The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/23

Posted on | August 23, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 8/23

scripture reading: Genesis 3:1–7

The Master of Disguise

Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  (II Corinthians 11:14)

A theory is going around that the old CBS sitcom “Gilligan’s Island” (from the 1960s) is really a picture of hell! I know this is a stretch, but think about it. You have to look beyond the fact that the show is a comedy, the island is a tropical paradise, and the characters are friendly and fun-loving. Don’t forget that they are also marooned in a place they don’t want to be. And try as they might, they can’t find their way home. Though portrayed in comic relief, the castaways are all profoundly frustrated and turn their discontent on one another, turning their home-in-paradise into a circle of never-ending discord. According to many versions of theory, the seven characters in the story represent the Seven Deadly Sins:

,. Pride is illustrated by the Professor. Cool and logical, he always manages to be aloof and above the fray. What a tedious know-it-all!

,. With pig-tails and her midriff showing, cute little Mary Ann lives in the shadow of glamorous Ginger. Mary Ann is the picture of Envy.

,. Mrs. Howell represents Sloth. Never lifting a finger to help anyone with anything, she complains about everything, making life miserable for herself and those around her.

,. Thurston Howell III is the epitome of Greed. Who else would take a trunk of money on a three-hour cruise? For him everything is evaluated in terms of dollars and cents.

,. Ginger is Lust incarnate. You can see it in her eyes, not to mention in the clothing she wears. Obsessed with her own looks, Ginger knows how to use her womanly charms to get what she wants.

,. The Skipper is big enough to represent two deadly sins. His rotund size reveals his Gluttony. And though he is usually smiling on the outside, he is a simmering volcano on the inside. Thus, he also illustrates Anger. Why else would he always be hitting Gilligan with his hat?

But what about Gilligan? What does he represent? Though he looks innocent enough in his little red (!) sailor suit, he is actually the cause of everyone’s misfortunes. And he manages to somehow always sabotage every attempt at escape. Gilligan just may be the picture of Satan himself!

I don’t expect everyone to buy into the Gilligan’s Island Theory of human depravity. That’s OK. I’m not sure I buy it completely either. But this silly discussion illustrates something that the Bible warns us about repeatedly, and something that is not silly at all: evil seldom looks like we expect it to. Often, it doesn’t look “evil” at all, and anyone who dares to suggest that something as “innocent” as Gilligan’s Island could be a picture of hell is dismissed immediately as a fanatical lunatic. And no wonder. Satan is a master of disguise and does his deadliest work when no one even realizes he is present! The wolf always enters the fold disguised as a sheep (Matthew 7:15).

So beware. If you have imagined that Satan’s appearance in your life would be marked by the smell of sulfur coming from a red demon with a pitchfork, it may already be too late. You may even now be his captive on some tropical island!

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.  —Edmund Burke

point to ponder • Satan does his deadliest work when no one even realizes he is present.

prayer focus • Wisdom to discern good and evil.


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