I wrote about the new Lucifer TV show when I saw the pilot a few months ago. Since then, I haven’t watched much because it’s a pretty boring cop show, which happens to have Lucifer dealing with the personal crisis of becoming more and more human (while keeping some gifts, like making people confess their deepest desires).
But in Episode Six, there’s some interesting theology happening.
And angel comes in and wants Lucifer to embrace his role as Satan.
Lucifer has been saying, fuck this shit, I didn’t choose to be the devil, I don’t want to govern hell, it’s all so unfair, boo-hoo.
But heaven needs Lucifer to play devil or God’s whole system doesn’t work.
So he sends an angel down to try and force him into it.
When that doesn’t work (and how could it, really…. they’ve already punished Lucifer enough, what more can they do to him to force them to do something he doesn’t want to?) the angel manipulates Lucifer’s psychologist into trying to goad him back into service.
And that’s where things get weird.
The angel tells the psychologist that Lucifer needs to embrace his role, that he’s evil. The whole thing doesn’t work unless Lucifer plays along and accepts that he’s “evil” even if he doesn’t actually do anything wrong. Evil is a title, not a condition or an adjective that describes his being. He must be evil because God is good.
The psychologist says that Lucifer was the light bearer – God’s favorite son – and that’s why God gave him the great GIFT of running hell.
Angels fall, but they can also RISE.
So all Satan has to do is… what, accept the role God decided to give him, go back to torturing people because God wants him to? Why would he do that?
He can’t go back to hell, because someone stole his wings… but that’s kind of beside the point.
What’s more interesting is that God’s entire plan for the salvation and punishment of billions of human beings depends on Lucifer staying in Hell.
And even if Satan is evil, and rebellious, there is nothing that indicates he, or anyone else, would enjoy being locked up and forced to torture people, forever. Nobody wants to do God’s dirty work, so they must be forced, and Satan – just like any sane person – would rather be a human cop, fall in love with a girl and possibly die than be chained to hell for all eternity dealing out punishments in the name of the same god that put him there.
So I like the TV show, because it makes Lucifer sympathetic while also dealing with practical theological matters and inconsistencies.