Before I proceed with my review of the premiere of FOX’s newest show “Lucifer“, I have to make you aware of something that I hope you will all find quite shocking: Every now and then, I oops. Case in point, I wrote this in Part 1 of this series:
So the show opens with a brief “show concept” summary (brilliantly set to the song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant): “In the beginning….The angel Lucifer was cast out of Heaven and condemned to rule Hell for all eternity. Until he decided to take a vacation….”
That’s really the show concept in a nutshell. Is it biblical? Only slightly. Yes, “the angel Lucifer was cast out of Heaven.”
OOPS OOPS OOPS. I really needed to go back and look at that a second time before publishing it. But, oh, well.
Here’s the thing: Just like I wrote a little later in Part 1, “…neither Satan nor the demons are in Hell yet,” the same is questionably true of this point as well: Satan hasn’t necessarily been cast out of Heaven yet, either. He certainly wasn’t cast out “in the beginning”. The book of Job places Satan squarely in the court of God’s angels, which is presumably in Heaven because that’s where God is, and nowhere do we see God giving Satan the boot with a Yosemite Sam-like, “AAAAAAANNND STAY OUT!”
The notion of casting Satan out of Heaven comes from the book of Revelation, and depending on whether your view of Revelation is preterist (i.e., Revelation describes events that have already happened) or futurist (i.e., Revelation describes events that have yet to happen) will color when you think the doors of Heaven shall be closed to Satan once and for all: if preterist, then it happened at Christ’s birth…maybe…okay, preterism is really unfamiliar to me, so I’m not well-versed in its details, just roll with it; and if futurist, then it’ll happen during the last seven years of history.
Either way, to declare that Satan was cast out of Heaven “in the beginning” is just as false from a biblical perspective as declaring that he will rule Hell for all eternity.
Okay, crisis of my own making averted. Moving on (and being aware that SPOILERS shall henceforth commence)….
Let me say that after seeing a mere couple minutes of Tom Ellis‘ performance as Lucifer…wow. He’s just enthralling. Aside from his obvious good looks, what’s really captivating is his all-in evil demeanor. His Lucifer has no respect for authority, no qualms about breaking the law (or tempting anyone else to break it, as he successfully does with a police officer in the opening scene), and no sense of remorse for anything he does. He’s exactly the devil you’d expect: evil and loving it. And he has the most intriguing “super-power”: people who are charmed by his charisma start telling uncomfortable and inappropriate truths about themselves. (Do you enjoy watching kitten crush videos? You’ll tell him. You’ll want to.) You could almost call it the power of…confession. That’s a very ironic twist, considering that from a biblical perspective, confession is supposed to be good for the soul — a way to find healing from sin. But in Lucifer’s clutches, confession becomes disruptive, and a way into your soul so that he can steer you toward greater acts of depravity. You can’t help but think of him in the role of a Catholic priest…but without the Seal of the Confessional to stop him from using your deepest, darkest secrets against you.
Interestingly enough, right here we touch on one of the darkest aspects of the Internet: anonymous confession. How much evil has been unleashed in people’s hearts precisely because on the Internet, you’re able to confess your evil desires openly and freely behind a veil of anonymity and, even worse, find others who are like-minded? Look at the webcam porn industry. Yes, presumably everything’s consensual, blah blah blah, but look at what people are able and allowed to bring out of their psyches now to be imprinted on the mind and body of the willing performer(s) on the other end of the connection. Anonymity on the Internet allows people to indulge in pushing their (and others’) boundaries beyond any rational limits. And when that boundary-pushing spills over into real life…hoo, boy. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but moral societies can only function when people can be held accountable for their actions. I would offer that in Tom Ellis’ depiction of Lucifer, what we are seeing is, in fact, the face of the Internet staring back at us, ready and willing to consume your deepest, darkest secrets without even a pretense of accountability. Lucifer wants to hear everything you’ve done…and even better, he doesn’t care what you’ve done. What could be more freeing? What demons inside you could exposure to such a person — or thing — unleash?
The devil has biblically and traditionally gone by many names: Satan, Lucifer, Morningstar, Beelzebub, Old Scratch. Could “Internet” be the newest name he wears?
I really hope not, because, wow, am I addicted to the Internet. Why, just the other day I was looking at…HEY.
Nice try, Lucifer.
See you in Part 3!