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Old 07-19-2005, 07:21 PM   #241
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
That doesn't make a lot of sense, especially since Christians don't believe he is an "invention of the Christian religion".
Actually you have a point there, before Christianity came along pre Christian religions had a similar concept of a Satan-like character.

So I will rephrase what I said, I consider Satan to be a fictional character but not ENTIRELY invented by the Christian religion, as various pre-Christian religions had a concept of a similar evil other worldly character, e.g. the God 'Set' in Ancient Egyptian mythology.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:26 PM   #242
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you don't do abstractions well, do you?

in any event, thanks for the tips.

for now, while you're looking under the bed and behind the couches for Satan, i am going to get up each and every morning and try my best to be the best person i know how to be, to work as hard as i can, and to try and help the lives of the people around me, to work for change each and every day in real and measurable ways, and i'll let God -- or whoever, or whatever, or nothing -- sort it all out when it's all over.
You presumptous person, Irvine. You think you know me; you think I spend my time worrying about Satan, instead of seeking the opportunity to do God's will. Just because I am ever vigilante and keeing a watchful eye out doesn't mean I'm cowering in fear of him or spend all my time wondering how I'm going to knock his block off. I know that Satan is already defeated, and that I have the victory in Jesus Christ.

And for you to assume that I don't try to help people like you do is wrong. How dare you. You don't know me at all. I don't have to justify myself to you, but I'll tell you that I am very concerned about helping people, and I try to let my actions prove it. If you knew me, you'd know the truth. And I'm not saying that I am perfect, or I do all that I should, but I am saying that you do not have the monopoly on trying to help people.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:27 PM   #243
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No contradiction there at all. Satan is the ultimate enemy. When Christ says to not strike back in revenge, he is definitely talking about in our human relationships; he is not talking about Satan. We can't take revenge against Satan - only Christ can defeat Satan and he has already done that.

And our battle is indeed with Satan, our enemy. On more than one occasion, Christ let us know that Satan is the enmy, and Paul told us that our battle was not with flesh (other humans), but with the dark forces of Satan.
That's pretty much what I thought you would say, I guess I'm just a little more careful with using words like hate and enemy. But now we're just getting into semantics...carry on.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:30 PM   #244
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...similar concept of a Satan-like character.
Yes - as you say, similar; nowhere near identical; and the Christian devil is endowed with traits that his 'predecessors' (so to speak) never had. I've lost count of how many times I've heard the question "don't Pagans worship the Devil?"

"The Devil" is a specifically Christian concept, and practically no one outside of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam recognizes him at all. Indeed the very notion of a supreme God of Evil is entirely peculiar to Jahvistic monotheism, and utterly alien to most Pagan theology (though it is largely derived from the dualism of Persian Zoroastrianism, wherein Ahura-Mazda, the Lord of Light, is opposed to Ahriman, the Lord of Darkness).

The popular confusion arose as a result of the 1486 publication of the Malleus Malificarum, or "Hammer of Witches" by Dominicans Kramer and Sprenger, wherein they gave the first physical description of the Devil as he is commonly depicted today, based on a demonization of the Greek horned God, Pan. As Pan and other horned Gods, such as the stag-horned Cernunos and Herne, were popular deities of the hung and the animal kingdom, and widely worshipped by European Pagans, Kramer and Sprenger's equation of that imagery with the Christian's Satan was able to be used to justify the centuries of persecution inflicted by the Church upon those who clung faithfully to their worship of the old gods.

"Satan" of the Old Testament was never deceived by such imagery, but was rather referred to as a fallen angel, a serpent, or a dragon. The word Satan is merely Hebrew for "adversary," and is related to the Egyptian Set and the Roman Saturn. The word "devil," interestingly enough, is Sanskrit in origin and means "little god." The root word devil, is also the root of our words "divine" and "divinity." During the Witchcraft persecution of the late Middle Ages, and on through the 17th century, whenever the defendant spoke of the Horned God being present at the Sabbats (which he was in the person of the High Priest, who contumed himself appropriately and assumed the role) the court recorder would substitute the word "Satan" or "Devil," to have written the word "God" as spoken by the accused would have been considered blasphemous.

The most universal deity worshipped by Pagans worldwide is not a God, but a Goddess: Mother Earth. She is called by many names in many cultures, such as Hertha, Terra, Pachamama, and the familiar Greek name, Gaia. In a greater expansion of Her identity, She is Mother Nature, the All-Mother, the Great Mother, and we, the animals and plants, and the Gods themselves, are all Her children.

Just for the record, I went to church affiliated schools myself for many years (all C of E), chose to be baptised as a child, and am godmother to both my baby nieces. I learned a lot about Paganism during my late teens and very early 20s.

I think it is impossible to be 100% objective when it comes to matters of faith: unswerving belief in miracles and salvation, although beautiful and steeped in mystery, is neither logical nor rational. I do feel to look at our Christian figureof 'Satan' and compare it to our Pagan idea of Pan as a deity, in a sensible way.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:33 PM   #245
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Originally posted by Irvine511
how myopic.

no other religion has a character named Satan. thus, he was invented by the Christian religion.
In the larger sense, the qualities of "Satan" are very likely from the Zoroastrian god, "Angra Mainyu" (also called "Ahriman" or "Shaitan").

And, in some sense, our depiction of "Satan" is closer to "Angra Mainyu" than the Biblical "Satan." While Satan is often depicted cohabiting outside of hell onto Earth (such as tempting Jesus in the desert), Angra Mainyu exists solely in Hell, and his symbol is the snake, which is all the more interesting considering Genesis.

Satan's common depiction as sitting on the bottom levels of hell might be more of an invention of Dante's "Inferno" and Dante, very possibly, could have read the Zoroastrian "Arda Viraf," which likely predated his "Divine Comedy" by centuries. In the "Arda Viraf," Angra Mainyu is depicted sitting in the bottom of hell, as well.

It also answers the question as to why Satan, as an "angel," has such wide-reaching powers when compared to other "angels." In keeping with monotheism, he was arbitarily demoted to an angel while keeping Angra Mainyu's godly powers.

Anyway, I digress...

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Old 07-19-2005, 07:34 PM   #246
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Heavens, this Satan dude seems to have had a lot of ancestors...
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:36 PM   #247
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Originally posted by sallycinnamon78
I've lost count of how many times I've heard the question "don't Pagans worship the Devil?"
Even amongst professed 'Satanists' the vast majority of them seemingly do not actually worship Satan as such.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #248
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Even amongst professed 'Satanists' the vast majority of them seemingly do not actually worship Satan as such.
satanism, i.e. lavey, really doesn't have anything to do with satan the creature or being or whatever. it's more a stab at christian values.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #249
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Could it be....






















Satan

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Old 07-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #250
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Could it be....

Satan

Now the Church Lady was funny!
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:46 PM   #251
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Now the Church Lady was funny!
Oh the days...the days when SNL was worth watching.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:46 PM   #252
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Oh the days...the days when SNL was worth watching.
Every once in a while something funny still pops up, but that's rare.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:50 PM   #253
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You presumptous person, Irvine. You think you know me; you think I spend my time worrying about Satan, instead of seeking the opportunity to do God's will. Just because I am ever vigilante and keeing a watchful eye out doesn't mean I'm cowering in fear of him or spend all my time wondering how I'm going to knock his block off. I know that Satan is already defeated, and that I have the victory in Jesus Christ.

And for you to assume that I don't try to help people like you do is wrong. How dare you. You don't know me at all. I don't have to justify myself to you, but I'll tell you that I am very concerned about helping people, and I try to let my actions prove it. If you knew me, you'd know the truth. And I'm not saying that I am perfect, or I do all that I should, but I am saying that you do not have the monopoly on trying to help people.


get over yourself.

just because i mentioned how i try to live my life does not mean that you do not do the same. i speak for myself, not for you.

again: grow up.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:52 PM   #254
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The most universal deity worshipped by Pagans worldwide is not a God, but a Goddess: Mother Earth. She is called by many names in many cultures, such as Hertha, Terra, Pachamama, and the familiar Greek name, Gaia. In a greater expansion of Her identity, She is Mother Nature, the All-Mother, the Great Mother, and we, the animals and plants, and the Gods themselves, are all Her children.
Early Judaism is interesting, as it had Shekhina, a Talmudic name given to God's "feminine" incarnation, as based on ancient traditions. Shekhina is also called the "Holy Spirit" in Hebrew and still has a strong presence in the Talmud and Kabbalah.

There was also Asherah, who was called "Yahweh's Consort" by the early Israelites. Biblical prophets condemn worship of her under the name "Ashtoreth."

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Old 07-19-2005, 08:00 PM   #255
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Heavens, this Satan dude seems to have had a lot of ancestors...
Stretching back even further, Angra Mainyu's minions are "daevas," or "demons." The "daevas," in Vedic-era Hinduism, are a pantheon of "divine beings," while the "asuras" were "evil beings." Likewise, the "ahuras" in Zoroastrianism correspond to "good deities," showing evidence that Zoroastrianism's roots are due to a split in Hinduism's early history.

Likewise, the Hindu "asuras," Mitra and Varunu, who are brothers, reemerge in Zoroastrianism as "Mithras," the cult of whom some see as being the main influence behind Pauline theology, and "Ahura Mazda," the main light god in Zoroastrianism, whom our "loving God" is believed to be modelled after in the late Old Testament due to the Persian Empire's influence. The "warrior God" of the early Old Testament was modelled more after "El Shaddai," the Semitic mountain god. It's under debate as to whether "El Shaddai" and the other "Elohim" were sub-deities of "El" or if they were seen as monistic manifestations of the same Deity. As such, there's debate as to exactly where "Yahweh" fit in early Judaism: either as the main god, "El," or as a sub-deity, "El Shaddai."

Gotta love religious ancestry, eh?

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