Way, way, way back when I was just a young tyke in the early 1960s, my Dad would periodically bring home comic books for me. Boy, I loved those comic books! My favorite titles were “Sad Sack” and “Hot Stuff the Little Devil,” both published by Harvey Comics (which also published the much more popular “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and “Richie Rich” comic books).
Hot Stuff was a mischievous, diaper-clad, pitchfork-bearing child demon who enjoyed playing tricks on humans. He especially enjoyed riling the adult demons by occasionally doing good deeds.
So why would a parent buy a comic book about a playful demon for his very young child? I’m sure my Dad never even thought twice about it. He belonged to a church which pretty much compartmentalized religion and everyday life. Religion was something you did one day a week: Go to church on Sunday and receive holy communion and then go home and try to live a “good” life until next Sunday. Absolutely no time was spent in God’s Word during the week. If my parents owned a Bible I never saw it. I don’t remember my parents ever praying; out loud or privately. No one had a “personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ.” That kind of talk was only for backwoods Bible Belt-ers who took their religion WAY too seriously. Buying a comic book about a naughty, young demon for a young child was perfectly fine in that milieau of religious unbelief. Even back then, the culture was inundated with movies and television shows about witches, vampires, ghosts, etc. Jesus was not real to many people back then just like He’s not real to many today. People flock in droves to entertainment that focuses on spiritual darkness, but they don’t want to give one second of their time to the Light.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” – John 3:19-21
But I have a bit of nostalgia for ol’ Hot Stuff. Maybe that playful little comic character was one of the many influences the Holy Spirit used in my life to eventually draw me to my Savior, Jesus Christ. If there are demons and a Hell, then there is a God and a Heaven.