How do you feel about Satan?

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How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Korin » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:39 am

how do you religious people feel about satan
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:16 pm

Satan comes from the Hebrew word Shatan, which means adversary - not Devil. In the scriptures, the term used is HaShatan which means The Adversary. The adversary is the spirit that drives or manipulates man's inclination against the will of G-D.

The term devil has no actual connection to Shatan, or to meet your subject 'Satan'. Yahusha/Jesus called his student Kepha/Peter "Shatan". He wasn't calling him a devil but rather an adversary to what he stated previous to that.

How do I feel about Satan/Shatan/the adversary? I feel like it is something that is unavoidable, which mankind has to battle against in order to act in a way that is morally proper.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby chongjasmine » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:30 pm

I see him as a living being who walked astray from God, and therefore did many evil things.
I believe that as he has free will, he can repent and may one day repent.
I really hope that he will repent, because that will mean the eradication of all things evil.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:16 pm

chongjasmine wrote:I see him as a living being who walked astray from God, and therefore did many evil things.
I believe that as he has free will, he can repent and may one day repent.
I really hope that he will repent, because that will mean the eradication of all things evil.


Interesting, so you don't believe in predestination?
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Aygor » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:00 pm

chongjasmine wrote:I really hope that he will repent, because that will mean the eradication of all things evil.

Does satan have the power to influence and/or cause all things evil?
Would his repentance deprive other creatures from their own free will thus forbidding them from walking astray from god?

Sun Fin wrote:Interesting, so you don't believe in predestination?

Are predestination and free will not contraddictory?
If it doesn't bother/annoy you, I would love to read a detailed answer (I dare to ask as you are a theologician).
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:16 pm

Yeah I'm happy to answer to the best of my ability Aygor but I can't give you a fully competent answer as I've only just adopted a belief in pre-destination and am still working through the finer details. :)

At its most basic level I believe in human kind’s total depravity. So while I’m free to choose whatever I won't ever chose God of my own accord, this is because of my sinful nature (a consequence of original sin). So I can only be saved when God calls me and God calls people who he has pre-elected.

Of course this a Calvinistic understanding of the relationship between free will and predestination and isn’t even universally accepted in the protestant church let alone in the Christian faith as a whole.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:59 am

Zhuanyong wrote:Satan comes from the Hebrew word Shatan, which means adversary - not Devil. In the scriptures, the term used is HaShatan which means The Adversary. The adversary is the spirit that drives or manipulates man's inclination against the will of G-D.

The term devil has no actual connection to Shatan, or to meet your subject 'Satan'. Yahusha/Jesus called his student Kepha/Peter "Shatan". He wasn't calling him a devil but rather an adversary to what he stated previous to that.

How do I feel about Satan/Shatan/the adversary? I feel like it is something that is unavoidable, which mankind has to battle against in order to act in a way that is morally proper.


Actually, I think you may be making an unneeded distinction here. The Greek word diabolos found in the NT only means 'accuser' or 'slanderer' - not that different at all from the original Hebrew meaning. And it has been applied to powers and beings other than Lucifer the fallen angel.

Aygor wrote:Does satan have the power to influence and/or cause all things evil?
Would his repentance deprive other creatures from their own free will thus forbidding them from walking astray from god?


Evil in the world, the Church tells us, has two sources: free human will and fallen human nature. Satan was the 'first and the worst' of free creatures to have turned away from God, but our sins are not directly imputed from him (that is, we are directly responsible for our own sins; we don't get to say 'the devil made me do it'). So even Satan's repentance would not prevent any other human being from being mired in sin, even though it is near impossible to conceive of any human being so obstinate that they would fail to repent after even Lucifer would!

Sun Fin wrote:Yeah I'm happy to answer to the best of my ability Aygor but I can't give you a fully competent answer as I've only just adopted a belief in pre-destination and am still working through the finer details. :)

At its most basic level I believe in human kind’s total depravity. So while I’m free to choose whatever I won't ever chose God of my own accord, this is because of my sinful nature (a consequence of original sin). So I can only be saved when God calls me and God calls people who he has pre-elected.

Of course this a Calvinistic understanding of the relationship between free will and predestination and isn’t even universally accepted in the protestant church let alone in the Christian faith as a whole.


I've recently undergone a conversion experience myself, to Eastern Orthodoxy. So to give an Orthodox perspective on this and clear up, perhaps, a couple of areas of confusion:

There needs to be some clarity between three separate but related Church teachings, namely predestination, ancestral sin and grace. Predestination is Church dogma which practically no confessing Christian, and certainly no serious Orthodox, rejects. God has elected those he will save through foreknowledge of each person's acts and character, being beyond time and space. Where it gets tricky, and where the Reformed have fallen into wicked and insidious error, concerns the grounds of predestination - the sin of Adam and Eve, its effects, and how grace may overcome it.

Ancestral sin is the sin of Eve and Adam, who disobeyed God that they might become like God themselves. This sin (which is not imputed to us; see above) nevertheless wounded or corrupted our nature, such that we have become vulnerable to death and liable to sin. But, as St John Chrysostom made clear, we are still endowed with the faculties of our original creation: namely, the freedom to choose between good and evil. The Greek Fathers and saints who maintained the right and true faith never succumbed to the heresy that the human faculty of directed reason was totally destroyed or depraved through the Fall. And here is where we come to grace.

Grace was imparted first to the human race through our creation, when God fashioned us in his own image, breathed life into us and called us 'good'. God's grace allowed us to name the creatures, to converse with God and be sociable with him. But it was also corrupted and turned against us by Lucifer - it allowed us to choose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in defiance of his wishes. If what the Protestant reformers claim about ancestral sin is true, and if we take seriously the idea that what was good and God-like in our creation was not necessarily our bodies but our faculties of mind and soul, then the Protestant understanding renders us completely incapable of choosing between good and evil without God remaking his original creation. That would mean that Satan had the power to destroy totally the original grace which had been made by God, and it would blasphemously place him as a destructive power equal with God.

Instead, Orthodox Christians have held that the original gift of grace is still within us, however mutilated. Our nature is able to respond and cooperate in continuous catholicity (соборность) with God's will and with other human beings, but we are more likely to fail to respond and lapse into sin.

Coming back to predestination - God, being outside time, knows already how each of us uses her free will to respond to the expressions of his will through Christ. But God does not unconditionally, which is to say arbitrarily, predestine any man or woman either to glory or to doom. A proper understanding of predestination is that God knows us intimately, and thus whether we are willing to let ourselves be healed and freed by Christ's sacrifice from the power of death.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:00 am

Anyone who knows WWD and me will no doubt not be surprised to hear that I disagree with him here. I’ve also learnt that despite my degree I’m out of my depth when debating WWD so I’m not going to even try :lol:

All I’ll do is point to scripture and John 14:6 (ESV):
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Therefore I can’t accept that we still have an innate grace that allows us to choose God of our own accord. I would also say that this doesn’t mean that the devil is as powerful as God as it is God’s own wrath that we face not the devils power.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:01 am

Sun Fin wrote:Anyone who knows WWD and me will no doubt not be surprised to hear that I disagree with him here. I’ve also learnt that despite my degree I’m out of my depth when debating WWD so I’m not going to even try :lol:

All I’ll do is point to scripture and John 14:6 (ESV):
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Therefore I can’t accept that we still have an innate grace that allows us to choose God of our own accord. I would also say that this doesn’t mean that the devil is as powerful as God as it is God’s own wrath that we face not the devils power.


:lol: Not sure if I should be flattered or offended by that.

I will say, though, that the Gospel of St John 14:6 has been one of the most overquoted and yet most misunderstood verses in the entirety of Scripture, particularly in the last 500 years or so.

Our Lord says he is the Way (ὁδὸς), the Truth (ἀλήθεια) and the Life (ζωή). All of these words reflect process and a movement, not a single sudden or passive change of mind: a road, an unveiling, a birth and growth. To say Our Lord is the Way - quite literally a road in the Greek - means we have to bring our own choice to bear on the decision to walk on it. We don't wait for the end of the road to simply come to us. And if we deny that we even have the ability to choose to begin walking on the Way, then by that reckoning Satan has already won.

Also, it cannot be accepted in the light of Scripture or in the light of the Holy Tradition of the Fathers that Jesus' death on the Cross was directed in payment against the wrath of the Father. We find no evidence of this notion of penal substitution in any of the writings of the Church Fathers, in part because this notion is never explicated until about 500 years ago.

The Orthodox do accept, following Saint Athanasius, that as a result of Adam's sins against God, the huge and accruing debt of mortality was owed on the part of all his children. But Saint Athanasius - the man who first correctly formulated the Trinity, who was very careful and holy in all such things - was careful to make the distinction that the debt Christ paid was not to appease an angry Father, but rather to heal us from the reality of death itself:

Saint Athanasius wrote:For by the sacrifice of His own body He did two things: He put an end to the law of death which barred our way; and He made a new beginning of life for us… It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for his human brethren by the offering of the equivalent.


Notable also is that CS Lewis - an Anglican, true, but a very thoughtful one - never accepted the heresy of penal substitution, and called it 'silly'. Instead, he seems to have preferred the Patristic ransom theory of the atonement:

CS Lewis wrote:We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed. Any theories we build up as to how Christ's death did all this are, in my view, quite secondary: mere plans or diagrams to be left alone if they do not help us, and, even if they do help us, not to be confused with the thing itself.

The one most people have heard is the one I mentioned before -the one about our being let off because Christ had volunteered to bear a punishment instead of us. Now on the face of it that is a very silly theory. If God was prepared to let us off, why on earth did He not do so? And what possible point could there be in punishing an innocent person instead? None at all that I can see, if you are thinking of punishment in the police-court sense. On the other hand, if you think of a debt, there is plenty of point in a person who has some assets paying it on behalf of someone who has not. Or if you take "paying the penalty," not in the sense of being punished, but in the more general sense of "standing the racket" or "footing the bill," then, of course, it is a matter of common experience that, when one person has got himself into a hole, the trouble of getting him out usually falls on a kind friend. Now what was the sort of "hole" man had got himself into? He had tried to set up on his own, to behave as if he belonged to himself. In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realising that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor - that is the only way out of a "hole." This process of surrender - this movement full speed astern - is what Christians call repentance.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:08 pm

WeiWenDi wrote: :lol: Not sure if I should be flattered or offended by that.


I certainly didn’t intend to cause offense :P. All that was meant was that whilst we are both nominally Anglican we come from very different theological background and as such we rarely agree when we get past the very basics of our faith. Whilst I believe you are wrong I have a great deal of respect for your knowledge about the subject as well as your skills as a debater.

I may or may not pen a defence of penal substitution if I can find the time to read/listen to appropriate sources to make a proper attempt of it. I suppose I could put it down as work as I’m sure I will be asked to deliver a talk on the subject sometime this year.
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