In response to “Is Satan Real?”…

satanA post, over at “suddenly christian” caught my attention…  called “Is Satan Real?”.  It had quite the varied opinions – mostly all coming from very Christian people.  My initial response was posted there and was this:

“I found this whole thread pretty interesting. Amazing really… All the different things people chose to believe in, or not to believe in. ??

I personally don’t believe in Satan… but, then again, I also don’t believe in God – so, this makes perfect sense to me. Sure, I believe in there is “good” and “evil”… but, I don’t think it’s because of God or Satan.

What I don’t understand is how people CAN believe in God, and NOT believe in Satan. ?? If there’s a Heaven… isn’t there a Hell? And, who would it be “running” Hell, then if you don’t believe in Satan? Unless, you also don’t believe in Hell.. which, makes me wonder how you can believe in Heaven? I guess I don’t get how people can pick and chose the parts of the bible they believe in… ??

As for not hearing Satan talked about at church? I was raised baptist, then pentecostal, and we went to a few different churches over the years. I remember lots of sermons about the terrors of hell… and the threats of Satan impacting our lives… and even the casting out of “evil spirits” and demons from people. And, I live in the Northeast US…. I guess, times…. they are a-changin!… LOL To which, all I can say is GOOD…and NOT fast enough!

=)
~smj”

I was also just sort of talking about this in a recent reply I made here on my own blog, where I asked “How do you believe in one part of the bible or concept of God, and not the other parts?”.

Anyway, I was going to post again in response on John’s site, but decided to just start a thread here instead since I wound up writing so much, and was coming in to that thread late anyway.

Someone named “Christian” responded to my post  – basically saying it was okay to believe in the light, and not the dark… as “Darkness actually does not ‘exist’.

I still find this whole concept pretty amazing.

When I did believe in God… I also believed in Satan… heaven… hell… and all that I was taught at church, at home, and read in the bible.  When I finally began to question things, and eventually could no longer accept the concepts of hell, Satan, and certain bible stories/lessons as the truth – I also was forced to question the “truth” of God, Jesus, Heaven, and the “positives” – and stopped believing in those things as well.  They suddenly didn’t seem to “positive” anymore when I looked at the “big picture”.

I mean, I see what Christian’s point was about the darkness – but it still doesn’t really make sense to me.  I have been told not to throw out the baby with the bath-water – but, in this case, I just don’t understand how to do that.  The idea of Satan and Hell, is just as nonsensical as the idea of God and Heaven to me.

It does seems that many Christians of today are able to let go of those “negative” concepts, without letting go of the “positives” in their beliefs.  To me, this is a good thing – even though I don’t understand it.  Believe me, I’d much rather be dealing with Christians who DON’T believe in Satan and Hell, and who aren’t condemning me to a pit of eternal hell when I don’t believe what they do.  Unfortunately, I seem to know all the ones who DO seem to think I’m quite doomed.   LOL

As far as I can tell, religions, and the people belonging to them, tend to change their belief systems and slowly move with the times…  I mean, look at how the Catholic church has “bended the rules” or just plain decided to change the rules in the last decade or so?  And, how many churches DO preach the “positives” now, rather than the “negatives”.  I guess those sermons of hellfire and brimstone just don’t pack em’ into the pews like they use to.  😉

Like I said, I actually wish this was happening even more – not because it would make me believe, but because I think people would just be nicer to deal with.  But, at the same time – to me – this is also just more proof that “the word of god”, is really the word of mankind, and continues to be adjusted by mankind to suit mankind’s needs/desires.

~smj

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27 Responses to “In response to “Is Satan Real?”…”

  1. Skerrib Says:

    Hi smj, I found my way here from John Shore’s blog. I agree with the point you made–To me it would be pretty difficult to believe in God/heaven/etc. without believing in Satan/hell/etc. My kneejerk reaction is to think that if there is no bad, how do we know the good is good (and vice versa)..but I haven’t fully explored that one yet.

    I also agree that preaching and approaches to religion are changing over time (like most everything), but I differ with you on the word of God being the word of man. I don’t believe the word of God has changed–it’s always been there. People trying to pass off their own words as God’s words though–absolutely!

    Oh wait, now we might spiral into how the Bible became the Bible, so I’d better stop there. But that’s all to say I appreciated your thoughts and input.

  2. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    smj…it would definitely help to get idiocy out of the way. 1st off, what you were taught was ‘god’, was an impotent moron. Almighty wasn’t exactly all that mighty, since ‘he’ only ruled ‘heaven’ and not ‘hell’. Not much of an Absolute, huh? Rather limited in power and Presence? What sort of a ‘god’ is that? rofl

    Secondly, I found belief in the devil and satan runs concurrent with being too lazy to be self disciplined when it comes to claiming our own demons and behavior.

  3. Justice - Part 2 - Reality is It. « Always Embraces All Ways Says:

    […] https://savemenot.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/in-response-to-is-satan-real/#comments It is a fundamental fact that life consists of both positive AND negative experiences. Highs and lows. Bliss and sorrow. Solomon said it like this: Crooked stick, straight stick, a stick is still a stick. […]

  4. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    {{smj}} just consider the idea of an impotent omnipotence…

    it doesn’t make any sense; it’s a total contradiction in concepts.

    All “all powerful” God that only has power in heaven but not hell?

    what a joke…

  5. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    Idiocy is idiocy, Chris. And fear is fear.

    Trying to live contradictions is the root of all our mental dis-eases.

  6. tobeme Says:

    I agree with you take on this. If one chooses to believe in God, heaven and angels, than one must also accept that there is a satan, hell and demons. Can’t really have one without the other. Can’t really choose to believe in one part of Christinanty without believing in the other. Many beliefs are diluted as you pointed out to put butts in the seats and money onto the plate.

  7. CuriousC Says:

    Always fascinating… I’m not sure I’d ever thought about Sue Ann’s statement about “God as omnipotent but not ruling hell” concept/contradition. Huh.

  8. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    The Nicean Creed states: ONE GOD, an Absolute. ALL that Is, is ALL THAT IS.

    a limited unlimited, an impotent omnipotence. This image is of no ‘god’. It’s a projection of an emotionally insecure and unstable moron who’s mentally conflicted.

    Only an idiot can’t add two ideas together without forming a contradiction.

  9. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    Liberty is the freedom of choice while being RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for the costs and consequences of those choices. License is insisting on freedom of choice while NOT claiming responsibility and accountability for choices.

    The choice to believe in an emotionally unstable and insecure moron of a ‘deity’, results in deep seated issues of insecurity, problems with worth, trust, self esteem, etc.

    When I say RESPONSIBLE, I’m talking about governing the ideas in our heads, the ways in which these ideas are put together and the resultant peptide production pumped out by our hypothalamus which most of us call our “feelings”.

    If the beliefs we choose create emotional insecurities, then we are ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for having those insecurities.

  10. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    It’s rather an obvious fact {tobeme} that if I draw a line of limitation, reality will be divided into parts. That is the underlying basis of duality and polarity. When speaking of “god”, we are speaking of an ABSOLUTE. That means NO LIMITS. NO lines drawn separating reality for like I said, All That Is, IS ALL THAT IS, WAS, and WILL EVER BE.

    Most of us calling ourselves ‘christians’ and crying about all the “evil’ in the world are under-developed when it comes to emotional coping skills. Just like the moron imagined and deified.

    Every moment is a Present, whether happy or sad, positive or negative. Exactly how many so called ‘christians’ are grateful for ALL our Presents, huh? Most of us are limited wretches that are only grateful for the positive ones and go off into the land of emotional self indulgence feeling sorry for ourselves over the negatives.

  11. chris Says:

    With all that you say susan, what problem do you have with pantheists saying God and the Universe are one. The authority of the God and the Universe are the same. Pantheism doesnt make God impotent. I cant figure out whu you protest me so much.

  12. OneSmallStep Says:

    **What I don’t understand is how people CAN believe in God, and NOT believe in Satan. ?? **

    I think a lot of that depends on how one defines Satan. If you only take the Old Testament, you’ll have a pretty hard time coming anywhere close to a Christian idea of Satan. The snake is not associated with Satan in the Garden. There is no big idea of “the fall” in the Old Testament, as it’s laid out in Christianity. When the Psalmists prayed for protection, how often was that prayer in response to Satan? How often is Satan even mentioned as an eternal foe of God?

  13. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    “I cant figure out”…

  14. cipher Says:

    To go a step further with what ONeSmallStep said – dualism came into the story rather late, probably as a result of contact with Zoroastrianism in Persia. In the OT, God makes it quite clear that he is the source of all phenomena. Satan (the “Adversary) was a servant of God; he was only an adversary to man. So, while I can certainly see that perceiving the devil as nonsense can lead one to perceive God in the same way, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. Not that I believe in either.

  15. lostrealist Says:

    Logical concepts are always an approximation of reality. Creating a concept doesn’t mean it needs to exist. So it is with the God, Heaven and Hell concepts. And since what these concepts approximate is not present in a common immediate, perceptible, reality; making and discussing them doesn’t even make sense. No wonder you can cook up so many contradictions. There is definitely some emotional significance in religion, which needs to be found out. People who follow them are not stupid, they know there’s something wrong, but what do we poor lonely souls do when we are heartbroken and there is no nice parents to look up to who can make everything allright like it was in our childhood? We invent one, become his children and follow him to keep our emotional system calm in this mad, non-sensical world.

    Everyone knows that we are god, in the sense that we have free will and we are responsible for what we do, even with limited/no information and limited thinking power. But being god is terribly difficult and makes you terribly lonely. It doesn’t make you feel good at all and that is why there is an intellectual placebo of God and Heaven, without the adjoining hell.

    So IMHO, an intellectual discussion on God is misplaced on many many counts.

  16. chris Says:

    absolutely agree with you LostRealist.
    Just because a Truth is possible, doesn’t mean its an absolute true or false.
    Intellectually alone, all things are possible, god included. The best we can conclude, intellectually is how probable reality, god n hell, etc , are. We are left with a very subjective view of what reality is.

    My opinion:
    It is in with are active and integrated (reasoning, emotive, sensing) experience of existence, that allows us to discover essence. “God” is a description of that essence, perhaps.

  17. samanthamj Says:

    It’s funny how we are all saying a lot of the same things in so may different ways… and yet still find ways to either completely agree or disagree… often without realizing we are doing so. (Did THAT even make any sense??) These type of conversations always seem to both intrigue/interest me, and frustrate me at the same time. No wonder people just believe what they want to believe. It’s much easier on the head than trying to figure it all out… LOL

    I think, lostrealist summed it up nicely when he said, “IMHO, an intellectual discussion on God is misplaced on many many counts”.

    Amen.

    Peace!
    ~smj

  18. chris Says:

    Saying the same… Thats because are our language is not best suited to express clearly our experiences our points of view.
    I have to admit, i don’t know what “IMHO” means
    peace.

  19. mary a. kaufman Says:

    If there is such a being as the devil, than why didn’t the early Hebrew believe in him, and why did God cause to be written in Iaiah, chapter fory-five, verse seven, these words: “I form the light, and create darkness: I create peace, and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things”.

  20. mary a. kaufman Says:

    early Hebrews and Isiah. there ought to be a way to correct mistakes, once sent.

  21. mary a. kaufman Says:

    really, there has to be a way…Isaiah

  22. samanthamj Says:

    Hey Mary =)
    Nice to see you… and see you… and see you. 😉 You’re right, there ought to be a way to correct your own comments… Sorry about that. You point out yet another one of the bible’s many contadictions and circular reasoning that drove me away from believing in it….
    ~smj

  23. samanthamj Says:

    Chris
    IMHO = In My humble Opinion

    Thats been around for… well… probably as long as AKA and MIA…

    I thought about making something up to mess with you… cause, it’s April fool’s day and all… but, well, I haven’t had enough coffee yet and can’t seem to make up any good acronyms this morning. =)

    But this one…LOLETINF.
    That one, I really did make up a long time ago…
    LOLETINF = Laugh Out Loud Even Though It’s Not Funny.

    Catchy, huh?? Not to mention a good motto to live by. at least it is IMHO…

    =) Have a good one!
    ~smj

  24. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    It’s difficult not to notice, once we have eyes to see, who is Self Governing in regards to our emotional states and…who is not. And who can add ideas together without forming a bunch of contradictions in the process.

  25. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    “Mind” comes in 3 levels of expression:Instinct, Intellect and Intuition, with Intellect just one step above Instinct. That’s where a lot of us run away from our emotions to, because we do not know how to cope with them. “Responsible” and “accountable”…then let’s see proof of it. There is a great deal of difference between “love” and “need”. Love HAS and Need, well, is needy. We I say Responsible, I’m meaning being responsible for being Needy in the 1st place.

  26. Dan Says:

    There’s quite a growing group in Christianity who deny the existence of satan, rather interpreting the Hebrew word ‘satan’ as [any] adversary, including human temptations. There’s a statement of their case at http://www.realdevil.info

  27. samanthamj Says:

    Dan – right. And, I’m glad more people are throwing out old viewpoints, fears and ideas of satan… I still don’t get how someone can do that, and still believe that the idea of God/Jesus is literal at the same time… ?? but, that’s me.


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