Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The Devil is (not) real(?)
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Why take any chances.
Not the funny character with the horns and pitchfork, but a real evil power, as drlobojo suggests.
Though God is ultimately in charge, I believe Lewis described evil as being the rebel force currently occupying the world.
Personally, I have to acknowledge evil as a real force or power because I think it is dangerous not to take it seriously. Any other journalists out there who have covered certain kinds of cases -- like a man who kills his children out of spitefulness toward his spouse -- has to acknowledge seeing the presence of real evil in the world.
A long time ago, I got the notion that the sonofabitch -- I'm sorry, I love cussing the devil* -- was like the "Wizard" of Oz.
He has as much power over Jesusians as they give him. If you buy into his manifestatations, in other words, he has a certain power. But if you know his sorry ass is kicked, then you've seen the man behind the curtain, so to speak.
So, I take "him"** seriously. But I don't give him the benefit of that much thought.
*We had a couple of farmhands, older men, who, my brother says, would get to preaching at and with each other sometimes as they worked, and they'd cuss a blue streak when cussing the devil.
**I don't know that "he" should be given a personality as much as acknowledged as some other kind of power or entity. But I'm not opposed to the notion that he is a "he," and I don't insist that he's not. Minor player in my life, in other words, regardless.
I do believe there is a Satan and Hell, and that is what Christ came to conquer. It's the force that tries so hard to separate us from the Love of God, the chasm that Christ bridges so we can return to relationship with the Father.
I also believe that Lucifer works in insidious ways to try to keep us in the land of the dark.
(Just look at the book of Job. God Himself let Satan have his best shot at Job, "so long as you don't touch him.")
There's really only one thing that separates oneself from God:
I need to reread "The Screwtape Letters." Seems like the idea of the devil having only the power that one gives him sort of underlies some of it.
Of course, I could be confusing it with a Jack Chick tract. Ar.
Anyone else got a Satan sighting?
Ha, ha! I say! And again I say, Ha ha! :-)
I will admit to a rather unholy encounter with a Ouija board when I was 15. I will never, ever again touch one.
His character's name was "Lamont Sanford."
Halfway through the series, he changed his name to "Demond Wilson" because of the Satanic rumors surrounding him.
Wow! I haven't thought about that show in years!
Amazing what your brain will retain, ain't it?
As for the post, The Devil absolutely exists, and is currently residing in downtown Washington D.C.
That's why everyone there is either hopelessly corrupt, or insane, or both.
Just my opinion...
I say real.
Job 1:6-10 (New International Version)
6 One day the angels [a] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [b] also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
Soon there after, two dectectives from a neighboring state, brought him the files on a old closed case involving murdered girls hopeing he might write about it and get it re-opened, and as soon as they handed him the file, he said the feeling of something evil came to him again and he couldn't open it for several minutes.
Is there a Devil? Christianity has a paradox with this concept. If there is a devil, and God is Love, then why would he allow him to do bad or evil things to good people, which clearly he does. If God is all powerfull how can the devil have any power except that God allows it? Why would God allow it?
Most of us when we look at these things look no further than the Bible. But the world preceeds the Bible and men were looking for answers to these questions long before the words of Moses were recorded. In fact the concept of sheol(the hebrew hell),Heaven, the devil, deamons, angels, a messiah, the end of time, and other things were tenets of faith within Zorasterism practiced in Persia. When the Hebrews were captured by the Babylonians and held there for 70 years they encountered these concepts and merged them into what we refer to as the old testament. They are all things taught by Zoraster.
Zoaster believed in one God, the Light, the God of Heaven, but he taught that the earth was owned and controlled by a counter force, The father of lies, the source of darkness, and the god of evil (note the little "g"). God did not control Evil, but fought against him constantly for the good of men and the ppssesion of their souls. In Zoasterism there was not a paradox.
For you Star Wars fans, yes this is "the Force" and "the Dark Side". It is not a coincidence Lucas borrowed these concepts directly from the ancient Persians.
Tug, I would say that you are correct: The devil, in whatever form, absolutely exists, and thrives, where egos run amok -- and if that ain't D.C., I don't know what is. That's why I do pray for our elected leaders, no matter their position or their politics. Principalities and powers probably are most at home among earthly principalities and powers. I'm reminded of Dickens' mention, in "A Christmas Carol," of ghosts (or demons?) chained together: They were corrupt governments.
Another thought: Hollywood probably rivals D.C. for egos run amok. How many of us pray for those folks? I'm adding them to my regular prayer list right now.
Trixie: At the height of my adolescent obsession with evil, how it might be manifest and what it meant for me as a Christian, I decided to purge our house of a Ouija board. I put it in the barrel with the next bunch of trash to be burned. Awhile after I started the fire, a great plume of fire blasted out of the barrel with an explosion! It scared my teen self to death! Turned out to have been a can of Breck! But I'll never forget it. :-)
Fact is, I've had a few close encounters with God that left me more rattled.
Other names for the debble are?
Whether or not it belonged in the Hebrew text was an argument that dates back to before Christ.
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(Btw, immediately before the passage is one of my favorite verses of the New Testament: "Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.")
The fallen angel devil is named Lucifer: the Lord of Light
My favorite is Beelsebub: The Lord of the Flies
Oh yes, Mefistofeles: not really the Devil because he was number two to fall, Faustus and Christian Kabalism like this name.
Hobbs: very old English, I used to work for a man named Hobbs, great guy.
Scratch: beautifully played by Walter Houston in the Devil and Daniel Webbster.
I have been watching your recent exchange with him over at his place...
That's all just off the top of my head. :-)
I'll probably get bored with him eventually. But he needs me. :-)
Y'all all should go visit! RepublicVet.blogspot.com.
But beware: It's like walkin' up on a pissed-off chihuahua that thinks he's a pit bull.
KEvronius! This is a mission made for you! (Don't tell him I sent you).
Hate and distrust ooze out of every sentence. Taking him is like fighting the "Tar Baby" of Ashanti folklore, or more like the odiferous example discussed three blogs ago.
I don't have a good answer, and that's after asking myself about it for several decades. That's one of the reason I relayed my writter friends experience. We spent considerable time one afternoon comensurating with one another trying to understand what the difference was. It was a quantifiable and qualifiable difference in that the physiological reaction was more and different than say a reaction to something fearful (like someone trying to kill you) or repulsive (like crawling through patty water with night soil and human entrails in it). Those things you can become enured to. But enured to these people, never. It was deeper than that, it was more like the hair standing up on your neck reaction but it was deep in your being and not on your body.
I do not care to ever, and I mean never to repeat the experience of dealing with people like these. I am old enough now that I would instantly remove myself from their sphere if I ever encounterd someone like them again. Both people that I experienced always gave me that feeling when I was around them. No they were not nice people, but they could be so very charming, one was male and a Sargent in the Army, and one was female and bureaucrat. One could kill without emotion or remorse and the other could destroy without emotion or remorse, but that alone is not what defined them. The Sargent is dead. The woman is alive and I know where she is.
Actually I really don't want to think about this anymore tonight, I wish I were doing this in the light of day. I think I've said too much.
If you've ended up in hell with someone, and you're still mad at them, where do you tell them to go?
Notice: Scattered reports by e-mail from fellow bloggers of blindness caused by looking at RV's Web page cause me to suspend recommendations that ANYONE go there.
Not to diminish the power of evil, or the admonishments to flee it. I think anthropomorphizing evil, actually, sort of diminishes it.
My cousin was taking care of her grandson, when she noticed that the 4 year old had wet his pants... She pointed it out, and he said, "O no! My daddy is going to be mad as the debil!"
Wanting to put a positive spin on it, she reminded him that he needed to say something when he needed to go to the restroom, and ask "Carson, what happens when you remember to go to the restroom?" He replied "we make the debil happy!"
I know I've told that before, but I felt it fit the topic... :)