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Kortef

Satan= Bunch o' B.S?

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God, and his once loyal servant, Lucifer AKA the Devil, or Satan, are known to the majority of us, as two ultimate and almighty powerful beings. God: creator of earth, keeper of earth and everything living. He is all good, and loves everyone no matter his or her state of mind, or physicality. Lucifer, once an angel, strayed into the darkness only to tempt Adam and Eve after the creation. If not for Satan, evil wouldn’t live…or would it?

Please note before I begin my scepticism, that the Adam and Eve story by my own opinion is a myth, or better yet a reasonable explanation thousands of years ago, for the creation of the earth. And note that this is NOT the argument so if you disagree with that, too bad, don’t post anything concerning it.

This is my argument, When God created us; apparently he gave us free will. Right. Now, if we have free will, we can do whatever we want, and so of course we are bound to sin, even if we don’t know what evil is. But then the bible tries to blame sin and all evil on Lucifer, who in my opinion doesn’t even exist. Adam and Eve were said to be tempted by the devil who disguised himself as a snake, he tempted them to eat and apple from the forbidden tree, even though God told them not too. First of all If Adam in Eve were created with any intelligence they wouldn’t have taken an apple from that forbidden tree…I mean if something is forbidden, either it is extremely dangerous, or just something someone doesn’t want us to have, but Adam and Ave didn’t know that supposedly. But that’s not the point really; the point is that the whole Adam and Eve story was basically not only the birth of the earth, but also the birth of sin, so the bible basically states. And it was because of Satan. Now that part where the first sin was committed I think is a load of BS, because when people started questioning good and evil, Satan was created.

Satan is an excuse that gives people explanation as to why bad things happen. But Satan doesn’t cause bad things…WE DO. And it comes from our free will that we do bad things.

People say if Satan didn’t exist we wouldn’t do bad things? To hell with that! OF COURSE WE WOULD! Because of freewill!

All we know about Satan is, he lives in the fiery pits off hell, and he is evil and brings evil upon the Earth. If you asked anyone that’s the answer you would get.

Satan was created because people knew good came from God, so obviously evil came from a totally opposite person. God is fact I think, Satan is fiction, because when people thought evil must come from an evil being the thought about someone with the almighty power of God but was evil instead. They wanted the essence of evil to come from some who was evil, and that wouldn’t be God cause he is all God so it’s impossible for him to be related to evil. So people made the Devil, because freewill was creating evil.

Basically to sum it up, God in my opinion is real, and because he gave us freewill, people became confused that God that most purest and good of all, was giving us evil? It didn’t make sense so they simply made another almighty being up who was held responsible for our evil actions.

Yea it’s very confusing cause religion and reality, when commingled they become very confusing. Just look at it this way Satin, Lucifer, Devil= the outcome of our freewill in some situations.

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Why stop there? People do good things and bad things. Don't blame Satan for the bad things, but then again, don't give God credit for the good things.

Personally, I believe in God and Satan.

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Sorry Kortef, that's not what the bible says, and there is a reason why christian fundamentalists believe in Satan.

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No dez, Im saying people are using a being called satan as an excuse for the reason beign of the nature of evil...

and why dont you enlighten me P.P

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Posted (edited)

Kortef et al,

First of all, HOWDY! I must tell you, Kortef, that the notion that satan is responsible for all evil is not anywhere in the Bible. Additionally, neither God nor anyone else seems to hold satan responsible for the sins that human beings commit. What we do find is that satan can be complicit in human sin, but human culpability is no way erased by satan's involvement. I think the idea that satan is somehow the embodiment of evil is rooted in the idea that God and satan are somehow equal, with God embodying the "good" and satan embodying the "evil". I'm aware that some religions function in this way (most notably, Zoroastrianism), but not Judeo-Christianity. There is in some sense a modified dualism in Judeo-Christian metaphysics, whereby satan, sin, and evil are in some sense the opposite of God, but they are by no means equal to God. God simply has no equal.

As far as satan's activity in the garden is concerned, God doesn't pin Adam and Eve's rebellion on satan. When you look at the story, the first person God is looking for is Adam, not the serpent. When God converses with Adam and Eve about what they've done He is not primarily concerned with the serpent's activity as much as He is with the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Your point about Adam and Eve's actions is well-taken. Honestly, I think God was as aghast about Adam and Eve's choice to rebel as you are. Here you've got this great garden, an opportunity to participate in God's creative capacity, and you get to walk around with God (whatever that must've been like)! What more could you want?

I think it important at this point to provide a more comprehensive description of sin. Remember that God gave Adam and Eve authority over all the animals in Genesis 1. Interesting, isn't it, that a serpent over whom they had God-given authority is able to persuade Adam and Eve that this God dude is actually hiding something from them--namely the ability to become "gods". So, in a bid to become something more than human ("gods"), Adam and Eve take advice from something non-human over whom they had authority. In the process Adam and Eve, tragically, become less than human. From what we observe here sin has little to do with the "devil made me do it" attitude. Sin is merely this: an attempt of the creature to be on an equal par with the Creator, while ironically becoming less than what you were made to be in the process.

Satan is an uncreative creature, a cut-rate fallen angel who for some reason wasn't content to be what God had made him to be. Ultimately, satan can only work with what people give him. While all evil and sin may not be entirely the work of satan, he is evil's biggest cheerleader. Where there are a gaggle of godless folks, each doing evil for their own ends, satan will work to connect the dots, causing them to work as one organism, all without their notice. This is what Paul means when he speaks of "principalities" in Ephesians and Colossians. You take a corrupt loan-officer, a price-gouging grocery store owner, some apathetic policemen, and some drug-dealers and put them in one place. Alone, they commit individual evils. Together, especially in an inner-city locality, we've got an economically depressed area with racial tensions and zero opportunity for money and equity to stay within the inner-city; instead, the money is being spent outside of it. It's like in Floyd's "Have a Cigar": "It can be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team!"

When Adam and Eve decided to throw in with satan instead of sticking with God all of their God-given authority got turned inside-out. The sin that took root in them immediately began to spread to all that they related to--one another and the world. Note, Adam and Eve blame one another for the incident, with Adam managing to implicate God as well (".. the woman YOU gave me.."). The separation didn't take long to set in. And suddenly death was a fact of existence for all of creation. Satan can have a field day in a fallen world because a fallen world is like him: something that God made in goodness and splendor that that is now cut off from the life of God. This is why its easier to believe in evil than it is to believe in good. When Jesus cast out demons his detractors claimed that he did it using satanic power. Why? Because even though obvious goodness was demonstrated before them, they still couldn't shake themselves of the ease of believing in evil. To believe in goodness in a fallen world is rather difficult, because the world is a runaway train that has built up significant momentum in a direction that doesn't have God, love, or heaven as its destination. The goodness of God will prevail, but only by resisting the momentum that the world has built up. Collision is inevitable. This is why sacrifice is at the heart of Judeo-Christianity. Short-term loss, long-term gain. Shalom, for now, to everybody!

Edited by trublvr

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The true nature of Satan is uncertain today, and we put all the evils together as Satan.

It is true, that evil does NOT come from Satan, he is not responsible for all evils. We commit our own sin, with or without Satan involvement. Satan is a member of God's council, he is working for God, but he get the unfortunate task that makes him dangerous for humans. The book of Job illustrates Satan's role in God - human relationship. Later in the NT we see a similar event between Jesus and Satan in the desert.

Keeping in mind that all beings are responsible for their own sins, we also have to make some distinctions between Satan, Lucifer, the serpent, and the evil spirits.

The serpent in Genesis is just that, a serpent. The story tells how the serpent was punished, and explains the nature of men, women, and serpents.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

If you replace serpent with Satan, the story does not make any sense.

Another character that is comonly misinterpreted as Satan is Lucifer. In Judaism Satan and Lucifer are two different figures. The account from Isaiah tells us that Lucifer was punished,

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

How could Satan being punished in hell can later showed up again and again? Lucifer is not Satan. Satan is loyal to God, while Lucifer is rebelious.

And finaly we have the evil spirits, or sometimes translated as the demons. They are just wandering spirits aka ghosts. Some of them are evil, just like we have evil humans. Next time you see a demonic possesion, remember that it is just a random spirit, not Satan. If you have a first hand experience of witnessing a demonic possesion, you can confirm this. When questioned, the spirit may reveal its identity, sometimes belong to a deceased person.

To sum it up, the bible mentioned that Satan exists (if you believe in the bible anyway), but he is not the enemy of God. The book of Job portrays how Satan consulted God before his action. So if you meet him, just say hello and tell him that you are not interested in temptation wink2.gif

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Posted (edited)

PP,

While I must admit that the portrait of satan in Job is complex (and difficult), I don't believe it leads us to the simple conclusion that satan is merely one of God's servants who has the hard luck of having the dirtiest work. What exactly is satan's job description? I think that God has no problem using satan's proclivities for temptation to test his faithful servants, but God's usage of this rebel angel doesn't obscure the fact that he is still a rebel angel.

Good work, by the by, for making the link between Job's temptation and Jesus'. In Jesus' temptation the same principal is at work here. Innocence is untested virtue. Virtue is tested innocence. I think that for Jesus to be truly virtuous and not just innocent the temptation was necessary (especially at the beginning of his ministry). God's people are constantly given the opportunity to follow something other than God. Satan is ready, willing, and able to tempt people (b/c he hates people as well as God), and God uses satan's tendencies to sharpen the spirituality of his servants. [On a side note, I think what happened to Jesus and Job are instances limited to the experiences of those who are in fellowship with God].

Though in the Eden story the word "satan" (wh/ in Hebrew means "adversary"

or "enemy") is not used, the serpent's lie concerning God's motives and his temptation of Eve (with Adam standing right by her), surely signify that this being definitely is not down with God's program. While I don't know if the serpent was inhabited by the original rebel angel himself or by one of the other angels who rebelled with him, the serpent definitely is in an anti-God groove.

In the Isaiah 14 passage the prophet is not referring to satan or any other angelic being. In verse 3 it is stated that the entire prophecy is directed against the Babylonian king. There is a lot of metaphorical and hyperbolic language used (especially in verses 11-15), but the references to the king's asperations to be a god would have been commonplace in a Near-Eastern setting where kings were frequently deified. The reference to "hell" in verse 15 is actually sheol, the nebulous Hebrew after-world. The confusion is due to the fact that the King James version translates "sheol" as "hell". Regardless of what one thinks Sheol is, the concept of hell is not in view (and isn't fully developed until many years later). In Ezekiel 28 we have the same issue. Ezekiel is uttering a judgment against the king of Tyre, but the language is very metaphorical. However, there are sins assigned to the king (like dishonest trade practices) that point to an entirely human personage. In fact, the only reference we have to the word "Lucifer" is the King James translation of "star of the morning" (Isaiah 14.12).

As far as spirits of possession go Jesus always associated them with satanic activity, as did his Jewish contemporaries and his disciples. The New Testament has no designation for ghosts of others, nor a benevolent designation for someone's ghost entering in to someone. For something to enter in to us and circumvent our consciousness, causing us to act contrary to who we fundamentally are is an affront to our humanity and to God. This is why Jesus treated possessed people like spiritual rape victims. In contrast, God's Spirit works in and through His people, all without compromising our consciousness. When God enters us we are dignified has human beings, not circumvented for the mere use of our bodies.

Edited by trublvr

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Ok you raise good points, both of you, but im sticking to my statement..I dont belive in Satan, and when the snake is mentioned in Genesis i belive he was implied to be Satan

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im sticking to my statement..I dont belive in Satan

that's what satan wants you to believe... whistling2.gif

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I'm not so into truly believing in either of them, but...

How do you know Lucifer and/or Satan do not exist? How do you know that the story could be the other way around, We sinned; That is human nature, but what if WE created Satan and/or Lucifer? Wouldn't it make sense, otherwise how would we know of something...that brings us back to the theory that if we all beleive something exists it does, or if we all do not beleive, it doesn't. Take this as an example: Iron is a strong, hard element. We all beleive that it is strong and hard, but what if we believed that it was soft and smooth much like sandstone? Would that beleif in itself change the properties of the element into what we think, or would it stay the same and would our minds be fooling us? Think about it. cat.gif

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Mmmmmmm.....

Nope.. not gonna do it... uh uh! cool.gif

whistling2.gif

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Why would satan not want us to belive in him? If we didnt belive in him wouldnt that be good? To fear satan, only makes him happy, and it p***es him off i would assume if you deny him. And i dont belive in him but sometimes i do for split seconds...but jsut because i dont doesnt mean I wont go around doing bad things thinking i wont go to hell..if you do sin, your pushing yourself away from God. But still even though i dont fear Satan, doesnt mean i will sin, hell im a nice guy, who tries not to sin! lol

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Posted (edited)

But if God is the creator of all, than that means he created evil. Maybe his design didn't work as planned? After all he is the Alpha and Omega. He knows all and sees all.

Question is if God designed humans, so that he can share his love with us and his creation. Why place the temptation of a forbidden tree. If he can see into our hearts(for those who deny that God can see the future), then he should of known, Adam and Eve where going to pick that apple from the tree. In fact, he sat back and watched as the whole process unfolded itself. After it was all said and done, he got p***ed(don't understand why such a peaceful creature could have that much rage, or why he didn't forgive Adam and Eve considering it was their FIRST EVER mistake). Ok, I can go on forever, but I think you get the point.

I don't belive in God or the Bible. I'm just trying to play "Devil's" advocate. Pun intended tongue.gif

I'm sure I'm about to take a beating, but it's all in good fun. laugh.gif

Edited by X~File_Agent

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thumbsup.gif That actually somewhat made sense, and i somewhat agree with you,

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I believe in the mind over matter concept.

Is it not a amazing thing that we can even question things like this? You dont see any wolfs or monkeys with relegions, or even becoming self aware, most animals do not "Think" they do, and if something is looked down upon they are killed-this omits a lack of moral values, unless there code of ethics is written down in excrete left on trees. anyway I say just let life take its path, we do not need to worry about things like this, after all isnt not knowing a hell all its own?

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What if we're just travelling spirits and we bounce around from life to life, world to world, universe to universe and on and on. What if there is no heaven or hell, just resting points. Or even better, what if being here on earth, not really knowing what's out there, having to go only on blind faith, dealing with the woes of mankind, etc., what if that's hell? hmmm...

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trublvr, good points, but it will be much better if you post it with the power of paragraphs thumbsup.gif

It is interesting to see that the serpent in Genesis has the same role with Satan portrayed later in the desert. Maybe the story of Adam and Eve inspired later works in the bible, and of course serpents are adversaries (Satan) of humans anyway. Maybe the ancient Jews viewed serpents as the evil, dangerous animal, and later used it as the symbol of evil, and finaly transformed into the figure of Satan. I'm still wondering where we get our idea of Satan images. Also. in the bible, we can find a trend that Satan becomes more and more evil (compare and contrast Job to Revelation) and this trend continued until we get our popular idea of Satan today.

I also held the view of Lucifer as being the king of Babylon. I just pointed out the fact that Lucifer, the fallen angel mentioned in Isaiah is not Satan. And because this is the only place where the name Lucifer is mentioned, we may conclude that there is no such thing as the fallen angels. The myth of a group of angels rebelled against God is just that, a myth (yes you can argue that the entire bible is a myth as well).

About the ghosts, it is just my speculation. It is very curious that the bible does not address the issue of ghosts at all, which is greatest topic in paranormal phenomena. However it is clear that the society in Judah believed in ghosts, as can be seen in the encounter of Thomas and the ressurected Jesus.

Other than that demonic possesion cases show that each spirit has their own personality rather than belonging to a cosmic consciousness. Also they are not evil, you can just talk to them, ask what they want and ask them to leave. And contrary to the popular belief, excorcism, prayers, etc do not always work.

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PP,

Good suggestion about the paragraphs; sorry if my response wasn't easy on the eyes.

I think your observation about the development of the satanic motif is a very good one. It is interesting that you see all kinds of freaky demonic/satanic activity in the New Testament, but very little in the Old Testament. Like much of biblical theology, it seems that the Jewish understanding of satan did develop over time. However, I don't think that this development is easily attributable to a fear of snakes. I do understand that line of reasoning, being that some cultures do in attach good or bad supernatural qualities to mundane animals, phenomena, or objects. Because of my own beliefs, I would think of things like this: A fear of snakes comes from the very real garden of Eden temptation. This fear is heightened by the dangerous nature of snakes to a nomadic, desert-hopping people. Though anthropology is an invaluable tool in studying religions, I am hesistant to adhere to view that appeals to myth and myth-making too often. At some point we do have to be open to the reality that the ancients sought to communicate history (especially the Jews).

The development of a doctrine of satan from Old Testament to New Testament could be rooted in the activity of his satanic majesty. Contrary to popular belief satan is not at his strongest when he's causing people to froth at the mouth and spin their heads at 360 degrees. Satan likes to lay low, lulling folks into a false sense of security. Like any terrorist, he only rears his ugly head when he is really threatened. I think the escalation in demonic/satanic activity is due to the fact that he knew Jesus was coming.

I won't dwell on the whole too much on whether or not the story of fallen angels is a myth. I'll only say that the story of fallen angels in the Old Testament is not mentioned in concert with anything about satan. As you probably are aware, it is mentioned only in Genesis 6, which is the flood narrative.

Great point about the belief in ghosts in the New Testament! You are entirely correct: In the resurrection account of John (and the others) Jesus does seem to be countering the notion that he is a ghost. Sorry that I didn't give your idea enough credence in the previous posting. I don't know how it worked, but it does seem as if there is some belief in ghosts among the Jews of Jesus' time.

As far as the demons and demonic possession go, we'll have to agree to disagree, because our experiences with the supernatural seem to be entirely different. I converted to faith in Jesus from a voodoo-ish religion in which summoning up spirits was a crucial element. Coupled with my adherence to biblical teaching, my experiences prevent me from conversing with spirits aside from casting them out (I don't intend to sound mean here, by the by). Nice exchanging thoughts with you, PP. Take care. --trublvr

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It seems like everyone gets their Satan information from the same place around here whistling2.gif (cough, cough,BIBLE!cough!) rolleyes.gif

John Milton, an english poet back in the 17th Century wrote a little book called Paradise Lost, basically the story of Genesis, but from the viewpoint of the Devil. Milton was extremely religious and a devout christian for the first part of his life until he became influenced by puritan beliefs.

His book was ahead of his time and very contraversial; it supposadely displayed the devil as more of a hero. Milton's work took on a psychological perspective of Satan, showing the conflict of his need to rebel from god, yet the immense sorrow he felt from leaving his creator. It made the reader question themselves; can I really feel sympathy for the ultimate evil? crying.gifdisgust.gif

In his book, Lucifer is the devil in his angel form, and after he falls into the "burning lake" becomes satan over time. His Angel wings slowly develop into webbed bat wings and his minions turn more ugly and angry. Ahh, and Satan has the power to transform into serpents or other things because of his power to decieve lesser angels.

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A fear of snakes comes from the very real garden of Eden temptation. This fear is heightened by the dangerous nature of snakes to a nomadic, desert-hopping people.

So does it mean that the snake in Genesis is just a regular snake and not Satan as I said?? wink2.gif

I think the escalation in demonic/satanic activity is due to the fact that he knew Jesus was coming.

Or maybe because the Gospel authors are more interested in Satan compared to Hebrew bible authors wink2.gif

As far as the demons and demonic possession go, we'll have to agree to disagree, because our experiences with the supernatural seem to be entirely different. I converted to faith in Jesus from a voodoo-ish religion in which summoning up spirits was a crucial element. Coupled with my adherence to biblical teaching, my experiences prevent me from conversing with spirits aside from casting them out (I don't intend to sound mean here, by the by).

When you were in your voodoo-ish religion, didn't you find that there are more than just one universal spirits? I think it is a good indication that those spirits are not the universal Satan, but rather a group of spirits live in the spirit world, just like ours.

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It seems like everyone gets their Satan information from the same place around here whistling2.gif (cough, cough,BIBLE!cough!) rolleyes.gif

John Milton, an english poet back in the 17th Century wrote a little book called Paradise Lost, basically the story of Genesis, but from the viewpoint of the Devil. Milton was extremely religious and a devout christian for the first part of his life until he became influenced by puritan beliefs.

His book was ahead of his time and very contraversial; it supposadely displayed the devil as more of a hero. Milton's work took on a psychological perspective of Satan, showing the conflict of his need to rebel from god, yet the immense sorrow he felt from leaving his creator. It made the reader question themselves; can I really feel sympathy for the ultimate evil? crying.gifdisgust.gif

In his book, Lucifer is the devil in his angel form, and after he falls into the "burning lake" becomes satan over time. His Angel wings slowly develop into webbed bat wings and his minions turn more ugly and angry. Ahh, and Satan has the power to transform into serpents or other things because of his power to decieve lesser angels.

Monkyburd,

I've done some studies on Paradise Lost and Milton in general. Milton did present a more fleshed-out view of satan as satanic hero, but the public response wasn't all that bad. In fact, many people--no matter what their religious beliefs--enjoyed Milton's work! So profound was the influence of his story that even now when you ask the average person to talk about satan, they refer to Milton's story, even though they believe they are referring to the biblical texts.

Quite honestly, I like the thread of satanic heroism in Milton on through the early and late Romantics. The Romantics did a good job connecting the satanic hero motif with political revolution.

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Posted (edited)

PP,

Howdy! Because we are coming from different religious standpoints I think that we view phenomena in the biblical texts differently. In regards to the Eden story and our satanic snake, I believe that the snake was under some sort of evil influence b/c of its decidedly anti-god posture. I just think that being in the desert where snake-bite was fatal added to what they had already believed. However, I don't believe that the snake-in-Eden story is manafactured from a mere fear of snake-bite.

As far as the gospel writers go, I believe their accounts of Jesus' exorcisms not only because of the authority of their testimony, but also b/c exorcism was known outside of a Christian milieu. Jesus' Jewish contemporaries were also familiar with exorcisms, and they performed them. The rabbis from the Pharisaic school believed in satanic phenomenon as did the Qumran community that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. So you could say that many religious Jews at that time were quite interested in the topic. Once again though, we could get into a chicken-egg argument here: Did they insert exorcisms into Jesus' life b/c they were interested in satan, or did they record exorcisms performed by Jesus (and themselves) b/c they really happened? For both of us there's a lot of different world-view issues playing into which we'd pick.

As far as my own experiences go, I did get a sense that there were many spirits hanging around. However, they did awful things like hitting me, "electric touches" (I've got no better terminology--imagine a bunch of joy-buzzers all at once), false predictions, and sitting on my chest so that I couldn't move or breathe. As far universality goes, I honestly wasn't thinking about universal spirits or a Universal Spirit. The sense I got was that these things didn't dig me a whole lot. If you could let me know more of what you mean concerning universal spirits, that would be helpful (sorry if I'm a little dense here). Good talkin' with ya.

Edited by trublvr

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trublvr... my only argument so far is "there is more than just Satan" as a response to the thread starter. From time to time we have some Christian groups that are so 'excited' with the issue of Satan, and they find Satan everywhere, from Bar codes to the Pope. Then we have everything grouped together as Satan: the serpent in Genesis, Lucifer, the fallen angels, Leviathan, the evil spirits, demons, etc. I would like to point out that they are different figures. I derived this from Judaism, which I believe to have more authority to interpret the Hebrew bible than Christianity.

The snake in Genesis was a snake, you can say it was under evil influence or whatever... but still, it was a snake, not Satan. The Gospel of John said that Satan influenced Judas, but still.. it was Judas. The snake was not Satan just as Judas was not Satan.

About the Gospel authors interest in Satan, I just wanted to offer a possibility other than an actual increase in demonic activity, that's why I started with "Maybe ...". In fact I didn't question the truth of Jesus' excorscism but wether or not the demonic activity was actually increased. Also if you trace back to my original post, my argument is that excorcism practise in general has nothing to do with the figure Satan. Most of them dealt with some random spirits.

That was the universality that I was talking about. We have a popular notion of Satan as a universal being, just like God. The fact that each demonic posession case has different characteristics show that the demons are not universal, therefore they are not Satan.

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PP,

Howdy. Yeah, I understand where you're coming from now. There are at times in the biblical texts some distinctions between spirit-beings. Sometimes they are made more clear than others, but your point has serious merit.

There's a semantic issue concerning the way that Christians (and sometimes other theistic adherents, like some Jews and Muslims) use references to satan. For Christians, the term "satanic" and references to "satan" can such be ways of saying that someone's or something's behavior is patterned after (and thusly in league with) satan's rebellion against God. Kinda like when Jesus told Peter, "Get behind me, satan!" Jesus then follows with, "Your mind is on the things of men, not the things of God!" The reference to satan solely concerns a state of mind that is not in league with God. This is on par with what you said about Judas and satan (astute observation, by the by).

Usually, Christians don't delve into finer distinctions between unclean spirits. We do, however, acknowledge a multiplicity of spirits and some sort of spirit-realm-thing. A spirit that is in some way against God's purposes is many times referred to as "satan" or a demonic spirit. This is not because we think of satan as a universal being who just gets around a lot. It is because satan's nature and his rebellion have become paradigms for any and all ungodly spiritual activity. This is like the time the Pharisees accused Jesus of being down with beelzebub. In Jesus' answer to them he refers to beelzebub as "satan". Jesus could use the term "satan" interchangably with "beelzebub" not because satan and beelzebub aren't different spirits, but because the spirits have the same agenda.

This applies to your point about exorcisms as well. You're right, there were a bunch of different spiritual beings involved. And I'm pretty sure from stuff in the New Testament and early patristic literature that the early Christians saw it this way. My only point is that Jesus and the apostles treated them all the same.

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I agree with X~File Agent, but could sum1 clear this up for me. If we're created in gods image, is he not also susseptable to temptaion? And also, why create beings with free will and then deny them knowledge?

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