If the Devil knows what the Bible says is going to happen, i.e., he knows all the bible scriptures backwards and forwards by now, why is it that he would make it his job to influence people to make these things come to pass? If anything, he would 1) want people to think that he doesn't exist because if he exists then the Christian God exists, and 2) making these things come to pass would bring his own destruction even closer. The only way for you to argue that he doesn't have the power to do that would be by admitting that God himself would make sure it did happen and that God can even manipulate the actions and abilities of the Devil. If that's the case, who's the one that will really bring the calamity and all of the bad "omens", and what is the Devil's actual role? Is he simply another of God's tools, similar to how he was in the book of Job?
Two important points behind this are understanding free will in the context of the Devil, and also the Devil's range of power.
It seems very common for mainstream Christians to believe that the Devil is behind doubtful/evil thoughts and actions. This would suggest that he knows individuals nearly as intimately as God does. What does this say about the amount of power Christians are giving this being? If he is the cause of all the bad, he is nearly like himself a God. He can influence people's thoughts, actions, he can answer "prayers," etc. He seems to be able to do a whole lot according to his lore. Do any of you find this thinking problematic in a "monotheistic" religion? If his power isn't this large scale, what would that mean for his role in all of this?
If anyone has free will, they should be able to change the course of what's happening. Meaning that prophecies should not come to pass if people have the ability to choose differently and even the Devil has the ability to choose differently. If prophecies must be fulfilled, then what control can any person or Devil really have over their actions? We all may have perceived free will/free choice, but if it all will be manipulated to cause events that were prophesied about because they must come to pass, what control can really be had? Also, if the Devil has real free choice, would he not choose to postpone the apocalypse as long as possible? Would he not choose to keep himself a secret? Would he not choose to change the course of things so that second coming could not happen? If he is not capable of this and man is not capable of this, then who's really pulling the strings? If it is God, then how much can you blame on people or the devil?
This is the only part I'm going to address...for a couple reasons
Mainstream Christians do not generally believe that there is a literal devil and that he's behind evil thoughts or actions. Most Christians don't. Fundamental (Born Again) Christians do, but they aren't mainstream. They are actually a minority. They are just the loudest and get the most press. They've come to be representative of all Christians somehow...
Mainstream Christians are actually, statistically, fairly well adjusted human beings.
Isaiah said “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Jesus was born to righteous parents who devoted themselves to the Lord.
During his lifetime on earth, Jesus roamed the land and sea spreading the word of God.
This enraged leadership of the church were afraid they would lose their followers and so conspired to crucify Jesus charged with blasphemy.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
While Joseph may have been righteous (we don't know), Jesus was a bastard, born of a mother that invited an inhuman creature to put a baby into her. You might call that righteous because Jesus was also a good man, but I'm not sure I would.
a person born of parents not married to each other.
synonyms: illegitimate child, child born out of wedlock
Yes, thanks for posting scripture and providing nothing useful to the conversation. God forbid we get to the truth behind the matter.
The rebuttal, no doubt, you'll receive is that the 'devil' is on a short leash, acting on the authority of a god, else somehow maintained his 'powers' (although no text states what those powers are, nor if they even existed in 'him') when he was seemingly cast out of the place of perfection.
It is highly interesting to note the term 'devil', 'demon' does not exist in what is called the Old Testimony. And the introduction of the 'devil', 'demon' by the 14th century scribes notes a misuse of the Greek word dæmon, meaning of or relating to the spirit or heart of a man. Additionally, the term satan, from the Hebrew, also misunderstood. The precise term being ha-satan, translated to mean the ego, the adversary, the voice of confusion.
It is also extremely interesting your mention of
Those are spot on statements regarding only one known creation who was accredited these attributes: humans. Literally made in the form of, fashioned in the likeness (mirror reflection) of and embodied with the very essence (breath) of [God]. It stands to reason, the entity responsible for 'evil' is the human.
PS, the term apocalypse is also misunderstood. The Greek term apocalypse means new beginning or renewal, not annihilation or extinction, save a 'chosen few'. This is very colorfully represented in the Letter of Revealing. A series of very graphic, pictorial explanations of the events surrounding the Restoration by the man known as Moshiach, as example -perhaps proof- of the human ability to overcome their own amnesia, fears, ego and reconnect, be renewed to their original form: the immortal expression of all creation. The sum-substance of Christianity -all religions really, sensational or scientific, is to find a means back to that stasis. More than 7000 Gregorian years proves that desire.
Hmmmm. Whose worse, Satan or God? I don't believe in either one so I could carer less. But according to the Bible, Satan is the supposed bad guy even those he killed 0 people. While God is a psychotic murderer with self esteem issues. If God can create the universe out of nothing, why did he need to take a rib from Adam to make Eve and later on, impregnate a young girl against her will to have his son? So now he's a rapist! Number of women Satan raped: 0.
Where did you get this from?
Are you just making it up? Last time I read the account, Mary said "let it be done unto me as you have said".
Doesn't sound like she was against it, to me.
As for the rest of you verbal vomit, I won't even copy and paste over, since I find it totally abhorrent.
Abhorrent? Are you saying the "Good Book" doesn't say that? Mary said "let it be done unto me as you have said". That only appears in Luke 1:38 - as if Luke was actually there. That goes for the other three, Matt, Marc & John. Mary was suppose of been 12-13 years old when became pregnant, which was prime age for marriage in the ancient world and even today in Mississippi & Louisiana. Mary was engaged to Joseph and God decided to get a little action before they were officially married so he'd be cleared of breaking one of his own commandments (the one that follows the first four dealing with his insecurity). But there's no mention about God reimbursing Mary's father with fifty shekels of silver, and and marry her (that's the punishment for raping a virgin mentioned in the "Good Book") - Deuteronomy 22:28-29. In today's western society if a man did what God did, he'd be looking at 15-25 years in prison. With a god like that, who needs a devil? Some bored scholar came up with the notion that God killed 25 million men, women, children and babies all through the Old Testament. Damn! Joseph Stalin only killed about 20 million - considering the population difference between Stalin's time and Biblical times. But even Stalin has more going for him than God does. Stalin extended women's rights in the Soviet Union giving them the same equal rights as men. God view women no better than slaves. Stalin and God both had self esteem issues. Stalin turned the USSR from a backward 3rd world country into a super power within 25 years. After 3,000 years, the region where all of God's miracles and events took place went from a backwards 3rd world region to.....uh...still is a backwards 3rd world region! All this, except for Stalin's bio, can be found in The Holly Bible. You should read it, not cherry pick it, sometime and puke away.
You have some perverted views on the Bible.
I sincerely won't even go there with you. Please enjoy your chosen beliefs.
I'm not sure why you are so angry.
I'm definitely not angry. I have nothing to be angry about. I hear that my questions can be answered by turning to the Bible all the time in posts in Facebook and so on. I read the Bible and it raises more questions than it answers. I'm one of those that look outside the box. I want to know why and be told an answer, not that I must believe this without question or else I'm defying God and I'm going to burn in hell! Then I ask, how do you know this? Here again, sound like God has insecurity issues. I don't know why you think my views of the Bible, or "Good Book" as my mom used to refer it to, are perverted when they are printed right there for all to read. At least I don't use the passages as an excuse to promote bigotry and hate like some "good Christians" do. Some people take these Biblical stories as historical facts even though history, science and physical evidence says different. Some were based on actual events other are simple stories to promote inspiration for a people under Babylonian and Roman rule. Genesis is not one of them. The creation of the first man and woman and Noah was a rip off from an earlier Samaritan story called The Epic of Gilgamesh. Why isn't there a book of Jesus since the whole New Testament evolves around him? Was he literate? His biography was written 30 years after he died by a guy that never met him. Like the Mary thing, and even Jesus' birth and up to his trial, with all these quotes and details, all written by 4 guys who weren't there 3/4 of the time the events were taking place. But these stories are suppose to be taken as literal fact. Like I said earlier, according to these poetic stories, God was slaughtering people right and left in the Old Testament. But Satan is labeled the bad guy even though he killed no one. Maybe Satan is a tragic figure and he's simply misunderstood. Or maybe he's a badass and wants to over run heaven. With all the people cast into hell since the beginning of time, he should have more than enough manpower to conquer heaven many times over! Doesn't matter since I don't believe in Satan either. Now you know why I'm never invited to Bible studies. The last time I was at a Bible study was 25 years ago, my mom made me go. I started raising so many questions and doubt that some of the attendees became atheists. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch Cosmos on Fox's website.
One has to wonder about the Satan/God good/bad thing, right?
While God has lots and lots of PR, what with the book and millions of preachers running around, Satan has nothing. Except those same preachers and book saying he is a bad guy. No independent corroboration, nothing we can detect that says it is actually Satan doing the bad things as opposed to God doing them while the book and preachers say He isn't. Except, just as you mention, God was the killer in the OT and not Satan. God is the judge, not Satan. God is the one who condemns, not Satan. The preachers describe Hell as torment, not Satan and not experience. Lots and lots of claims, but no proof at all.
You have to wonder just a bit, don't you?
One has to look at the whole picture. The Bible, like a collection of Grimm short stories, are that, a collection of short stories. What do all stories have in common? Conflict! The usual good vs. evil! The Bible stories would be pretty boring without the presence of some kind of evil force in the background. Kinda like Star Wars.
Sounds to me like she had absolutely no choice. A gun to the head, so to speak, for when God speaks (even through an angel) it WILL be done. Sounds more like Mary, an intelligent little girl, went along as a matter of health as much as anything. The god she knew, after all, was most definitely the murderer of the OT, freely killing anyone that balked Him in the slightest manner. And if they didn't He would "harden their heart" and make sure they DID balk him, just so He could kill again (see the escape from Egypt tale).
You may imagine her to be that way, but you have no evidence (outside of your own bias) to come to that conclusion.
The nation was expecting a saviour, and Mary would have known some of the prophecies concerning His coming. She could just as easily have been excited, and grateful at the announcement.
Later on, we read, how her cousin Elizabeth proclaimed a blessing upon her, acknowledging the divine foetus within her womb.
But, I understand how you might dismiss such a (far fetched) story, since it would seriously rock your worldview.
You might understand how I might dismiss such a story, but for the life of me I cannot understand why you would assign any OTHER rationale to the tale. She might have been excited and grateful, but then she might not, either, and you have no way of knowing which it was.
After all, Mary would have familiar with the command in Deuteronomy to fear God, and I'm sure she did. Being grateful and excited doesn't exactly fit with that.
Just sayin'. Offering an equally valid assumption to yours.
I'm not claiming anything by it.
Me neither. It's all part of questioning what we hear, see or read without blindly accepting it as true and real. Although Paul W did have a point in that the person reporting she might have been happy most certainly was not there to see. That report must have come from Mary, who would certainly have decided that bearing a god would be a good thing. After it was done, that is.
Actually, just to be clear (and I'm an atheist) the Devil did kill 10 people - Job's family - and he did it with God's supposed direct permission. Granted, this is next to 0 compared to the millions that god has killed just in the Bible alone, but I just thought I'd post for the sake of clarity.
Christian Apocalypse? C'mon now people, get real. No such thing is going to occur. What are people thinking?
Yes, it is COMING. IT WAS PROMISED and PREORDAINED. CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT.......
Oh no, NOT THIS.......What's next on the agenda?
SOME people have NOTHING better to do to just ROUSE and use SUBLIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY.....
The Apocalypse is COMING,PEOPLE.....YES......IT IS!
REPENT, REPENT, REPENT.........
Good GOD, STOP THE HYSTERIA ALREADY, PEOPLE!
Don't know about you, I am going to live and embrace life! Life is to be lived and savored, not feared!
Star Trek is normal compared to.........THIS. Go where no one has gone before has reached a TOTALLY NEW LEVEL, UNBELIEVABLE.
The previous post demonstrated my sardonic humor and take on the matter but in all seriousness, there have been apocalyptic forecastings since recorded history. Humankind interpreted the malaise in their respective societies as a sign that society has regressed and/or degenerated from whatever was considered an ideal society.
Since humankind in the ancient times were not scientifically nor technologically sophisticated, they interpreted such societal malaise as harbingers of some type of impending doom, oftentimes brought upon by evil events or an evil supernatural being from which subsequently a benevolent supernatural being will come to the rescue and elevate the society. St. John of Patmos authored the Book of Revelations whom some modern Christians believed to have foretold that there will be a coming apocalypse, including the anti-Christ, rapture, and tribulations.
To reiterate there have been those who indicated that there would be apocalypses every millenium but to no avail. In every period of history, there are going to be upheavals and changes which are simply man-made in origin. It is up to humankind to assess their higher being and to change society for the better.
http://io9.com/5554053/five-ancient-tec … heir-times
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