Welcome to Satan Wrote the Bible blog. If this is your first time to Satan Wrote the Bible, please go to “About” first. And the two basic essays.
Welcome to Satan Wrote the Bible blog. If this is your first time to Satan Wrote the Bible, please go to “About” first. And the two basic essays.
I recently picked up Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins and couldn’t put it down. I may go back and reread his other books soon; so many laughs and such good thoughts like:
Of course, as long as there were willing followers, there would be exploitive leaders. And there would be willing followers until humanity reached that philosophical plateau where it recognized that its great mission in life had nothing to do with any struggle between classes, races, nations, or ideologies, but was, rather, a personal quest to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain. On that quest, politics was simply a roadblock of stentorian baboons.
While four of the Ten Commandments are bull shit and nothing a loving god would command there are some good things in the Bible. Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” That is from a god I could support. Jesus takes that up a notch in Matthew 6:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you…” What a guy!
The Bible should not be taken literally as it is mostly myth and what is not myth was passed down by word of mouth for generations before being written and the written word was copied by many different hands over and over. In that process embellishment has certainly occurred and some changes were made simply as an expedient of the time such as the date of the birth of Jesus. However, it is a mistake to throw out the good with the bad or to try to make the bad good because of the truisms. Those who believe in God should use their God-given mind to sort out the gems from the junk. Those who don’t believe in God can use their mind without the need of a creator.
Can you really respect a God that dished out the Ten Commandments? Would you respect a boss who laid down such commandments? How about if the leader of your country acted like God.
You got a new job; it was the only job available so you really had no choice and your boss is laying down the law
1. I am the boss. I am your only boss. You shall have no other boss than me, ever.
2. Don’t even think about another boss or another job. I am a jealous son of a bitch and if I ever catch one of you even thinking about leaving here you will regret it. Not only will I make your life miserable but I will make your family’s life miserable, even your grandchildren’s lives.
3. It’s OK for me to call myself a SOB but you better not call me anything but Mr. Boss and Sir and it better sound sincere—no snide remarks behind my back either because I can see and hear everything that goes on not only here at work but even in your homes.
4. I built this factory in six days, believe it or not. A little joke there. You don’t really have a choice. You must believe it. I found it a good thing to rest on the seventh day and what is good for me is good for you. You, too, shall do no work on the seventh day but rather you must spend the day thinking about me. You will have to fast on the seventh day because I forbid you from letting anyone else work either. Perhaps, you could eat any food that was lying around, you know, just so you don’t work or cause anyone else to work and as long as you are thinking of me. Maybe you could, like, pick up an apple and look at it and say, “oh, beloved boss of mine thank you for giving me a wonderful job so that I can have this day to love and respect you and thank you for allowing me to eat this apple.”
5. This may be a little difficult to follow because I am the supreme boss who you must honor but you should also honor your father and mother, just not as much as you honor me. They aren’t supreme bosses like I am but they are there when I’m not so I kind of relinquish some power to them, because, you know, I can’t be everywhere all the time. But don’t forget that my spy-cams are everywhere.
6. You are not allowed to kill another worker. That’s a no-brainer. Once you start working for me, you are mine and nobody, but nobody, takes anything that is mine. It’s good for you too since everybody else is also forbidden to kill (There will be some exceptions when I will tell you to kill people. More on that later.)
7. Don’t fuck anybody but your own spouse. I told you that I was jealous so it’s only natural that some of that trait might wear off on others. Anyway adultery is just not a good thing. It’s not good for company moral.
8. No stealing. Hey, would you want someone to steal from you? OK? So don’t steal.
9. Don’t say false things about your neighbor.
10. Do not covet anybody else’s house, ditto anybody else’s wife, or his servants or his SUV.
Got it? Any questions?
Yes, Sir. What does covet mean?
It means want, desire, get a hard-on for.
Oh. Sir, are the covet things listed in order of importance? I mean, is it more important not to covet his house than his wife? And if I can’t even desire my neighbor’s wife, isn’t the adultery thing redundant?
OK, time to get back to work.
Oh, oh, Mr. Boss. Are we allowed to lie?
Read number 9.
But that just says don’t spread untrue rumors about people.
It means don’t lie.
But why didn’t you…
Oh, I forgot number 11. No questions. Actually I didn’t forget because I’m infallible. I was just teasing you.
If you are religious and you question your religious leader about the Ten Commandment and press for answers beyond the point where the only answer is “it’s a leap of faith”, your religious leader may invoke the eleventh commandment.
Run this same exercise for the leader of a country rather than the leader of a business and you may find yourself describing Moamer Kadhafi, Saddam Hussein. or Kim Jong-Il.
The Ten Commandments do not describe a loving or a lovable God. But, hey, you better accept them as God’s word or He will make you suffer for eternity which, as I understand it, is a long time.
In the mid fifties Will Durant wrote in Volume VI of The Story of Civilization “We are today so uncertain and diverse in our opinions as to the origin and destiny of the world and man that we have ceased, in most countries, to punish people for differing from us in their religious beliefs….Until the middle of the seventeenth century Christians, Jews, and Muslims were more acutely concerned with religion than we are today; their theologies were their most prized and confident possessions; and they looked upon those who rejected these creeds as attacking the foundations of social order and the very significance of human life.” Mr. Durant is contrasting Europe before the Reformation with America in the fifties. This paragraph begins a chapter titled The Methods of the Inquisition. He writes of the 1400s and 1500s, “Each group was hardened by certainty into intolerance, and branded the others as infidels.”
I wonder if he would find such a contrast today. It seems to me a frightening number of us are “hardened by certainty into intolerance.”
One of the arguments creationists use to dismiss evolution goes “If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?” They ought to look at their own religion for the answer. Catholicism evolved from Judaism and yet there are still Jews. Islam evolved from Catholicism as did Protestantism yet there are still Catholics. There are divisions within Islam and numerous forms of Protestantism all leaving still intact their origins. For those who are confused about how evolution works, I hope this helps.
Understanding evolution doesn’t mean you have to abandon or even question your faith. I would hope this brings you a better understanding of your faith. Genesis is a myth. It is interesting to contemplate how that myth came into being. The majority of Christians, Jews and Muslims already understand it as a myth and yet they remain Christians, Jews and Muslims. Take the good messages on living that the Bible holds and use them. Enjoy the myths as part of your heritage.
Ben: If I understand you correctly, you may not be able to comprehend why some people would hurt others, but you wouldn’t say that their path in life; their ultimate goal, is any less valid than your own. Have I represented you accurately?
Thomas: Not exactly. I can’t comprehend why people hurt others because I’m not in their skin, soul, whatever and because what I have learned about myself has made hurting others on purpose incomprehensible. I have no way of knowing why others do what they do and don’t see how I can judge them.
Ben: You said that in your worldview, the world should be a place “where everyone accepts everyone”. Why?
Thomas: “Should” is the operative word in that statement. It is not the way the world is, it will not be that in my lifetime and probably never but my view of a perfect world, heaven, if you will, is one in which everyone accepts everyone else. I use the word “accepts” rather than “love” because love is a word that has too much emotion and misunderstanding attached but I am basically talking about Christ’s central message of love for everyone. The reason everyone should accept everyone, other than because it is what Christ wanted, is that to do otherwise is frequently a source of conflict.
Ben: What if butchering another human makes someone happy?
Thomas: Accepting a person as they are does not include accepting certain behaviors.
Ben: Should we judge or encourage a serial killer like Tommy Lynn Sells?
Thomas: Judging his actions is a no-brainer. Putting him away forever or killing him is all fine with me.
Ben: Why should everyone accept everyone?
Thomas: It’s really hard to love someone if you don’t accept them for who they are. Accepting is not condoning or agreeing with; it is “I see you as a person.”
Ben: Why should we love everyone?
Thomas: Maybe you think Satan wrote Matthew 5: 43-48 and Luke 6:27 or are you picking and choosing? But rather than rely on the Bible I’ll give you my own answer from my own life. While trying to follow the advice from your savior, Jesus, I have found that the more successful I am at loving neighbors and enemies the happier I am. Hating Tommy Sells may make you feel better and if that is the case, it is what you should do. Finding it in my heart to love him, while difficult, makes me feel better. Do I love him enough to think he should be running around in society? Hell no.
Ben: Is your worldview morally superior to the worldview of Tommy Lynn Sells?
Thomas: Sells is a character in my life similar to the ghosts in Pac-Man. I have no morally superior worldview
Ben: Do you exist in a worldview of total relativism where anything is right for anyone?
Thomas: I exist in a place where there is only one person I can change and, thus, only one person to judge. Put me on Sell’s jury and I’d judge his actions unacceptable and I wouldn’t care much what happened to his body but I might feel some compassion for his soul (if I was in a dualistic mood). I have no idea what is right for you or for Sells or anyone else.
Ben: Would you appeal to the Bible? But if you do, why reject so much of it while taking just the parts that you like?
Thomas: Gosh, Ben, it seems to me you are rejecting the passages I cited above. Of course I take the parts I like as do you. There is enough contradiction in the Bible to make everyone happy.
As an aside, I’ve done some research into religion and serial killers and haven’t found one that came from an atheist upbringing so I was further amused at Sells statement: “I’ve made my peace with my maker.”
I get great pleasure out of thinking. Concentrating on the meaning of life is as satisfying to me as, I presume, it is for a golfer to concentrate on an important putt. I don’t place any greater or lesser importance on my pleasure than on the golfer’s pleasure. I write these thoughts largely for myself though it is quite possible that if I were the only person in the world, I would not bother.
Would I still think if I were alone? One of the things I have found when I am alone is that I frequently think in the past tense. “As I walked up the road toward Mt. Vesuvius from where the bus had dropped me …” I was 27 when I was having that thought in those words while climbing Mt. Vesuvius. I wrote them down in my diary along with the thought “If there was only one person left on earth, and he was I; He would die. Why?”
Why? Because the thought in my head seemed to indicate that I was not climbing through a flowering orchard on a spring day with the cone of Vesuvius ahead of me for my current pleasure but rather for an experience that I could relate to others. Otherwise, why were not my thoughts in the present tense?
Deep breath. “Ahhh. The air is so sweet. God! I love this.” I breathe the air again. I look toward a sound and see a bird. As I emerge from the orchard and start up the cone I can feel my body carrying me upward smoothly. I pause and turn to look out over the bay of Naples. No words in my head about what I am doing. I’m just doing it. No recording necessary.
Would my mind be blank, blank of worded thoughts that is? I shouldn’t think so. The bird might call to mind something I know of birds that could be added to. The fragrance of the air might recall a spring day somewhere in my past. The pull of gravity on my body might bring thoughts of pride at my fitness or a resolve to become more fit. But I’m glad my thoughts weren’t in the present tense. Realizing that brought the philosophical thought, that I was not doing this for myself alone. It is those somehow larger thoughts that I enjoy most, larger and ever so debatable.
There are many things I would not do were there not other people to tell but that is a different thing from thinking. If all other people on the planet suddenly disappeared, would I stop thinking? First I would probably think that was strange. Then I might think it a bit frightening. My life would clearly be different with no one to talk to. I would have to sort out my needs and figure out how to meet them. There would be no one to generate electricity or make matches. How would I cook food? Where would I find food? There would be a lot to think about, at least at first.
At age 27 I thought that I would die if I were the last person on earth. Now, I’m not so sure. Of course I would die eventually but I’m not sure that I would just curl up and die because the only reason for living was to communicate with others. I think I would want to solve the important questions like food and shelter and then I think I would be able to amuse myself with thoughts about the meaning of it all. What was going on? What was I supposed to be doing? The thoughts might not be global or cosmic so much as “What is over the horizon?” “Am I truly alone in the world or are there people that I can find somewhere?” “How did this happen?” Ah, the thoughts seem to progress toward the more philosophical fairly soon.
It is difficult to try to understand thinking before there was language. One model would be animals, I suppose. What does the woodchuck think when it’s nose touches my electric fence for the first time? How do animals learn to be fearful of predators? Are they fearful or merely cautious? What did the early hominid think before language? Can there be thoughts before language?
If I try to think without using words, I think I can have thoughts. Are they thoughts or emotions? Certainly they would be extremely limited absent thoughts from others through written and spoken words. Hunger, shelter, sex are processed through the brain. Those are the “thoughts” I can imagine without words as I sit here half a million or so years later. It was clearly thoughts that brought about the development of tools. It has only been within the past 3,000 years that we have been thinking philosophically. Most of our thought up until then, I suspect, was focused on survival and on improving the quality of life.
What is my dog thinking when she huddles close to me during a thunder storm? What is she thinking when, alone in the house during a thunder storm, she gets into the bathtub? If dogs could communicate about things like thunder, would they exchange ideas on how to cope, try out each others ideas, and come to a general agreement on which strategy worked best?
Before language did hominids wonder what thunder was all about? Did they try to figure out a reason behind it? Once they developed language how did they come to the conclusion that thunder was caused by a god driving his chariot across the sky? As I try to think myself into the skin of people living under those conditions it seems a pretty logical explanation for something that was inexplicable at that time.
Thomas, you wrote, ” I do believe there was a man named Jesus who grew up in Nazareth.”
I don’t. I’ve only recently come to this conclusion after I read this:
Good stuff, though, even if he was a myth… If only people read the Jefferson Bible instead of the King James version.
Thank you, Another Country. The link is excellent and I think we are in agreement that there is good stuff in the New Testament whether or not Jesus put on his sandals one foot at a time or if he existed. My fundamentalist friend, Michael, thinks there is good stuff also; I have asked him twice which was more important believing Jesus was the way to heaven or living a good life. He has not answered either time which leads me to believe he thinks believing is more important than understanding or doing.
I tend to believe there was a man who got it right who lived about the time attributed to Jesus and that a number of people heard him and realized he was onto something. The disciples became, if not already, itinerant preachers. They tried to get people to understand the message and as they traveled around they embellished the story creating the myth that is the New Testament. Folks who use their minds, however they got them, can see the beauty of the message of loving everyone and try to bring it into their own lives. Followers, dare I say sheep, pick up the easy way which was probably not part of the original message and can go to bed comforted every night because they have accepted Jesus as their savior and whatever they did during the day is less important. I feel quite sure that the person who understood loving neighbors and enemies as stated directly and through the parables never said he was the way into heaven as that notion is not at all loving
Thomas: Michael, you wrote “He (God) said He created nature and all creation that would cause men to ask questions and search for who made all of this.” I think you are making my case. You are saying God made creation so we would think. Beautiful. My point exactly. Ask questions; ask questions about creation, who created all of this. YES! That is spot on. And then along comes Satan and he doesn’t want us to think about God’s creation, he wants us to focus on his words.
I’m going to get off the Satan bandwagon for a moment and say something real. The Bible was written by men who were doing exactly what you say God wanted them and us to do, to ask questions. The Bible is their answer (which, if you believe in Satan, could have been influenced by him), the answer of men who knew so much less about the world than we know today. I think we, those of us living today, should do exactly what you say, “ask questions and search for who made all of this.”
Michael: Oh, I think I am seeing what you are saying now. Are you saying we should more trust his creation (all that we see and experience) rather than this book containing his “supposed” words?
Michael: Well, we know from Josephus and other non Biblical sources that Jesus really existed and was gathering lots of attention from his miracles and from the fact He claimed to be God.
Thomas: There are those who dispute the existence of Jesus but I’m not one of them. I do believe there was a man named Jesus who grew up in Nazareth. I believe he was one of the great, perhaps the greatest, philosophers of living using philosophy and psychology. That he wasn’t born in December seems unimportant unless you are an astrologer. That miracles were added to his story by those who wrote his story is, I feel, unfortunate as it makes a lot of people skeptical. His teaching of love, his parables, great quotes, that when he spoke of the Ten Commandments he left out the first three are all believable to me. Why anyone who understands life would need the miracles to believe in his wisdom is beyond my comprehension.
Michael: If all we look at is creation for evidence of God, we would never know about Jesus’ claims to be God.
Thomas: You are saying God’s creation is not evidence enough for you.
Michael: Generations until the end of the world would never read or know about Jesus.
Thomas: Have you heard of Homer? Seven hundred years before Jesus he wrote the Iliad with some interesting quotes like “The glorious gifts of the gods are not to be cast aside.” I think Jesus’ teachings would have survived until now if he had written them down without the miracles, as have Homer’s.
Michael: I think your way is saying that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven and that there is no real “way” to Heaven, so we all should just love each other because we will be together anyway forever. Is that what you are saying?
Thomas: You’ve got a lot packed into that question. First, I don’t believe Jesus said he was god or he was the only way into Heaven because that would be contrary to all the rest of his teaching. It’s the kind of thing Satan, if you believe in Satan, would have gotten the disciples to write. I think that and the miracles were embellishments to the real story of Jesus life and teachings. If he said anything like “I am the way” his meaning would have been “my teaching is the way, love thy neighbor, don’t have enemies, etc.” Some people have taken his meaning to be “believing in me is more important than living a good life.” That is the kind of thing Satan would love.
When you say “we all should just love each other” I find myself questioning your definition of love in this context. Loving everyone is not the same as loving family members. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how that works, how do I love someone who kills, someone who does stupid things, someone who has stupid thoughts? I think I have figured out how I can do that and it is working out pretty well for me. You’ve probably read my essay on the website on love so you may understand what I’m talking about.
Michael: There is no real basis for that way of thinking and there are no specifics or details. You would just be hoping. Jesus lays out a real plan and it is recorded in the Bible. I don’t see how Satan could benefit by focusing on Jesus so much in the Bible.
Thomas: Not hoping, Michael, just living my life based on learning and thinking, learning from reading what others have thought, learning from experience, learning from conversations like ours and using the gifts I find I have in this life—my senses and my mind.
What do you think Jesus “real plan” is? Is it 1) to love neighbors, enemies, everyone or is it 2) to believe he is God. There is pretty good plan for living laid out in the New Testament. We could say one by Jesus and another (2) by Satan, if we believed in Satan.
Michael: Your premise is correct in that Satan doesn’t have God’s power. Remember, Satan was created by God and can only do what God allows him to do. God has allowed false teachings, but He also has allowed true teachings. People have difficulty deciding what is the true teaching. The prophecies of the Messiah and Jesus Christ fulfilling them (plus the genealogy in Matthew) is the clear difference between the truth and false teachings. No other religion has anything close to this.
Thomas: Satan was created by God? That is a new thought for me and I appreciate you introducing it. Can you tell me the reference for this? This doesn’t seem to go with anything I have read in the Bible. It is an interesting thought though.
Michael: I wont quote the Bible since you will just say Satan wrote it, God implies creator, He was not created. He lives outside of his creation and has the power to create. You yourself said Satan can’t create therefore he could not be the creator. That makes him a created being like you and me. He is not equal to God
Thomas: Quoting the Bible is fine, I do it frequently. The notion that Satan wrote the Bible is simply a logical argument based on what many who believe there is a Satan believe his powers and motives to be and taking that belief in an analysis of some part of the Bible. I don’t believe in Satan but the concept is fascinating to me. My notion of Satan and God are that they both existed before the creation of Earth kind of like brothers, and that when God created earth Satan was jealous.
I agree with all you write except “That makes him a created being like you and me.” I’m trying to work this through. First, I’m dropping “like you and me” because you and I certainly don’t have the powers attributed to Satan. (Let me know if I’m wrong in this.) As for the thought that God created Satan, I’m not aware of anything in the Bible (I will not refute anything you quote from the Bible by saying Satan wrote it.) so I’d be happy to know where you have gotten that thought. The second question that raises is why. Why did God create Satan?
Michael: God created angels with Lucifer as most beautiful and highest position. Apparently God gave them free will like he did man. Lucifer wanted to be worshiped like God and rebelled along with a third of the angels. These are Satan and demons. They don live in Hell yet as they roam Earth deceiving and tempting. God calls him the prince of this world. So he was created like we were and willful sin has wrecked this world. Calvinists believe man has no free will and that God planned it exactly this way but I believe he gave us free will to chose to love and follow him and we are the ones messing up the world
Thomas: Please tell me the source of this information. I’m pretty sure it’s not in the Bible but I might have missed something.
Michael: It’s easier just to use this link I found rather than mention them myself. http://baptistbulletin.org/?p=13559
Thomas: That link is quite clear. Thank you. I’ve just started looking up the passages referenced and will give all this more thought. Perhaps you can help me with Ezekiel 28: 12-15. Is Tyrus an alias of Satan? It seems like Tyrus is a human rather than an angel. This may be where I have trouble following the story that God created Satan. I don’t think it says anything like that in the Bible unless you change some names and/or make some assumptions. If the Bible is God’s word, it seems we ought to pretty much stick with his words.
Michael: God changed Lucifer to Satan, Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham because they had changed character and he gave them new names that suited their new character good or bad. He also spoke of cities as if they were a person like Sodom and Babylon. Yes Tyrus went from a city that traded Jews into slavery into Antichrist/Satan. Confusing but not more than parables which Jesus did on purpose.
Thomas: Which of the three theories about when Satan’s sinning occurred do you believe? If I understand the link, this theory about Satan is just a theory. If the Bible is God’s word, why does man today have to make up theories about it? The following quote from the web site you sent me seems to sums up the theories:“So it would seem best to believe that Satan’s sinning occurred after the six days of creation but before man fell into sin, possibly in just a matter of days.” Are you comfortable with this? (emphasis mine)
Michael: I believe in a young earth. I don’t believe in the gap theory or macro evolution. There are dinosaur fossils but not missing link fossils. So desperate are the evolutionists they came up with the craziest theory ever called punctuated equilibrium which means the evolutionary change is rapid and sudden instead of slow and steady. Sounds like creation to me.
God does make a point to say His ways are not our ways. The important parts of the Bible, the gospel of Christ, are very simple to understand. Don’t get caught up in doctrinal arguments. Salvation through Christ is what it is about and none of my words will ever convince you. Read Matthew mark Luke and john ask God to convince you of the real truth.
Thomas: I commend you an saying “I believe”. No one can argue with a person’s belief because it is personal, it is yours just as other people’s beliefs are theirs. I think we get in trouble when we get belief and knowledge mixed up.
[stay tuned, this dialogue goes on]