I don’t intend to get the “Shut up, Devil!” app

All right for some, maybe, but to a non-believer like myself it sounds pretty damned silly. Also, I don’t have a smartphone.

The Shut Up, Devil! app is an innovative resource that puts the power of the Word of God in your pocket. And because it’s on your smartphone, which is almost always with you, you’re ready to resist the devil whenever and wherever he attacks. Additionally the app features reminders that will help you keep the enemy at bay and silenced in your life.

The app conception stemmed from Charisma House’s upcoming book, Silence Satan by Kyle Winkler, which releases in September. Winkler is founder of Kyle Winkler Ministries, a media and teaching ministry broadcasting on the Christian Television Network.

I guess it still throws me to find people in the world who think of the devil as an actual adversary in their lives who is intent on manipulating them and luring them down dark paths away from the light of their lord. I’ve just done too much reading that lends credence to other far more likely scenarios: namely that the devil is an invention added to the bible as time went on. Became anthropomorphized as Jewish thought and culture changed to match and keep up with the beliefs of other societies they found themselves in. Ideas change, minds change, hearts change, and then ideas change again..

Religious Tolerance has a nice rundown of the history of Satan.

There are no passages within the older parts of the Hebrew Scriptures where Satan is portrayed as an evil devil – the arch enemy of God and of humanity. At most, he is described as a henchman who carries out God’s evil instructions. There is no dualism here between two powerful supernatural entities: an all-good God and an all-evil Satan. God is portrayed as performing, directly and indirectly, both kind and evil deeds.

It’s only in the later books, after the Zoroastrian religion gained a footing, that the dualistic idea of God vs Satan started showing up. There was an evil god in the Zoroastrian tradition (Ahriman) and it’s suspected that early Jewish writers likely adapted the beliefs in that deity to fit their own needs for their religion.

During the last three centuries before Christ’s birth, the portrayal of Satan underwent a major change. The Zoroastrian / Persian dualism concept appeared in Jewish writing: God was now looked upon as wholly good; Satan as profoundly evil. History was seen as a battle between them. No longer was Satan simply God’s prosecuting attorney, helper, or lackey. Satan, and his demons, were now humanity’s greatest enemies.

The followers of Jesus grew up thinking of the world as divided by this good and evil and the idea that malevolent spirits had their fingers on the hearts and minds of the faithful all the time. The way they viewed the world coloured the way they wrote down the stories that later became the Gospels. Paul and the rest coming later thought and felt the same way and continued the trend.

These days, though? Why hang onto the idea? What purpose does it really serve? Why not just accept that humans have the capacity for tremendous good and perplexing badness and may illustrate both on the same day?

To end, a song I still like by a band I don’t listen to anymore, but it seemed like a good song to throw in here.

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