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Featured How important is Satan in your faith or worldview?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Oct 23, 2018.

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  1. He literally exists

    30.0%
  2. He is a symbol for our lower nature

    25.0%
  3. He is a mythical creature that assists us understand spiritual truths

    12.5%
  4. He plays no part in my faith

    22.5%
  5. I don't know

    5.0%
  6. This poll doesn't reflect my thinking

    27.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. natasha levchenko

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  2. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I am not comparing Jesus to satan....I am saying that a real Jesus was tempted by a real adversary who manifested himself in Eden as a guardian stationed there by God. When angels needed to carry out assignments on earth, they manifested in material form. We don't know if the angel who became satan transformed himself into a talking serpent or whether he simply used a snake like a ventriloquist uses a dummy. But I will accept the Bible as my truth rather than the opinions of men who were not even there.

    There are definitely times when parables conveyed truths at a deeper level, but mostly they were conveyed in a manner that helped the audience to understand what he was saying in relatively simple terms. Jesus wasn't sent to confuse his fellow Jews, he was sent to teach them how to worship their God acceptably.

    Wow...that is a very twisted version of events...not at all how I read the account. But if you want it to say those things, then that is your prerogative.

    What cards did you build your house with? Something different to me? Your faith is yours and mine is mine.....but neither of us has any way to prove that what we believe is true. Time will tell I guess. I have faith in Jesus' words in John 6:44. No one comes to the son without an invitation from the Father.
     
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  3. Marcion

    Marcion Tantra-Yoga Universalist

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    Sarcasm doesn't make it any better.;)
    An honest and fair debate is free of irony or sarcasm.
     
    #23 Marcion, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  4. Hadar Judah

    Hadar Judah Active Member

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    Satan is all of the evil and malevolent things that he is cracked up to be. But in reality, he cannot do anything unless it is allowed by God. If Satan is doing something then it is only because God is allowing him to do it. The people who believe that there is an actual war going on in heaven are lost and unlearned when it comes to biblical doctrine. God is in control of everything.

    “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” [Amos 3:6]
     
  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    What makes more sense is that after the Baptist of Jesus He spent 40 days in the desert preparing for His Ministry. None of the gospels writers witnessed these events. The number 40 as we know comes up a great deal in the bible and often symbolises a time of testings.

    The number 40 shows up often in the Bible. Because 40 appears so often in contexts dealing with judgment or testing, many understand it to be the number of trial and judgement. God has chosen this number to help emphasize times of trouble and hardship.

    Here are some examples of the Bible’s use of the number 40 that stress the theme of testing or judgment:

    In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18-25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). There are about 5 or 6 other instances too bu I think I've made my point. Other than Matthew 4:2 there were 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (Acts of the apostles 1:3).

    As the number 40 is symbolic and representation of a time of testing, so too is Satan representative of a time of personal testing. That is what the story is about. Those that wrote of the events were not there and have conveyed the meaning of this time of preperation with reference to the Hebrew Bible.

    Jesus was frequently misunderstood and there were complaints about being hard to follow. When Jesus explained about being born again Nicodemus didn't understand (John 3:1-7). When Jesus said He and the father were one the Jews picked up stones (John 10:30-35). Peter wasn't too accepting when Jesus told the disciples he would need to be killed and Jesus actually called Peter Satan (Matthew 16:21-23)! That didn't mean Peter was Satan or had Satan in him. He simply wasn't getting the bigger picture. So often Jesus wasn't well understood most of His people rejected Him.

    I was demonstrating how ridiculous it becomes if we take many accounts in the bible literally. I don't think you understand irony too well.

    My Faith is founded on Jesus and the Bible too. Those who believe in Him have been arguing and even killing each other over disagreements. Christians have killed more Christians than any other people. Its good you acknowledge that time will tell. We both recognise how resolute each other is about our faith and we simply agree to disagree. Thanks for posting. :)
     
  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I'm interested in the diversity of opinion about Satan and what he represents throughout different traditions. Its not a thread that's limited to Christians.

    You are free to offer a non-religious neohumanist tantric yoga perspective.
     
  7. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    Absolutely. I notice that sometimes I do self-destructive things, that I know will not benefit me, like lashing out at someone, or harming my own body. Luckily, I have never allowed his influence to use me to hurt anyone else though.

    ...I think I know how Satan works through observation -he cannot alter anything physical. He operates through our psyche, and it's only after we allow it to occur once. After one time, he has found his way in and can do it again IMO. He often brings one of his friends with him when he returns.
     
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  8. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    It looks like I was the only one (so far) to have voted "I don't know." I think Satan symbolizes the ultimate villain in the eyes of many, whether or not he literally exists (or existed).

    For some reason, I was just recalling a scene in the movie Animal House where one of the characters is going through a moral struggle, humorously symbolized by a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. They weren't actual sentient entities, but just different aspects of himself trying to come to terms. That may be what "Satan" actually is.

    I don't know if there's any such thing as "good" or "evil" or any kind of "dark side of the force." It would seem reasonable, though, if one concludes that there is a powerful being of "good," then one might also conclude that there is an equal and opposite powerful being of "evil." But then, Satan is not really portrayed as God's "opposite," but rather portrayed as a rebellious subordinate who could be easily destroyed or imprisoned by God. The idea is that God has no "equal," and that "good" will ultimately prevail over "evil." But even that idea is questionable.
     
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  9. Marcion

    Marcion Tantra-Yoga Universalist

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    I gave my reaction to your specific post and that suffices thank you, the subject has no interest for me as such.
     
  10. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    "Perhaps Satan could be more helpful if seen as part of an allegorical narrative that teaches us spiritual truths or representative of aspects of our own nature we often struggle with."

    Ooops long winded muse sorry!!! Just means i liked your post.

    There is this interesting duality in christianity in regards to the resurrection. On the one hand, we can have the literalists. Where the resurrection is a scientific emperical fact. On the otherhand, we can have the educated perspective, where its seen as metaphor symbolism.

    This duality swings into the eucharist, where again we have literalists, it is the body of christ, to its symbolic.

    One understands real intellectually, only as science empericism, the other understands real intellectually in regards to these conflicts as abstractive symbolism.

    Neither i think are correct and yet both have some truth. At about this point in language everything begins to breakdown because we are attempting to make ourselves intellectually objective. I personally roll back into nature as objective and us subjective to nature in all aspects and discard notions of religion, science, culture and all human abstractions and feel.

    Its hard for practioners of various metaphysics to realize that their leaders or gurus are artists. I say that, the brain instantly recognizes the word, it believes it understands but it does not.

    Artists themselves struggle with exactly what metaphysics alludes to the unconscious, and they tend to "feel" through that more than they "intellectualize" about that. In music its first feel, then create. In normal individuals its learn the notes the theory, and maybe if you are lucky you can play the music correctly if you practice enough.

    Metaphysics is delving into the unconscious and that is articulated theough time in an interconnected way. If metaphysics is being taught to split the world into intellectual fragments, organize them into fixed determined structures that is actually just my degree theologu and at worst philosophy nonsense which leads to political nonsense. It simply becomes superfical with religious drag is all.
     
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  11. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    The comment I have, is that Satan could careless if anyone believes in him or not, That means unfortunately Satan has people right where he wants them and people don't even realize it that their being had.

    As long as Satan can keep people disbelieving that he exist, Satan has the advantage over them.
    For those people would not even have an idea or clue who Satan is, if Satan was standing right in front of them.

    Which there is coming the hour in the which Satan will be here on Earth, But unfortunately the majority of the people on earth will not even know who Satan is.
    All because people are being deceived that Satan doesn't exist. So when Satan does come, Satan already has these people right where he wants them, As long as people disbelieve that Satan doesn't exist. That gives Satan the advantage over them. Unfortunately for those people will not even realize it, Until it's to late for them.
    For this reason it is written in the book of Revelation 6:15-17--
    15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains"

    16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb"

    17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand"

    For these people have been deceived that Satan doesn't exist. But now are found crying to the rocks and mountains to cover them, all because they been had by Satan and now Christ Jesus shows up on the scene and catches people worshipping Satan.
     
    #31 Faithofchristian, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Like everything else out of Abrahamic mythos, it isn't part of my own mythos. That doesn't mean I lack any education about who and what that entity is within the context of Abrahamic mythos, though. It is, for better or worse, unavoidable to have familiarity with it in my country. I checked everything because that reflects the stories I have heard and been told by those who do follow Abrahamic mythos. I don't personally care about any of those stories, as again, it isn't part of my own mythos.
     
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  13. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    " I know that Satan is a literal being"

    This is how modern science arose in religion. What is meant by satan is a literal exactly? If an intellectual abstraction becomes the reality whether we say satan is literal or metaphor they share a common locus in the brain. At that locality a whole reality unfolds and its projected onto the world around us.

    Now my daughter has zero clue about satan as metaphor or literal. I also know factually literally there is a much much larger world than simply human abstractionism. That tendency to make our abstractionism objective and the world around us subjective to that is not mentally healthy. I listened to a skitzoaffecrive individual for about 10 years go on and on about satan. He murdered his wife in a state of mind thinking she was satan. He then turned and was convinced that satan was the blame for her murder.

    So literalism kept in check because you are sane for reasons that allow you to remain sane has bled into his thinking without realizing it. The falacy of "literal" satan exactly like "metaphor" or "no satan" are all problematic for identical reasons. All three can lead to fantasys that dont exist because the intellect is not primary.
     
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  14. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    He is the great deciever. His greatest conquest was himself.
     
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  15. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Oh i had to add a comment. This topic is paramount in mental health in so many ways. Its where the emotional and intellectual get all tangled up.
     
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  16. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I believe in a scheme of hierarchy
    lesser and greater......in many facets

    so...having a belief that Someone is the Almighty
    there is an opposition

    My God doesn't have a Name
    so likewise the Adversary

    am I wandering somewhere in between?

    does seem that way
     
  17. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    Any perspective is a valid perspective.
    We should be able to learn something from all perspectives.
    We run into problems when we think that our perspective is the correct one.

    Perspectives can be seen as the pearls in the parable of the pearl of great price.


    This is how beliefs are created.
    It is best not to allow beliefs to take hold for too long.
    There is always another pearl.
    Notice in order to replace one with the other the old ones must be completely abandoned.
    If we think that our perspective is in some way the best perspective, it is on its way to becoming an ingrained belief.
    Something that will be much harder to move on from in the future.
    God is limitless.
    This means that perspectives are also limitless and all completely valid as a means to move from one understanding to another.

    Satan can be seen from many different perspectives.
    Whatever works for the individual at any given time is the perspective they should use.
    When i was a Christian i perceived life in a much different way than i do now.
    Does this mean i was wrong then or maybe wrong now?
    Not at all.
    It means that i have been gathering pearls all of these years and my collection has changed considerably.
    I have replaced the old with the new.
    Limitless.
     
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  18. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I did not realize my real need for a Savior until I personally understood the real existence and malevolent nature of Satan actively affecting my life.
     
  19. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Hi... again. :)
    Everything else seemed accurate but for this part.
    :)

    I was wondering how come you thought it was fortunate the conversation didn't last too long, but you raised it here.
    Perhaps you wanted to put it to rest, so to speak... and I agree there should be some closure. Although I thought there was. ;)

    So let's see where this leads.
    Let's begin with a reference point... again.
    The Bible - the original representation of the word of God - is not corrupt, but the interpretation of it most assuredly can be.
    Are we both in agreement about this?

    The first mention of any figure called Satan the Devil, comes from the Bible.
    Job 1:6-12 American Standard Version (ASV)
    6 Now it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them. 7 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil. 9 Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to thy face. 12 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.

    Footnotes:
    1. Job 1:6 That is, the Adversary.
    2. Job 1:8 Or, that
    3. Job 1:10 Or, cattle
    4. Job 1:12 Hebrew hand.
    American Standard Version (ASV)

    My questions are as follows:
    Do Bahais see the account of Job as literal, or is the entire account allegorical? If yes, Why, and on what basis do they interpret it as such?
    Who are the sons of God, Jehovah, Job, the adversary?
    On that note....
    Satan is a transliteration from the original word שָׂטָן which means adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act)

    What is the heaven and earth?
    Bahais believe that they interpretation is correct, on what basis?

    We can start with this for the time being.
    I am interested to know the response to these questions. Thanks.
     
  20. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    They have a variety of views of Maya. Personally, I'm into Shaktism, which is a branch of what is called Hinduism. I don't view being here in this realm as a negative thing. There's fun, joy and beauty to be had. I don't view it as being decidved. But when you get tired of the ride, you can go Home. There's an out.
     
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