] the devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It's in the Gospels! You [the interviewer] travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."

Asked about heaven and hell, Justice Scalia replied, "It doesn't mean you're not going to hell, just because you don't believe in it... Everyone is going one place or the other." Wow. There are, unfortunately, a lot of preachers today who won't even go that far – at least publicly. But I certainly endorse that observation – as does, very clearly and more importantly, Scripture.

Here are a few take-away points from all of this:

- Paul

*I wonder if the unbelieving interviewer realized the Justice had just implied that she had been deceived.

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