Author Todd Brown
I was a college freshman—a Bible college student—walking around downtown Knoxville when I saw the guy on a street corner. He was loudly hawking a stack of newsletters. “Show your love for Jesus by supporting our children’s home!” he was shouting. “Just a quarter, please!” People were putting money in a small cardboard box at his feet in return for his newsletter.
One of them had been dropped on the sidewalk, and I picked it up. It showed sad pictures of children, somewhere overseas in obviously desperate straights. But it was vague about where they were and what kind of ministry was going on with them. It just didn’t look right to me.
I got closer to the guy and noticed he was wearing a large necklace with a cross on it. What surprised me was that on the cross there was a picture of a red dragon with horns.
“Excuse me,” I said, “but is that Satan on your cross?”
He actually scowled at me. “Do you want to buy a paper or not?” He was doing a good business and obviously didn’t want to take the time to answer my question.
“Well, I’d have to know what you believe in first. The necklace is confusing,” I said.
I remember we were standing in front of a building with a big picture window. Probably a restaurant. He pulled me over to it, away from the street corner. I was going to be bad for business.
“Look. We believe in the brotherhood of Satan and Jesus,” he said. “They were brothers who loved each other. Is that a problem for you?”
I was stunned. I didn’t really know how to respond so I asked, “How did you come up with that?”
He really wasn’t happy and rolled his eyes as a way of telling me that he didn’t have time to get into a discussion about his organization’s theology.
“Look. Did Jesus say that we should love our enemies?” he asked. “And wasn’t Satan his enemy?”
“Sure,” I said. “But how does that make them brothers?”
“Because if Satan was his greatest enemy Jesus must have shared his greatest love with him. We believe that they truly loved each other. We believe in the fellowship of Christ and Satan.” He now had his finger on my chest pushing me back up against the window. He put his face in mine and spat out, “Now . . . you gonna buy a paper?”
We just stared at each other. I was speechless. He angrily tapped me on the chest and turned back to his street corner. I left.
I’ve often thought about that guy. I can still see that large cross with the dragon on it around his neck. I hate that I didn’t have any response to his crazy belief. I hate that I let him pin me to a wall.
I should have quoted 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 to him:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
What really takes me back, in my mind, to that street corner in Knoxville is when I behave like I wear the same necklace. I’ve many times lived as a Christian who has a way too familiar and comfortable relationship with the Devil. I’ve often shared this temple of God with the Enemy. I’ve often invited him in. That’s what we do when we excuse the “double-hearted” lifestyle so many of us are living. Paul’s not talking about just being careful about being cozy with unbelievers. He’s talking about living a holy life that keeps our hearts and minds pure on the inside while keeping Satan on the outside. There is no allowance for righteousness and wickedness to live together in our hearts.
We can’t have it both ways.
Jesus talked in Matthew 6 about the struggle in our hearts with light and darkness. Look at what he says in verse 24:
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
The Apostle Paul said it this way in Ephesians 5:5-11:
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Don’t be deceived. Jesus doesn’t love Satan. They aren’t brothers. That light and darkness will never be conjoined.
How frightful that we’ve grown so accustomed to living in darkness and light. We believe in Jesus but party with the Devil. We, way too often, act as though they are brothers. We practice the warped theology of the fellowship between Jesus and Satan.
We just don’t wear the necklace.