Santorum’s sermons

People are digging up Rick Santorum’s religious addresses from years back.  And though what he says is pretty conventional to most of us Christians, his sermons are being used to alarm the voting public.  This is about something he said in 2008 at Ave Maria University, a conservative Catholic college:

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America!” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has declared.

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

The former senator from Pennsylvania warned in 2008 how politics and government are falling to Satan.

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?”

“He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.”

Santorum made the provocative comments to students at Ave Maria University in Florida.

via DRUDGE: SANTORUM’S SATAN WARNING.

Wouldn’t any of us agree with that?  I’ve heard even liberal theologians with liberal politics talk like this.  And yet, in a political context, from someone running for president, it sounds whacky, if not crazy and dangerous.  But it isn’t!

Santorum doesn’t seem to have moral transgressions in his closet, so the opposition researchers are focusing on his religious beliefs.  (He doesn’t believe in birth control!  He believes Satan is attacking America!)  But whose religious beliefs couldn’t be made similarly scary?  (He wants to eat Jesus and drink His blood!)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    At an even more basic level, it’s not so much that he’s being painted as wacky for believing that Satan is attacking America. The fact that he actually believes in a being called Satan and speaks as though he does marks him as a little bit “off” according to the modern mindset.

  • Pete

    At an even more basic level, it’s not so much that he’s being painted as wacky for believing that Satan is attacking America. The fact that he actually believes in a being called Satan and speaks as though he does marks him as a little bit “off” according to the modern mindset.

  • Pete

    Now, a legitimate criticism of Santorum’s statements might be that he flirts with confusing the two kingdoms. Does Satan really attack geopolitical entities such as America. I’m pretty sure that the kingdom that Satan attacks is “not of this world”.

  • Pete

    Now, a legitimate criticism of Santorum’s statements might be that he flirts with confusing the two kingdoms. Does Satan really attack geopolitical entities such as America. I’m pretty sure that the kingdom that Satan attacks is “not of this world”.

  • Tom Hering

    “… so the opposition researchers are focusing on his religious beliefs.”

    You think this is the work of the Obama campaign team? (Re: the “Opposition research” post two days ago.) Think again:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/Vox-News/2012/0222/Santorum-on-Satan-Who-leaked-the-speech-to-the-press

  • Tom Hering

    “… so the opposition researchers are focusing on his religious beliefs.”

    You think this is the work of the Obama campaign team? (Re: the “Opposition research” post two days ago.) Think again:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/Vox-News/2012/0222/Santorum-on-Satan-Who-leaked-the-speech-to-the-press

  • The Jones

    May the Mormon jokes commence.

  • The Jones

    May the Mormon jokes commence.

  • Tom Hering

    “Wouldn’t any of us agree with that?”

    No. Why give the Devil more than his due – why credit him with more power than he actually has – and make everything a matter of spiritual warfare, when the decline of any nation can be more simply (and rightly) atrributed to the sinfulness of its leaders and people?

  • Tom Hering

    “Wouldn’t any of us agree with that?”

    No. Why give the Devil more than his due – why credit him with more power than he actually has – and make everything a matter of spiritual warfare, when the decline of any nation can be more simply (and rightly) atrributed to the sinfulness of its leaders and people?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Tom @ 5, while I understand and overall agree with your premise (!), isn’t it possible that it could be a bit of both?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Tom @ 5, while I understand and overall agree with your premise (!), isn’t it possible that it could be a bit of both?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As to your last sentence, Veith, so did the Kennedy’s. That won’t fly.

    But the real ammunition here is a certain type of exceptionalism. An exceptionalism that, oh irony of irony, sounds more like the work of Joseph Smith than that of a good Catholic.

    And it sounds just like the words of those National Party leaders in South Africa from 1948 to 1990. And I can tell you, the long term affect on the Church and Christianity is horrendous…. Such blending of the Two Kingdoms, as what Pete refers two, is a horrid thing.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As to your last sentence, Veith, so did the Kennedy’s. That won’t fly.

    But the real ammunition here is a certain type of exceptionalism. An exceptionalism that, oh irony of irony, sounds more like the work of Joseph Smith than that of a good Catholic.

    And it sounds just like the words of those National Party leaders in South Africa from 1948 to 1990. And I can tell you, the long term affect on the Church and Christianity is horrendous…. Such blending of the Two Kingdoms, as what Pete refers two, is a horrid thing.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And, btw, I totally agree with Tom in #5.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And, btw, I totally agree with Tom in #5.

  • Tom Hering

    J. Dean @ 6, No. The Devil attacks the Church, and churches affect a nation, and churches that have gone awry have a negative effect on a nation. But even churches go bad because of man’s sinfulness – not because of Satanic victories. Santorum has read too much Frank Peretti, I think. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    J. Dean @ 6, No. The Devil attacks the Church, and churches affect a nation, and churches that have gone awry have a negative effect on a nation. But even churches go bad because of man’s sinfulness – not because of Satanic victories. Santorum has read too much Frank Peretti, I think. :-D

  • Joe

    Tom – I think it is kind of hard to draw such a sharp line between our sins and the work of the devil. They have been wrapped together sins he first said, “Did God really say …” I am a sinner and my actions are surely my own, but the devil is there walking with me as I sin telling me its alright. “Don’t worry about it,” he says, “God didn’t really say this work is evil did he? No, of course not.”

    Also, opposition researchers include your primary opponents. I don’t think it is accurate to claim Veith is blaming Obama for this.

  • Joe

    Tom – I think it is kind of hard to draw such a sharp line between our sins and the work of the devil. They have been wrapped together sins he first said, “Did God really say …” I am a sinner and my actions are surely my own, but the devil is there walking with me as I sin telling me its alright. “Don’t worry about it,” he says, “God didn’t really say this work is evil did he? No, of course not.”

    Also, opposition researchers include your primary opponents. I don’t think it is accurate to claim Veith is blaming Obama for this.

  • reg

    I have to disagree with Santorum and many of you here. The US is not part of God’s Kingdom but part of the world, ruled by the devil. In fact, the US may be his greatest ally-we are “Vanity Fair.” We are the great distraction. We entertain ourselves and others to death, keeping our eyes fixed horizontally and not vertically. We have TV and internet and the cult of celebrity and the constant barrage of toys, advertising, distractions.
    To say the devil is targeting the US is to miss the war. The devil wants to keep souls out of heaven. He does so by keeping their eyse on the here and now. Oppressed people are far more likely to look outside of themselves for salvation than affluent ones. So, no, Santorum is wrong and is confusing the US with the promised land. The US is not a bastion of God’s reign, the Church is.

  • reg

    I have to disagree with Santorum and many of you here. The US is not part of God’s Kingdom but part of the world, ruled by the devil. In fact, the US may be his greatest ally-we are “Vanity Fair.” We are the great distraction. We entertain ourselves and others to death, keeping our eyes fixed horizontally and not vertically. We have TV and internet and the cult of celebrity and the constant barrage of toys, advertising, distractions.
    To say the devil is targeting the US is to miss the war. The devil wants to keep souls out of heaven. He does so by keeping their eyse on the here and now. Oppressed people are far more likely to look outside of themselves for salvation than affluent ones. So, no, Santorum is wrong and is confusing the US with the promised land. The US is not a bastion of God’s reign, the Church is.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I sure wish that conservative politicians would keep their mouths shut concerning religion.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I sure wish that conservative politicians would keep their mouths shut concerning religion.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 10, again, I think the Devil is getting credit he doesn’t deserve. Isn’t it your own sin nature telling you your sins are alright? You (we) hardly need the Devil’s help there. :-D

    As for opposition reasearch, I was responding to the current context of this blog. I haven’t seen anything here lately about dirty politics within the GOP.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 10, again, I think the Devil is getting credit he doesn’t deserve. Isn’t it your own sin nature telling you your sins are alright? You (we) hardly need the Devil’s help there. :-D

    As for opposition reasearch, I was responding to the current context of this blog. I haven’t seen anything here lately about dirty politics within the GOP.

  • WebMonk

    Satan uses (“attacks with” if you will) every tool at his disposal. Does anyone doubt that geopolitical or social structures can have a serious impact on Christians? If it is possible for Satan to influence governments so that Christians are encouraged to be lukewarm, uncaring, inhospitable, etc, he will do so. If he can influence governments to sidetrack or silence the voices of those who would proclaim Christ, he will do so.

    So, I would not disagree fundamentally with Santorum that Satan does indeed “attack” our government, and indeed all institutions.

    Where I would disagree with Santorum is over the ways and means through which our government is “attacked”, what those attacks look like, what their results would look like, and how they should be addressed. I aslo suspect that much of what Santorum is viewing as Satanic attacks is nothing more than the vagaries of humans, the ebb and flow of nations.

    Like Tom mentioned, we are not living in a Peretti novel where Nancy Pelosi has a monstrous demonic entity crouching on her shoulders whispering in her ear.

  • WebMonk

    Satan uses (“attacks with” if you will) every tool at his disposal. Does anyone doubt that geopolitical or social structures can have a serious impact on Christians? If it is possible for Satan to influence governments so that Christians are encouraged to be lukewarm, uncaring, inhospitable, etc, he will do so. If he can influence governments to sidetrack or silence the voices of those who would proclaim Christ, he will do so.

    So, I would not disagree fundamentally with Santorum that Satan does indeed “attack” our government, and indeed all institutions.

    Where I would disagree with Santorum is over the ways and means through which our government is “attacked”, what those attacks look like, what their results would look like, and how they should be addressed. I aslo suspect that much of what Santorum is viewing as Satanic attacks is nothing more than the vagaries of humans, the ebb and flow of nations.

    Like Tom mentioned, we are not living in a Peretti novel where Nancy Pelosi has a monstrous demonic entity crouching on her shoulders whispering in her ear.

  • WebMonk

    Joe @ 10. Yesterday Dr. Veith posted about how President Obama is doing research on Santorum. Today’s post is on the exact same topic, so I wouldn’t doubt that Dr. Veith mistaken thought this research was President Obama’s team’s work as well.

  • WebMonk

    Joe @ 10. Yesterday Dr. Veith posted about how President Obama is doing research on Santorum. Today’s post is on the exact same topic, so I wouldn’t doubt that Dr. Veith mistaken thought this research was President Obama’s team’s work as well.

  • kerner

    I think one issue here is the meaning of the word, “attack”. If you interpret it to mean that the US is St. George, and its enemies are the dragon, then Tom and Klasie and reg have solid points. But if you think of Satan’s “attacks” on a culture to be more like an infection “attacking” a body politic, maybe it makes more sense.

    reg, maybe the US is not a combatant in this war. Maybe it is the battlefield.

    I realize that this is a distinction that a lot of “culture warriors” fail to make, or at least some of them seen to. I don’t want to condemn culture warriors too harshly. And I realize that white South Africa holding itself out as God’s civilized culture standing against the pagan barbarians was gross hypocracy and must leave a very bad taste in the mouth of anyone who watched that strategy fail.

    But if Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”, and if there are more Christians in a particular place than there are in, say, Europe, can we not expect Satan to be more active in trying to competely overcome those places where more opposition to him exists? WIll he not try to desalinate the salt and darken the light where he finds it?

    And if American Christians resist the devil here where we live, does that make us political “culture warriors”, or just Christians obeying Our Lord’s directive to “occupy till I come”?

    If I concede that there is a wrong way to look at this, will you concede that there is a right way to look at it too?

  • kerner

    I think one issue here is the meaning of the word, “attack”. If you interpret it to mean that the US is St. George, and its enemies are the dragon, then Tom and Klasie and reg have solid points. But if you think of Satan’s “attacks” on a culture to be more like an infection “attacking” a body politic, maybe it makes more sense.

    reg, maybe the US is not a combatant in this war. Maybe it is the battlefield.

    I realize that this is a distinction that a lot of “culture warriors” fail to make, or at least some of them seen to. I don’t want to condemn culture warriors too harshly. And I realize that white South Africa holding itself out as God’s civilized culture standing against the pagan barbarians was gross hypocracy and must leave a very bad taste in the mouth of anyone who watched that strategy fail.

    But if Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”, and if there are more Christians in a particular place than there are in, say, Europe, can we not expect Satan to be more active in trying to competely overcome those places where more opposition to him exists? WIll he not try to desalinate the salt and darken the light where he finds it?

    And if American Christians resist the devil here where we live, does that make us political “culture warriors”, or just Christians obeying Our Lord’s directive to “occupy till I come”?

    If I concede that there is a wrong way to look at this, will you concede that there is a right way to look at it too?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Why is it that when it comes to the subject of the devil so many Lutherans (and Anglicans and Catholics and Orthodox and ….) sound like premillenial Dispensationalist Chiliastic Pentocostal Fundy Baptists ???? Did Christ not conquer?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Why is it that when it comes to the subject of the devil so many Lutherans (and Anglicans and Catholics and Orthodox and ….) sound like premillenial Dispensationalist Chiliastic Pentocostal Fundy Baptists ???? Did Christ not conquer?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner – yes, and we are to conquer the devil at the ballot box?? Or in the pulpit?? That kind of gives away the spin Santorum was putting on it, don’t you think?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner – yes, and we are to conquer the devil at the ballot box?? Or in the pulpit?? That kind of gives away the spin Santorum was putting on it, don’t you think?

  • kerner

    Tom @ 13:

    Maybe we don’t need the devil to tempt us to sin, but doesn’t the Bible teach that the devil is real and actually does so? We in this day and age hate the idea of talking as though we believe in things like fallen angels, or any angels for that matter. I think some of us are embarassed enough to talk about God in this fashioably rationalist world. But I don’t know that it helps our religion to downplay the parts of that the “world” is most likely to ridicule if we go to the extent of watering it down, do you?

  • kerner

    Tom @ 13:

    Maybe we don’t need the devil to tempt us to sin, but doesn’t the Bible teach that the devil is real and actually does so? We in this day and age hate the idea of talking as though we believe in things like fallen angels, or any angels for that matter. I think some of us are embarassed enough to talk about God in this fashioably rationalist world. But I don’t know that it helps our religion to downplay the parts of that the “world” is most likely to ridicule if we go to the extent of watering it down, do you?

  • kerner

    I mean, “fashionably”.

  • kerner

    I mean, “fashionably”.

  • moallen

    Nothing Santorum said is outside the pale of Catholic or Christian belief. He is not being ridiculed for not properly separating the two kingdoms, he is scorned for accepting Satan as real, and for believing Satan is working in our lives and world.
    Are Satanic and demonic activity present on earth? I know, some things are embarrassing to admit are part of Christianity because they are not accepted by others – and seem to indicate one really thinks all this religious stuff is true. That’s Satorum’s thought crime.

  • moallen

    Nothing Santorum said is outside the pale of Catholic or Christian belief. He is not being ridiculed for not properly separating the two kingdoms, he is scorned for accepting Satan as real, and for believing Satan is working in our lives and world.
    Are Satanic and demonic activity present on earth? I know, some things are embarrassing to admit are part of Christianity because they are not accepted by others – and seem to indicate one really thinks all this religious stuff is true. That’s Satorum’s thought crime.

  • kerner

    Klasie:

    First of all, in 2008, Santorum was not running for anything that I know of, and he was speaking at a religious institution to (theoretically at least) a religious audience. If he said that to a political crowd in a stump speach today, now that he is one of the front running Republican candidate for POTUS, I would agree with you. But considering the context of his remarks, I am not so quick to jump to your conclusions.

    And while I don’t propose to mix the “two kingdoms” is it really realistic to believe that what happens in one never has any effect on the other? Hitler came to power in an election, Klasie. Are all the Lutherans who voted for him totally without responsibility for what came after? Because I believe the the devil was “attacking” Germany in 1933, and a lot of Christians didn’t see it coming.

  • kerner

    Klasie:

    First of all, in 2008, Santorum was not running for anything that I know of, and he was speaking at a religious institution to (theoretically at least) a religious audience. If he said that to a political crowd in a stump speach today, now that he is one of the front running Republican candidate for POTUS, I would agree with you. But considering the context of his remarks, I am not so quick to jump to your conclusions.

    And while I don’t propose to mix the “two kingdoms” is it really realistic to believe that what happens in one never has any effect on the other? Hitler came to power in an election, Klasie. Are all the Lutherans who voted for him totally without responsibility for what came after? Because I believe the the devil was “attacking” Germany in 1933, and a lot of Christians didn’t see it coming.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, saying the “devil was attacking Germany in 1933″ is not a very helpful way of looking at things. The Bible describes him as the father of lies. Think of it as the coming to fruition of lies formenting for a long time, and a confluence of circumstances – the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, the rise of Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century, the weakness of the Weimar Republic etc etc. So yes, one can say the devil was attacking, but it is not a “one time event”, a singling out. Also, the root of it all is man’s own sinfull self, the old Adam. That is where we should be looking, primarily.

    It is always easier to blame the folks over there, or if that fails, the devil himself, than look at ourselves, and what we have done.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, saying the “devil was attacking Germany in 1933″ is not a very helpful way of looking at things. The Bible describes him as the father of lies. Think of it as the coming to fruition of lies formenting for a long time, and a confluence of circumstances – the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, the rise of Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century, the weakness of the Weimar Republic etc etc. So yes, one can say the devil was attacking, but it is not a “one time event”, a singling out. Also, the root of it all is man’s own sinfull self, the old Adam. That is where we should be looking, primarily.

    It is always easier to blame the folks over there, or if that fails, the devil himself, than look at ourselves, and what we have done.

  • Tom Hering

    “… and if there are more Christians in a particular place than there are in, say, Europe, can we not expect Satan to be more active in trying to competely overcome those places where more opposition to him exists?” – @ 16.

    Yes, Europe. It’s not secular today because of Satan’s schemes, but because of man’s sinfulness – because of the Inquisition, and all the religious wars, and the truly oppressive state churches, and the old religious establishment’s opposition to social justice movements, etc. If we keep mixing politics and religion, we’re going to end up the same way: Americans fed up with anything and everything religious.

    “Maybe we don’t need the devil to tempt us to sin, but doesn’t the Bible teach that the devil is real and actually does so?”

    Yes. Satan schemes against us – he tempts us to be unforgiving (2nd Corinthians 2). The world and Satan are characterized by the desire to get even. But not Christ. And not us.

  • Tom Hering

    “… and if there are more Christians in a particular place than there are in, say, Europe, can we not expect Satan to be more active in trying to competely overcome those places where more opposition to him exists?” – @ 16.

    Yes, Europe. It’s not secular today because of Satan’s schemes, but because of man’s sinfulness – because of the Inquisition, and all the religious wars, and the truly oppressive state churches, and the old religious establishment’s opposition to social justice movements, etc. If we keep mixing politics and religion, we’re going to end up the same way: Americans fed up with anything and everything religious.

    “Maybe we don’t need the devil to tempt us to sin, but doesn’t the Bible teach that the devil is real and actually does so?”

    Yes. Satan schemes against us – he tempts us to be unforgiving (2nd Corinthians 2). The world and Satan are characterized by the desire to get even. But not Christ. And not us.

  • kerner

    “Yes. Satan schemes against us – he tempts us to be unforgiving (2nd Corinthians 2). The world and Satan are characterized by the desire to get even. But not Christ. And not us.” TH

    “So yes, one can say the devil was attacking…” KK

    So…Rick Santorum says po-tay-to and Tom Herring Klasie Kraalogies say po-tah-to?

  • kerner

    “Yes. Satan schemes against us – he tempts us to be unforgiving (2nd Corinthians 2). The world and Satan are characterized by the desire to get even. But not Christ. And not us.” TH

    “So yes, one can say the devil was attacking…” KK

    So…Rick Santorum says po-tay-to and Tom Herring Klasie Kraalogies say po-tah-to?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, I can see the paw of the laywer. Selective quoting is a tool of S…. oops :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, I can see the paw of the laywer. Selective quoting is a tool of S…. oops :)

  • Tom Hering

    I say “Tater Tots.” :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I say “Tater Tots.” :-D

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, Tom: And normally call ‘em “aartappels”….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, Tom: And normally call ‘em “aartappels”….

  • CRB

    Talking about Satan attacking the nation? So, what else is new?! Actually, he doesn’t attack all people in this country, but only Christians, because he already has those who are not Christians.

    What will happen when (and, if) Santorum gives the answer to Satan’s attacks, which is Jesus?! Now, THAT might be a sermon worth listening to!

  • CRB

    Talking about Satan attacking the nation? So, what else is new?! Actually, he doesn’t attack all people in this country, but only Christians, because he already has those who are not Christians.

    What will happen when (and, if) Santorum gives the answer to Satan’s attacks, which is Jesus?! Now, THAT might be a sermon worth listening to!

  • #4 Kitty

    “The Devil? Srsly? What year is this??”
    I think that’s how non-gundagelicals look on this. The Devil for those who have not given their minds over to a system of belief is mythological or metaphorical. The prospect of having a candidate leader of the most powerful nation in the world discuss national interests no differently than if he were born in the 12th century is alarming to those who haven’t drank the Kool-Aid of religious fundamentalism.

  • #4 Kitty

    “The Devil? Srsly? What year is this??”
    I think that’s how non-gundagelicals look on this. The Devil for those who have not given their minds over to a system of belief is mythological or metaphorical. The prospect of having a candidate leader of the most powerful nation in the world discuss national interests no differently than if he were born in the 12th century is alarming to those who haven’t drank the Kool-Aid of religious fundamentalism.

  • David Cochrane

    It always scares me when a politician or elected politician invokes Our Lord in a speech. Usually means it is gonna cost us dearly in either money, liberty, lives of young people or all three.

  • David Cochrane

    It always scares me when a politician or elected politician invokes Our Lord in a speech. Usually means it is gonna cost us dearly in either money, liberty, lives of young people or all three.

  • DonS

    Santorum’s comments are well within the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine. Kerner already mentioned II Cor. 2. There is also this passage:

    I Thess. 2: 17-18 — “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us.”

    Satan isn’t specifically out to get the U.S. because it’s a Christian nation, or anything like that. But he and his minions are certainly out to hinder the cause of Christ, by any means possible. How was Paul hindered by Satan from traveling to Thessalonica? The text doesn’t say. Maybe he got sick, maybe he couldn’t get the Roman Travel Office to issue the appropriate papers, maybe he missed the ship. One thing we can surmise with confidence is that Satan probably isn’t enamored with a country that prizes and protects the right to freedom of religion, and would hinder Christians by attacking the government and institutions that further and protect that right.

  • DonS

    Santorum’s comments are well within the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine. Kerner already mentioned II Cor. 2. There is also this passage:

    I Thess. 2: 17-18 — “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us.”

    Satan isn’t specifically out to get the U.S. because it’s a Christian nation, or anything like that. But he and his minions are certainly out to hinder the cause of Christ, by any means possible. How was Paul hindered by Satan from traveling to Thessalonica? The text doesn’t say. Maybe he got sick, maybe he couldn’t get the Roman Travel Office to issue the appropriate papers, maybe he missed the ship. One thing we can surmise with confidence is that Satan probably isn’t enamored with a country that prizes and protects the right to freedom of religion, and would hinder Christians by attacking the government and institutions that further and protect that right.

  • reg

    #4 Kitty,
    To quote from the movie the Usual Suspects: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. “

  • reg

    #4 Kitty,
    To quote from the movie the Usual Suspects: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. “

  • #4 Kitty

    @reg
    I may be mistaken but I believe C.S. Lewis also shared this conviction.

  • #4 Kitty

    @reg
    I may be mistaken but I believe C.S. Lewis also shared this conviction.

  • Tom Hering

    “Maybe he got sick, maybe he couldn’t get the Roman Travel Office to issue the appropriate papers, maybe he missed the ship.”

    Don, are there examples in Scripture of the Devil causing these sorts of things to happen? What powers would you say he does and doesn’t have? Can he make us physically ill? Can he manipulate others to act against us? Can he affect the physical world around us?

  • Tom Hering

    “Maybe he got sick, maybe he couldn’t get the Roman Travel Office to issue the appropriate papers, maybe he missed the ship.”

    Don, are there examples in Scripture of the Devil causing these sorts of things to happen? What powers would you say he does and doesn’t have? Can he make us physically ill? Can he manipulate others to act against us? Can he affect the physical world around us?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 35: Well, there are many examples of Satan and his demons (fallen angels) working to hinder the work of Christ, and those who fear God. In Job 2, God allowed him to afflict Job — to make him physically sick. So, to answer your first question, yes. He has the power to tempt, and thus the power to influence behavior. If you can influence behavior, you can manipulate. We also know that demons can possess the unsaved and influence their actions in the extreme. So, the answer to your second question is yes. Your third question is too broad to properly answer. I don’t know, off the top of my head, if Satan can physically change the physical world, i.e. change the weather, etc. However, Matthew 4: 8-9 seems to indicate that Satan thought he could give the kingdoms of the world to Christ. That seems to indicate power over the physical dominion of the world in at least some respects. Certainly, he can change the physical world through the agency of others, i.e., by affecting the behavior of others. For example, causing Paul to miss the ship by influencing the captain to leave early or a Roman soldier to detain him to review his papers. For these reasons, my answer to your third question would also have to be yes.

    Note that Satan is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent. Much of what is attributed to Satan is actually done through the agency of his legion of fallen angels.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 35: Well, there are many examples of Satan and his demons (fallen angels) working to hinder the work of Christ, and those who fear God. In Job 2, God allowed him to afflict Job — to make him physically sick. So, to answer your first question, yes. He has the power to tempt, and thus the power to influence behavior. If you can influence behavior, you can manipulate. We also know that demons can possess the unsaved and influence their actions in the extreme. So, the answer to your second question is yes. Your third question is too broad to properly answer. I don’t know, off the top of my head, if Satan can physically change the physical world, i.e. change the weather, etc. However, Matthew 4: 8-9 seems to indicate that Satan thought he could give the kingdoms of the world to Christ. That seems to indicate power over the physical dominion of the world in at least some respects. Certainly, he can change the physical world through the agency of others, i.e., by affecting the behavior of others. For example, causing Paul to miss the ship by influencing the captain to leave early or a Roman soldier to detain him to review his papers. For these reasons, my answer to your third question would also have to be yes.

    Note that Satan is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent. Much of what is attributed to Satan is actually done through the agency of his legion of fallen angels.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS: Can Satan do anything if God doesn’t allow him to?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS: Can Satan do anything if God doesn’t allow him to?

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 37: Well, obviously, God COULD prevent any of us, including Satan, from doing anything at all. But Scripture makes it quite clear that Satan has been given a lot of leeway by God to act in this world, in the name of free agency.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 37: Well, obviously, God COULD prevent any of us, including Satan, from doing anything at all. But Scripture makes it quite clear that Satan has been given a lot of leeway by God to act in this world, in the name of free agency.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 36, it was God who put forth His hand and touched all that Job had – Satan wasn’t allowed to put forth his hand. Job acknowledged that all his afflictions came from God, and in doing so, “Job did not sin with his lips.”

    Yes, Satan and his demons can possess men and animals. But have they done so in numbers great enough to destroy America? Like, 51% of the voting public (in any local, state, or national election)? I’m extremely skeptical.

    No, Satan and his demons can’t affect the physical world (except through the actions of possessed men and animals). He doesn’t have the power to do physically extraordinary things, i.e., work miracles. “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders” (Psalm 72:18).

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 36, it was God who put forth His hand and touched all that Job had – Satan wasn’t allowed to put forth his hand. Job acknowledged that all his afflictions came from God, and in doing so, “Job did not sin with his lips.”

    Yes, Satan and his demons can possess men and animals. But have they done so in numbers great enough to destroy America? Like, 51% of the voting public (in any local, state, or national election)? I’m extremely skeptical.

    No, Satan and his demons can’t affect the physical world (except through the actions of possessed men and animals). He doesn’t have the power to do physically extraordinary things, i.e., work miracles. “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders” (Psalm 72:18).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    So DonS, “the Devil made me do it” defense is valid then?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    So DonS, “the Devil made me do it” defense is valid then?

  • reg

    from Job 1 re whether the devil can affect the physical world.

    13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

    All the NT people possessed and thereby afflicted also support this view.

    From Daniel 10 regarding his ability to impact even spiritual rescue:
    10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

  • reg

    from Job 1 re whether the devil can affect the physical world.

    13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

    All the NT people possessed and thereby afflicted also support this view.

    From Daniel 10 regarding his ability to impact even spiritual rescue:
    10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 40: Are you being silly? Or what? I have no idea what your point is.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 40: Are you being silly? Or what? I have no idea what your point is.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 39: I’m not sure I understand your point either. Are you disagreeing with Paul’s view that Satan was able to hinder him in his ministry? Are you saying that Satan does not have the power to hinder the ministry of Christians by attacking the secular institutions, including government, which support the envir0nment in which ministry takes place?

    I don’t believe Psalm 72:18 is dispositive to the issue of whether God has allowed Satan to exert dominion over many of the institutions and physical features of this world, in the name of ensuring free agency for man. You are reading far too much into that verse.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 39: I’m not sure I understand your point either. Are you disagreeing with Paul’s view that Satan was able to hinder him in his ministry? Are you saying that Satan does not have the power to hinder the ministry of Christians by attacking the secular institutions, including government, which support the envir0nment in which ministry takes place?

    I don’t believe Psalm 72:18 is dispositive to the issue of whether God has allowed Satan to exert dominion over many of the institutions and physical features of this world, in the name of ensuring free agency for man. You are reading far too much into that verse.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – Can the devil make any person do anything, iow?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – Can the devil make any person do anything, iow?

  • DonS

    So, Klasie @ 44, is that your point? Well, I’m not sure it’s relevant to the discussion at hand, because he doesn’t have to. People, because of their sinful natures, are more than willing to allow themselves to be influenced by Satan. Voluntarily. Which is why Paul tells us that it is so vital to actively flee temptation.

    In the case of demon possession, Scripture seems to indicate that possessed folks act involuntarily. So, for what it is worth, the answer to your hypothetical would appear to be yes for that relatively rare instance. But, again, it is certainly tangential to the issue of whether Satan uses secular institutions for the purpose of hindering Christian ministry.

  • DonS

    So, Klasie @ 44, is that your point? Well, I’m not sure it’s relevant to the discussion at hand, because he doesn’t have to. People, because of their sinful natures, are more than willing to allow themselves to be influenced by Satan. Voluntarily. Which is why Paul tells us that it is so vital to actively flee temptation.

    In the case of demon possession, Scripture seems to indicate that possessed folks act involuntarily. So, for what it is worth, the answer to your hypothetical would appear to be yes for that relatively rare instance. But, again, it is certainly tangential to the issue of whether Satan uses secular institutions for the purpose of hindering Christian ministry.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 39: Further to my comments above, you may wish to consider Pharaoh’s magicians at the time of the plagues when Pharaoh was in the act of hindering the Israelites’ departure from Egypt. They were above to perform some of the supernatural feats that Moses performed, as you well know. Classic case of Satan using the powers of government to hinder the people of God, and employing supernatural power to do so.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 39: Further to my comments above, you may wish to consider Pharaoh’s magicians at the time of the plagues when Pharaoh was in the act of hindering the Israelites’ departure from Egypt. They were above to perform some of the supernatural feats that Moses performed, as you well know. Classic case of Satan using the powers of government to hinder the people of God, and employing supernatural power to do so.

  • DonS

    @ 46, “above” should be “able”

  • DonS

    @ 46, “above” should be “able”

  • Tom Hering

    Don, your main interest seems to be in defending free will. We’re all either slaves of our sinful nature, or we’ve been made slaves of God. Most certainly, Satan and his demons have no free agency. (Thanks be to God!)

    reg @ 41, note that it’s the fire of God that fell. As for the great wind: “stormy wind fulfilling His word” (Psalm 148:8) and “winds and waves obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). Does the Devil have even one power equal to any of God’s powers?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, your main interest seems to be in defending free will. We’re all either slaves of our sinful nature, or we’ve been made slaves of God. Most certainly, Satan and his demons have no free agency. (Thanks be to God!)

    reg @ 41, note that it’s the fire of God that fell. As for the great wind: “stormy wind fulfilling His word” (Psalm 148:8) and “winds and waves obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). Does the Devil have even one power equal to any of God’s powers?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 48: You didn’t respond substantively at all. What does “defending free will” have to do with it? I gave it as an explanation, not a defense. What about Pharaoh’s magicians? What about my questions @ 43, none of which you answered?

    As for free agency for Satan and his demons, um, what about the Fall? The ultimate exercise of free agency, eh? I don’t get your point at all on that one.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 48: You didn’t respond substantively at all. What does “defending free will” have to do with it? I gave it as an explanation, not a defense. What about Pharaoh’s magicians? What about my questions @ 43, none of which you answered?

    As for free agency for Satan and his demons, um, what about the Fall? The ultimate exercise of free agency, eh? I don’t get your point at all on that one.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, why did Aaron’s staff swallow up the magicians’ staffs? Because Aaron’s staff alone was a miraculous serpent – the power of God. The magicians’ serpents were only an illusionist’s trick. Their “secret arts” were kept secret for a reason, you know. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Don, why did Aaron’s staff swallow up the magicians’ staffs? Because Aaron’s staff alone was a miraculous serpent – the power of God. The magicians’ serpents were only an illusionist’s trick. Their “secret arts” were kept secret for a reason, you know. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 49, you’re not really going to bring the mystery of evil into this, are you? Nobody – but nobody – has an answer to that one. So it’s supremely silly to base an argument on it.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 49, you’re not really going to bring the mystery of evil into this, are you? Nobody – but nobody – has an answer to that one. So it’s supremely silly to base an argument on it.

  • Bob

    ‘Santorum’s comments are well within the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine.’

    No, they’re not.

    Unless you want to throw your lot in with the wacko hypercharismatic Dominionist crowd who believes there are demons for every country, every state, city, etc., ad nauseum.

    I’m starting to think of Rick Sanitarium as a Catholic dominionist.

    The whole thing is really a waste of time and speculation — but that’s what blogs are for, I guess. RS will never, ever be our President anyway. He appeals to a group of social conservatives, and that’s about it.

  • Bob

    ‘Santorum’s comments are well within the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine.’

    No, they’re not.

    Unless you want to throw your lot in with the wacko hypercharismatic Dominionist crowd who believes there are demons for every country, every state, city, etc., ad nauseum.

    I’m starting to think of Rick Sanitarium as a Catholic dominionist.

    The whole thing is really a waste of time and speculation — but that’s what blogs are for, I guess. RS will never, ever be our President anyway. He appeals to a group of social conservatives, and that’s about it.

  • reg

    Tom,
    You ask “Does the Devil have even one power equal to any of God’s powers?” The answer is of course not. Anything he does is only within the limits permitted by God.

  • reg

    Tom,
    You ask “Does the Devil have even one power equal to any of God’s powers?” The answer is of course not. Anything he does is only within the limits permitted by God.

  • Tom Hering

    reg, okay. But command of the winds, and the creation of fire from heaven, are powers the Scriptures attribute to God alone. Satan can’t do these things, and God doesn’t empower him to do them. God would make Satan look like His equal if He did.

  • Tom Hering

    reg, okay. But command of the winds, and the creation of fire from heaven, are powers the Scriptures attribute to God alone. Satan can’t do these things, and God doesn’t empower him to do them. God would make Satan look like His equal if He did.

  • kerner

    Klasie @26:
    “Kerner, I can see the paw of the laywer. Selective quoting is a tool of S…. oops ”

    Alas, my lawyer’s paw must be used in my clients’ service most of today, so I must be brief.

    But your last statement bears consistant application. Remember that Santorum’s statements about Satan are selectively quoted out of context by Matt Drudge. And Matt Drudge is:

    1. A Romney supporter, and

    2. Probably someone you don’t consider a particularly reliable journalist (this goes for you too Tom Herring).

    Is your oppostition to Rick Santorum so strong that you are prepared to accept the selective quotes of Matt Drudge as proof positive of what Santorum meant?

    Look, maybe somebody who has time today should try to scare up a copy of Santorum’s entire speech to Ave Maria University. And if it is all about the USA being God’s anointed country, I may have to stand corrected. But I suspect there may be simply a call for committed American Catholics to try to influence their culture, i.e. let their light so shine so that men may see their good works and glorify their Father in Heaven.

    Or, there may be some kind of mixture of the two. Roman Catholicism has never embraced two kingdom theology. For the church to overtly influence the government has been its long practice. To the extent that Santorum was opposing two kingdom theology, I’ll criticize him right along with you. But I am not about to throw our common theology under the bus just because he uses some references to “Satan” being loose in the world. As reg mentioned, and Kitty also, Satan’s great strategy is to convince us that there is no Hell or devil or fallen angels. But the popular materialism of today’s culture is wrong.

    What’s bothering me is that some Christians seem perfectly willing to join the unsaved materialists in attacking Santorum in ways that also attack Christian truths, because they oppose Santorum’s politics. Well, feel free to oppose Santorum’s politics all you want, this is America (or Canada), but don’t start attacking Christian doctrine to do it.

  • kerner

    Klasie @26:
    “Kerner, I can see the paw of the laywer. Selective quoting is a tool of S…. oops ”

    Alas, my lawyer’s paw must be used in my clients’ service most of today, so I must be brief.

    But your last statement bears consistant application. Remember that Santorum’s statements about Satan are selectively quoted out of context by Matt Drudge. And Matt Drudge is:

    1. A Romney supporter, and

    2. Probably someone you don’t consider a particularly reliable journalist (this goes for you too Tom Herring).

    Is your oppostition to Rick Santorum so strong that you are prepared to accept the selective quotes of Matt Drudge as proof positive of what Santorum meant?

    Look, maybe somebody who has time today should try to scare up a copy of Santorum’s entire speech to Ave Maria University. And if it is all about the USA being God’s anointed country, I may have to stand corrected. But I suspect there may be simply a call for committed American Catholics to try to influence their culture, i.e. let their light so shine so that men may see their good works and glorify their Father in Heaven.

    Or, there may be some kind of mixture of the two. Roman Catholicism has never embraced two kingdom theology. For the church to overtly influence the government has been its long practice. To the extent that Santorum was opposing two kingdom theology, I’ll criticize him right along with you. But I am not about to throw our common theology under the bus just because he uses some references to “Satan” being loose in the world. As reg mentioned, and Kitty also, Satan’s great strategy is to convince us that there is no Hell or devil or fallen angels. But the popular materialism of today’s culture is wrong.

    What’s bothering me is that some Christians seem perfectly willing to join the unsaved materialists in attacking Santorum in ways that also attack Christian truths, because they oppose Santorum’s politics. Well, feel free to oppose Santorum’s politics all you want, this is America (or Canada), but don’t start attacking Christian doctrine to do it.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 50, 51: “Mystery of evil”? Well, I guess you’re the one bringing that into this discussion. I only pointed out that Satan and his demons certainly do have free agency, within the confines permitted by God. And that, as evidenced in Job, God permits Satan a broad area in which to act in order to ensure man his own free agency. There is nothing “supremely silly” about a fundamental of the Christian faith.

    As for my questions @ 43 — still waiting for an answer.

    So, you believe that Pharaoh’s magicians were simply David Blaine doing a really good Las Vegas act (“Pharaoh’s Palace” — on the Strip! ;-) ). Well, others believe that as well, but I think it’s a minority view. The three “illusions” they were able to duplicate would have involved a vast team of assistants, equipment, and a lot of time to pull off. First one — Ex. 7: 11-12 — each magician threw down his staff and it turned into a serpent, while Aaron’s serpent was still there. Meaning this happened within the space of a few minutes. Pretty impressive illusion, without proper preparation! Just how would you pull that off, without supernatural intervention, with no notice? Note that verse 11 says they also “did the same, with their secret arts”. An illusion isn’t “the same”. Why did Aaron’s serpent swallow up the magicians’ serpents? Because God is the true author of miracles, and of all power, even that misused by Satan or by us. But that doesn’t mean the magicians’ serpents weren’t supernaturally derived.

    First plague — blood. Verse 22: “But the magicians did the same with their secret arts…”. OK, they must have had drums and drums of blood in the back room of palace, and poured it into the Nile somehow without Moses and Aaron seeing it, and it fouled the Nile and throughout all of the land of Egypt? Hmm. Tough one. It’s gonna play for years on the Strip, though.

    Second plague — Frogs (Ex. 8: 1-15). Another terrific act! ;-) Swarm of frogs over the whole land. Again, verse 7 — “And the magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt”. Don’t think even David Copperfield could pull that off — his “secret arts” must not be as good.

    Third plague: Gnats. Uh-oh, no can do. Interestingly, verse 18 says that the magicians tried to bring forth gnats, but they could not. Well, if this was all just illusion, why try if you know you don’t have any gnats set up in the storehouse? And then you just throw it all aside and admit “This is the finger of God”? (v. 19). If you’re duplicitous enough to pretend that you are matching God’s miracles up until now, even though you are using cheap illusions, then I don’t think you are going to be so quick to acknowledge the finger of God for the one you can’t pull off. No, these guys were true believers. Which is why Paul called them out by name in II Timothy 3:8 as opposing Moses.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 50, 51: “Mystery of evil”? Well, I guess you’re the one bringing that into this discussion. I only pointed out that Satan and his demons certainly do have free agency, within the confines permitted by God. And that, as evidenced in Job, God permits Satan a broad area in which to act in order to ensure man his own free agency. There is nothing “supremely silly” about a fundamental of the Christian faith.

    As for my questions @ 43 — still waiting for an answer.

    So, you believe that Pharaoh’s magicians were simply David Blaine doing a really good Las Vegas act (“Pharaoh’s Palace” — on the Strip! ;-) ). Well, others believe that as well, but I think it’s a minority view. The three “illusions” they were able to duplicate would have involved a vast team of assistants, equipment, and a lot of time to pull off. First one — Ex. 7: 11-12 — each magician threw down his staff and it turned into a serpent, while Aaron’s serpent was still there. Meaning this happened within the space of a few minutes. Pretty impressive illusion, without proper preparation! Just how would you pull that off, without supernatural intervention, with no notice? Note that verse 11 says they also “did the same, with their secret arts”. An illusion isn’t “the same”. Why did Aaron’s serpent swallow up the magicians’ serpents? Because God is the true author of miracles, and of all power, even that misused by Satan or by us. But that doesn’t mean the magicians’ serpents weren’t supernaturally derived.

    First plague — blood. Verse 22: “But the magicians did the same with their secret arts…”. OK, they must have had drums and drums of blood in the back room of palace, and poured it into the Nile somehow without Moses and Aaron seeing it, and it fouled the Nile and throughout all of the land of Egypt? Hmm. Tough one. It’s gonna play for years on the Strip, though.

    Second plague — Frogs (Ex. 8: 1-15). Another terrific act! ;-) Swarm of frogs over the whole land. Again, verse 7 — “And the magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt”. Don’t think even David Copperfield could pull that off — his “secret arts” must not be as good.

    Third plague: Gnats. Uh-oh, no can do. Interestingly, verse 18 says that the magicians tried to bring forth gnats, but they could not. Well, if this was all just illusion, why try if you know you don’t have any gnats set up in the storehouse? And then you just throw it all aside and admit “This is the finger of God”? (v. 19). If you’re duplicitous enough to pretend that you are matching God’s miracles up until now, even though you are using cheap illusions, then I don’t think you are going to be so quick to acknowledge the finger of God for the one you can’t pull off. No, these guys were true believers. Which is why Paul called them out by name in II Timothy 3:8 as opposing Moses.

  • Grace

    Obviously the devil can attack anyone.

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    James 4:7

  • Grace

    Obviously the devil can attack anyone.

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    James 4:7

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Reg – which brings me back to my point at #17. I find the literalist interpretation of hyper-comlicated prophetic passages troubling, while balking at the simple logic that God rules, and Christ defeated sin and death. He crushed the snake, did He not? Whereas there is danger in ignoring the evil one, there is also great danger in giving him more than his due. But such is the natural result of false legalistic / semi-pelagian theology.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Reg – which brings me back to my point at #17. I find the literalist interpretation of hyper-comlicated prophetic passages troubling, while balking at the simple logic that God rules, and Christ defeated sin and death. He crushed the snake, did He not? Whereas there is danger in ignoring the evil one, there is also great danger in giving him more than his due. But such is the natural result of false legalistic / semi-pelagian theology.

  • Grace

    Ephesians 6 tells us how we are to stand against the devil. There are “evil days” the “armour of God” is our shield.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6

  • Grace

    Ephesians 6 tells us how we are to stand against the devil. There are “evil days” the “armour of God” is our shield.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6

  • Bob

    Gracie,

    The Bible is written for believers. So your statement is incorrect.

  • Bob

    Gracie,

    The Bible is written for believers. So your statement is incorrect.

  • Grace

    Bob @ 60

    YOU WROTE: “The Bible is written for believers. So your statement is incorrect.”

    WRONG!

    The Bible is for everyone. Christ preached to lost sinners, HE gave them the way of Salvation. HIS Apostles followed HIM, and wrote, according to the HOLY Spirit what one needed to do to be saved.

    Where did you get the idea that the Bible was written for only Christian Believers?

  • Grace

    Bob @ 60

    YOU WROTE: “The Bible is written for believers. So your statement is incorrect.”

    WRONG!

    The Bible is for everyone. Christ preached to lost sinners, HE gave them the way of Salvation. HIS Apostles followed HIM, and wrote, according to the HOLY Spirit what one needed to do to be saved.

    Where did you get the idea that the Bible was written for only Christian Believers?

  • Grace

    Bob, my name is Grace, unless of course you’re a child trying to be cutsey, maybe that’s it!

  • Grace

    Bob, my name is Grace, unless of course you’re a child trying to be cutsey, maybe that’s it!

  • DonS

    Eph. 6:12, as Grace quoted above, says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. In other words, against supernatural evil powers that are in this world for the sole purpose of hindering people from coming to Christ. Klasie (referencing your comment @ 17), Paul certainly didn’t regard the battle as being over. Sure, we are assured, as Christians, of ultimate victory in Christ, but the battle in this world is for the souls of men. Satan will attack Christians by any available means to prevent them from spreading the Gospel of Christ to unbelievers. That’s the bottom line, and that’s what Santorum was saying.

  • DonS

    Eph. 6:12, as Grace quoted above, says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. In other words, against supernatural evil powers that are in this world for the sole purpose of hindering people from coming to Christ. Klasie (referencing your comment @ 17), Paul certainly didn’t regard the battle as being over. Sure, we are assured, as Christians, of ultimate victory in Christ, but the battle in this world is for the souls of men. Satan will attack Christians by any available means to prevent them from spreading the Gospel of Christ to unbelievers. That’s the bottom line, and that’s what Santorum was saying.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 56, Pharoah “called for the wise men and the sorcerers.” Obviously, they weren’t present, and surely had a few minutes to grab the appropriate trick before they came. (The old “serpent in a thin papyrus tube” trick. You light it and – poof!- you’ve got a snake in your grip. :-D )

    Did the magicians turn all the waters of Egypt into blood – just as Aaron had? How could they have, when the Nile was still red from what Aaron had done – seven days after the magicians performed their trick (obviously on some vessels of water the Lord had spared)?

    Did the magicians cover all the land of Egypt with frogs? Scripture doesn’t say they did. It only says they made frogs appear on the land. You don’t need a crew and tons of equipment to pull that off.

    Clearly, clearly, clearly, the point in Exodus is to contrast God’s power with the fakery of false religion. And so to emphasize Pharoah’s foolishness.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 56, Pharoah “called for the wise men and the sorcerers.” Obviously, they weren’t present, and surely had a few minutes to grab the appropriate trick before they came. (The old “serpent in a thin papyrus tube” trick. You light it and – poof!- you’ve got a snake in your grip. :-D )

    Did the magicians turn all the waters of Egypt into blood – just as Aaron had? How could they have, when the Nile was still red from what Aaron had done – seven days after the magicians performed their trick (obviously on some vessels of water the Lord had spared)?

    Did the magicians cover all the land of Egypt with frogs? Scripture doesn’t say they did. It only says they made frogs appear on the land. You don’t need a crew and tons of equipment to pull that off.

    Clearly, clearly, clearly, the point in Exodus is to contrast God’s power with the fakery of false religion. And so to emphasize Pharoah’s foolishness.

  • DonS

    Well, Tom @ 64, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I guess your argument is that when Scripture said they did “the same”, that wasn’t true. It really just meant they poured a bottle of dye into the river and released a box of frogs into Pharaoh’s backyard. And even so, they thought that showed that Moses’ plagues weren’t real, and then were really impressed when their “Mr. Magic’s Box of Gnats” were dead, and they had to admit that the gnats really were a result of the finger of God. Boy, the story sure seems different when you tell it. And pretty lame.

    So, are you ever going to answer the questions I asked you @ 43?

  • DonS

    Well, Tom @ 64, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I guess your argument is that when Scripture said they did “the same”, that wasn’t true. It really just meant they poured a bottle of dye into the river and released a box of frogs into Pharaoh’s backyard. And even so, they thought that showed that Moses’ plagues weren’t real, and then were really impressed when their “Mr. Magic’s Box of Gnats” were dead, and they had to admit that the gnats really were a result of the finger of God. Boy, the story sure seems different when you tell it. And pretty lame.

    So, are you ever going to answer the questions I asked you @ 43?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, I’d like you to point where I was attacking Christian doctrine, as per your last sentence.

    In any case, as I said way in the beginning, to me the irony of the whole situation is that the extracts (I admit) of RS’s speech, sound more like the Exceptionalism one could derive from Joseph Smith’s wacky theology, than from the Church of Rome. And I wish to repeat the word irony. See my subsequent remarks in that light, and in the light of one who grew up in people obsessed with fighting the devil, aand satanism, and eeevil rock music, and bs theology.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner, I’d like you to point where I was attacking Christian doctrine, as per your last sentence.

    In any case, as I said way in the beginning, to me the irony of the whole situation is that the extracts (I admit) of RS’s speech, sound more like the Exceptionalism one could derive from Joseph Smith’s wacky theology, than from the Church of Rome. And I wish to repeat the word irony. See my subsequent remarks in that light, and in the light of one who grew up in people obsessed with fighting the devil, aand satanism, and eeevil rock music, and bs theology.

  • kerner

    Does it really matter whether Satan tries to deceive us through actual supernatural activity or through magicians’ tricks?

    And I have to concede that the Bible says little about the work of angels and demons in the world. I seem to remember there being an OT prophet who told God that he was afraid and God allowed him to see the angels who were all around him guarding him (my memory may be faulty). But the gist of what we read is that these beings are around us and working even though we do not perceive them. But the additional gist is that the Bible speaks to us 99.9% of the time without any reference to that fact.

    So, Tom, Klasie, et al are convincing me that the emphasis should not be on angels and demons, but upon the Law and Gospel. What we need to focus on is the Law (am I not loving God and/or my neighbor?) and the Gospel (I’m not, but Christ died for my sins, so they won’t kill me). But even if that’s where the focus should be, I don’t see why it should be such a big deal for a Christian (who was not at that time an office holder or a candidate for office) to mention Satan in a few lines of a speech to a Christian audience.

    Why is everybody all up in arms over this?

  • kerner

    Does it really matter whether Satan tries to deceive us through actual supernatural activity or through magicians’ tricks?

    And I have to concede that the Bible says little about the work of angels and demons in the world. I seem to remember there being an OT prophet who told God that he was afraid and God allowed him to see the angels who were all around him guarding him (my memory may be faulty). But the gist of what we read is that these beings are around us and working even though we do not perceive them. But the additional gist is that the Bible speaks to us 99.9% of the time without any reference to that fact.

    So, Tom, Klasie, et al are convincing me that the emphasis should not be on angels and demons, but upon the Law and Gospel. What we need to focus on is the Law (am I not loving God and/or my neighbor?) and the Gospel (I’m not, but Christ died for my sins, so they won’t kill me). But even if that’s where the focus should be, I don’t see why it should be such a big deal for a Christian (who was not at that time an office holder or a candidate for office) to mention Satan in a few lines of a speech to a Christian audience.

    Why is everybody all up in arms over this?

  • DonS

    Exactly, Kerner @ 67. Why is everyone up in arms over this?

  • DonS

    Exactly, Kerner @ 67. Why is everyone up in arms over this?

  • Grace

    Kerner @ 67

    “Why is everybody all up in arms over this?”

    The devil and his angels are real, people don’t like to think about it, it scares them, and it should.

    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
    1 Peter 5:8

    The devil is ready to tempt and devour, any and all who fall prey to his cunning ways.

  • Grace

    Kerner @ 67

    “Why is everybody all up in arms over this?”

    The devil and his angels are real, people don’t like to think about it, it scares them, and it should.

    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
    1 Peter 5:8

    The devil is ready to tempt and devour, any and all who fall prey to his cunning ways.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, what? Moses was a stranger to insult humor? He was deadly serious when he wrote that the magicians did “the same”? Moses – Moses, mind you – believed magicians had powers equal to God’s? Or that God gave them powers so they’d at least look equal to God? For a while, anyways? Surely, you jest.

    And why would they pour dye into a river that was still blood – and was still blood seven days after their trick with some other water? Did you miss something there?

    As for your questions @ 43: “no” and “yes and no.”

  • Tom Hering

    Don, what? Moses was a stranger to insult humor? He was deadly serious when he wrote that the magicians did “the same”? Moses – Moses, mind you – believed magicians had powers equal to God’s? Or that God gave them powers so they’d at least look equal to God? For a while, anyways? Surely, you jest.

    And why would they pour dye into a river that was still blood – and was still blood seven days after their trick with some other water? Did you miss something there?

    As for your questions @ 43: “no” and “yes and no.”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    It should be clear from my earlier poosts why I am against the remarks: Not because he believes in the existence of Satan – not at all. But because of the implied big “E” Exceptionalism, with an undertone of TwoKingdom mix-up.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    It should be clear from my earlier poosts why I am against the remarks: Not because he believes in the existence of Satan – not at all. But because of the implied big “E” Exceptionalism, with an undertone of TwoKingdom mix-up.

  • Tom Hering

    “Why is everyone up in arms about this?”

    I don’t know about being up in arms. But if Santorum feels free to seriously question the theology of other politicians (like that of the President), his own theology as a politician is fair game. And a lot more fun, given its specific content. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “Why is everyone up in arms about this?”

    I don’t know about being up in arms. But if Santorum feels free to seriously question the theology of other politicians (like that of the President), his own theology as a politician is fair game. And a lot more fun, given its specific content. :-D

  • kerner

    Klasie @66:

    I wasn’t talking about you, specifically, and your comments on this thread explain you position and have convinced me in some respects as I said @67. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I was talking about you.

    But unlike you (@71), there is at least one comment on this blog that HAS seemed to be simply ridiculing Santorum for believing in Satan. I’m not sure I want to draw attention to it now, but it really bothered me at the time.

  • kerner

    Klasie @66:

    I wasn’t talking about you, specifically, and your comments on this thread explain you position and have convinced me in some respects as I said @67. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I was talking about you.

    But unlike you (@71), there is at least one comment on this blog that HAS seemed to be simply ridiculing Santorum for believing in Satan. I’m not sure I want to draw attention to it now, but it really bothered me at the time.

  • DonS

    Tom Hering @ 70: Ok, thanks for the answers. But now, at comment 72, I can’t remember why I asked them ;-)

    So, Exodus 7 as satire. Interesting….. For being slow of speech, Moses was quite the wit! But, I don’t think so. Good try. Too many holes. Not enough evidence. Doesn’t comport with all of the other Scripture passages showing that Satan has supernatural forces at his disposal, as a fallen angel, including many of those quoted above, and that God, in His Infinite Wisdom, allows him to use them here on this earth and for this time, though He ultimately protects His own.

    Bottom line — what Kerner said @ 67. Santorum didn’t say anything to get up in arms about.

  • DonS

    Tom Hering @ 70: Ok, thanks for the answers. But now, at comment 72, I can’t remember why I asked them ;-)

    So, Exodus 7 as satire. Interesting….. For being slow of speech, Moses was quite the wit! But, I don’t think so. Good try. Too many holes. Not enough evidence. Doesn’t comport with all of the other Scripture passages showing that Satan has supernatural forces at his disposal, as a fallen angel, including many of those quoted above, and that God, in His Infinite Wisdom, allows him to use them here on this earth and for this time, though He ultimately protects His own.

    Bottom line — what Kerner said @ 67. Santorum didn’t say anything to get up in arms about.

  • kerner

    Tom Herring @72:

    When has Santorum questioned the theology of the President? Or, what other politicians?

    In 2008 George W. Bush was president, and we question his theology all the time. In his 2008 speech, Santorum questioned the theology of mainline American protestantism, but I do that all the time and so do you. Again, what’s the big deal, except that liberals want to ridicule Santorum whether he deserves it or not?

  • kerner

    Tom Herring @72:

    When has Santorum questioned the theology of the President? Or, what other politicians?

    In 2008 George W. Bush was president, and we question his theology all the time. In his 2008 speech, Santorum questioned the theology of mainline American protestantism, but I do that all the time and so do you. Again, what’s the big deal, except that liberals want to ridicule Santorum whether he deserves it or not?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    One addition, before Grace starts her obligatory anti-Canadian rant: Religiously based exceptionalism is also found elsewhere today (other than in the now defunct apartheid SA): Putin’s Russia, where an Exceptionalism based on Russian Orthodoxy and Russian Nationalism is actively being fostered, is one example.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    One addition, before Grace starts her obligatory anti-Canadian rant: Religiously based exceptionalism is also found elsewhere today (other than in the now defunct apartheid SA): Putin’s Russia, where an Exceptionalism based on Russian Orthodoxy and Russian Nationalism is actively being fostered, is one example.

  • reg

    KK@58,
    Agree totally.

  • reg

    KK@58,
    Agree totally.

  • DonS

    Klasie, you’re talking about exceptionalism, and I don’t think it’s in play at all here. Santorum is a U.S. politician, so he talks about the U.S. If he were Canadian, or British, or French, or…whatever, he would say the same thing. He’s not singling out the U.S., I think he believes, as I do, that Satan is at work throughout the world to tear down institutions that are favorable to the free exercise of religion, for the purpose of hindering, in particular, Christian ministry.

  • DonS

    Klasie, you’re talking about exceptionalism, and I don’t think it’s in play at all here. Santorum is a U.S. politician, so he talks about the U.S. If he were Canadian, or British, or French, or…whatever, he would say the same thing. He’s not singling out the U.S., I think he believes, as I do, that Satan is at work throughout the world to tear down institutions that are favorable to the free exercise of religion, for the purpose of hindering, in particular, Christian ministry.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bah. The real problem is that Santorum believes that the United States of America is a “good” and “decent” country.
    It isn’t — it’s a sinful country filled with sinful people that has done and continues to do many horrible things (a description that is in no way exclusive to the USA) — but the popular American religion won’t allow its adherents to admit as much. This ties into the Exceptionalism that Klasie keeps referring to.

    The funny thing is that Santorum (or whomever else the Republican nominee ends up being) will find a near-endless supply of things to complain about our country. The trick is in imputing these as foreign properties brought about by Them. And so America isn’t a country with a significant abortion problem (and a higher abortion rate than many godless socialist countries), it’s a good country that had abortion foisted on it by Them.

    And all we need to do to ensure that America is the “good” and “decent” country that we all know to be is to overturn Roe v. Wade, outlaw abortion, cut taxes, abolish public education, end the entitlement programs, etc. … and voila! It’ll be a country that bears no resemblance to ours! But we’ll call it ours and we’ll call it “good” and “decent”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bah. The real problem is that Santorum believes that the United States of America is a “good” and “decent” country.
    It isn’t — it’s a sinful country filled with sinful people that has done and continues to do many horrible things (a description that is in no way exclusive to the USA) — but the popular American religion won’t allow its adherents to admit as much. This ties into the Exceptionalism that Klasie keeps referring to.

    The funny thing is that Santorum (or whomever else the Republican nominee ends up being) will find a near-endless supply of things to complain about our country. The trick is in imputing these as foreign properties brought about by Them. And so America isn’t a country with a significant abortion problem (and a higher abortion rate than many godless socialist countries), it’s a good country that had abortion foisted on it by Them.

    And all we need to do to ensure that America is the “good” and “decent” country that we all know to be is to overturn Roe v. Wade, outlaw abortion, cut taxes, abolish public education, end the entitlement programs, etc. … and voila! It’ll be a country that bears no resemblance to ours! But we’ll call it ours and we’ll call it “good” and “decent”.

  • kerner

    Tom @79:

    Argh! You have me! :D From your link:

    Responding to a separate question on whether he disagrees with Obama when the president calls himself a Christian, Santorum said, “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

    He added that liberals on “the left” have been imposing their own moral code on Americans for quite some time.

    “You can call it a theology, you can call it a moral code, you can call it a world view,” he said. “They want to impose [that] on everybody else while they insist and complain that somehow or another people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code.”

    Anybody who uses “theology” and “moral code” interchageably seriously needs to get a better grip on how to define terms.

    But Christian liberals still shouldn’t ridicule the guy for telling a bunch of his fellow Catholics (in 2008) that he believes in Satan. It disrespects Christianity as a whole as a means of attacking a political opponent. Even if Santorum were guilty of that himself, he should be criticized for it, not responded to in kind.

    Now if you want to make fun of him for not knowing what theology means, I guess I’m speechless.

  • kerner

    Tom @79:

    Argh! You have me! :D From your link:

    Responding to a separate question on whether he disagrees with Obama when the president calls himself a Christian, Santorum said, “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

    He added that liberals on “the left” have been imposing their own moral code on Americans for quite some time.

    “You can call it a theology, you can call it a moral code, you can call it a world view,” he said. “They want to impose [that] on everybody else while they insist and complain that somehow or another people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code.”

    Anybody who uses “theology” and “moral code” interchageably seriously needs to get a better grip on how to define terms.

    But Christian liberals still shouldn’t ridicule the guy for telling a bunch of his fellow Catholics (in 2008) that he believes in Satan. It disrespects Christianity as a whole as a means of attacking a political opponent. Even if Santorum were guilty of that himself, he should be criticized for it, not responded to in kind.

    Now if you want to make fun of him for not knowing what theology means, I guess I’m speechless.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 81, I didn’t mean to cause an arghasm. Sorry.

    “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.” That was Santorum the next day, walking back his “phony theology” comment.

    I hope you understand I’m not criticizing Santorum for accepting the reality of Satan. Just for giving Satan too much credit.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 81, I didn’t mean to cause an arghasm. Sorry.

    “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.” That was Santorum the next day, walking back his “phony theology” comment.

    I hope you understand I’m not criticizing Santorum for accepting the reality of Satan. Just for giving Satan too much credit.

  • kerner

    tODD @80:

    All too true. But taking it as given that the best we can hope for is to make the USA a better and more decent place than it now is, or maybe slightly better and more decent relative to other places, are there any legitimate efforts American Christians can make to that end without becoming obnoxious “culture warriors”?

  • kerner

    tODD @80:

    All too true. But taking it as given that the best we can hope for is to make the USA a better and more decent place than it now is, or maybe slightly better and more decent relative to other places, are there any legitimate efforts American Christians can make to that end without becoming obnoxious “culture warriors”?

  • kerner

    Tom:

    When I’m got, I’m got. I admit it. :D

  • kerner

    Tom:

    When I’m got, I’m got. I admit it. :D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@83), sure, but I feel like discussion along those lines would really be off-topic at this point, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@83), sure, but I feel like discussion along those lines would really be off-topic at this point, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • Grace

    IF you are so disgruntled with the U.S. perhaps you should apply for a passport to UTOPIA.

    We have a lot of good people who are dedicated to the LORD in this country, who are trying very hard, to change the laws regarding abortion, PLUS, make sure, other such laws, as legalized prostitution and drugs never come to pass. Our country isn’t perfect, it never was, but because man has taken a hike after evil, the stench in this country must give Satan the urge to dance his destruction deeper into our country. It all started when Lucifer became envious of God ALMIGHTY, he wanted to be equal.

    Envy is the root cause of sin. It’s origin began with Lucifer when he wanted to be equal with God, and then was thrown down.

    Eve listening to Satan in the Garden, telling her she would become wise and she and Adam would become as gods.

    5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    Genesis 3

    BELOW, we see the envy of Satan, he wanted to be a god – “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”

    12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

    17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

    Isaiah 14

    Satan has been envious of God ALMIGHTY before the world. He’s still jealous. The United States has prospered since it’s inception, however the moral values in our country have decayed, it’s obvious, who would be more excited than the devil himself?

    The rest of the world looks on as the U.S. struggles with many Christian Believers to reinstate moral values AGAINST abortion,.. one of the most important, laws that would prohibit it being lawful. Laws that give same sex marriage a certificate of credibility is another. Drugs, crime, pornography, those who would like to make prostitution legal, and drugs as well. Satan must be dancing the jig, as vast numbers in this country stand and salute that which is evil.

    The world at large, for the most part, except the British and Israel, have stood AGAINST the United States, unless it’s our financial support they want, and sometimes demand. The hatred and jealousy against the U.S. is well known, one has only to travel to see it first hand. I don’t mean zipping through a town or country on a whirl wind vacation, I mean talking to people, asking questions. For the most part, it soon becomes evident as to the envy the rest of the world has against us.

    Our country was founded on Biblical principles, we’ve strayed a long way from that time just a few hundred years ago. After all, our forefathers came here for freedom of religion and tyranny. What better place for the “evil one” to destroy!

  • Grace

    IF you are so disgruntled with the U.S. perhaps you should apply for a passport to UTOPIA.

    We have a lot of good people who are dedicated to the LORD in this country, who are trying very hard, to change the laws regarding abortion, PLUS, make sure, other such laws, as legalized prostitution and drugs never come to pass. Our country isn’t perfect, it never was, but because man has taken a hike after evil, the stench in this country must give Satan the urge to dance his destruction deeper into our country. It all started when Lucifer became envious of God ALMIGHTY, he wanted to be equal.

    Envy is the root cause of sin. It’s origin began with Lucifer when he wanted to be equal with God, and then was thrown down.

    Eve listening to Satan in the Garden, telling her she would become wise and she and Adam would become as gods.

    5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    Genesis 3

    BELOW, we see the envy of Satan, he wanted to be a god – “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”

    12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

    17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

    Isaiah 14

    Satan has been envious of God ALMIGHTY before the world. He’s still jealous. The United States has prospered since it’s inception, however the moral values in our country have decayed, it’s obvious, who would be more excited than the devil himself?

    The rest of the world looks on as the U.S. struggles with many Christian Believers to reinstate moral values AGAINST abortion,.. one of the most important, laws that would prohibit it being lawful. Laws that give same sex marriage a certificate of credibility is another. Drugs, crime, pornography, those who would like to make prostitution legal, and drugs as well. Satan must be dancing the jig, as vast numbers in this country stand and salute that which is evil.

    The world at large, for the most part, except the British and Israel, have stood AGAINST the United States, unless it’s our financial support they want, and sometimes demand. The hatred and jealousy against the U.S. is well known, one has only to travel to see it first hand. I don’t mean zipping through a town or country on a whirl wind vacation, I mean talking to people, asking questions. For the most part, it soon becomes evident as to the envy the rest of the world has against us.

    Our country was founded on Biblical principles, we’ve strayed a long way from that time just a few hundred years ago. After all, our forefathers came here for freedom of religion and tyranny. What better place for the “evil one” to destroy!

  • kerner

    Nuts, it sounded interesting.

  • kerner

    Nuts, it sounded interesting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@87), as a palliative summary, you may recall that I’m vaguely fond of Ron Paul (as much as I can be fond of any politician), and I think he desires to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@87), as a palliative summary, you may recall that I’m vaguely fond of Ron Paul (as much as I can be fond of any politician), and I think he desires to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 88

    “I’m vaguely fond of Ron Paul (as much as I can be fond of any politician), and I think he desires to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.”

    Legalized prostitution and drugs, sure does hit the mark, that would make “America a better place” add to that phrase “without engaging in Culture Warriorism”

    How evil are those two items, and then “legalizing” them.

    Who would be happier with sin being made available in:
    :arrow: every mall,
    :arrow: next to the grocery stores,
    :arrow: down the street from schools.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 88

    “I’m vaguely fond of Ron Paul (as much as I can be fond of any politician), and I think he desires to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.”

    Legalized prostitution and drugs, sure does hit the mark, that would make “America a better place” add to that phrase “without engaging in Culture Warriorism”

    How evil are those two items, and then “legalizing” them.

    Who would be happier with sin being made available in:
    :arrow: every mall,
    :arrow: next to the grocery stores,
    :arrow: down the street from schools.

  • Grace

    You’ve certainly :idea: given us a lightbulb moment.

  • Grace

    You’ve certainly :idea: given us a lightbulb moment.

  • Grace

    Where is tODD, maybe he has more good suggestions for the Oval office, “to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.”

  • Grace

    Where is tODD, maybe he has more good suggestions for the Oval office, “to make America a better place without engaging in Culture Warriorism.”

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Grace (@89-91), I really admire your resolve to keep your understanding of political candidates’ campaigns limited to one (or, at most, two) farcical talking points.

    Remind me again, what was it you have against Romney? Was it his economic policy ideas?

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Grace (@89-91), I really admire your resolve to keep your understanding of political candidates’ campaigns limited to one (or, at most, two) farcical talking points.

    Remind me again, what was it you have against Romney? Was it his economic policy ideas?

  • Grace

    Poor tODD!

  • Grace

    Poor tODD!

  • John C

    The question is –
    How does a belief that Satan is attacking America and its institutions inform your domestic and foreign policy?

  • John C

    The question is –
    How does a belief that Satan is attacking America and its institutions inform your domestic and foreign policy?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    John C – judging from last night’s debate, it turns you into a team player that vote for policies you disagree with, and won’t apologise for. Or something like that.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    John C – judging from last night’s debate, it turns you into a team player that vote for policies you disagree with, and won’t apologise for. Or something like that.

  • John C

    Would President Santorium declare war on Satan?

  • John C

    Would President Santorium declare war on Satan?

  • Michael B.

    @John C.@94
    “How does a belief that Satan is attacking America and its institutions inform your domestic and foreign policy?”

    One of the best questions asked so far, as it’s most to the point. There are only 2 possibilities. Either the belief doesn’t affect Santorum’s domestic and foreign and policy, in which case, it’s not really a belief. Or the second case is that Santorum really believes there is some ancient, ultra-powerful, malignant, supernatural entity that has its sights set on the United States.

  • Michael B.

    @John C.@94
    “How does a belief that Satan is attacking America and its institutions inform your domestic and foreign policy?”

    One of the best questions asked so far, as it’s most to the point. There are only 2 possibilities. Either the belief doesn’t affect Santorum’s domestic and foreign and policy, in which case, it’s not really a belief. Or the second case is that Santorum really believes there is some ancient, ultra-powerful, malignant, supernatural entity that has its sights set on the United States.

  • Tom Hering

    John C @ 96, we can’t let Satan build a nuclear weapon. All options are on the table.

  • Tom Hering

    John C @ 96, we can’t let Satan build a nuclear weapon. All options are on the table.

  • kerner

    So, Michael B @97:

    What are you saying? That there is no devil? Or are you saying that there is a devil, but that he doesn’t have the United States, “in his sights”?

  • kerner

    So, Michael B @97:

    What are you saying? That there is no devil? Or are you saying that there is a devil, but that he doesn’t have the United States, “in his sights”?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @98, maybe he can borrow Benny Hinn’s Holy Ghost machine gun… that’ll show the devil and his nukes! :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @98, maybe he can borrow Benny Hinn’s Holy Ghost machine gun… that’ll show the devil and his nukes! :)

  • Tom Hering

    Benny Hinn? The English comedian? I don’t remember a Holy Ghost machine gun skit.

  • Tom Hering

    Benny Hinn? The English comedian? I don’t remember a Holy Ghost machine gun skit.

  • Gary

    John C @ 94 and Michael B @ 97–Exactly right!

    kerner @ 99–No, Michael may or may not believe in an actual, sentient being called the devil, but the devil’s existence isn’t the point. No one in government can meaningfully consider the supposed devil when it comes to making policy decisions. I certainly wouldn’t vote for a candidate who, if elected, would steer the country so as to protect us from the devil’s harm and thwart the horned one’s dastardly wiles. I just wouldn’t.

  • Gary

    John C @ 94 and Michael B @ 97–Exactly right!

    kerner @ 99–No, Michael may or may not believe in an actual, sentient being called the devil, but the devil’s existence isn’t the point. No one in government can meaningfully consider the supposed devil when it comes to making policy decisions. I certainly wouldn’t vote for a candidate who, if elected, would steer the country so as to protect us from the devil’s harm and thwart the horned one’s dastardly wiles. I just wouldn’t.

  • Gary

    Although, to add one more thing, I don’t think Santorum, if elected, would do that. Not intentionally, anyway.

  • Gary

    Although, to add one more thing, I don’t think Santorum, if elected, would do that. Not intentionally, anyway.

  • SKPeterson

    Benny Hinn is a dark lord of the Sith.

  • SKPeterson

    Benny Hinn is a dark lord of the Sith.

  • Tom Hering

    SK, hilarious! Only The Daily Show. The original clip has a bit more footage:

  • Tom Hering

    SK, hilarious! Only The Daily Show. The original clip has a bit more footage:

  • kerner

    Gary:

    No, they are exactly wrong. Lets start with some fundamentals.

    Does Christianity teach the existence of actual sentient beings called “angels”. I believe that it does.

    Does Christianity further teach that some angels have rejected God, their creator, and are therefor removed from the presence of God? Again, while I believe that the medieval imagery likening this to a battle with knights in armor is the imagination of a primitive people, I think that some of God’s angelic creation have rejected Him and now oppose Him is clearly taught.

    Do I believe that there is some kind of angelic presence in the reality humans know, both by those who serve God, and those who oppose Him. Yes, but I don’t know how that could possibly work. The Scripture says little or nothing about the mechanics of this.

    So, do I think an American president should spend any effort at all trying to discern the work of the “horned one” and combatting it directly? No. I wouldn’t vote for someone who thought he could do that either. Klasie and Tom are right. The problem of evil in our temporal reality is the result of sin. Human sin. And even though the work of fallen angels around us may have contributed to that problem in some way, we can’t possibly understand how. So attempting to fight them directly would be ridiculous.

    However, if an American presidential candidate were the kind of person who believed in “all things visible and invisible” , including the devil and his angels, and regularly prayed to God to “deliver us from evil”, believing that “evil” included the devil and his angels I would have no problem what so ever voting for such a person.

    (I remember reading somewhere that a better translation of the Lord’s Prayer is “deliver us from the evil one“, but I don’t know that for sure, but the NIV 1984 translates it that way).

    http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=deliver+us+from+evil&qs_version=NIV1984

    Therefore, when John C and Michael B, and even Tom H (who I don’t think means it that way) allow their zeal to attack Santorum motivate them to make the kinds of statements they have, they end up ridiculing the belief system underlying the Lord’s prayer, i.e. Christianity itself, and they ally themselves with and encourage unbelievers who are intentionally doing that very thing. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA AND CHRISTIANS SHOULDN’T DO IT.

    When right wing oponents of Obama ridicule Obama for “being a Muslim”, do you honestly think they are not attacking Islam as well as Obama. Now, the people who do that are probably just fine with attacking Islam and it is even probably one of the reasons they are using that tactic to attack Obama: it allows them to attack Obama and Islam at the same time. (I don’t believe Obama is a Muslim; I’m talking about his oponents here).

    The same is true for most of the people who attack Santorum in this way. Most of these people are not just attacking Santorum, they are using this to attack Christianity, or at least conservative Roman Catholicism, as well. Christians should not be a part of that.

    If politically liberal Christians want to attack Santorum, there are plenty of ways to go about it without resorting to this. If we, as Lutherans want to refute Roman Catholicism, there are certainly plenty of ways we have done, and will continue to do, that. But ridiculing a Catholic’s belief in the devil is crossing a line that Christians should not cross.

  • kerner

    Gary:

    No, they are exactly wrong. Lets start with some fundamentals.

    Does Christianity teach the existence of actual sentient beings called “angels”. I believe that it does.

    Does Christianity further teach that some angels have rejected God, their creator, and are therefor removed from the presence of God? Again, while I believe that the medieval imagery likening this to a battle with knights in armor is the imagination of a primitive people, I think that some of God’s angelic creation have rejected Him and now oppose Him is clearly taught.

    Do I believe that there is some kind of angelic presence in the reality humans know, both by those who serve God, and those who oppose Him. Yes, but I don’t know how that could possibly work. The Scripture says little or nothing about the mechanics of this.

    So, do I think an American president should spend any effort at all trying to discern the work of the “horned one” and combatting it directly? No. I wouldn’t vote for someone who thought he could do that either. Klasie and Tom are right. The problem of evil in our temporal reality is the result of sin. Human sin. And even though the work of fallen angels around us may have contributed to that problem in some way, we can’t possibly understand how. So attempting to fight them directly would be ridiculous.

    However, if an American presidential candidate were the kind of person who believed in “all things visible and invisible” , including the devil and his angels, and regularly prayed to God to “deliver us from evil”, believing that “evil” included the devil and his angels I would have no problem what so ever voting for such a person.

    (I remember reading somewhere that a better translation of the Lord’s Prayer is “deliver us from the evil one“, but I don’t know that for sure, but the NIV 1984 translates it that way).

    http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=deliver+us+from+evil&qs_version=NIV1984

    Therefore, when John C and Michael B, and even Tom H (who I don’t think means it that way) allow their zeal to attack Santorum motivate them to make the kinds of statements they have, they end up ridiculing the belief system underlying the Lord’s prayer, i.e. Christianity itself, and they ally themselves with and encourage unbelievers who are intentionally doing that very thing. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA AND CHRISTIANS SHOULDN’T DO IT.

    When right wing oponents of Obama ridicule Obama for “being a Muslim”, do you honestly think they are not attacking Islam as well as Obama. Now, the people who do that are probably just fine with attacking Islam and it is even probably one of the reasons they are using that tactic to attack Obama: it allows them to attack Obama and Islam at the same time. (I don’t believe Obama is a Muslim; I’m talking about his oponents here).

    The same is true for most of the people who attack Santorum in this way. Most of these people are not just attacking Santorum, they are using this to attack Christianity, or at least conservative Roman Catholicism, as well. Christians should not be a part of that.

    If politically liberal Christians want to attack Santorum, there are plenty of ways to go about it without resorting to this. If we, as Lutherans want to refute Roman Catholicism, there are certainly plenty of ways we have done, and will continue to do, that. But ridiculing a Catholic’s belief in the devil is crossing a line that Christians should not cross.

  • John C

    Grace at 86
    Utopia: love it or leave it.

  • John C

    Grace at 86
    Utopia: love it or leave it.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, I think I’ve been careful to say I’m not attacking Santorum for his belief in the reality of Satan and other fallen angels. I, too, believe in their reality.

    The big problem with Santorum’s view is the way he mixes politics, culture war, and spiritual warfare together. No matter what the issue, Satan is behind it, and he’s already won. He’s won the culture, he’s won the government, and he’s won a large part of the Church.

    (Santorum’s full speech here)

    No matter which issue you, as a Christian Warrior, choose to become engaged with – in the Church, or the culture, or the government – you aren’t up against opponents who simply disagree with you. Ultimately, it’s Satan himself who stands behind your opponents. It’s Satan himself who has formed their every view, and empowers their every move.

    And you aren’t just a Warrior, but a Martyr as well. You’re going to lose most of your battles, if not all of them. (Just remember Who wins in the end.)

    So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy. No need to be reasonable with them, or to hold back in any way. You’ve got nothing to lose because you’ve lost so much already. This isn’t a question of disagreement among Americans anymore. It’s the battle of Good versus Evil – of us versus them. Go out and fight them accordingly.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, I think I’ve been careful to say I’m not attacking Santorum for his belief in the reality of Satan and other fallen angels. I, too, believe in their reality.

    The big problem with Santorum’s view is the way he mixes politics, culture war, and spiritual warfare together. No matter what the issue, Satan is behind it, and he’s already won. He’s won the culture, he’s won the government, and he’s won a large part of the Church.

    (Santorum’s full speech here)

    No matter which issue you, as a Christian Warrior, choose to become engaged with – in the Church, or the culture, or the government – you aren’t up against opponents who simply disagree with you. Ultimately, it’s Satan himself who stands behind your opponents. It’s Satan himself who has formed their every view, and empowers their every move.

    And you aren’t just a Warrior, but a Martyr as well. You’re going to lose most of your battles, if not all of them. (Just remember Who wins in the end.)

    So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy. No need to be reasonable with them, or to hold back in any way. You’ve got nothing to lose because you’ve lost so much already. This isn’t a question of disagreement among Americans anymore. It’s the battle of Good versus Evil – of us versus them. Go out and fight them accordingly.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 208

    “<b.Ultimately, it’s Satan himself who stands behind your opponents. It’s Satan himself who has formed their every view, and empowers their every move.”

    Tom, that is the finest post you’ve ever written.

    “So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy.”

    Satan is the enemy, he has thousands behind him.

    I would like to use your comments, may I have your permission? I will use your name as the author.

    God bless you Tom

  • Grace

    Tom @ 208

    “<b.Ultimately, it’s Satan himself who stands behind your opponents. It’s Satan himself who has formed their every view, and empowers their every move.”

    Tom, that is the finest post you’ve ever written.

    “So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy.”

    Satan is the enemy, he has thousands behind him.

    I would like to use your comments, may I have your permission? I will use your name as the author.

    God bless you Tom

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, sure, so long as you understand I was presenting a point of view I consider a bit coo-coo. And make this clear if you use my name. Otherwise, just copy it and use it however you like – without crediting me. I can’t stop you. This is the internet. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, sure, so long as you understand I was presenting a point of view I consider a bit coo-coo. And make this clear if you use my name. Otherwise, just copy it and use it however you like – without crediting me. I can’t stop you. This is the internet. :-D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Awkward!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Awkward!

  • Bob

    Well, turns out Ricky Santorum does have a curse on him, according to this article.

    I don’t think it’s Satanic — though you black-and-white types on here might think so –

    Ricky’s a Beltway insider.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/24/rick-santorum-s-beltway-curse-is-hurting-his-2012-campaign.html

  • Bob

    Well, turns out Ricky Santorum does have a curse on him, according to this article.

    I don’t think it’s Satanic — though you black-and-white types on here might think so –

    Ricky’s a Beltway insider.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/24/rick-santorum-s-beltway-curse-is-hurting-his-2012-campaign.html

  • Tom Hering

    Yeah, I was surprised by Santorum’s poor performance in Wednesday’s debate. I cringed every time he tried to explain his record.

  • Tom Hering

    Yeah, I was surprised by Santorum’s poor performance in Wednesday’s debate. I cringed every time he tried to explain his record.

  • John C

    Santorum and most of the other candidates have all sought to promote their political objectives by invoking Christian doctrine.
    It’s an appalling political strategy that divides the nation into Christian and non Christian, the worthy and unworthy, us against them.
    And there are so many who are not Christian or Christian enough: homosexuals and feminists, Muslims, unionists, the poor, scientists, liberals, bureaucrats, actors and enviromentalists, and more including The Girl Guides.
    It is rhetoric that was once found on the very edge of political discourse and is now found at the centre. It thrives on anger and fear and you can hear this in any of the quotes made by Santorum in this post.
    it is difficult to tell where this outbreak of political hysteria will take America but I’m certain satan would approve.

  • John C

    Santorum and most of the other candidates have all sought to promote their political objectives by invoking Christian doctrine.
    It’s an appalling political strategy that divides the nation into Christian and non Christian, the worthy and unworthy, us against them.
    And there are so many who are not Christian or Christian enough: homosexuals and feminists, Muslims, unionists, the poor, scientists, liberals, bureaucrats, actors and enviromentalists, and more including The Girl Guides.
    It is rhetoric that was once found on the very edge of political discourse and is now found at the centre. It thrives on anger and fear and you can hear this in any of the quotes made by Santorum in this post.
    it is difficult to tell where this outbreak of political hysteria will take America but I’m certain satan would approve.

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    You said:
    “So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy. No need to be reasonable with them, or to hold back in any way. You’ve got nothing to lose because you’ve lost so much already. This isn’t a question of disagreement among Americans anymore. It’s the battle of Good versus Evil – of us versus them. Go out and fight them accordingly.”

    Physician, heal thyself. (well, maybe not you personally so much)

    But, take a hard look at your left-wing fellow travellers, ok. Have you paid any attention at all to the rhetoric of those who oppose Gov. Walker in this state? Of those people who besiege his home and frighten his children? Or how about the guy who followed a Republican legislator into a bar and threw beer all over him? Or the people who, rather than engage in some kind of a normal political debate, simply scream “shame shame shame” at the top of their lungs and make noise and call names and treat conservatives as sub human.

    How about Margaret Cho who said (words to the effect) that she wanted to rape Sara Palin with a di!do? How about the way Pres. Bush was reviled by the left? Can you honestly sit there and carry on as though conservatives are the ones who first portrayed our political differences as a struggle between good and evil? The left has turned hatred into an art form. While I sometimes reminisce about what I believe was once a more cordial age myself, conservative rhetoric is peanuts compared to the tsumnami of vitriolic hatred that comes out of the left whenever they suffer a political setback. The last year in Wisconsin alone proves that beyond any possible doubt.

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    You said:
    “So, you know your opponents aren’t just opponents, but enemies. Of the worst kind. Because they’re pawns, if not conscious followers, of the real Enemy. No need to be reasonable with them, or to hold back in any way. You’ve got nothing to lose because you’ve lost so much already. This isn’t a question of disagreement among Americans anymore. It’s the battle of Good versus Evil – of us versus them. Go out and fight them accordingly.”

    Physician, heal thyself. (well, maybe not you personally so much)

    But, take a hard look at your left-wing fellow travellers, ok. Have you paid any attention at all to the rhetoric of those who oppose Gov. Walker in this state? Of those people who besiege his home and frighten his children? Or how about the guy who followed a Republican legislator into a bar and threw beer all over him? Or the people who, rather than engage in some kind of a normal political debate, simply scream “shame shame shame” at the top of their lungs and make noise and call names and treat conservatives as sub human.

    How about Margaret Cho who said (words to the effect) that she wanted to rape Sara Palin with a di!do? How about the way Pres. Bush was reviled by the left? Can you honestly sit there and carry on as though conservatives are the ones who first portrayed our political differences as a struggle between good and evil? The left has turned hatred into an art form. While I sometimes reminisce about what I believe was once a more cordial age myself, conservative rhetoric is peanuts compared to the tsumnami of vitriolic hatred that comes out of the left whenever they suffer a political setback. The last year in Wisconsin alone proves that beyond any possible doubt.

  • John C

    The language of class warfare is often cruel and bitter and sometimes there is violence — it was ever thus, Kerner.
    I am facinated by your attempt to justify the use of Christian doctrine and teachings in the pusuit of political objectives by comparing it to the rhetoric used by the Left.
    The Left uses political hate speach so we can too.
    So this is the measure of Christianity’s fall within the Republican Party.

  • John C

    The language of class warfare is often cruel and bitter and sometimes there is violence — it was ever thus, Kerner.
    I am facinated by your attempt to justify the use of Christian doctrine and teachings in the pusuit of political objectives by comparing it to the rhetoric used by the Left.
    The Left uses political hate speach so we can too.
    So this is the measure of Christianity’s fall within the Republican Party.

  • John C

    God, as far as I know, is not a Republican , Kerner.

  • John C

    God, as far as I know, is not a Republican , Kerner.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    John C – which is also my complaint against those who want to use extreme tactics against the “enemies of the US”, like Tom M and Dennis Peskey in the Afghanistan thread above: Because some radicals kill indiscimately, and because some Muslims hate Christians, they think it is ok to return the favour.

    NOT OK.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    John C – which is also my complaint against those who want to use extreme tactics against the “enemies of the US”, like Tom M and Dennis Peskey in the Afghanistan thread above: Because some radicals kill indiscimately, and because some Muslims hate Christians, they think it is ok to return the favour.

    NOT OK.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 115, I’m as disgusted by wild hatred on the Left as I am by wild hatred on the Right. But the issue here isn’t wild hatred. It’s Santorum. Name a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party – anyone in the last fifty years – who believed Satan is responsible for America’s ills, because he’s the father of social and political opponents. Not someone who spoke metaphorically, but believed it’s literally true. The way Santorum does.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 115, I’m as disgusted by wild hatred on the Left as I am by wild hatred on the Right. But the issue here isn’t wild hatred. It’s Santorum. Name a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party – anyone in the last fifty years – who believed Satan is responsible for America’s ills, because he’s the father of social and political opponents. Not someone who spoke metaphorically, but believed it’s literally true. The way Santorum does.

  • Tom Hering

    Now it would appear that John F. Kennedy was Satan’s puppet too.

    “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

    He was referring to a 1960 speech by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on religion and governance, which Santorum said “makes me throw up.”

    “Because the first line, first substantive line in the speech says, ‘I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,’” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “You bet that makes you throw up.”

    Santorum said Kennedy “was trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you.”

    Kennedy gave the speech during his campaign for presidency because of concerns about his Catholic faith. He assured the public, including concerned Protestant leaders, that he would not be “the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.”

    Santorum, who is Catholic, has made his faith and religion a tenet of his campaign, and promised he would do as president, too.

    He said Kennedy meant that “people of faith have no role in the public square.”

    (CBS News Political Hotsheet, Sunday, February 26.)

    Santorum claiming that Kennedy wanted a government that imposed its values on the people is so incredibly ironic, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry – or strongly suggest that someone in the GOP should call the guys in the white coats. Because Santorum himself believes it’s okay for government to impose its values on the people, so long as they’re Christian values. As defined by Rick Santorum.

  • Tom Hering

    Now it would appear that John F. Kennedy was Satan’s puppet too.

    “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

    He was referring to a 1960 speech by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on religion and governance, which Santorum said “makes me throw up.”

    “Because the first line, first substantive line in the speech says, ‘I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,’” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “You bet that makes you throw up.”

    Santorum said Kennedy “was trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you.”

    Kennedy gave the speech during his campaign for presidency because of concerns about his Catholic faith. He assured the public, including concerned Protestant leaders, that he would not be “the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.”

    Santorum, who is Catholic, has made his faith and religion a tenet of his campaign, and promised he would do as president, too.

    He said Kennedy meant that “people of faith have no role in the public square.”

    (CBS News Political Hotsheet, Sunday, February 26.)

    Santorum claiming that Kennedy wanted a government that imposed its values on the people is so incredibly ironic, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry – or strongly suggest that someone in the GOP should call the guys in the white coats. Because Santorum himself believes it’s okay for government to impose its values on the people, so long as they’re Christian values. As defined by Rick Santorum.

  • John C

    And remember Tom, if you want to be diverted, inverted, perverted or converted, go to college.

  • John C

    And remember Tom, if you want to be diverted, inverted, perverted or converted, go to college.

  • Tom Hering

    Go to college? I’m conflicted.

    I know the President believes everyone who wants to go to college should be able to go (so we remain competitive with the rest of the world), but I also know he really means everyone should go to college. Because Rick Santorum told me so. And Rick Santorum is expert at figuring out what Presidents really mean by the words they speak.

    So I just don’t know if going to college would be the right thing to do. I don’t want to encourage Mr. Obama in his snobbery.

  • Tom Hering

    Go to college? I’m conflicted.

    I know the President believes everyone who wants to go to college should be able to go (so we remain competitive with the rest of the world), but I also know he really means everyone should go to college. Because Rick Santorum told me so. And Rick Santorum is expert at figuring out what Presidents really mean by the words they speak.

    So I just don’t know if going to college would be the right thing to do. I don’t want to encourage Mr. Obama in his snobbery.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith wrote the following

    “Wouldn’t any of us agree with that? I’ve heard even liberal theologians with liberal politics talk like this. And yet, in a political context, from someone running for president, it sounds whacky, if not crazy and dangerous. But it isn’t!

    The Founding Fathers believed in God.

    Finding God’s Signature in Washington

    By David Brody
    CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

    “WASHINGTON — The United States has a very rich and substantial Judeo-Christian heritage. The nation’s Founding Fathers believed the Bible to be the Word of God, and it shows.

    So, CBN News set out to see just how much our Christian heritage is on display in the nation’s capitol.

    Washington D.C. is a city of power and influence, but it is also a city sparkling with the Christian heritage of this nation.

    Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union want the name of God and government to be separate, but that will be difficult in our nation’s capitol.

    An excerpt:

    Carrie Devorah is an investigative photo journalist behind the project “God in the Temples of Government.” She searched and found signs of a godly heritage in Washington, D.C.

    “Just walk into the Rotunda (of the U.S. Capitol),” he said. “In the Rotunda, there are four paintings hanging on the wall. In those four paintings, you have two prayer meetings, a Bible study, and a baptism. That’s just while walking into the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol!”

    an excerpt:

    “In the main reading room of the Library of Congress, there was a bronze statue of Moses holding The Ten Commandments.

    On the ceiling, a painting called “Judea,” showed a young Israeli woman raising her hands in prayer to God. There were also Bible quotes on the walls.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork,” it reads. And, down the hallway in the main lobby, two Gutenberg Bibles were on display.

    an excerpt:

    “At the Jefferson Memorial, God’s name was mentioned numerous times, including the famous Jefferson quote, “God Who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

    An excerpt:

    “I think it’s being disregarded because it’s politically incorrect,” Devorah said. “I tease people about the P.C. I have — the other P.C.: The ‘pictorially correct’.”

    Sometimes, you just can’t argue with the evidence.”

    The ACLU and other groups may try to remove God from the public square, but what they can’t remove is the undeniable fact that the U.S. was born on the principles of Almighty God and the pictures are there to prove it.

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/shows/morning/2009/July/Finding-Gods-Signature-in-Washington-/

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith wrote the following

    “Wouldn’t any of us agree with that? I’ve heard even liberal theologians with liberal politics talk like this. And yet, in a political context, from someone running for president, it sounds whacky, if not crazy and dangerous. But it isn’t!

    The Founding Fathers believed in God.

    Finding God’s Signature in Washington

    By David Brody
    CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

    “WASHINGTON — The United States has a very rich and substantial Judeo-Christian heritage. The nation’s Founding Fathers believed the Bible to be the Word of God, and it shows.

    So, CBN News set out to see just how much our Christian heritage is on display in the nation’s capitol.

    Washington D.C. is a city of power and influence, but it is also a city sparkling with the Christian heritage of this nation.

    Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union want the name of God and government to be separate, but that will be difficult in our nation’s capitol.

    An excerpt:

    Carrie Devorah is an investigative photo journalist behind the project “God in the Temples of Government.” She searched and found signs of a godly heritage in Washington, D.C.

    “Just walk into the Rotunda (of the U.S. Capitol),” he said. “In the Rotunda, there are four paintings hanging on the wall. In those four paintings, you have two prayer meetings, a Bible study, and a baptism. That’s just while walking into the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol!”

    an excerpt:

    “In the main reading room of the Library of Congress, there was a bronze statue of Moses holding The Ten Commandments.

    On the ceiling, a painting called “Judea,” showed a young Israeli woman raising her hands in prayer to God. There were also Bible quotes on the walls.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork,” it reads. And, down the hallway in the main lobby, two Gutenberg Bibles were on display.

    an excerpt:

    “At the Jefferson Memorial, God’s name was mentioned numerous times, including the famous Jefferson quote, “God Who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

    An excerpt:

    “I think it’s being disregarded because it’s politically incorrect,” Devorah said. “I tease people about the P.C. I have — the other P.C.: The ‘pictorially correct’.”

    Sometimes, you just can’t argue with the evidence.”

    The ACLU and other groups may try to remove God from the public square, but what they can’t remove is the undeniable fact that the U.S. was born on the principles of Almighty God and the pictures are there to prove it.

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/shows/morning/2009/July/Finding-Gods-Signature-in-Washington-/

  • John C

    I accept the founding fathers were mainly Christian, Grace. Most people were — they were men and women of their times. Many were also influenced by the Enlightenment.
    Does this mean that the Constitution is inerrant — a sacred document that cannot be amended?
    How does this document speak to the men and women of today? Santorum’s statements on kids going to college panders to the Christian and Republican Right but the statements are essentially anti-Enlightenment.
    I doubt whether Santorum would find much support from the Founding Fathers.

  • John C

    I accept the founding fathers were mainly Christian, Grace. Most people were — they were men and women of their times. Many were also influenced by the Enlightenment.
    Does this mean that the Constitution is inerrant — a sacred document that cannot be amended?
    How does this document speak to the men and women of today? Santorum’s statements on kids going to college panders to the Christian and Republican Right but the statements are essentially anti-Enlightenment.
    I doubt whether Santorum would find much support from the Founding Fathers.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    While, on the surface at least, the founding Fathers belived in God, many were Deists, such Jefferson, wo could be described as a Christian Deist: His belief system was some sort of synthesis between Classical Deism and Christian Moralism. Here are some extracts from letters he wrote:

    To Joseph Priestly, 9 April, 1803:

    While on a short visit lately to Monticello, I received from you a copy of your comparative view of Socrates and Jesus, and I avail myself of the first moment of leisure after my return to acknowledge the pleasure I had in the perusal of it, and the desire it excited to see you take up the subject on a more extended scale. In consequence of some conversation with Dr. Rush, in the year 1798-99, I had promised some day to write him a letter giving him my view of the Christian system. I have reflected often on it since, and even sketched the outlines in my own mind. I should first take a general view of the moral doctrines of the most remarkable of the ancient philosophers, of whose ethics we have sufficient information to make an estimate, say Pythagoras, Epicurus, Epictetus, Socrates, Cicero, Seneca, Antoninus. I should do justice to the branches of morality they have treated well; but point out the importance of those in which they are deficient. I should then take a view of the deism and ethics of the Jews, and show in what a degraded state they were, and the necessity they presented of a reformation. I should proceed to a view of the life, character, and doctrines of Jesus, who sensible of incorrectness of their ideas of the Deity, and of morality, endeavored to bring them to the principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform their moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice and philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state. This view would purposely omit the question of his divinity, and even his inspiration. To do him justice, it would be necessary to remark the disadvantages his doctrines had to encounter, not having been committed to writing by himself, but by the most unlettered of men, by memory, long after they had heard them from him; when much was forgotten, much misunderstood, and presented in every paradoxical shape. Yet such are the fragments remaining as to show a master workman, and that his system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime probably that has been ever taught, and consequently more perfect than those of any of the ancient philosophers. His character and doctrines have received still greater injury from those who pretend to be his special disciples, and who have disfigured and sophisticated his actions and precepts, from views of personal interest, so as to induce the unthinking part of mankind to throw off the whole system in disgust, and to pass sentence as an impostor on the most innocent, the most benevolent, the most eloquent and sublime character that ever has been exhibited to man.

    This is the outline; but I have not the time, and still less the information which the subject needs. It will therefore rest with me in contemplation only.

    To Charles thomson, 9 January, 1816:

    My dear and ancient friend, An acquaintance of fifty-two years, for I think ours dates from 1764, calls for an inter-change of notice now and then, that we remain in existence, the monuments of another age, and examples of a friendship unaffected by the jarring elements by which we have been surrounded, of revolutions of government, of party and of Opinion. I am reminded of this duty by the receipt, through our friend Doctor Patterson, of your synopsis of the four Evangelists. I had procured it as soon as I saw it advertised, and had become familiar with its use; but this copy is the more valued as it comes from your hand. This work bears the stamp of that accuracy which marks everything from you, and will be useful to those who, not taking things on trust, recur for themselves to the fountain of pure morals. I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the Gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a System beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature. If I had time I would add to my little book the Greek, Latin and French texts, in columns side by side. And I wish I could subjoin a translation of Gassendi’s Syntagma of the doctrines of Epicurus, which, notwithstanding the calumnies of the Stoics and caricatures of Cicero, is the most rational system remaining of the philosophy of the ancients, as frugal of vicious indulgence, and fruitful of virtue as the hyperbolical extravagances of his rival sects.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    While, on the surface at least, the founding Fathers belived in God, many were Deists, such Jefferson, wo could be described as a Christian Deist: His belief system was some sort of synthesis between Classical Deism and Christian Moralism. Here are some extracts from letters he wrote:

    To Joseph Priestly, 9 April, 1803:

    While on a short visit lately to Monticello, I received from you a copy of your comparative view of Socrates and Jesus, and I avail myself of the first moment of leisure after my return to acknowledge the pleasure I had in the perusal of it, and the desire it excited to see you take up the subject on a more extended scale. In consequence of some conversation with Dr. Rush, in the year 1798-99, I had promised some day to write him a letter giving him my view of the Christian system. I have reflected often on it since, and even sketched the outlines in my own mind. I should first take a general view of the moral doctrines of the most remarkable of the ancient philosophers, of whose ethics we have sufficient information to make an estimate, say Pythagoras, Epicurus, Epictetus, Socrates, Cicero, Seneca, Antoninus. I should do justice to the branches of morality they have treated well; but point out the importance of those in which they are deficient. I should then take a view of the deism and ethics of the Jews, and show in what a degraded state they were, and the necessity they presented of a reformation. I should proceed to a view of the life, character, and doctrines of Jesus, who sensible of incorrectness of their ideas of the Deity, and of morality, endeavored to bring them to the principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform their moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice and philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state. This view would purposely omit the question of his divinity, and even his inspiration. To do him justice, it would be necessary to remark the disadvantages his doctrines had to encounter, not having been committed to writing by himself, but by the most unlettered of men, by memory, long after they had heard them from him; when much was forgotten, much misunderstood, and presented in every paradoxical shape. Yet such are the fragments remaining as to show a master workman, and that his system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime probably that has been ever taught, and consequently more perfect than those of any of the ancient philosophers. His character and doctrines have received still greater injury from those who pretend to be his special disciples, and who have disfigured and sophisticated his actions and precepts, from views of personal interest, so as to induce the unthinking part of mankind to throw off the whole system in disgust, and to pass sentence as an impostor on the most innocent, the most benevolent, the most eloquent and sublime character that ever has been exhibited to man.

    This is the outline; but I have not the time, and still less the information which the subject needs. It will therefore rest with me in contemplation only.

    To Charles thomson, 9 January, 1816:

    My dear and ancient friend, An acquaintance of fifty-two years, for I think ours dates from 1764, calls for an inter-change of notice now and then, that we remain in existence, the monuments of another age, and examples of a friendship unaffected by the jarring elements by which we have been surrounded, of revolutions of government, of party and of Opinion. I am reminded of this duty by the receipt, through our friend Doctor Patterson, of your synopsis of the four Evangelists. I had procured it as soon as I saw it advertised, and had become familiar with its use; but this copy is the more valued as it comes from your hand. This work bears the stamp of that accuracy which marks everything from you, and will be useful to those who, not taking things on trust, recur for themselves to the fountain of pure morals. I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the Gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a System beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature. If I had time I would add to my little book the Greek, Latin and French texts, in columns side by side. And I wish I could subjoin a translation of Gassendi’s Syntagma of the doctrines of Epicurus, which, notwithstanding the calumnies of the Stoics and caricatures of Cicero, is the most rational system remaining of the philosophy of the ancients, as frugal of vicious indulgence, and fruitful of virtue as the hyperbolical extravagances of his rival sects.

  • Pingback: Is the Devil Real? « Stuff That Interests Me

  • Pingback: Is the Devil Real? « Stuff That Interests Me

  • moallen

    Here is Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto’s take on Santorum and Satan. He’s in favor of dealing with the reality of evil (as personified by Satan) in the public square – http://cyberbrethren.com/2012/02/28/satan-in-the-public-square/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cyberbrethren+%28Cyberbrethren%29

  • moallen

    Here is Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto’s take on Santorum and Satan. He’s in favor of dealing with the reality of evil (as personified by Satan) in the public square – http://cyberbrethren.com/2012/02/28/satan-in-the-public-square/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cyberbrethren+%28Cyberbrethren%29


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X