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Old 06-30-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Satan is represented in the Old Testament as an entirely different type of character than what the Church of the Middle Ages has come to pass off on us. In early Judaism he was a type of agent used by God to test men and to accuse them before God. The story of Job is the best example of that. Satan tempting David twice is another--numbering Israel and Bathsheba. But somewhere along the line the Christian faith adopted this idea that satan is a being nearly equal in power to God who doesn't work for God anymore but is actually his own free agent out to get as many Christians into hell as he possibly can. By Dante's time the belief that satan would triumph over Jesus' sacrificial work and drag 95% of humanity into the fires of hell for eternity took hold of the Church and hence Christian consciousness.

The entire mythology of satan runs thus: satan was God's favorite cherub, fair and beautiful to behold who rose up in pride against God to replace Him and somehow (this is the really ridiculous part) got one-third of the angels to follow him, whereupon God cast them out of heaven to roam freely on earth. All this comes from Ezekiel 28:14-19 even though it is the King of Tyre being described--and Isaiah 14, even though it is the King of Babylon being referred to by Isaiah on the Lord's command. But the switch to Lucifer in verse 12 almost seems like the king is suddenly being taunted by being referred to as a different person of more stature in some way, much like a husband, upon seeing his wife spending too much time beautifying her face, might say, "Hey, Christie Brinkley, we're going to be late".

So somewhere in 400-500 AD we see the concept of burning in hell for all eternity being introduced into theology even though such a concept never existed in Old Testament Judaism.

My own take is that somewhere between the return from Babylon and just prior to Jesus' birth the Jews were being exposed to a lot of pagan theology and incorporated much of this stuff into their own belief system. But the question is: did Jesus just use references to a theology of hell and eternal damnation the Jews would have understood by now because of their prior exposure to all this Greek mythology, is Jesus springing a brand new theology on all of us not previously known in the time of Adam and Eve up to Daniel (since he was the first writer to allude to eternal punishment in 12:1-2) or did the Church leaders (Augustine, Tertullian, etc of the new emerging Christian movement cleverly and deftly tweak the writing of the early church fathers in order to introduce this new concept?

Anybody else have any ideas how all this nonsense came about of a devil with a pitchfork poking and prodding the damned burning in hell for all eternity while this this vengeful, wrathful, unforgiving God laughs about it from His throne above?
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:21 PM
 
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Not going to get too involved in this one. But Dante's Inferno, I think, played a huge role in setting the image in people's minds. Same with Dante's Paradiso. What we produce, I think, sets out large ripples into the collective consciousness.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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Default And yet......

And yet... even within the majority of semi-educated Christian acolytes who should and do know better, the belief in a physical hell and an actual Satan roaming the earth persists. Even when they know it's a later add-on designed to keep the sheeple at bay! Meaning them.

It's just like the cows at the slaughter house knowing exactly what's beyond those stained doors up ahead that their fellow herd-mates are going into, but still doing nothing to try to avoid it all. Hmmmm...

I suppose it's a very useful entity and belief for the higher-up Godly administrators, who have always had a keen eye for any money-making and fear-inducing opportunity. And this certainly was one, handed to them by the pagans of the day! Unfortunately, there's nothing new anymore to add into The Big Story.

Otherwise they typically make it up as they go, attributing God to literally any new stuff that The SM unveils via logic and perseverance. Like the well-established huge change in the age of this earth and how long it took to "make" this planet. 6 days becomes 6 million years in Neo-God-Chronology.

Quite...what's the word? Oh yeah: Convenient.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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I'd be willing to bet, Royalite, that if you asked any Christian on this board or in your Church, provided they had an IQ greater than 50 and weren't a certifiable lunatic, if they'd ever had any actual encounter with a demon or satan or a devil or a fallen angel they'd tell you "No". And yet you can't turn on God TV or TBN or Daystar or any of the other 120+ Christian networks without hearing a preacher making reference to satan being out to get you. I love how they disguise satan with the codename, "The Enemy". Clever stuff. These guys know that if they say satan is out to get you their congregation will shift uncomfortably in their seats so it all becomes, "The Enemy". "The Enemy" wants you to sin; "The Enemy" wants you to disbelieve; "The Enemy" this and "The Enemy" that.

My brother had a powerful conversion experience and now on the rare occasions we talk it's always "The Enemy" wants this world to deny Jesus or some such evil thing. I want to grab him and shake him out of his religious stupor and scream, "Satan is not the enemy; immoral people are. They're the ones harming this world, not satan. He's just a fictional character who's been made a boogyman to blame all our own fleshly failings on."

Since I became a universalist he rarely talks to me now. Probably afraid I'll start to make sense and bring everything he's been programmed to believe by John MacArthur crashing down on top of him.

Last edited by thrillobyte; 06-30-2013 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:41 PM
 
1,765 posts, read 2,642,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
I'd be willing to bet, Royalite, that if you asked any Christian on this board or in your Church, provided they had an IQ greater than 50 and weren't a certifiable lunatic, if they'd ever had any actual encounter with a demon or satan or a devil or a fallen angel they'd tell you "No". And yet you can't turn on God TV or TBN or Daystar or any of the other 120+ Christian networks without hearing a preacher making reference to satan being out to get you. I love how they disguise satan with the codename, "The Enemy". Clever stuff. These guys know that if they say satan is out to get you they congregation will shift uncomfortably in their seats so it all becomes, "The Enemy". "The Enemy" wants you to sin; "The Enemy" wants you to disbelieve; "The Enemy" this and "The Enemy" that.

My brother had a powerful conversion experience and now on the rare occasions we talk it's always "The Enemy" wants this world to deny Jesus or some such evil thing. I want to grab him and shake him out of his religious stupor and scream, "Satan is not the enemy; immoral people are. They're the ones harming this world, not satan. He's just a fictional character who's been made a boogyman to blame all our own fleshly failings on."

Since I became a universalist he rarely talks to me now. Probably afraid I'll start to make sense and bring everything he's been programmed to believe by John MacArthur crashing down on top of him.
Well, I no longer go to church though I think I will soon. And I only talk about the history I've researched or what I've experienced for myself. My grandfather (a high school principal with an above average IQ for what it's worth) has had personal experience with demonic possession both with a friend and in his own life as has my grandmother and my own mother with a friend of hers. My uncle, who was inducted into mensa based on his SAT scores alone who graduated summa *** laude from university (never got anything less than an A in his life) and had a near perfect score on the MCAT has as well including personal experience with outer body experiences as have I (and I also have an above average IQ btw) but those aren't topics I'm willing to get into on this forum. When you experience some things, it's enough to open your mind so I won't judge people who have said they've had these experiences. It's not even about intellect. It's meant for them and if they choose to share it, so be it. Others interpret through their own lens.

When it comes to the rest of your post, however, I'm sorry about your relationship with your brother and I'm sure it's a very frustrating experience for you. I have a friend who is looking for spiritual fulfillment and guidance at this time from sources outside of her own knowing and joined a church and now talks a lot about sin to other people as of late. I don't agree with that. I don't agree with that kind of imposition. It's threatening. And for that reason I try not to impose on her as well.

Hopefully you two will get around it.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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Ha! Did the word c-u-m in my post really get censored? lol Funny...
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Royalite View Post
Ha! Did the word c-u-m in my post really get censored? lol Funny...
Well, the way the evils of the human mind are going these days, pretty soon the word, "come" will be censored--for obvious reasons.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
And yet... even within the majority of semi-educated Christian acolytes who should and do know better, the belief in a physical hell and an actual Satan roaming the earth persists. Even when they know it's a later add-on designed to keep the sheeple at bay! Meaning them.

It's just like the cows at the slaughter house knowing exactly what's beyond those stained doors up ahead that their fellow herd-mates are going into, but still doing nothing to try to avoid it all. Hmmmm...

I suppose it's a very useful entity and belief for the higher-up Godly administrators, who have always had a keen eye for any money-making and fear-inducing opportunity. And this certainly was one, handed to them by the pagans of the day! Unfortunately, there's nothing new anymore to add into The Big Story.

Otherwise they typically make it up as they go, attributing God to literally any new stuff that The SM unveils via logic and perseverance. Like the well-established huge change in the age of this earth and how long it took to "make" this planet. 6 days becomes 6 million years in Neo-God-Chronology.

Quite...what's the word? Oh yeah: Convenient.
Well said.

What I find as i read about this is that satan starts off as a pretty minor, even insignificant character in the Old Testament (it wasn't satan who caused Adam et al to sin, it was a serpent. But, as all myths develop, the serpent becomes satan somewhere in the Middle Ages.

Gradually you have this two-bit nothing being morphed by the Church into a being of such immense power and influence that He is able to steal away 95% of humanity out of Jesus' hands and the only half-decent rational explanation the Fundamentalists can concoct for such an astounding failure on God's part is to blame it on man's "free will". That's how the whole business of Calvinism vs Arminianism started. They couldn't blame God so they had to shift blame to man, as if somehow man's will to damn himself could trump God's will to save him.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Long Island
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Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
In early Judaism he was a type of agent used by God to test men and to accuse them before God.
It's still the same way in Judaism today.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesus View Post
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
From Matthew chapter 10.

The concept of Hell seems to predate 400AD. Otherwise why would Jesus warn of it???
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