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1523Re: Science and Satan

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  • huntrgathrer
    May 1, 2007
      Hi Rob - I'm going to save you and myself a great deal of time and
      frustration, by refraining from going down this road with you. My
      purpose for persuing discussion in a group such as this, was and is
      to compare and/or contrast my views, as a Bible believing christian,
      with others who also believe the Holy Bible (in it's entire-ity) to
      be the word of God.

      Implicit in this, would be the fact that the person I would go to the
      time and trouble to wrestle over the meaning of these scriptures
      with, would also believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is - and
      that Jesus is the only possible means of salvation for mankind,
      collectively and individually. You, it seems do not agree with any of
      the forgoing, and have made it amply clear that nothing I can say
      will disuade you from such views.

      While I do not want to be offensive to you (you really seem to be a
      genuinely nice and intelligent person) I must point out the following
      facts that have led me to decide not to indulge in this discussion
      further:

      Fact : You are not a professing christian, you reject the entire New
      Testament, and you are attempting to portray Satan as something less
      than the scriptures clearly state that he IS, among which are as
      follows:

      A) He was an angelic being that chose evil and led an open rebellion
      against God the Father and failed to impose his desire to reign in
      God's stead,and was cast out of heaven.

      B) He was the one who tempted Eve in the garden, saying "ye shall not
      surely die",thus, He is the father of lies - and he has continued to
      lie and to tempt mankind to defy God's will from that day forth.

      C) He is the father of murder and it was he who led Cain to slay his
      brother.

      D) He is the Accuser - he is the Slanderer - he is the Destroyer -he
      is evil personified -he is the prince of this world for the present,
      and thus we see his bloody tracks across the pages of human history
      right up to the present time... But Christ will soon return in power
      and glory - at which time he will throw down this evil being.

      Satan's is an enemy to God, man, and all righteousness. His ultimate
      fate is sealed. He will spend eternity suffering for his crimes, and
      frankly, for you to attempt to portray him as merely an agent of
      Heavenly Father is both wrong, and disturbing and it is not something
      I feel inclined to dignify with serious consideration or discussion.

      You are in the unenviable position of trying to ascribe to the One
      True God a nature that includes evil. All I can do is urge you to
      abandon such views, and beg God's forgiveness for teaching such
      foolishness. I will pray that you wake up to the danger of such a
      doctrine. If not, your's is a fool's errand - and I leave you to it.

      I leave you this final warning -it is a fearful thing to fall into
      the hands of the Living God. May you seek Him and allow Him into your
      heart while you still can.

      God bless,
      HG





      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Robert Nusom
      <caliburndulac@...> wrote:
      >
      > HG,
      >
      > I have looked at the scripture that you offered and
      > have enclosed my comments regarding it. When time
      > permits, I will offer up some scripture of my own,
      > showing that God is all powerful and that he and he
      > alone is the father both of good and evil.
      >
      > By way of logical argument, let me add the following:
      > In the Christian view, God created the angels, and
      > about a third of them went bad, rising up against him.
      > He created mankind and we all turned bad. Such a God
      > is hardly omniscient and certainly not in control of
      > his creation. In my view, one that I believe is
      > better supported in the Hebrew Scriptures, God created
      > the angels, and they did as he told them. Then God
      > created man with the expectation of having a free will
      > and gave us a choice in the matter by placing the tree
      > of the knowledge of good and evil and telling us not
      > to eat from it. Of course, God knew exactly what he
      > was doing and what we would do. In other words,
      > everything worked and works exactly by design.
      >
      > I do apologize that I am not showing my own scriptural
      > references here, but simply responding to those that
      > you offer. However, given that your list pretty much
      > covers every reference to Satan in the Hebrew
      > Scriptures, I think it is an excellent place to begin
      > the dialog. I should say, as I will elaborate on
      > later, that many of these references have nothing to
      > do with Satan at all, but are interpretations of
      > Satanic influence arrived at by way of the Christian
      > Scriptures and have no basis in the Hebrew Scriptures.
      > In a future post (hopefully tonight), I will outline
      > a more proactive approach to the discussion, showing
      > that God and God alone is the originator of both good
      > and evil, that everything is under his control, that
      > he needs no evil counterpart. God is simply God, he
      > is everything, good, evil, love, hate, everything. As
      > men, we have to choose which of these things we will
      > be a part of, but God gives us a very broad choice of
      > things to choose from. I believe he hopes that we
      > will opt for the good, but he gives us a choice.
      >
      > ON TO THE MEAT OF THE SCRIPTURE:
      >
      > Gen 3: 1-15; refers to the events in the Garden of
      > Eden, no mention of Satan here. Not on topic.
      >
      > Gen 4: 1-7; refers to the anger of Cain, God tells
      > Cain that sin is crouching at his door, that anger is
      > a gateway to sin, which is a coming up short of
      > obedience to God's will. Nothing here about Satan
      > either. Not on topic.
      >
      > Ps 78:49; This verse deals with God unleashing a band
      > of destroying angels. The angels are completely
      > obedient to God, not acting on their own. Yes, when
      > the Hebrew people deviated from the will of God, he
      > sometimes turned his back on them and sometimes
      > actually caused maladies against them himself, the
      > writer here says it was through his messengers, the
      > angels. Nothing here about Satan or any other angels
      > being the source of ultimate evil or being anything
      > but completely obedient to God's will and acting at
      > his direct orders.
      >
      > Ps 109:6; This is a psalm of David, referring to those
      > who falsely accuse and persecute him. He speaks to
      > the evil way his accusers deal with him and asks God
      > to appoint an evil man to repay them in kind. In
      > other words, David is held to a standard of honesty,
      > so he would prefer an evil man to give testimony to
      > his accusers, one who would stoop to their little
      > tricks and deceits. There is no reference here to
      > Satan. As a side comment, keep in mind that the
      > wording is "an evil man", Satan is not an "Evil man".
      > Satan is an angel. Not on topic.
      >
      > 1st Chron 21:1; Bad choice. This one actually works
      > against the image of Satan as some sort of loose
      > cannon working his evil against God's will. If you
      > look at 2nd Samuel 24:1, you will see that it says
      > that it was God himself who told David to do the
      > census. If you believe that Satan is nothing more
      > than a messenger of God, then these accounts are
      > consistent. In the one it says God told David to do
      > the census, in the other, he simply had his messenger
      > tell him. They are the same thing. If you want to
      > recreate Satan as acting on his own initiative, then
      > the verses conflict. Of course, the cross-reference
      > shows that there is no such conflict, Satan did not
      > "get a wild hair up his bum" and tell David to create
      > a census, rather God became angry and told David
      > (rather, he sent Satan to tell David) to engage in the
      > census. Not a good argument for Satan being anything
      > more or less than God's obedient messenger.
      >
      > Job 1:6; Now we are getting to the relationship
      > between God and Satan. You will note that there is
      > nothing in their conversation here that reflects even
      > a meager semblance of antipathy between God and Satan.
      > They have a conversation whereby God points out Job
      > and speaks to his righteousness. Satan, who obviously
      > (as we will later see) is not particularly trustful of
      > mankind, says that Job is only righteous because God
      > has been so generous with him. From there we launch
      > into the entire story about Job's experience. You
      > will note that everything done to Job was done at
      > God's specific direction. Satan offered his opinions,
      > but God gave the directions.
      >
      > When I was a Christian, or tried to be a Christian,
      > this story gave me a whole lot of trouble. To my
      > mind, God seemed just plain evil to put this poor man
      > through such hell on earth just to win some sort of
      > bet with Satan, who was evil and could never be swayed
      > back to goodness anyway. In other words, Job was put
      > through all these horrors for no real reason except to
      > "stroke" God's ego. However, if one reads it as
      > actually written, then we realize that the message is
      > for Satan, who God loved and respected. God wanted
      > Satan to see that his distrust was not always
      > warranted. The issue is a significant one and is a
      > theme that runs throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. It
      > illustrates the "man is evil" theme of Christianity, a
      > theme that Job shows us God does not share. Satan
      > seems to have seen the Noahidic experience, where God
      > says that the imagination of man's heart is evil from
      > his youth. From this, like most Christians, Satan
      > seems to have concluded that man is just plain evil.
      > God, on the other hand, seems to see it differently.
      > He recognizes that man's temptations are great and his
      > first thought, even from his youth, is usually selfish
      > and evil. Yet, where man rises above that first
      > thought and reflects and considers and shapes his
      > reactions, then he can be righteous. In that
      > righteousness God respects us. I believe that when
      > Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good
      > and evil, they changed us into something unique among
      > God's creations. We know good from evil and we are
      > able to act in either direction. I am not sure that
      > Satan or the other angels have that ability. Thusly,
      > Satan distrusts us for our weakness and propensity
      > toward sin, while God respects us in recognition of
      > the incredible challenge we face from the temptations
      > of sin and evil. We see a similar thread in your next
      > example:
      >
      > Zech 3:1; Here we see the return of the Hebrew people
      > from exile. Satan stands at the right side of Jacob,
      > as his prosecutor, to oppose him. Again God rebukes
      > Satan, pointing out, again, that Satan is too
      > distrustful of man, or too intolerant of mankind (at
      > least the Hebrew people). God says to Satan that
      > Jacob is a brand plucked from the fire. Remember that
      > Jacob here is a euphemism for the Jewish people, that
      > Jacob is Israel, which means "struggles with God".
      > God is not here saying that Satan is wrong exactly,
      > the Jewish people certainly have turned from God and
      > have sinned against him. He is saying that they were
      > plucked from the fire, that they are his chosen
      > people, and for that reason Satan needs to be more
      > tolerant of them. Later we see that Jacob (Israel) is
      > clothed in filthy garments (symbolic of the sins of
      > the Hebrew people); that God instructs the angels to
      > replace those filthy garments with rich robes of silk
      > (showing his forgiveness of his beloved people, even
      > where they do not really deserve it). Nowhere here is
      > any of this because Jacob (Israel) has earned it, but
      > because God decrees it. Finally, God tells Jacob
      > (Israel) that IF he will follow his decrees and return
      > to obedience, then he will do great things for him.
      > Of course, that does not happen and we see the whole
      > process repeat itself.
      >
      > With respect to Satan, we can certainly see why he is
      > accusing Jacob (Israel). In truth, Satan is really
      > right. However, in this case, God rebukes Satan and
      > steps in on the side of the accused, not because Jacob
      > is doing right in God's eyes, but because God
      > considers his chosen people to be a special case for
      > no better reason than because they are his chosen
      > people. However, what we do not see is a Satan that
      > has in any way attempted to set himself up against
      > God, only against Jacob, and then only as prosecutor
      > of Jacob in the court of God. He is completely and
      > absolutely obedient to God. We do not read, for
      > example, that after his rebuke, Satan snuck out and
      > conspired against God to overturn his kingdom. As
      > near as we can tell, Satan simply accepted God's
      > decision as absolute. Certainly, the other angels did
      > as they were instructed by God. We have no reason to
      > believe that Satan did otherwise.
      >
      > Isa 14:12; This one is off topic and actually a little
      > deceitful. The King James Version somehow inserted
      > the name of Lucifer here, nobody really seems to know
      > what the origins of it were. No other version says
      > Lucifer or Satan, instead using the term "Morning
      > Star". A morning star is simply somebody of great
      > importance, like, say, the King of Babylon that the
      > entire balance of this passage refers to (or, as I
      > understand in the Christian Scriptures, Jesus). To
      > read this as Satan, one has to believe that it refers
      > to the King of Babylon in the beginning of the
      > passage, then somehow switches to Satan, then switches
      > back to the Kingdom of Babylon immediately afterward.
      > I am reminded of the old adage, "Oh what a tangled web
      > we weave when first we practice to deceive". The
      > Satan view just doesn't make any sense in the context
      > of the passage, it gets really confusing, requiring us
      > to jump between completely different and unconnected
      > topics within the framework of a single passage. The
      > only reason that people advance this as regarding
      > Satan is that the errors of the King James Version are
      > deeply set in their minds. In other words, this
      > passage is off topic.
      >
      > The above passages show us a Satan who is obedient to
      > God, without exception. They show us a Satan who
      > feels a certain level of righteous indignation
      > regarding mankind, who feels we are selfish and weak
      > with respect to sinfulness and evil. They do not
      > speak to a Satan who conspired against God or who has
      > set himself up with a new kingdom or anything of the
      > kind.
      >
      > On the very face of it, the whole idea is absurd. As
      > an angel, Satan knows the power of God better than any
      > human being. He knows that he could never win a power
      > struggle against God. No doubt he has had occasion to
      > hear about the Christian Scriptures and what will
      > happen to him. If, indeed, the Christian Scriptures
      > are truly the word of God, then Satan's only hope
      > would lie in his ability to beg God for forgiveness.
      > Of course, this creates a paradox, whereby it is
      > forecasted that Satan will oppose God to the end, even
      > knowing that he will lose and that God's retribution
      > will be horrible and eternal. We are told that Satan
      > is brilliant, that he is the great deceiver, the
      > master of twisting logic. By virtue of all that, it
      > seems absurd to think that he would continue in his
      > efforts.
      >
      > My view of him is simpler, he is simply an angel of
      > God who is rather distrustful of mankind. No paradox,
      > no convoluted dogma or apologist logic required. It
      > is as it is and says what it says. I really love the
      > Hebrew Scriptures. Everything is so simple, I can see
      > God and more or less understand his will without
      > needing a Philadelphia lawyer to sort it all out for
      > me.
      >
      > My next post will be more proactive. I want to
      > discuss the nature and origins of evil and sin. What
      > I will show is that evil is as much a product of God
      > as good is. Until then, I invite your response to my
      > thoughts.
      >
      > May God keep and bless you.
      >
      > Sincerely,
      >
      > Robert
      >
      >
      >
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