Not so grim Reaper

If you’ve not seen it, may I recommend that you add “Reaper” to your short list of guilty pleasures. “Reaper” is about Satan, and his efforts to reclaim wayward denizens of hell.

The conceit is that hell is just so overcrowded that the poor Devil simply can’t keep tabs on all of his charges. And they escape their eternal torment, only to resume back here on earth the (usually) heinous crimes they committed before their souls were claimed. There are two principal protagonists: The Devil his own self, of course. And one innocent young man, Sam, whose parents sold his soul when he was a wee bairn.

Sam is Satan’s little helper, very much against his will, and each week’s story focuses on an escapee whom Sam helps to bring back to hell. Some things just ain’t fair, and that is one of the points of this show. The other is something no Christian should deny: The Devil is very much in charge of our world, and it is up to us to deny him his spoils. Old Scratch, played with a great combination of evil and charm by Ray Wise, can do just about anything he wishes in the here and now.

Since this is meant to be popular entertainment, there isn’t much dialogue about the One who is actually in charge, or about how one may avoid eternal damnation. It’s implied, of course, and in this, “Reaper” is much better than most such shows.

One question keeps crossing my mind: how many people out there, watching the show, will believe that, yes, Virginia, there is a Devil. I know that Satan walks among us, doing his evil. But God? And some son of God who is supposed to have died for my sins? I don’t think so. Or so one might believe, if all one had to go on was most of what passes for entertainment these days.

Now it must be said that too much can be made of anything. And “Reaper” proves not one blessed thing about the existence of God, or of the Devil.  But I ask this for those willing to suspend their disbelief and accept Satan as the embodiment of evil.  Who created Satan, and provided us with the ability to choose to do evil or to resist?

Simple answer is that God, for His purposes, created all that is.  That includes thee, me, and the state of being that our culture has labeled “Satan.”  That state of being is sin.

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