How do you feel about Satan?

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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:15 pm

Sun Fin wrote: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.


The respect is mutual, and I look forward to your defence should you choose to do it! :D But I wasn't lying about converting to Orthodoxy. I've been considering converting for about five years now, actually, and I'm hoping to be chrismated sometime after Paskha, in April.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Aygor » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:16 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:[...],the Church tells us,[...]

Which church?
WeiWenDi wrote:Evil in the world, the Church tells us, has two sources: free human will and fallen human nature.[...]that is, we are directly responsible for our own sins[...]

Therefore, satan has nothing to do with all that is evil (other than he himself).
Leaving the devil out of the picture, are we responsible of our own sins, or is it our fallen nature?
WeiWenDi wrote:it is near impossible to conceive of any human being so obstinate that they would fail to repent after even Lucifer would!

Why?


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. :)

Thank you very much =)
Sun Fin wrote:At its most basic level I believe in human kind’s total depravity.

Why do you believe so?
Sun Fin wrote: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).

Why do you believe that the original sin forbids us to escape our inner depravity?
Sun Fin wrote:So I can only be saved when God calls me and God calls people who he has pre-elected.

If that were the case, wouldn't be god actively damning people eternally by not electing them?

Sun Fin wrote: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 find it very interesting, if it isn't too personal as a request, may I ask you why did your belief system shift towards this view?
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:45 am

WeiWenDi wrote:The respect is mutual, and I look forward to your defence should you choose to do it! :D But I wasn't lying about converting to Orthodoxy. I've been considering converting for about five years now, actually, and I'm hoping to be chrismated sometime after Paskha, in April.


Interesting, which branch of the Orthodox Church? The only one I’ve had contact with are the Greek Orthodox.

Aygor wrote:Why do you believe so?


So I believe in the bible as God’s word and therefore completely true. However I also think that different parts of the bible were written in different genres. With this in mind I believe that the early chapters of Genesis are true, however not in a historical sense (ie I don’t believe in 6 day creation) instead I believe that the theological truths outlined in it are what’s true. Therefore when the metaphorical Eve takes the fruit from the tree of knowledge sin enters the human condition breaking our relationship with God. Therefore what original sin is (and I think WWD will agree with me here) human nature and it is human nature to rebel against God.

Does that make sense or do you want me to clarify some of that?

Aygor wrote:Why do you believe that the original sin forbids us to escape our inner depravity?


I think I answered this above but basically I believe that original sin has contaminated human nature, to make it our basic state to be in rebellion against God.

Aygor wrote:If that were the case, wouldn't be god actively damning people eternally by not electing them?


This is the bit of this theology I’m still struggling with, because at it’s essence I agree with you but I also know that my God is a loving God, so I’m still working this through.

Aygor wrote:I find it very interesting, if it isn't too personal as a request, may I ask you why did your belief system shift towards this view?


Yeah of course, so I was previously more of a Neo-Orthodox which meant I basically believed something very similar except that Jesus had elected to save everyone and it was down to us to respond to God’s grace. The reason I changed my opinion was that the teaching I received over this summer made it clear to me that this understanding is much more in line with the Bible which is the ultimate authority on God.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Aygor » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Sun Fin wrote:[...]However I also think that different parts of the bible were written in different genres. With this in mind I believe that the early chapters of Genesis are true, however not in a historical sense (ie I don’t believe in 6 day creation) instead I believe that the theological truths outlined in it are what’s true.

To my understanding, it is considered fact that different parts of the bible differ for style and purpose (mythology, epic, theology etc.) although I am not sure if this actually is the consensus among biblical scholars rather than just the view I came in contact with.
Sun Fin wrote:Therefore when the metaphorical Eve takes the fruit from the tree of knowledge sin enters the human condition breaking our relationship with God. Therefore what original sin is (and I think WWD will agree with me here) human nature and it is human nature to rebel against God.
[...]I believe that original sin has contaminated human nature, to make it our basic state to be in rebellion against God.

Essentially, original sin perverted our nature turning us away from our creator, am I correct?
What I don't understand about your view is why exactly do you believe that this does actually prevent us from retrieving our path out of our own free will; even if original sin absolutely perverted our nature -which would appear to my ignorant self an hyperbole- that doesn't appear sufficient (to me) to inappellably force us astray from god.

Sun Fin wrote:[...]The reason I changed my opinion was that the teaching I received over this summer made it clear to me that this understanding is much more in line with the Bible which is the ultimate authority on God.

Would you be as kind as to explain the points of this teaching please?

Thank you very much for being so forthcoming
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:56 pm

Aygor wrote:To my understanding, it is considered fact that different parts of the bible differ for style and purpose (mythology, epic, theology etc.) although I am not sure if this actually is the consensus among biblical scholars rather than just the view I came in contact with.


That's 'ish' what I was getting at, obviously as a believer my opinion differs slightly from an atheist biblical scholar, so I consider all of it theology but yeah the idea of creation being myth in style is what I was getting at.

Aygor wrote:Essentially, original sin perverted our nature turning us away from our creator, am I correct?
What I don't understand about your view is why exactly do you believe that this does actually prevent us from retrieving our path out of our own free will; even if original sin absolutely perverted our nature -which would appear to my ignorant self an hyperbole- that doesn't appear sufficient (to me) to inappellably force us astray from god.


Hmm, well that's basically what I was trying to say. 'Sin' is rebellion against God so it makes sense that the consequence of 'original sin' is that the normal stat of human nature becomes rebellion against God. Does that make more sense? I guess it's a pretty hard concept to accept if you don't believe it.


Aygor wrote:Would you be as kind as to explain the points of this teaching please?


Yeah I will do, give me some time to re-listen to the lectures from this summer and I'll post something in reply to both you and WWD :).

Aygor wrote:Thank you very much for being so forthcoming


No worries :).
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:39 am

Aygor wrote:Which church?


Sun Fin wrote:Interesting, which branch of the Orthodox Church? The only one I’ve had contact with are the Greek Orthodox.


The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), under Patriarch Kirill. The nearest Orthodox Church is in Beijing.

Aygor wrote:Therefore, satan has nothing to do with all that is evil (other than he himself).
Leaving the devil out of the picture, are we responsible of our own sins, or is it our fallen nature?


Human liberty is constrained by many different factors. We can simply turn to our own experiences for this. Human liberty - true liberty, to choose the good - is limited by our environment and our biology. An addict or an alcoholic is less able, and thus less free, to choose what is good for him than a non-addict. It's the same way with sin, and the illusion that we are completely independent and do not need help.

Satan still has a lot to do with all that is evil. We are still responsible for our own choices, however limited those choices are by our state and by our previous ill choices. And Satan, the adversary, is constantly working to trick us into making those ill choices.

Sun Fin wrote:So I believe in the bible as God’s word and therefore completely true. However I also think that different parts of the bible were written in different genres. With this in mind I believe that the early chapters of Genesis are true, however not in a historical sense (ie I don’t believe in 6 day creation) instead I believe that the theological truths outlined in it are what’s true. Therefore when the metaphorical Eve takes the fruit from the tree of knowledge sin enters the human condition breaking our relationship with God. Therefore what original sin is (and I think WWD will agree with me here) human nature and it is human nature to rebel against God.


Yes, I do agree with that, in its entirety. But ancestral sin is more than that: it has diseased our very environment, our historical development and our dependency on that history. We do not bear the guilt of the sin of Adam, but we will continue to suffer from its effects (death and separation from God) until the Day of Judgement.

Sun Fin wrote:Yeah of course, so I was previously more of a Neo-Orthodox which meant I basically believed something very similar except that Jesus had elected to save everyone and it was down to us to respond to God’s grace. The reason I changed my opinion was that the teaching I received over this summer made it clear to me that this understanding is much more in line with the Bible which is the ultimate authority on God.


I would also be grateful for some clarifications on this teaching.

As stated thus far, it would seem to be directly at odds with the Creed - 'I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God... who for us men and for our salvation, came down from the heavens and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary', and also with the Gospel of St John 3:17: 'For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved', and 12:30-32 'Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me', and also with St Paul's first epistle to Timothy 2:1-6: 'I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.' (Italics mine.)

The idea that salvation is extended through Christ's sacrifice to all human beings seems to be wholly in keeping with the Scriptures and with the unbroken Holy Tradition of the Apostles through their Church. But the mystery of salvation is that, as well as an objective fact - Christ died as a ransom for all - it is also a personal, life-long process. Christ's death undid the power of death over us, but it is still up to us, as St Paul said, to work out our own salvations 'with fear and trembling' (Philippians 2:12), and work to restore that which Satan has damaged within us.

Aygor wrote:What I don't understand about your view is why exactly do you believe that this does actually prevent us from retrieving our path out of our own free will; even if original sin absolutely perverted our nature -which would appear to my ignorant self an hyperbole- that doesn't appear sufficient (to me) to inappellably force us astray from god.


It's precisely because 'our own free will' has been damaged by the Fall and turned away from God to start with, that it is not reliable to lead us back to God on its own. The choice before us is always, every day, whether or not to bring our own will into greater cooperation with that of God.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Aygor » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:38 am

Sun Fin wrote:Hmm, well that's basically what I was trying to say. 'Sin' is rebellion against God so it makes sense that the consequence of 'original sin' is that the normal stat of human nature becomes rebellion against God. Does that make more sense? I guess it's a pretty hard concept to accept if you don't believe it.

I think I did understand.
Still, I am unsure why, although our nature is riotous against God, would we not be able to choose to follow his word.
It is understandable that one couldn't just forfeit his human imperfect nature and quit sinning, but I don't think our nature would suffice to forbid us to make the right choice.
That said, didn't Jesus redeem our nature with his sacrifice?

WeiWenDi wrote:And Satan, the adversary, is constantly working to trick us into making those ill choices.

How?
Wasn't he doomed in hell for staining our nature?
Why does God allow him to perpetrate his crimes and influence us thus depriving ourself of a portion of our own free will?

WeiWenDi wrote:It's precisely because 'our own free will' has been damaged by the Fall and turned away from God to start with, that it is not reliable to lead us back to God on its own.

I am unsure about that, free will is the capability to freely choose, either we have it or we haven't.
On our own, due to our perverted nature we can't simply choose to return to God's side, it makes sense.
We aren't on our own though: we have God's word, we have had Jesus to show us the way, we have miracles etc. therefore the choice for good is there for us to make, with that choice the everyday choices to stick with the path or stray are also there.
I am not arguing that one could simply quit sinning and perfect himself as Jesus, but to my understanding we do have the chance to make steps in the right direction.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby chongjasmine » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:02 pm

Sun Fin wrote:
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?


I don't really believe in predestination. Or at least in Satan not being able to repent.
For instance, the bible promised his destruction in the lake of fire.
God promised to punish him.
Yet, in the book of Jonah, God promised to send destruction to Nineveh. But He changed His mind and took back His words and forgive the nation when they repent.
I believe it is the same for Satan. If he repent, God will take back His words concerning Satan's destruction.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby chongjasmine » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:04 pm

Aygor wrote:
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?

I believe Satan has the power to influence and cause all things evil.
I do not think his repentance will deprive other creatures from their own free will. The other creatures can choose in their free will how they will react to Satan's repentance.
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Re: How do you feel about Satan?

Unread postby Aygor » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:28 pm

chongjasmine wrote:I believe Satan has the power to influence and cause all things evil.

Why? isn't he doomed in hell? why would God allow him to have any influence over creation anymore?

chongjasmine wrote:I do not think his repentance will deprive other creatures from their own free will. The other creatures can choose in their free will how they will react to Satan's repentance.

I would say that his repentance wouldn't end all things evil then.
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