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Did Satan Make Christianity?

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posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:42 AM
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According to the Bible, Methuselah lived to be 969-years-old, but Satan is certainly much older than that. The exact birth, patronage, and age of Satan are unknown - but give the Devil his due; he’s been around for quite some time. The entire concept of the Devil - an immoral polar opposite to God - is a uniquely Christian idea. Other religions, including Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, tell stories of mischievous, naughty spirits that cause trouble from time to time, but a singular entity devoted to evil is a purely Christian creation. The thesis of this editorial is that Satan’s presence and strange quest for evil helped transform Christianity from a small, offshoot religion into the most dominant faith on earth.

Now, questions regarding Satan’s origins and ancestry are very important, for they provide clues about his motivation and degree of power in the Christian theology. Is Satan an equal of God? Is he the exact antithesis of God? Is he a celestial free agent or always under God’s control? Ancient civilizations viewed good and evil as part and parcel, two sides of the same coin. They believed the two worked in unison. Originally our Judeo-Christian theology thought the same thing. In the Old Testament, God represented both good and evil. He wiped out all of humanity, sans Noah and his kin. He turned Lot’s wife into a smoldering pillar of salt. He flew into angry rages and needed to be calmed by His prophets. But God’s personality underwent a metamorphosis in the New Testament. Rather than representing both good and evil, God became only an agent of only good. Evil, terror, pestilence, and death became the province of Satan, a creature largely ignored in the Old Testament, probably because God Himself claimed responsibility for Satan’s duties. In the New Testament, Satan is an evil force, arguably second just to Jesus Christ in terms of importance.

In the early days of Christianity, Satan was viewed as God’s equal, the yin to his yang, someone uncontrollable - even by God Himself. This was a fear-mongering tactic used by missionaries to convert the pagans - they’d preach to a largely uneducated, rural populous that Satan was a cunning, powerful deity plotting their ruin and destruction, responsible for all the evils of the earth. Only Jesus, they preached, could protect them from this sinister creature. This served as a powerful caveat for conversion, for although heavenly salvation is a nice thing to look forward to, it can’t be appreciated until after one dies. Your conversion to Jesus, by contrast, protected you and your loved ones from Satan while you’re alive and can appreciate it. As a nightmarish foil, the character of Satan played a pivotal role in Christianity becoming the most dominant religion on earth; he was the difference-maker that separated Christianity from all the competing faiths. But a vexing problem existed with the idea of Satan as a complete free agent, wholly unanswerable to the deity who made him: It meant that either God was impotent to prevent evil or indifferent to our suffering, for either He lacked the power necessary to protect us from Satan’s evil transgressions... or He just didn’t care enough about us to intervene. So by the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, mainstream Christianity moved away from Satan as an autonomous equal to God, portraying him instead as either a fictional literary device or a defrocked angel of minimal importance. Modern Christianity has almost completely removed Satan from theological discussion and today, you’re more likely to find Satan impishly lurking as a cartoon character in a television advertisement than as the focal point of a church sermon. Coinciding with the Devil’s demise as a ‘real’ creature, Christianity’s success as an evangelical faith capable of widespread conversion has plummeted... and other religions, such as Islam, have taken its place.

Why did Christianity become the single most dominant religion of the Western world, utterly devouring everything in its path? How did Christianity emerge as the greatest, most successful religion ever devised by humankind? Why not Judaism? Why not Islam? Why not Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shintoism, Zoroastrian, or Animism? In the field of sociology, we believe that all human actions can be explained, so the reason behind Christianity’s success is certainly of academic interest to all those with even a modicum of interest in religion. So what makes Christianity so successful? Christianity’s ethics and morals aren’t stridently dissimilar from Judaism, its faith in God and desire to convert nonbelievers no different than Islam. But the one Christian concept that was completely unlike all others was the idea of the Devil - a fallen angel who steals souls and feeds on carnage and evil. Historically speaking, Satan made Christianity what it is today and deserves nearly as much credit for its success as Jesus Christ. This might not be music to the ears of those deafened by ethnocentrism and their own personal biases, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Christianity owes the Devil a tremendous debt of gratitude.




posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:59 AM
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I think it is more that Christianity owes the man who created the concept of the Devil gratitude, and also the fact that fear is the biggest factor in human day to day life.

Fear is what drives us to do most of the things we do. Fear of not having a nice home forces us to go to work. Fear of being criticized forces us to attempt to conform with society. Fear of the unknown forces us to put up with mediocrity. Fear of failure forces us to drive ourselves for more and more success. Fear of Satan forces us to be "good" people etc.

Satan is merely the combination of all that is "bad". God, is the combination of all that is "good" (the yin/yang theory) and of course 'satan' has been around a long long time - it is human behaviour that creates him with the wrongdoings that take place everywhere, everyday. Christianity and all the heirachy behind it rely on those wrongdoings to prove Satan's existance. If only mankind could see that without its own greed/lust/evil acts etc, Religion wouldn't have anything to bribe us with.

Its worked brilliantly, I have to congratulate whomever it was that created the Devil persona. Unfortunately, I doubt that any 'good' entity, God or otherwise, would want us to be driven by this negitivity. Unfortunately, fear does more harm than good overall.



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:31 PM
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You are wrong on many points. One mainly, God has never represented the good & evil. God still does things and promises he will do things that humans consider to be evil, including destroying the world again, this time by fire. Thus your statement that God transformed into a representation of only good is entirely wrong. Also, Satan or The Devil has never been viewed as God's equal. The story of Job is in the old testament & says that The Devil has to go before God and ask his permission before he is allowed to do any "evil" to one of his children/flock or whatever name one desires to refrence believers as. The Devil & other various devils are mentioned plenty in the old testament, it just seems like more in the new testament because it is basically a collection of the same story told by different people & some letters of paul. Though it is true what you say about monks & such using fear to control/convert people.



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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Well guys, Satan was never really conceived as a manichaen "Arch-enemy" of God in the early Christian church, in fact that was one of the main points of dispute Eusebius, Ireneus of Lyons, and other early church fathers had with heretics such as the gnostics. Satan however quickly absorbed many of the characteristics of the pagan deities of Europe (much like he did previously with the high priests equating him with Bel of Canaan and the Gods of Babylon), this was largely due to the fact that the Hebrews perceived most pagan cults as derived from Cherubim worship (and the link is actually there if you do the research, it's not just a neat little trick to discredit your opponents and demolish the competition, there actually is an interesting link between organized pagan worship and what we call the "Bad Elohim" of the bible). I think Satan's role is however pretty overestimated by most Christians in our time, but since he is a tester of faith and has been delegated this world for certain key duties before he is bound up, we just can't ignore him completely. On that note I'd like to thank Satan for attempting to destroy the early church in Rome (but having it backfire and allowing Christianity to conquer the known world), I'd like to thank him for attempting to destroy our scriptures during the Dark Ages (but again backfiring and having them preserved by the reformers and their predecessors), and so forth. Thank you Satan, your futile attempts to crown yourself the sovereign of Heaven actually seal your fate even further (you shall worship your Lord God whether you like it or not)


[edit on 18-2-2006 by Nakash]



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by Dr Isaac Yankem DDS
Why did Christianity become the single most dominant religion of the Western world, utterly devouring everything in its path?


Because some clever fellow convinced Constantine to convert.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 11:29 PM
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Good one, but Constantine never converted, he instead worshipped Helios which is why the Catholic church holds so much paganism (he was their first pope). Nope, Christianity spread all the way to China by the second century (recently a group of Buddhist Monasteries was found in the Szechuan province of the said country dating to the 4th century A.D., interesting thing is that they found something more ancient underneath those monasteries. Christian churches. China's alphabet is in fact a lesson in Christianity, do your research on each of the character's symbolisms). Matthew died in Ethiopia, other apostles died in India, Phyrgia, and other remote corners. Christianity was destined for it's fate. Nothing can stop God.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 11:38 PM
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If you are referring to the religion of Christianity - yes, Satan did create that. No one hates religion more than Jesus does. Religion is all about self-justification, what you do to be good enough to be accepted by God.
That is a satanic self-delusion. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ and following His spirit in the purity of His Word, no, Satan can't touch that.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:00 AM
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If what you mean is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and salvation/eternal life is by his atoning sacrifice alone I agree. The Babylonian Catholic superchurch system and the Pat Robertson protestant money changers are the problem.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 07:45 AM
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Originally posted by Dr Isaac Yankem DDS
According to the Bible, Methuselah lived to be 969-years-old, but Satan is certainly much older than that. The exact birth, patronage, and age of Satan are unknown - but give the Devil his due; .....

Why did Christianity become the single most dominant religion of the Western world, utterly devouring everything in its path? How did Christianity emerge as the greatest, most successful religion ever devised by humankind? Why not Judaism? Why not Islam? Why not Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shintoism, Zoroastrian, or Animism?


Why would satan have patronage? He is a fallen angel, unless my information is wrong.

Also In the world as a whole, the numbers of people who claim to be Christians is similar to the number of muslims etc. I say claim to be as some people who claim to be christian aren't, thay just say they are and don't really believe it.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by Nakash
Christianity spread all the way to China by the second century


Regardless, it was not the dominant world religion until it became the official religion of the Holy Roman Empire, at which point it was spread by force. That threshold traces its way back to Constantine.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Christianity was the dominant religion of Africa before it spread to Rome (and then the World). You once again need to brush up on your history my friend, also just because you hate Christians doesn't mean they spread their religion by force- which they didn't (there were in fact 8 attempted genocides of Christian populations until Constantine). The competition between the North African and Roman church was a central dispute of early Catholics in fact (and a preocupation of the primordial Catholic theologian Augustine of Hippo who found himself in the middle of the disagreement).


[edit on 20-2-2006 by Nakash]



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Nakash
Christianity was the dominant religion of Africa


I thought this conversation was about the world dominance of Christianity in the present, not geographical diversity or regional domination in the past.

Besides, while it's true that Christianity had a stronghold in Africa prior to the Holy Roman Empire, it was far from being the dominant religion. Before you instruct me to study up on history, you might want to at least have your facts straight.



posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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The first recorded monotheistic religion is from ancient Egypt. Akhenaten (a.k.a. The Heretic Pharoh) invented it and worshipped the Sun God Aten. As to why, I think it had more to do with taking power away from the priests and giving it back to the Pharoh (since it was the family that were the only ones allowed to speak for the Aten.

Anyway, monotheism took off from there and eventually Christianity came about. If you really look in to the religion itself and all the other religions that were before and even after it, its taken ideas from those other religions to form it's own. (Look at the Pagan holidays, Epic of Gilgamesh, etc)

So, do I think Satan invented Chrisitanity...NO. You would have to have some belief in Christianity in order to even think there was a Satan.

My favorite saying I ever found was on a bumper sticker...It's your hell, you burn in it!
I think it kinda implies the same thing I just stated...you have to believe in order for it to exist.



posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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I thought this conversation was about the world dominance of Christianity in the present, not geographical diversity or regional domination in the past.


Actually it wasn't, your claim was that the Roman empire provided some sort of supernatural impetus for Christianity to spread across the globe. Incorrect, Christianity was present throughout many lands before Rome, though Rome's conversion undoubtably aided the processe.






Besides, while it's true that Christianity had a stronghold in Africa prior to the Holy Roman Empire, it was far from being the dominant religion.


Wrong again- it was. Most of the African population lived within North Africa, a solidly Christian "stronghold" to paraphrase your words. Africa was one of the first regions to undergo a major revival, it remained solidly Christian until ethnic cleansing in Egypt and Palestine by the Mohammedans (Palestine was a major stronghold of Christendom until the 8th century).





Before you instruct me to study up on history, you might want to at least have your facts straight.


My facts are straight, but your ad hominem attacks show your lack of instruction within this field.

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Nakash]



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 04:00 AM
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Nakash,

How did you escape the drivel that mostly passes for history today???
What you post about the history of God's Church is pretty much what I know about it.

The North African Churchs were pretty well thinned out under the Diocletian persecutions about 200 AD and what were left was pretty thin.
THey were also coming under attack and infiltration by the Gnostic sects claiming to be Christian when they were not. To my knowlege these gnostic sects became the Hellenic Pharisees operating out of Alexandria, Egypt. Eventually this Gnostic logic and reason was adopted by Rome after Constantine came on the scene.

Amazing to me to constantlly watch posters here try to put Rome in first place as if Rome represents all of Christianity by default. Rome must automatically play through unchallanged in history.

My limited knowlege is that Christianity is not spread by the sword...meaning any group which does is not Christian at all but a counterfit appearing to be Christian on the surface but underneath are something else.

Compare the history of the Romanish Church to Islam which is spread by the Sword. "May the Sword of Islam rest upon the neck of the Infidel". How does this differ from the history of Rome..and the Roman Church??
This is not the Christian instruction for making converts. Yet many by logic and reason try to make Rome represent all of Christianity by some kind of default setting to play through. I just know a different history of events than this type of default. I see this trend repeated over and over by unbelievers...it is like a fingerprint..you can see it over and over if you know just a little history.

My knowlege of the Lords Church is that it spread up through Syria, Turkey, into Europe and the Eastern Orthadox areas..Not through Rome.
This is the origins of the Byzantine Texts. Stephanus Text..not the Codex B or Sainaticus.

I know also that Christianity was spread through out many lands before the advent of Rome and Constantine.

By the way..I am not aware that Christianity is the dominant religion in the world today..where does this concept come from that Christianity is the dominant religion? Nor do I believer that Christianity was ever the dominant religion...ever. Paganism with all its variations dominated the world..for most of history ..still does today. I cant imagine what some people are thinking.

Keep up the good work Nakash.

Thanks,
Orangetom



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