It's a fascinating story. But, like so much of Christian belief, I can't accept it as literal. If there is truth to be had, as far as I'm concerned, it is by examining the story as metaphor.
But I put the question to a good friend of mine, a practicing Christian and a man of considerable intellect. "Is Lucifer a personality?"
His reply: "I'm agnostic on that."
"What about your church?" I asked.
"I think they're agnostic on that, too."
An honest, if dissatisfying answer.
|South side of Saint Stephen's Catholic, up on 41st|
But in my reality, Lucifer is a metaphor for the evil that exists in all of us: our propensity toward self-infatuation, our lust for power, our malignant indifference toward everything that is not us.
Christians, please weigh in! Muslims, as well! Is there an actual devil? A living personification of evil? Or is it something different?
Odd synchronicity: I thought about the devil all the way up Mount Tabor this afternoon. On the way home, I stopped in at Fred Meyer to pick up a rose for Maty and some kalamata olives. When the cashier rang me up, she glanced at the receipt as she handed it to me. "Oh, look at that!" she said. "Must be your lucky day!"
I examined the receipt. Single red rose: $1.99. Kalamata olives: $4.67. Grand total: $6.66.
"That's interesting," I thought.