Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why do some Christians have such a deep belief in Satan?

The other day I wrote that I can't turn on my computer without finding something bizarre or goofy written by a Christian. I'm coming to the conclusion that the more a Christian is concerned with "the Dark Side," the more strange and more annoying he or she is. It's the zealots — the anti-Mason, anti-Trilateral, anti-liberal, anti-Mormon, anti-Wiccan, anti-freedom conspiratorial crowd that always amuses and occasionally scares me. You know the ones... the junior-grade Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Ankerberg wannabes. It's as if they need Satan in their lives so they have something to fight against.

(And the lesson is not lost on me, as I apparently need them in my life so I have something to write about — or write against.)

Yet another pastor wants us to renounce Freemasonry. Pentacostal pal Pastor Jerry, of Lewiston, Idaho, is a staff member of a christianized version of MySpace called Your Christian Space. Today on his page he reprinted from Isaiah 54 Ministries a prayer he wants us to recite so we can "become free from the curses brought upon [our]selves and [our] bloodline because of involvement with Freemasonry and other secret organizations." I first came upon (and wrote about) this prayer's 12-page version in April 2006. It was on the website of a metro Atlanta church. Pastor Jerry's newer version says the author was Steven Selwyn from New Zealand.

Here's just one paragraph from this Prayer of Renouncement:
I renounce and forsake all involvement in Freemasonry or any other lodge or craft by my ancestors and myself. I renounce witchcraft, the principal spirit behind Freemasonry, and I renounce Baphomet, the Spirit of Antichrist and the curse of the Luciferian doctrine. I renounce the idolatry, blasphemy, secrecy and deception of Masonry at every level. I specifically renounce the insecurity, the love of position and power, the love of money, avarice or greed, and the pride that would have led my ancestors into Masonry. I renounce all the fears that held them in Masonry, especially the fears of death, fears of men, and fears of trusting in the name of Jesus Christ.
Woo hoo! Are we feeling better now?

Pastor Jerry claims he's been directed by the Holy Spirit to spend 2007 sending out a "daily devotional entitled 'Walking In The Fullness Of Our Inheritance.' These daily send outs will be focused on various topics concerning the true Christian life — with a view to one entering into the fullness of their precious inheritance, in Christ."

Thanks, Jer!

Apparently quite a few Christians are unhappy that Wiccan soldiers' military tombstones can now be marked with a pentacle. Jennifer Emick's altreligion.about.com gives several links to unhappy bloggers, including one who called the Veterans Administration's decision a "victory for Satan." Another is disgusted that his Christian relatives may have to take the Eternal Dirt Nap lying next to a "Satanist."

The comments section of the blog The Way We See It, which Jennifer links to, is rather interesting. The blogger asks a commenter why she gave up Christianity for Wicca. Her story is quite interesting; she gives him a helluva response. She was a deeply religious and very active Christian for much of her life, until she had a change of heart. It's comment number five.

Image: Grave markers at Arlington National Cemetary

UPDATE: I've joined My Christian Space, and already Pastor Jerry has asked to become my friend.

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7 comments:

  1. These types of Christians have a deep and burning desire for everyone else to share in their own personal delusions.

    It's not simply enough that you believe that 'Jesus Loves You'. You must believe that he died for your sins too. Who asked him to? Not me. I don't want anyone to die for me. Who said I was a sinner? I'm, generally speaking, a pretty nice guy.

    It doesn't stop there. You also have to believe in Hell. Because, if you don't believe in Hell than Jesus doesn't have anything to save you from.

    It's also not enough to believe in Hell without also believing in Satan. Even though I don't feel like a sinner, apparently, a lot of Christians think so of themselves. They believe they are born in sin and are constantly tempted by sin. When they succomb to sinful behavior they merely ask Christs forgiveness and all is forgotten.

    To even get into a debate with this kind of logic requires the participant to accept such nonsensical notions as facts.

    While the premise is so completely flawed out of the gate yet still these individuals fail to recongize how their own dogma creates heaven, hell, satan, and saviors, out of nothing.

    What amazes me is how few Christians reject this theology on moral grounds alone.

    Or, as I like to put it:

    "I would burn in hell before I believe in a God so vain, petty, insecure, and vindictive as to send to hell for the meaningless crime of failing to believe in him."

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  2. Jesusistanis are, first and foremost, congregated by the nature of their shared hatreds. They hate anything unlike them.

    If you scratch the surface of a Jesusistani, you often discover that some kind of monster lurks beneath the surface. It is my studied opinion that Jesusistanis spew their hatreds towards others in some kind of an attempt to keep you from looking too closely at THEM. But you know, the beast inside you will find some outlet, every time. You might be able to conceal it from view, or you might fall as Pastor Ted, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and many others have done. But you will eventually succumb.

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  3. it must be nice to have someone to always blame for everything (Satan).

    I've got it pretty rough, since I usually claim responsibility for my own actions - maybe I'm taking the hard route?

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  4. The comedian Flip Wilson made himself a household name using the tagline "The devil made me do it!"

    People love to have a scapegoat (Jesus) and someone to blame their miseries and their errors on (Satan).

    — W.S.

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  5. Bro. John,

    Your quote "I would burn in hell before I believe in a God so vain, petty, insecure, and vindictive as to send me to hell for the meaningless crime of failing to believe in him" would make a great T-shirt slogan, but the print would be pretty small.

    — W.S.

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  6. My experience with Christians is somewhat different. Perhaps it's because I live in the Northeast....

    My Mother In Law is a wonderful woman. She is also a Fundamentalist Christian. I use that term in a very narrow sense. She believes in Biblical inerrancy, and that Jesus is the sole method of salvation. She is not a religious intolerant. I do not share her beliefs, and she has never been anything but kind and loving and accepting of me.

    Me? I walked away from Christianity, (which is why I will never progress to the capstone of the York Rite), for reasons that can best be summed up by Robert Ingersoll's quotation: "If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.... What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena."

    TM

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  7. I renounce and forsake all involvement in Freemasonry or any other lodge or craft by my ancestors and myself

    Yeah, I'm proud of my bloodline in Freemasonry, and I wouldn't ever thinking of speaking on behalf of my ancestors.

    This entire thing is because churches have and will always feel in competition with Freemasonry (even though that isn't the case). At least that is my naive view.

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