Thursday, January 20, 2011


Oh that I could sin once see!
We paint the devil foul, yet he
Hath some good in him, all agree.
Sin is a flat opposite to th’almighty, seeing
It wants the good of virtue and of being.

But God more care of us hath had:
If apparitions make us sad
By sight of sin we should grow mad.
Yet as in sleep we see foul death and live
So devils are our sins in perspective.

(George Herbert, 1593-1633)

It seems every so often in years there is a slew of movies and TV shows on the supernatural. From Harry Potter to Twilight we are riding the crest of that wave now. TV shows on vampires and movies on the occult show the devil is popular again.

These shows paint the devil or the evil so opposite of us especially when they are exposed somewhere towards the end of the show. They “turn” into their “true” self and are shown to be hideous and easily identifiable. So we all wonder what fooled us in the first place as the heroine stands against the devilish looking ghoul and defeats him in the last climactic minutes. The evil is so opposite of us!

In his poem George Herbert recognizes that sin is us. He recognizes that the devil exposed is really our sins realized. We have found the devil and it is us! Today’s society covers up sin as a life choice, as a personality disorder that needs to be overcome, as an ADD moment that needs to be medicated, as dreams that tell us of previous lives or abuses, and as ANYTHING but what it truly is: the devil in us.

We started a new year and what I would like to do is pull down the thin veil of our personal devil and call it what it is: SIN. We SIN! We do it a LOT and OFTEN. The burden of this on our hearts should “make us grow mad” but God’s wisdom put in a failsafe allowing us to go on. We have taken this opportunity for crushingly true repentance and turned it into ignorance and TV shows of vampires.

In 1961 the Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann was on trial in an Israeli court. Many Holocaust survivors were brought in to testify against him. An elderly Jewish man walked his way into court forced to use a cane because of the horrors done to him in a Concentration Camp. As he got to the front of the courtroom to see Eichmann in his bulletproof glass enclosure he collapsed and had to be taken by stretcher from the room. When asked later if it was the site of the devil Eichmann and all the horrors he perpetrated on him and his family he answered, “no”. “What was it then, that caused you to collapse?” they all asked him. The elderly man looked them in the eye and said, “I’ve painted him a satan in my mind for all these years and now that I see him I find he looks JUST LIKE YOU AND ME!”

So devils are our sins in perspective.

1 comment:

Russ Underwood said...

As believers we can sin yes, but that is not what dwells in us. When I say "us", I am speaking of the spirit. Our flesh is sinful and is used to walking in the habit of sin from the beginning. That is why the word says to walk in the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. We arent called to live from the platform of sin nor is christianity "sin management". The power of God has set us free from the Law of sin and death. It is sad that evil has been so masquaraded as entertainment and that it has almost made it entertaining instead of having us be appalled.

I would ask, has anything really changed though in the world with the view of sin? We have media, etc now but in stories of old lay the good against evil and evil even being so cunning that it is masked until an unveiling. Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. When God looks at us as believers He doesn't see evil and sin, He sees His children he died to save, he sees us make sinful choices, but we have a new nature, saints. We aren't identified with the old nature. Repentence- what is true meaning of that? To speak of something we are or we are not? Full responsibility is taken by each person who makes the decision to sin, but the beauty of the gospel says "Debt already paid in full".