Why Does God Love Satan?

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The question, “Does God love Satan?” seemingly yields diametrically conflicting answers from conservative Christian theologians. Some assert that God cannot love Satan. In contrast, others claim that God loves Satan. So does God love Satan or not? 

God Loves Devil

Answers to the question, “Does God love Satan?” cause further complications. If God does not love Satan, how could God be maximally and perfectly good? (If God does not love one being, then HE cannot be maximally and perfectly good.) Moreover, if God hates Satan for being evil, does HE also hate all those humans who reject and slander HIM? If God hates those who reject and slander HIM, HIS love is conditional. But isn’t God’s love unconditional?

The answer, “God loves Satan,” is also riddled with complications. If God loves Satan, how could a good God love the evil Satan? Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? Furthermore, if God loves Satan, should we also love Satan?

God Cannot Love Satan

Christian Q&A website, Gotquestions.org affirms that God cannot love Satan, “No, God does not love Satan, and neither should we. God cannot love that which is evil and unholy, and Satan embodies all of that. He is the enemy (1 Peter 5:8); the evil one (Matthew 6:13); the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44); the accuser of God’s people (Revelation 12:10); the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); proud, wicked and violent (Isaiah 14:12-15); a deceiver (Acts 13:10); a schemer (Ephesians 6:11); a thief (Luke 8:12); and many more evil things. He is, in fact, everything that God hates. The heart of Satan is fixed and confirmed in his hatred of God, his judgment is final, and his destruction is sure. Revelation 20 describes God’s future plan for Satan, and love for Satan has no part in it.”1

God Loves Satan

Dr. William Lane Craig claims that God loves Satan, “I feel no awkwardness whatever in affirming that God most certainly does love Satan. Indeed, what I should find awkward would be affirming that He does not! God is a perfectly loving being, whose love is not based on a person’s performance. Satan is a person, indeed, on the traditional conception an angelic person of unparalleled beauty and perfection among creatures. How could God not love him? The fact that that person is now fallen and unspeakably evil does not imply that God ceases to love him, any more than He ceased to love us when we fell and became enemies of God (Romans 5.10).”2

(Dr. Craig’s claim was in response to this question, “…Is it not true then that His love for all includes the Devil? For if it were not the case then there would be at least one eternally damned being whom God does not love or loves less, i.e., He is not all-loving or the greatest conceivably loving being.”)

Is Satan Totally Evil?

In his blog, Tough Questions Answered, Bill Pratt quotes Dr. Norm Geisler to contend that Satan is not totally evil, “Many people mistakenly believe that while God is totally good, Satan, or the Devil, is totally evil. They are polar opposites of each other.

This idea, however, is false. Satan, while being totally evil in a moral sense, is not totally evil in a metaphysical sense. Theologian Norm Geisler explains the distinction in his book If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think About the Question. Geisler writes:

The Bible speaks about Satan as “the evil one” (1 John 5:19) who is a liar by his very nature (John 8:44). Surely there is no good in Satan – is he not totally evil? Yes, he is completely evil in a moral sense, but not in a metaphysical sense. Just like fallen humans still have God’s image, even so Satan has the remnants of good that God gave to him as a created angel.

For example, Satan has good insofar as he is a creature of God, insofar as he has intelligence, and power, and free will. Of course, he uses all these God-given good powers to do evil; he is ever, always, irretrievably bent on evil. But this is only to say he is totally depraved morally, not that he is totally deprived of all creaturely good metaphysically.” (Emphasis Mine).3

Understanding God’s Love For Satan

The assertions, “God loves Satan” and “God hates Satan” need not be construed as being diametrically opposite or absolutely conflicting. Both these assertions could be true in a particular sense – the metaphysical or the moral.

Since Satan retains a remnant of goodness of God’s creations from a metaphysical sense, we could reasonably sustain the notion that God loves Satan. In other words, God loves Satan only from a metaphysical sense.

But Satan is morally depraved. God cannot love the consequential deeds of a morally depraved being. So from this sense – the moral sense – the notion that God hates Satan (his evil deeds) could be sustained.

Significantly, an absolute denial of God’s love for Satan cannot be sustained. Just one reason may be sufficient to corroborate this assertion. If God hates Satan absolutely or totally, then should God not hate all those who reject and slander HIM?

But the Bible clearly teaches that God loved us when we were sinners (Romans 5:8). Therefore, if God loves a sinful, rebellious and slanderous man, on what grounds could God not love Satan? While it is true that both Satan and those men and women who rebel, reject, and slander God are doomed to an eternal damnation, the judgment of God need not violate HIS love for those who disbelieve and abuse HIM.

God’s judgment is contingent on the exercise of freewill in the case of Satan and the unbelieving mankind. But God’s love for HIS creation is not contingent on HIS judgment. It is contingent on the goodness of HIS creation (God created all things good). Moreover, as it has already been asserted, neither Satan nor the unbelieving mankind is totally evil, for they still retain their creational goodness in the metaphysical sense. (The unbelieving humans could be morally good in certain or most instances. Satan too could, arguably, be morally good in certain situations, albeit in a passive sense, when he does no harm to his followers – not from the perspective of eternity, but from a worldly perspective.)

To conclude, the understanding that God loves Satan could only be sustained if the entailing complications could be resolved. These are the complications. If God loves Satan, then “how could a good God love the evil Satan?” Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? Furthermore, if God loves Satan, should we also love Satan?

How could a good God love the evil Satan? Satan is morally depraved and irretrievably bent on evil, but this is from a moral sense. However, Satan does retain a remnant of the goodness of God’s creations (intelligence, power, freewill etc.). If Satan retains even a remnant of the metaphysical goodness of God’s creation, there is enough latitude for God to love Satan. So an absolute assertion that God hates Satan cannot be sustained. Therefore we could reasonably affirm that God loves Satan from the metaphysical sense and yet assert that God hates Satan from the moral sense.

Could there be a semblance of evil in God because HE loves the evil Satan? A maximally good and perfect being cannot be evil in the sense of both the metaphysical and the moral. If God loves Satan from a moral sense, then an argument that God could be evil may be valid. However, God’s love for Satan is from a metaphysical sense (not from a moral sense), hence there cannot be a remote semblance of evil in God.

Does God’s love for Satan imply that we should love Satan? The Bible mandates us to stand against the evil schemes of Satan and his entourage (Ephesians 6: 11). Moreover, Satan works against God’s people, so Christians cannot love Satan.

Endnotes:

1https://www.gotquestions.org/does-God-love-Satan.html, last accessed on 18th June 2017.

2http://www.reasonablefaith.org/does-god-love-the-devil, last accessed on 18th June 2017.

3http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2015/03/02/is-satan-totally-evil/, last accessed on 18th June 2017.

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2thjJBO


 

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7 replies
  1. Commenter Man says:

    Let’s just cut to the chase. The real question here is how a likely non-existant being can love a very obviously non-existant being.

    Keeps me up most nights.

    Reply
    • Anaya Mitchell says:

      I’m so confused on how this even started. This shouldn’t even be a question! In the bible god says that he hates all wickedness and for those who have heard the truth yet still harden thier heart he hates as well; so let me ask you this: How can god love the devil? The answer is he doesn’t and I have multiple verses to back up my claim.
      Deuteronomy 12:31-16:22
      Jhon 8:42-8:47
      Horsea 9:15
      If you really want to know the answer to a question than you should go to the bible before the internet because not all sites write truth.

      Reply
  2. Tracey says:

    This is why God said through the Apostle Luke 6.28Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. and in Romans 12.14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
    Who, Satan then lands curses onto people, so this is why we must not, be in anyway in partnership with him.
    For we cannot agree with, evil, as it causes hurt and harm.
    Lucifer fell now he is Satan on the World, we are in this world but not from it.
    God continues to make very clear distinctions, for us by; sending his son Jesus Christ, who said to Satan, Do not put your Lord to the test.
    So Jesus did not engage in conversations with Satan, then we should not also.

    I look at it this way, I don’t like people to walk into my house with muddy shoes on, so they have to remove the shoes and, then come in, same with God, it’s His Kingdom, it wouldn’t be worth going to if it was the same as on Earth the World/s we live in, just be same, same.

    Reply
  3. Todd C. says:

    My primary reason for disagreeing with the idea that God loves Satan is that the justification rests on making supernatural angels morally equivalent with natural humans. God literally created Hell for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41); he didn’t create Hell for people. This implies to me that God’s relationship with Satan is fundamentally different than His relationship with humans.

    Furthermore, there are no Bible verses where God asks Satan to repent but God literally sacrificed Himself on the Cross to save humanity. Satan has/had direct access to God (Job 1) and willfully chose to rebel against Him. I don’t see how it’s possible to claim any moral equivalence between Satan and humans which is why God loves us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

    Reply
    • Susan Tan says:

      It is good to see someone not fooled by the false eternal torment doctrine. Those translation errors can really affect your view of the scriptures. When John 1:29 says ” Lo, this is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” the scripture means just that for everyone or else the statement would be qualified “for believers only”.

      I have no opinion on Satan’s fate at this time. I am still reflecting on it but he is certainly the enemy of mankind in this lifetime.

      My personal opinion is learning about spiritual birth from the scriptures and many other doctrines is so personally intensive that most people never study the big picture enough.

      Is anything too hard for God?

      Will He accomplish all of His Will? I think so. In spite of the interpretive errors of men because he swore by Himself to cover the whole earth as the water covers the sea and the water covers 100 percent of the sea.

      Men are from the dust so if God covers the whole earth like the water covers the sea then that is 100 percent of all people who ever lived.

      Yet He saves “each in his own order” cf. 1 Cor. 15:22-23.

      All people should be trying to get to the top of that order. Running for the first resurrection right now but the human race has a sin nature so it always has “issues” that affect it’s spiritual development. Most people are delayed for one reason or another.

      Yes, I know the universal restorationist view is a minority view but God is love and the whole of scripture must agree with His nature because they say He will be “All in All” and the whole of creation belongs to Him.

      3 views on the afterlife. But which is God’s? It would be the best one that agrees with His nature in spite of the keyword translation errors.

      Did God really send His Son to win back only a tiny fraction of creation? That would be a smaller victory than He desires and is capable of.

      The Parent doesn’t have to humor the bad minor children in spite of what the majority say. The Parent is ultimately responsible for His whole creation and He’s not the kind of parent to handwave His responsibilities and let the little evil children get away with things for forever especially if it would cause them harm for eternity.

      Reply
  4. Erick J says:

    To say God loves Satan is a truly misinterpretation from Dr. Craig. God is love, but He also has a place reserved for those who won’t be with Him for all eternity. Call that place Inferno, Hell, Lake of Fire, whatever. It is a place where there is a complete absence of God’s presence reserved for Satan and his fallen angels. There is no love in eternal separation from God.

    Make no mistake, God is all loving, but He’s also consuming fire. Deut 4:24 and Heb 12:29

    We have recognized Jesus as Saviour and Lord, we have the Holy Spirit and Christ’s Spirit. The devil must certainly has none of them. That is why God can still love us while we are fighting our fallen nature and sin.

    “Christian brothers, never pay back someone for the bad he has done to you. Let the anger of God take care of the person. The Holy Writtings say, ‘I will pay back to them what they should get, says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19

    God is all loving but He will surely take revenge and He has anger waiting for all of those who will still dismiss Him and Jesus. We need to see God in a mature sense and not in a romantic and delusional way. Peter told us we need to grow up in our salvation (1 Peter 2:2)

    Reply
  5. Chris says:

    The bible describes satan as one of Gods most beautiful creations before he fell. The description , and the way he was described , implies God was immensely heartbroken over satans chosen path and that he is unredeemable. Clearly there is love there but not the way we understand love , God is more complicated than that. Any attempt to put Gods feelings for this , at one time favorite among angels , in a perspective that humans could understand would be totally inadequate. Our perspective is just too limited.

    Reply

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