As I’ve mentioned before, there are aspects of my faith that I don’t understand, and I understand that I’ll never understand them, and for the most part I’m okay with that. But sometimes those aspects resurface and I need to re-wrestle them. One of those often-resurfacing facets is the concept of angels, demons, and Satan.
For the moment, I will freely admit my ignorance and … well, idiocy. I’ve done no research on the subject, unless you count reading Paradise Lost. And I know there’s not a whole lot on the subject in the Bible. But here’s my contemporary understanding of what happened:
God creates angels—because if He is the Alpha and Omega, where else would they have come from? They all chant their celestial praises and do angel-y things until Satan gets uppity, grabs some minions, and tries to oust God, who casts them all into a metaphysical pit of torment which, again, God must have created, to suffer for all eternity for their sin.
Then God creates people. They all sing their earthly praises and walk with God until they get uppity, disobey God, and try to take His place—not as literally, but they still wanted to be the supreme rulers of their lives. And God casts them out into a fallen world to live and suffer and prosper and what have you for a mortal span of years, then He sends His Son to ransom them from joining Satan and his minions in their eternal torment.
When I first raised this question, it didn’t bother me. I figured, hey, the angels had God right there with them and they still rebelled? Obviously there would be no point in trying to ransom them. Then I re-read Genesis and, apparently, the first humans walked with God also. So, really, what’s the difference between people and angels and demons? Obviously the angels had to have free will or some of them wouldn’t have been able to rebel. And if they were so fundamentally flawed as to be irredeemable, then why make them suffer forever? Why not just unmake them? Not only would that have been more merciful—it’d also have kept them from doing things like possessing people, getting cast out into pigs, and running some poor farmer’s livelihood off a cliff.
Someday when I have more time, I’ll do some more research, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts?