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SovereignOfSilence
09-21-2015, 07:07 PM
I have a serious question for my Christian friends. Why is it that when something is not understood or unknown it is of the devil? I am not trying to ruffle any feathers, I am genuinely curious. As with any topic like this please keep it civil...

Knowing Thomas
09-21-2015, 07:13 PM
Why is it that when something is not understood or unknown it is of the devil?

That doesn't seem to be the case at all.

apostoli
09-21-2015, 07:37 PM
I have a serious question for my Christian friends. Why is it that when something is not understood or unknown it is of the devil? I am not trying to ruffle any feathers, I am genuinely curious. As with any topic like this please keep it civil...I have an acquaintance who has a book that is/was distributed worldwide. He does not accept that Satan exists as a real person but suggests that we ourselves are our own Satan the devil, or we make ourselves Satan to others (cp. Mt 16:23). What my acquaintance suggests is largely true, but the common teaching is that a very real person whom we name Satan the devil, attempts to motivate/influence all persons, but most particularly the devout.

Satan (Gr. satanas) literally means "an adversary, one who resists" and devil (Gr. diabolos) literally means "slanderer, accuser". I would suggest that in less scientific times, whenever something was outside of what was commonly understood, or more particularly opposition to the common understanding was presented, the superstitious would perceive it as the work of the great adversary = Satan the devil. An example of this is found in the invention of the piano = pythagorean tuning was eventually replaced by equal temperament ie: pianos these days are tuned out of key. It is one of the reasons that R&R was considered the work of the devil. There is a famous story from the beginning of the 20th century: the worlds greatest violinist and the worlds greatest pianist performed in concert a piece written in the key of A. The violin is one of the few instruments that can be tuned to a pure A. In the audience some decried the violinist saying he was playing out of key, others decried the pianiist saying he was playing out of key, while the rest of the audience just heard a cacophony of noise. To the purists, definitely a work of the devil, for no human, nor God, would intention such discord!

In modern times, except for the occasional Muslim cleric, I haven't encountered anyone in the Christian world that would agree that "something [that] is not understood or unknown it is of the devil?" Of course Christians (and followers of Islam) would agree that things knowable and observable, such as a decline in public morality, are the work of شيطان‎ (Shaitan=Satan).

Jedidiah
09-21-2015, 09:44 PM
That doesn't seem to be the case at all.

There is a small minority of Christians who take a stance not too far from that, but it is not a Christian norm by any means.

mossrose
09-22-2015, 09:50 AM
This thread has been moved to Apologetics, as the opening poster is not allowed to post in Christianity.

whag
09-22-2015, 10:27 AM
There is a small minority of Christians who take a stance not too far from that, but it is not a Christian norm by any means.

While the presentation of the question isn't entirely accurate, it certainly is the case that Satan is a major figure. It seems to me that if human beings are sufficient to explain natural and moral evil--and even that is a major stretch--why is the character of Satan needed at all in the Christian narrative? His biography and presence seem so unbelievable that it hobbles the story and casts needless doubt on it.

IOW, what'd be the danger of deleting Satan and demons from the tale?

Adam
09-23-2015, 02:42 AM
Recently in Christian Forums (in which I was as "Korah" banned two days ago) I chided Christians in a discussion about temptation for never mentioning the Devil. Both Protestants and Catholics nevertheless ignored me and kept on arguing ivory tower stuff (free will etc.) without dealing with substance. This shows how unwarranted is the OP. Similarly to take Post #6 too seriously would ignore the root of what can be profitably discussed on the surface but that requires more ultimate depth eventually.

shunyadragon
09-23-2015, 03:59 AM
That doesn't seem to be the case at all.

I believe he is referring to some things that appear evil of unknown cause or explanation.

whag
09-23-2015, 02:14 PM
Recently in Christian Forums (in which I was as "Korah" banned two days ago) I chided Christians in a discussion about temptation for never mentioning the Devil. Both Protestants and Catholics nevertheless ignored me and kept on arguing ivory tower stuff (free will etc.) without dealing with substance. This shows how unwarranted is the OP. Similarly to take Post #6 too seriously would ignore the root of what can be profitably discussed on the surface but that requires more ultimate depth eventually.

Perhaps they ignored you because you chided them?

Elaborate please.

whag
09-23-2015, 04:31 PM
I believe he is referring to some things that appear evil of unknown cause or explanation.

SoS is a she, just to clarify.

And, yes, you are correct: the occurrence of all evil necessarily requires an apologetic explanation, and that explanation is either God, Satan, or both.

SovereignOfSilence
09-23-2015, 06:02 PM
For example: ghosts or UFOs. And yes I am female :)

whag
09-23-2015, 07:46 PM
For example: ghosts or UFOs. And yes I am female :)

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, many Christians interpret ghostly encounters as demons masquerading as "angels of light" or somehow the expression of the occult. Re: UFO sightings, many Christians dismiss such observations as demonic deception, for example, the popular apologetics organization Reasons to Believe.

Adam
09-23-2015, 09:21 PM
Perhaps they ignored you because you chided them?
Elaborate please.
Makes no difference. They were lightweights I would not have wanted to argue with. Erose for example, a rather fatuous Roman Catholic.

whag
09-24-2015, 07:10 AM
Makes no difference. They were lightweights I would not have wanted to argue with. Erose for example, a rather fatuous Roman Catholic.

So you chided them with no intention of having a discussion with them?

Adam
09-24-2015, 12:31 PM
I won't dignify such crap with a response.

Tassman
09-25-2015, 02:49 AM
So you chided them with no intention of having a discussion with them?

But it's fun to chide, it makes one feel so superior. :teeth:

Adam
09-25-2015, 11:57 AM
Go see for yourself. Erose was not worth interacting with, too starchy.

Adam
09-25-2015, 02:32 PM
It was in the "Traditional Theology" sub-forum there at ChristianForums.com, labeled something like "Temptations to sin". I can't be more specific because I am banned for six months before I can even enter there. (I can readily understand why various for a ban members, but don't understand why they are not just forbidden to post, but even to sign on. Something about technicalities of actually controlling whether the banned person can be stopped at the gates but not from entering the shops once in?)
Another way to find him once registering there is to use the "Search" feature within the profile page of the member whose name you click on. Find where he posted within "Traditional Theology". Or do the same with me ("Korah", a name I picked not as an anti-Semite in opposing Moses but because I am truly a rebel of the most thorough kind) and where I posted within what seems like the right thread name.

SovereignOfSilence
09-26-2015, 09:56 PM
This is just one of my many questions. See I am on the fence about Christianity. I believe in God and Jesus but I am not sure if Christianity is the right path. Still deciding.

whag
09-27-2015, 12:44 AM
This is just one of my many questions. See I am on the fence about Christianity. I believe in God and Jesus but I am not sure if Christianity is the right path. Still deciding.

It sounds like you might be asking the wrong questions and making the wrong assumptions. For instance, it's not true that Christianity insists that "something that's not understood or unknown is of the devil."

The range of belief in Christianity is wide and flexible. You can easily dismiss the dumb assumptions that some wings of Christianity hold. If you already believe in God and Jesus, that can be your basis from which to construct a view that works for you.