Matthew Bell of “The World”, a radio program from Public Radio International, has reported one of the more intelligent and balanced stories about the Church of England’s decision to “nix any mention” of the devil from its services.
An audio file of this story is available on the PRI site, as is a shorter written version of the story, in which Bell quotes the Rev. Ruth Meyers, chair of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music:
As with the decision to allow the ordination of women bishops, the Church of England aims to update its theology to reflect modern values. Removing mention of the devil from baptism services is about not turning people away who might otherwise be receptive to the church’s teachings.
“By eliminating the character of ‘the devil,’ it doesn’t mean that the Church of England is trying to deny the presence of evil in the world,” explained Rev. Ruth Meyers of Church Divinity School in Berkeley, California. Meyers is also an Episcopal priest.
“If people get this image [of the devil], and it’s just a caricature,” she said, “it doesn’t help them recognize and really grapple with the very awful reality of war and famine and poverty, and the horrible things that people to do to one another.”
Do you believe there is a supernatural creature who is the embodiment of evil, or is Satan a metaphor?