Sunday, December 03, 2006

Question of the Day

If Satan had never sinned, would humanity have ever sinned? That is, was Satan’s sin a necessary prerequisite for humanity’s sin?

19 comments:

Jason Woolever said...

whoa. whoa. heavy question dude.

Kenny said...

Unlikely, but not impossible.

bob said...

I think nothing could stop man from sinning. Nature calls. Although Satan sure makes sure we struggle with sin.

Keith Taylor said...

Is this for one of your classes?

Dan Trabue said...

"If Satan had never sinned, would humanity have ever sinned?"

Yes.

"That is, was Satan’s sin a necessary prerequisite for humanity’s sin?"

No.

Anonymous said...

If Satan had never sinned and man had never sinned would God still be a forgiving God?

Of course He would ... it is in His nature. Hence, for the same reason, Satan and man would also have sinned. The issue is not really sin but the aftermath of sin. Satan and man were not repentant after they sinned ... the offered no apolgy for sin and did not ask for forgiveness,

JD said...

But if man is basically good, and created in God's image, and Satan was not around to tempt man, would man have ever thought about breaking the rules or would he have continued on in the loving relationship with God in the Garden? Would God have had to make rules if there was nothing/no one there to tempt man regarding things that were not necessary for his existence to begin with(the tree of knowledge)?

PAX
JD

Dan Trabue said...

I'd suggest that the notion that we sin only because of demonic temptation is not a thoroughly biblical position. There are other places that suggest so in the Bible, but there are other places where the Bible talks about humanity's fallen nature, apart from any temptation except that which is common to humanity.

John said...

The question isn't for a class, but it came up as a result of class reading.

Anonymous said...

Is it heretical to believe that Satan (as a person/being/character/persona) never existed?

John said...

Hmm. That's a good question. To hold that position, one would have to deny the honesty of huge swaths of Scripture that mention Satan.

Dan Trabue said...

Not necessarily. One could assume that God's Holy Word was written in a style that used devices such as "Satan" to get a point across. Such a person could still think that God is God, that Jesus is God's Son and that we are saved by God's grace. One would still find God's Truth in any of the few places where Satan does appear without embracing Satan as an entity.

Couldn't one?

JD said...

But there are also discussions by Paul regarding our battles as Christians are not worldly, but other-worldly, spiritual:

" 1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." 2 Cor 10:1-6 (NKJV)

Paul talks about spiritual warfare frequently in the New Testament, a battle against Satan's influence on our lives in an attempt to take us from God.

PAX
JD

Dan Trabue said...

Again, can't one take that as a spiritually-themed allusion?

When we fight city hall (as we have done sometimes at our church), we have talked about the Spiritual battle we do in our work for Justice. We have had sometimes had to stand against principalities and powers.

That doesn't mean that we think that City Hall is run by Satan or satanists, but rather that we're working against oppressive systems and unjust structures.

I'm not necessarily saying I don't believe in Satan, just that I'm indifferent towards the notion of demons and much more concerned about my brother and sister humans (and myself) who are prone to sin and err. It's not a rejection of biblical teaching, just a different way of interpreting it than many have and do.

bob said...

Dan, I think we need to be careful about attributing style or allegory to the Bible.While certain verses are obviously not meant to be taken literally many verses are also obviously meant to be taken literally. How would you differentiate or do you take the Bible as mostly just stylized instruction?

JD said...

dan,

If an organization is not of God and is oppressive, is it not then of Satan?

I would not consider a battle with City HAll a spiritual battle. Mentally or emtionally draining, but not spiritual in nature. Remember always that we can love God with our whole heart (emotions), mind (intellect), strength (body), and soul (spirit). Any battle that is earthly, is not spiritually based. Sorry, I am about the words themselves. They mean something.

IMHO...
PAX
JD

John said...

Does one need to believe in Satan as an article of true faith? I don't know. It's never been a creedal statement in the historic church. But given that the Bible clearly describes him as a personal being, I would say that disbelieving in Satan is symptomatic of other problems.

JD said...

I don’t think that it is either, John. Sometimes, things are as simple as just being true and church doctrines really do not need to be set up to state the obvious. I guess whether, as a Christian, you believe in Satan, or some "evil" force trying to pull us away from Christ, it doesn't really matter, but there IS too much within scripture that really defines that "evil" for Christians to not believe in Satan. Now, if, as a Christian, you do not believe in hell, then I would be a little more concerned.

PAX
JD

Anonymous said...

Althought Scripture doesn't lay out a time line, I guess I have always assumed that Satan's fall from grace took place prior to creation (no I'm not a literalist on this). Anyway, if Satan's temptation lead to the fall of Adam and Eve, maybe Satan's fall was necessary for humanity to sin. At least it may have taken longer for humanity to sin had we not received that nudge from Satan.

tom