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Echolily
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since 07-31-99
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0 posted 07-31-99 12:45 PM       View Profile for Echolily   Email Echolily   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Echolily

okay folks maybe you can help me out here I know that I am new to actually getting feedback on my ideas..=0)..please bear with me.
Isn't quite possible for "God" and "satan/Lucifer/Beelzebub/devil" to be ( so to speak) working together? What I mean by this is IF "God" is the supreme ruler of the universe and there beyond;all-knowing and omnipotant...then it is reasonable to believe that in owning this powerful title: "God" knows all outcomes.
Being "God" (or the most common version of)wants what is best for all humankind..in doing so we( or them depending on how we view it)ascribe to the belief that we follow a set of "rules" or virtues/morals that help us become enlightened and better indivduals. "Gods" desired outcome. ( I am definately generalizing to try and get my point across without taking up too much space =0)..)
So isn't it reasonable to assume that the "devil" could very well be a tool useful to "God" in getting humankind to realize the error of our ways. ( Satan tempts us into evil,which inevitably hurts us in the long run{ or so the story goes} and we then learn to ascribe to more safe ways of existance by avoiding hurt that has been caused by " falling into temptation".)
Therefore isn't it possible that the typical role of "satan" could be viewed on a different level..I mean how do we know that " God " and "satan" are actually in this whole thing together?
Could it be that in believing that " satan" is doing good works we are going against our deeply ingrained religous beliefs that we where all taught in sunday school? Are we so blinded by this fact that we cannot logically accept another interpretation ?
I am in no way advocating or supporting any "satanic" practices. Just wondering.=0)..
Thanks to any of you who are STILL reading this.
Echolily
Nectar
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since 06-09-99
Posts 18
Pensacola, Florida


1 posted 08-01-99 01:52 AM       View Profile for Nectar   Email Nectar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nectar

I don't believe that we are supposed to know. I also do not think that humans will ever know. Yes, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent but that entails he being able to choose what to and what not to do. If he allows satan to live and corrupt, who are we to tell him he is wrong? If he and satan are "in this together" aren't we better off for it? I believe that looked at in its most pure form the only thing that separates us from other animals is our ability to choose. Animals reason just as we do, but almost all of their actions are purely instinct, they have no free thought. God chose to give us the ability to think freely. Maybe satan is an entity that we as humans created on our own. After all, you cannot have good without evil, can you? You cannot see black, and know it is black, unless you have seen white. It is very confusing for everyone because on this earth we are as gods. By our physical prowess, humans would be extinct now. We do not have claws, razor-sharp teeth, or pretty much any defense...except for our minds. In that we have become the top predator. We own the earth. To some people, that is being a god, and they cannot understand that there might indeed be something or someone more powerful than they. To others this produces fear. Fear of the power of free thought. Personally, I belive this fear led people to believe, not create, in God. I believe God exists and always has, and his benevolent and loving nature allowed him to give us the gift of thought. I see that I have rambled, but I will address the original question (hopefully). I think that if satan and God were "working together" then we have all been duped, and no one would believe in a deity that would do that. A good example: the ancient Greeks. There gods were anthropomorphic and now their religion is taught in history books. That kind of deception is characteristic of man, not a god. Be that God, Allah, Buddah, etc. That is why they are gods and we are men.

Thanks for the question to turn my rusty gears. -Nectar
Tinu
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2 posted 08-01-99 01:38 PM       View Profile for Tinu   Edit/Delete Message      Click to visit Tinu's Home Page   View IP for Tinu

Well, it's tough to say. As a spirtualist I study all religions, but for now, let's take Christianity.

In the book of Job, God is having a conversation with Satan, saying how great a follower he is. But Satan says, yeah, cuz you blessed him! So God turns Job over to the hand of Satan to prove how loyal he is- he says take from him, but do not touch his person.

So, working together, maybe, maybe not. But working in the same field for different, competing corporations... I could see that.

In fact, when you take it out of religion and into spirituality, consider the work of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer in How to Get What You Really, Really, Really, Really, Want.

There's a part on the audio tape where they say that whatever you focus your thoughts on, you get. So, if that's true, if you want to be thin, but focus on hating yourself fat, you will keep being fat and keep hating yourself. SO, good and evil are working together to conspire against you, but only because you mistakenly directed them to.

In that way, yeah, I think the forces of Good and Evil, in whatever way you choose to see them, are working together, but competitively.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 10-30-1999 03:49 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Actually, I wrote a paper on this subject in college. I compared Milton's 'Paradise Lost' with his 'On Christian Doctrine'. The two pieces actually contradict each other concerning this question.


I may be incorrect but doesn't CS Lewis also talk about this a little bit?
Ron
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4 posted 10-30-1999 04:02 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

As does Anne Rice's latest vampire novel...
Systematic Decay
Senior Member
since 09-15-99
Posts 1312
That place with padded walls a


5 posted 10-30-1999 05:07 PM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

I am in no way validating or invalidating Christian beliefs here, but if they were true:

It seems to me that yes, Satan and God would be working together, the same way santa claus and the proverbial "lump of coal" work together. Cause and effect. Because you were a bad kid, you do not get presents from Santa, but a lump of coal. Because you sin and don't repent, you go to hell.

Satan is, in my opinion, a tool that is used to direct us towards the more accepted belief of God. I also think that satan and God are used to manipulate our behavior as much as Santa (or the allowance, or good grade card reward) and the lump of coal (or the time iut, or the grounding)are used to manipulate children's behavior.

For all I know, there may be a God, there may not be. And I know this statement I am about to make might piss a lot of people off, BUT: I will care about God when it is proven that he exists, and furthermore, that he cares about me.

Forgive me for meandering from the original subject.

------------------
"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."
-Billy Corgan-
Munda
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since 10-08-1999
Posts 3629
The Hague, The Netherlands


6 posted 10-30-1999 07:08 PM       View Profile for Munda   Email Munda   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Munda's Home Page   View IP for Munda

I believe there is "Good" and there is "Evil" and I do believe we always have a choice. I call them God and Satan, but they have many, many names. Do they work together ? I don't know, it could be, why not, but nobody has an answer to that. Nobody ever came back to tell us what is true and what isn't. Heck, maybe I should carry a towel with me, just in case we do get destroyed some day. Maybe were are nothing more than an experiment.(good old Douglas !) Who knows !
I did read some fantasy novels once about a truly evil character and in order to survive he had to do good ! I even felt sorry for the poor bucker ! Does that make me evil ? Gosh, this only gives more questions ! : ) I guess I better leave it at this, as I am getting very confused myself here. : )
I hope you'll find the answers what to believe, or not, within yourself some day.

Munda
Arnold M
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since 09-05-2004
Posts 128


7 posted 08-20-2005 09:42 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

To all: My input, I must say, will be from the perspective of what I see revealed in the Bible.  In reading the posts, the thread of thought is, yeah, it may be possible, but we really can't know.

First of all, I see God as having other attributes, such as: unlimited love and grace.  How it is that He created humans in His image and after His likeness, and knowing the consequence, put them in the paradise in Eden with the two trees, and allowed Satan in the form of a serpent to tempt Eve who ate of the forbidden fruit and gave it to Adam who also ate, with the consequence being DEATH.  The dying process started and Adam died 930 years later.

I believe God planned it all: to reveal the greatest kind of love in redeeming humanity from death and sin.  And it is all from God.
Man sins and falls short of God's glory, and of his own free will does not seek God.

I understand that God created an adversary, Satan, the devil, who, according to Hebrews 2:15, has the might of death.  But this is only temporary, for Christ, through His death will be discarding or paralyzing Satan at the proper time.

So, I don't believe Satan is a willing partner of God.  But, like evil in the world, Satan is a foil against which God's immense love and grace will shine forth.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


8 posted 08-21-2005 01:03 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“I see you coming and going upon the trembling of the Earth
as in the world’s first days, but great is the difference,
my work is no longer within me.
I have given it entirely to you.

Men, my beloved, I am powerless in your misfortunes,
I could give you only tears and your courage,
which are the warm evidence of God’s existence.
The moisture in your soul is what you have left of me.
I could do no more. I could do nothing
for the mother whose son is going to die
except give light to you, candles of hope.
If it were not so, would you know,
you undefended little beds, the paralysis of children.

I am cut off from my work,
what is finished is far away and goes further still each day.
When the brook runs down from the mountain
can there be any going back?

I can no more speak to you than a potter can speak to his pot,
of the two one is deaf, the other dumb before his handiwork
and I see you advancing towards blinding precipices
and cannot even identify them for you,
and I cannot hint to you how you should set about them,
you must get yourself out of trouble alone like orphans in the snow.

And I tell myself each day beyond a vast silence:
‘There’s another doing wrong what he could do right,
another stumbling by not looking where he should,
and here’s another
leaning much too far over his balcony, forgetting gravity,
and that one who hasn’t checked his engine,
farewell aeroplane, farewell man!’
I can do no more for you,
alas if I repeat myself it is through enduring it. . .”

From: God’s Sadness
By  Jules Supervielle
Stephanos
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9 posted 08-21-2005 05:36 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

That poem seems to paint God as one who is good and "wants" to help, but is powerless to do so.  


The Biblical view is that Satan (being a creature of God) will ultimately serve God's ends to bring about a renewed world and destroy evil.  I think if there's a human mirror of this concept, it's Judas Iscariot.  His betrayal, as evil as it was, was instrumental in bringing about the very event that the New Testament delares is central to redemption and salvation.  If a man's actions, by the grace of God, could result in that, what might a fallen angel's actions accomplish under the providence of God?  While God is not responsible for the evil of the Satanic side of things, he is not unable to use it for the good.


Stephen.    
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


10 posted 08-21-2005 07:55 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Stephen,

“That poem seems to paint God as one who is good and "wants" to help, but is powerless to do so. “

No seems about it; that’s exactly what it is saying.

I just don’t see how you can reconcile “goodness”
with omnipotence in the face of the Holocaust
or a nine year old girl raped and buried alive
in a forest in Florida.
Stephanos
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11 posted 08-21-2005 02:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,


Wouldn't sensless killing, rape, and murder, indicate a deviation from goodness?  And if so, where does that standard of goodness originate?  Your observations leave only three options ... 1) Trust God who cannot be directly linked with evil  2) Trust in humanity, though humanity can be directly linked with evil.  3) Trust in no one, man or God, since man is ephemeral and there is no God, and distinctions of good and evil are illusory.  


In a sense Supervielle chooses #2, even though humanity is immediately culpable.  He trusts his own ideas of goodness, contrary to the evils from his very own kindred.  But if man is so evil, why trust his own standard of goodness?  Supervielle seems to try and sidestep the problem by siphoning just enough of absolute goodness from God, to turn 'round and condemn him with it.  He doesn't accept the whole counsel of God's word.  He doesn't take into account all of the historical and personal affirmations of deliverances and help, or even the promises of deliverance.  But isn't this just another way of saying that he doesn't believe in God?  So it seems to me he's stuck with #3 after all.  But the problem with that is, he has no real basis for moral indignation by which to charge God with weakness or negligence.  


So I don't see how you can reconcile the goodness of your own judgement, with Auschwitz, or with the rape and murder you mentioned, apart from God ... because it was, after all, your very own kind that did those things.  We are sinners, and I really don't see what grounds we have to hold God in contempt for things we've done.  


We can't hold him responsible.  And yet he willingly took responsibility on the cross, for those who want to see.  Remember how one crucified theif asked Christ in humility to remember him, and the other railed on him and mocked him, saying "If you are the Son of God, save yourself and us."?  The other theif replied "Don't you fear God?  since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong."  (Luke 23:35-43).


What you are saying, reminds me of Ivan's conversation with Alyosha in "The Brothers Karamazov", just before the "Grand inquisitor" chapter.  Just like the two thieves, Alyosha and Ivan represent two totally different mindsets toward God.  But as Alyosha was Dostoevsky's hero of the story, so I think one mindset will be vindicated.  


Don't misunderstand, I sympathize and wrestle with the problem of evil too.  I know about Heartbreak Hotel, for my heart cries at what injustices I see.  But I also understand, that since I myself am a part of that evil (in the flesh), I have no basis or right to protest against God on account of that evil.  But I do have the right to appeal to him in seeking, and in prayer.  Especially if, as I believe, he has acted at all in the past, and has promised to do so in the future.        


Stephen.            
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


12 posted 08-21-2005 11:58 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Stephen,

Oh, I think it’s 1).

Supervielle does not condemn God, he absolves him.
It is this belief in his omnipotence that condemns him.
Man is left  to use the talents and abilities given in
the first irretrievable act as he will.  God may hope,
but physically he can not help.  I have no problem
with that.   It seems to me that this obsession with
God’s omnipotence is founded on a fear that if he
is unable to save one in life he may be equally
incapable in death.

John
Stephanos
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13 posted 08-22-2005 05:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Oh, I think it’s 1).  Supervielle does not condemn God, he absolves him.

But this kind of "absolving" is itself condemned in the Bible, isn't it?  It reminds me of a pretentious lover who says, "I'm leaving you because you're too good for me".  Would you really buy that?  It seems to me like a false humility, because it attempts to ascribe to God good motives, but only at the expense of maligning his ability. (Translated: he's an icompetent buffoon, but he's got a good heart).  That might be reasonable, if it didn't ignore so much of what God has done in time-space, and in history ... but even if it were true, you could hardly call such a being "God".  That little omnipotent clause is sort of bound in the Judeo-Christian view of God, just as much as the omni-benevolence part.  


Also, if God can't "touch" his creation, having no hands, then how did he make it to start with?  Supervielle will have a hard time justifying his statement that the work of God is "no longer" within himself.  Why this melancholy division?  What changed?  What created law or rule of God which couldn't prevent him previously, has bound him now?  While Supervielle entertains the thought that things were once different, you talk about it as if it were some kind of metaphysical first-principle, that prevents God from action.  In that much you differ from Supervielle?  However if you could be persuaded that Supervielle was right about the dispensational / pro-tempore nature of God's ability to save ... would you want to believe him?  Knowing that God once saved, onced acted, are you sure that S. is right about him not being able to do so ever again?  Are you prepared to accept what that means for us all, and for you in particular?


The difficult thing about it all, is that even among the pious and faithful, since the beginning, there have been seasons in which God withheld blessing.  There have been "Job" experiences, both national and individual, too countless to number.  And even among the "faithful" there have been doubts and musings about whether God has cut off his mercies forever.  Here's a bit of Hebrew poetry to illustrate that:


"I cried out to God for help.  
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord.
At night, I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted
... My heart mused, and my spirit inquired:
'Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?'
Then I thought, 'To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
"

(Psalm 77:1-2,7-12)


This in my opinion is the more difficult, but ultimately better conclusion to come to.  It's too easy to want to preserve some kind of sterile, clinical, "goodness" about God, while rejecting the stormy, dramatic, breathtaking and romantic kind of goodness that we are presented with in the divine record.  The best of lovers' relationships are stormy and may have moments of estrangement ... misconceptions ... mystery and the rest.  Will we "remember", or let doubt harden into unbelief?  I have reason to believe that hopeful waiting will be rewarded, because it's happened to me, and to others:


"I waited patiently for the LORD.
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire.
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD
"

(Psalm 40:1-3)


And remember, John, we are the ones who are directly culpable for much of the evil we see, therefore should we wonder if things are stormy?  Should we wonder why things aren't just automatic?  Why it took such a dramatic and puzzling cure as the cross?


As far as Supervielle goes, I would be cautious of his views on this (doubtless he is a great poet-  but sometimes the art is superior to the philosophy it cradles).  Even Judas said "I have betrayed innocent blood", but no one remembers him as the "absolver" of God, but as betrayer.  That kind of "silver" was thrown back at his own feet.  

      
Sorry if I ranted,

but I wanted to try to express my thoughts

Stephen.
        
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


14 posted 08-22-2005 06:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Stephen,

“Are you prepared to accept what that means for us all, and for you in particular?”

I’ve personally come to a place in my life
where I am no more afraid of death than I am of sleep;
dying is the hard part; doing it badly is my fear.

As for everyone else, as a once deliberate atheist
take comfort in my having reason to doubt that disbelief.

Rant all you want Stephen; just no locusts.

John


Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


15 posted 08-22-2005 06:26 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,

I wish you'd address some of my points in a little more detail.


However just know, that if I offer you locusts, I'll try to always offer them with some honey.  


Stephen.
LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


16 posted 08-23-2005 10:08 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

very interesting thread you have going here, and if I may, would like to add...as some of you say, I to, believe that God does not wave any magic wands...he's placed us here and given us life, it is up to us to choose.  Which opens a door to another thought, does he ever intervene...performing miracles...or perhaps his angels do that job for him?  I don't know, but do know, that I've had quit a few miracles happen in my life.  

and without me sounding off like a hypocrate, Stephen   after our last conversation, if the Bible is correct it speaks somewhere of when we die, we stand before the Lord and we will be our own judge, meaning, everything we've done wrong, and contributed to good will at that moment be remembered and perhaps evaluated, if you will.  Perhaps the Book of Life or Akashic Records if you will?
Stephen,

quote:

I’ve personally come to a place in my life
where I am no more afraid of death than I am of sleep;
dying is the hard part; doing it badly is my fear.



Can't help but agree with you on that one...and my same fear...adding, for some reason, I believe, that every single individual person has a journey right up until their last breath...perhaps time to get things right with oneself, and God, perhaps to repent?  But I believe this dying process must not be tampered with...why?  I dunno?

as far as Satan and God working together, could be, b/c no matter what happens, there is always good that comes from the bad? In the end, it all works out, doesn't it?


Arnold M
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since 09-05-2004
Posts 128


17 posted 08-27-2005 09:48 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen:  Your, so-called "ranting" was really excellent.  I appreciate how you expressed your feelings and thoughts. That mankind is mainly the source of evil, and I understand that during the ages, this is allowed. But I see God, the Master Artist, at work at work on His canvas, stretched out over the scaffold of the ages, which will culminate with Christ Jesus having put all enemies "under his feet", thus, reconciling all to Himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, will turn over his reign to God the Father, that God may be all in all.  Then the scaffold will be taken away and the blessings of peace and harmony throughout the universe will be unending.
See 1 Cor.15:20-28; Eph.1:7-10; Phil.2:6-11; Col.1:18-20.

God bless,  Arnold
 
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