The New Testament speaks of "the evil one" as a spirit that prow1s around the world looking for someone to devour. This belief is strictly orthodox, and is the official teaching of practically all the Christian churches. But it is nowadays greeted with general incredulity. It seems fantastic. Who would hesitate to say that there is a spiritual conspiracy against all people who (rightly or wrongly) sincerely try to express the truth?
Yet it sounds fatuous or paranoid to modern ears.
You can't have your cake and eat it too, If you want the good news that Jesus conquered death, you must accept the bad news that for the nonce we must oppose the evil one - the devil.
I wrote something to this effect to the newspaper in this university town (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) and it was greeted by hoots and guffaws. Yet do those Who find the doctrine of devils strange have any theory to explain the aberration of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, etc.? There is enough evil here and now so that the existence of supernatural demonic forces "in the air" might be suspected.
I don't think belief in "the evil one" is irrational; he exists and must be resisted. We cooperate with him when we fail to regard all human life as sacred, when we deny others their freedom, when we practice greed, or lust, or hypocrisy. There is - I'm to1d - a hell to which those who are guilty of these crimes (the term "sins" is also out of fashion) are consigned.
God (or what have you) granted us freedom. We should give thanks for this freedom. Yet wrong desire within us leads us to collaborate with devils (who presumab1y misused their free will once upon a time) and harm each other. The media news does not document the existence of strange, evil powers and dominations, but our experience - at least mine - leads me to believe that the New Testament account of these forces which oppose the truth and the advancement of the human race are quite factual.
Otherwise I'm afraid we would have to regard Jesus as demented or a charlatan, and the demented and charlatans do not cure the b1ind and raise the dead - as four gospels concur in relating as historical events.
I do not know if the devil has a personality. He might be as personable as Johnny Carson was. (Johnny Carson being picked merely as an example of someone with a good personality.)
I think I'm justified in saying that Hitler and Sta1in were two Antichrists of the twentieth century.
The existence of evil is beyond dispute.
In some sense I would say that we are waging a metaphorical war against retrograde forces that would drag us back to an earlier stage of evolution.
Do you think me fatuous?