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The Origin of Satan

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“The Book of Job, of course, refers to pre-fall Satan. After the Fall (which took place [entered the mythology] before Christianity but after Job's day), Satan refused to reascend to the hall of the Lord and instead decided to do things for himself below the moon and thus rule there. In ancient Jewish Angelology this is intelligible, since the angels were granted godlike powers and sent below to do God's bidding (since it was vulgar to even imagine God himself taking on a body or mingling with corrupt matter, hence he had to carry out his will through intermediaries—indeed, some Jewish sects took the logical step of believing that creation was accomplished by such a mediary). Thus, once an angel decided not to obey God anymore, he could indeed set up rule down here, thus necessitating God's plan of sending another mediary to depose the rebel. It should be clear how the Fall of Satan, a pre-Christian idea, *requires* a descending savior myth. Thus, it is hardly any surprise that several such myths would be formulated. This is a fact routinely overlooked by Evangelicals who think Christianity just came out of the blue and was completely novel and unexpected. To the contrary, it was inevitable.”

Oh irony of ironies. Christ is Satan’s shadow—and not the other way around! An afterthought and consequence. As Nietzsche observed, while master moralities focus first on what is good (powerful) and conceive of bad (not-good) only afterwards, a pale counterpart and a sort of lesser good—and thus are fundamentally creative—slave moralities focus first on what is evil (harmful) and conceive of good (not-evil) only afterwards, a pale counterpart and a sort of lesser evil—and thus are fundamentally reactive.

Satan is an essential character for Christianity, in some ways even more primary than Jesus. Without the threat of Satan, Sin, and Hell, a savior would serve no purpose. In order to convince people that they need Jesus to be connected to God, one first has to convince them that they are not already connected to God. And this has been the great goal of the missionaries—to recreate in each new culture they encounter the experience of separation, that their ideology may then become the bridge to salvation. But like they say in the song “Tear Me Down,” “There ain’t much of a difference, between a bridge and a wall.”

If you identify with the message of this article, please email it to people, tell your friends, even print out copies to pass around. Together we can raise awareness. Thank you.
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Ben Dench graduated valedictorian of his class from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in the Spring Semester of 2007 with a B.A. in philosophy (his graduation speech, which received high praise, is available on YouTube). He is currently (more...)

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"Where did the Christian concept of Satan com... by Sister Begonia on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 7:38:12 PM
and they needed a bad guy to scare the marks... by Jeff Harris on Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 8:25:38 AM
The more people think about Satan, the more real h... by John Haigh on Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 9:09:51 AM