I am often asked why I sometimes include Satan in my paintings. I have received numerous letters from people who have spent up to an hour looking for Satan and still can’t find his placement in the picture. In real life, Satan hides himself so discretely that many can’t find him. One of the greatest accomplishments Satan has achieved in this world is convincing people that he does not exist.
I choose to create a symbolic representation of who Satan is. My goal is simply to make him as creepy as possible. He is like a dark shadow lurking in the background. In reality, I suspect he is probably handsome and would appear as if he were your friend. But I believe we can detect his evil spirit if we are sensitive.
Click image to view video about Satan in the Via Dolorosa painting
So, what does this mean to you? I believe that God allows Satan to be here to temp us. Even our first parents, Adam and Eve, were subject to his deceptions. It is interesting to me how God in His wisdom allows Satan to entice us that we may choose between good and evil. In so doing we show God the true nature of our hearts. God made a promise as Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden: Speaking to Satan God said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:15) This tells us that although he can injure our heel, we can bruise his head. God has given us the upper hand. There is no temptation that we can not overcome if we turn to God. But many people flirt with Satan to the point where they are consumed.
It reminds me of a story I recently heard in the news. In Nevada there are hundreds of abandoned mine shafts dotting the state. They are usually fenced off and marked as extremely dangerous. In the news we were told of a man who ventured too close and fell into one of these mines dropping over 100 feet. When the rescue team arrived they saw that he was still barely alive after the fall, but they could not reach him because of the unstable walls of the mine shaft. He died at the bottom of the shaft and could not be recovered. How tragic a story and yet many people today, in a similar way, fail to listen to “God’s warnings” and dangerously flirt with Satan’s enticing. Never in the history of the world has Satan had more tools at his disposal to destroy the souls of mankind. With the proliferation of pornography, drugs, homosexuality and removal of God from society, Satan has destroyed many of God’s children.
In my painting, “One Nation Under God”, Satan lurks behind the group of people that represent those whose actions are weakening our country. Some have found offense at this because I am in some way suggesting these people are Satanic by having Satan with them. The truth is that just as the painting depicts, they don’t recognize that Satan is even there. He hides himself in the cloak of intellectualism. He whispers lies to those who will listen. He will lead you down a path to sorrow and despair.
In my last painting, “Via Dolorosa”, I have Satan hiding in the crowd. This is an interesting crowd, made up of those who have had a profound impact on Christianity for both good and evil. The man in the middle holds up his right hand as he states, “Be still, for I know that Jesus is the Christ.” This exclamation is directed to all the world and particularly to Satan himself. If we are true to our witness of Christ at all times, he will not have power over us.
Click image to learn more about the Via Dolorosa painting