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Satan and His Influence

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  • Satan and His Influence

    In addition to the inevitable fall being an obstacle to belief, I also think Satan is problem. That frail human beings would be given such power to upset the universe in such a way is unbelievable enough, but Satan exacerbates the problem even further, I think.

    The only was for Satan to make sense to people is to anthropomorphize him as a jealous enemy of the king. That helps some people comprehend the relationship between him and God, since we all relate to jealousy and related human flaws, but it doesn't ring true to many.

    My Christian sister has been mentioning Satan's attempts to influence her as she walks with Christ. She describes her need to be aware of him and her active resistance to him. A fan of Joyce Meyers (blech!), she's been told by that horrible woman that when she's feeling most agitated and angry and impulsive, that's actually the enemy trying to manipulate her sin nature and influence her to separate from God. "Why?" I asked her. She says it's because Satan hates God and wants to hurt him.

    Personally (surprise surprise) I don't think that's Satan, at all, but solely herself and psychological issues such as mental abuse and neglect she experienced as a child that she hasn't dealt with.

    Is anyone here in the same boat? Does anyone here feel concerned for a friend or family member who views their life in this way? I don't know if I should keep my trap shut or try to explain my true feelings to her. I don't know what good it'd do. I honestly don't think it's healthy. It's not a belief I could ever adopt and sustain.

  • #2
    well I can agree with you on this.

    Joyce Meyer and other such televangelists (Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch) are sensationalists who are only out to sell books and snake oil.

    Most of our problems with temptation stem from our own desires, not Satan. Satan is one being and is not omnipresent like God, so he can't be everywhere and I seriously doubt he would bother to give personal attention to tempting your sister. I think Satan is more of a big picture type of influence.

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    • #3
      How agitated and impulsive is she getting? Is she like shooting fireballs across the room or what?
      "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." - That Guy Everyone Quotes

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        well I can agree with you on this.

        Joyce Meyer and other such televangelists (Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch) are sensationalists who are only out to sell books and snake oil.

        Most of our problems with temptation stem from our own desires, not Satan. Satan is one being and is not omnipresent like God, so he can't be everywhere and I seriously doubt he would bother to give personal attention to tempting your sister. I think Satan is more of a big picture type of influence.
        I'm encouraged that we agree, though Joyce Meyers is a pretty easy figure to disagree with being a manifest charlatan.

        Re: Satan and demons, if they're so irrelevent in their influence and interaction with human beings, then Christians should drop them from the discussion entirely. Their inclusion in the theology is a roadblock to belief being so anthropomorphized and their influence being miniscule.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hamster View Post
          How agitated and impulsive is she getting? Is she like shooting fireballs across the room or what?
          As agitated and angry as you get, probably.

          I said she has psychological issues that are possibly being exacerbated by Christian theology. I don't find that funny.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by whag View Post
            I'm encouraged that we agree, though Joyce Meyers is a pretty easy figure to disagree with being a manifest charlatan.

            Re: Satan and demons, if they're so irrelevent in their influence and interaction with human beings, then Christians should drop them from the discussion entirely. Their inclusion in the theology is a roadblock to belief being so anthropomorphized and their influence being miniscule.
            well as a Christian I do believe Satan and Demons exist. I just don't think they go around bothering to influence housewives or the general populace one person at a time. I think Satan and his demons work more toward global influences, like wars, pornography, derailing Christianity, and so on. There might be times when they do influence individuals, but not over petty matters, but as a way to influence others and events.

            I believe the demon possessions in the bible were more to do with the events and timing of Jesus' ministry than simply some demons torturing some individuals for no reason at all. Jesus was on earth and Satan was trying to undermine him, so a lot of demonic activity would be centered around that.

            I have no idea how many demons there are, but I don't think it would be a very huge number. Considering there are what, 7 billion people on the planet, they would have a pretty hard time keeping up with tempting everyone.

            James 1:14 ...each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              well as a Christian I do believe Satan and Demons exist. I just don't think they go around bothering to influence housewives or the general populace one person at a time. I think Satan and his demons work more toward global influences, like wars, pornography, derailing Christianity, and so on. There might be times when they do influence individuals, but not over petty matters, but as a way to influence others and events.
              How to enact that influence without personal interaction with the agents of war, pornography, and Christianity derailment?

              Housewives raise kids that become pornographers, warriors, and skeptics. They would seem to be the perfect people to start with.

              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              I believe the demon possessions in the bible were more to do with the events and timing of Jesus' ministry than simply some demons torturing some individuals for no reason at all. Jesus was on earth and Satan was trying to undermine him, so a lot of demonic activity would be centered around that.
              How would demoniacs in Jesus' time undermine rather than enhance his ministry?

              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              I have no idea how many demons there are, but I don't think it would be a very huge number. Considering there are what, 7 billion people on the planet, they would have a pretty hard time keeping up with tempting everyone.
              By that logic, there must have been a time when the ratio of demon to human was in the demons' favor. Interesting.

              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              James 1:14 ...each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
              Imagine if Satan let human beings alone to succumb to self destruction. Longer vacation time for him--same bloody result.


              For that reason alone, Satan seems to me totally irrelevant. He's unbelievable because he's so stupid and almost inconsequential in that he merely serves to slightly accelerate a result that wouldn't been effected with or without him.

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              • #8
                I don't believe in Satan. The concept of Satan is just a means of shifting responsibility off of oneself.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cuttlebones View Post
                  I don't believe in Satan. The concept of Satan is just a means of shifting responsibility off of oneself.
                  Although, I agree there's some truth to that, that's not what my sister is doing. She's not blaming demons for her sins. Rather she sees her sinful feelings as originating in her. She owns that and doesn't blame those feelings on demons. Her problem is seeing figures in the ether as watching her and waiting to seize on her and attempt to stretch the feeling into an explosion of anger to draw her away from God. I guess she believes they have the perception to know when those emotions begin to blossom inwardly.

                  So, in a sense, you're right but not in the sense that it's a conscious choice to shift the responsibility.

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