What does Satan look like? – by Cathi Johnson



Have you been watching the History Channel program, The Bible? Or at least heard about it?!

What has inspired you about this program? Is it the miracle of how God enabled Abraham and Sarah to bear children in their advanced old age? Is it the faith of Noah in building an ark in the desert, and then what must have been a sight to behold for the animals to come aboard? The virgin birth? The life of Jesus?

Perhaps The Bible has been inspiring to you in this season of Lent. Well, if it has, you’ve been awfully quiet about it!

That is, until now.

While reviews have been lukewarm to-date, I learned yesterday what has finally lit a fire. Apparently, the actor who is portraying Satan in the series bears a resemblance, for some, to president Barack Obama. I first heard this statement on a news show I listen to while driving to work each morning. Interesting, I thought. But then, two seconds later, one of the news guys broke with just reporting the news and made a comment to the effect that the casting director had chosen well. I felt my mouth drop open in horrified surprise.

Since then, the History channel and producers of the show have made emphatic statements that deny any intended lo-SATAN-OBAMA-570ikeness – yet the news guys are still talking about it, presumably because they believe it is news.

Seriously, it wasn’t the miracles or the compelling story of the life of God’s Son that got folks talking about the series! It was whether Satan is being portrayed by our president. I shake my head in wonder.

At Memphis Theological Seminary, students, faculty and staff work every day to find the miracles in the stories, not the hatred. We sit side-by-side men and women who are different from us, yet the same. In the classrooms, theological discussions between folks of different backgrounds and cultures enhance our Christian walk. They help us all become better people, and for those who will lead congregations, better leaders, better pastors.

What inspires you to talk about the Bible? Let us all look to the miracles and away from the negative chatter. And be glad no one is comparing us with Satan.