On several occasions, I’ve left comments on other blogs I follow that one day I would write more about how the belief in Satan developed. As it turns out, after looking back through my post history, I discovered I’ve written about “The Devil” a number of times. Much of what I wrote was when my blog was comparatively new and I had few visitors … and even less comments.
Rather than start from scratch, I decided to simply copy and paste some of the posts … starting with this one that I wrote in July of 2011:
The gullibility of people never ceases to amaze me! But then, teachings that have been around several centuries are hard to shake. And group mentality/consciousness can be very strong.
The show spotlighted several individuals who believed they were ‘possessed’ by the devil because they had ‘opened themselves up’ to his powers.
Some of them apparently got rid of the “Evil One” by retching into paper bags. Others relied on specially trained members of the Catholic Church to rid them of the “Prince of Darkness” through exorcism.
Believers say the Devil’s greatest trick is convincing people he doesn’t exist. Guess I’ve been hornswoggled because I, for one, do not believe in his existence. This is not to say there isn’t evil in the world, but is there a powerful and terrifying supernatural being promoting and generating that evil? Is there truly a supernatural entity with the power to “possess” people and control their actions? Is there some unseen spirit lurking in the shadows of humankind, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting individuals?
The facts are this: Satan was contrived during the post-exilic period by some creative Jewish writers to explain why the people were suffering under the rule of foreign nations. Obviously, they couldn’t blame Yahweh for their misfortune, so voila! The Big Bad Guy was born. (Zoroastrianism and Greek philosophy helped.) And, as we have seen, this malevolent monster has grown and thrived over the centuries.
Don’t believe me? Do the research. I did.
As time permits, I’ll post some other “oldies” that offer some insights on “Satan” and his development within Christianity. In the meantime, if you have questions related to the Big Bad Guy, please include them in the comment section and I’ll see what I can do to answer them in a future post.
Of course, for a full review of my perspective on Satan, I invite you to read my book. 🙂