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Demons in light of science - problems?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by CubeX, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. CubeX

    CubeX New Member

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    If I am understanding you correctly, I believed the same thing as well for a time -- that Jesus knew more than the people of the time and spoke with words that they would understand even if He knew what the problem really was -- until I looked into the passages that talked about Jesus speaking to the demons directly in an actual conversation.

    So I found that Jesus really did believe in demons , not just that he was "going along with the story" for the sake of others. So my new questions became "What are demons?" and "How do they relate to modern times?" and also "How do they relate to the first century Jew?"

    The problem I've found is that many people just want to cop-out of the problem by saying "They just exist" and along the lines of "We can't fully know so there's no need to try". I completely disagree with that type of attitude and I am compelled to find answers for the skeptic and Christian alike. That is my purpose of inquiring.

    This is an assumption that must not be made. I am merely trying to find how thhe two interrelate. Science and Christianity are not enemies and our Christianity should shape our views on scientific topics. However, one must acknowledge that concepts are developed by non-Christians and their ideas must be taken into view because there apparently is somthing that is occurring -- in this case, physiological functions in the brain -- and Christians should have an answer that the non-Christian has not come to.

    -David
     
  2. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    "So my new questions became "What are demons?" and "How do they relate to modern times?" and also "How do they relate to the first century Jew?"

    The official definition of "demon" is "inferior diety". It comes from Greek mythology.

    I believe that demons are fallen angels that followed Satan. Surely to mortal man they would seem like inferior dieties.
     
  3. donnA

    donnA New Member

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    Then we can never be sure it is all from God or not then can we, means scritpture is questionable.
     
  4. blackbird

    blackbird Active Member

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    I don't question scripture---scripture questions me!!!
     
  5. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    This is an assumption that must not be made. I am merely trying to find how thhe two interrelate. Science and Christianity are not enemies and our Christianity should shape our views on scientific topics. However, one must acknowledge that concepts are developed by non-Christians and their ideas must be taken into view because there apparently is somthing that is occurring -- in this case, physiological functions in the brain -- and Christians should have an answer that the non-Christian has not come to.

    -David </font>[/QUOTE]Oh, I do believe in the possibility of actual demon possession. It's just in general I don't believe they are the cause of disease. I had an operation for an aortic aneurysm almost 2 years ago and when the surgeon told me the situation I didn't argue that it was actually due to demonic possession. I doubt that you do that either. Christian Scientists refuse modern medicine but I don't.

    My guess is that the NT describes maybe 4 instances of Christ casting out devils. He was superior (perfect) in discerning such things which go undiagnosed today. In many cases, the Bible doesn't give any information about the diseases or conditions Christ healed people for. Pick up your bed and walk, the man lowered through the roof, the blind beggar, etc.
     
  6. CubeX

    CubeX New Member

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    Could you tell me why you believe that demons are fallen angels? The Jews (atleast today) do not believe that an angel has the ability to do as it pleases. This is why they don't accept the idea of Satan.

    If you read any modern literature (I do not know if ancient Jewish literature agrees or not -- I haven't ha time to research that far), you will find out that Jews do not believe that Satan has rebelled against God because they believe that angels only do what God wants them to do. Therefore, Satan does as God pleases and enables man to be tested so that they can choose God. I wish I had my list with me to post for you to read some information, however I'm not at home right now to find the sources.

    Now, I am not saying that this is what I believe, but I thought it useful to post. If you, or anyone else for that matter, could post up your own reasons for why you believe that demons are fallen angels, I'd appreciate it. Don't forget to back up opinion with truth though -- God's Word.

    -David
     
  7. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    Says who? Scripture claims that it is inspired by God. That inspiration is perfect. That should be more than sufficient for the believer.
     
  8. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    We believe that God made everything, and he made everything good in the beginning. Thus, Satan and the demons must have been good at one point. What good spiritual beings do we know of? Angels.

    Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 12:9 refer to the Devil and his angels, using the same word used for holy angels.

    Revelation 12:3 shows a vision of a dragon in heaven taking a third of the stars there and throwing them out, then going to earth and waiting for a woman to bear a son who would rule all nations. I think it's pretty clear this is talking about Satan leaving heaven in the company of the fallen angels and waiting for Jesus' birth.

    Very little was revealed in the Old Testament regarding Satan, demons, and angels. I don't see why Jewish belief should have any influence on our understanding of the supernatural realm.

    Some people think that Isaiah 14:12-15 is speaking simultaneously of the Babylonian king and also of Satan as well, but this isn't demanded by the text in my opinion.
     
  9. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus Active Member

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    Age: 54
    Location: Kentucky
    Denomination: Independent (Not affiliated with any denomination)
    -----------------Fundamental (Believe in the fundamentals of the faith)
    -----------------Baptist (Works for me)
    How long you have been a Christian: Nearly 34 years

    Demons are real (Maybe with/Maybe without illnesses)
    Illnesses are real (maybe with/Maybe without demons)
    Demons can be instrumental in symptoms of illness
    Demons can be instrumental in symptoms of mental illness
    Amateurs have no business diagnosing either one.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. CubeX

    CubeX New Member

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    I agree with your last statement. But I wouldn't only allow for Revelation to be the final source for Satan. Why? Because if Satan didn't actually fall, the Revelation is a false book and shouldn't be included in the Bible.

    After pondering this issue though, I was brought back to Genesis. God punished the serpent in the Garden for leading humans astray. So I think it can be agreed upon that the serpent wasn't supposed to tempt humans because if he were, why would God punish him for doing what God had created the serpent to do?

    Second, I do believe that Jewish tradition and belief are crucial to the Christian belief; however (and this is a big however), one must not conclude that they were right. If one were to conclude this, then Jesus was not the Christ. The Jews were waiting on a king who would restore Israel as a nation and place them above all other nations. To their disapointment, Jesus didn't do this; so they didn't believe that he was the Messiah. However, we know by the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus that he was indeed the Messiah. We also know that he will lift Israel up in the second coming.

    Likewise, we do not have to accept the Jewish interpretation of Satan. We can conclude by Scripture that Satan was a 'rebel' of God (even if God made him that way -- we are not concluding this though) and Jesus crushed his head with His heel was struck. We also know that Satan is a great accusr.

    But, back to the subject of demons, let's move on the a different subject with them.

    How do demons look? Did they change form and appear hideous as our tradition (and culture) seem to imply?

    -David
     
  11. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    I don't understand what you meant by this.

    Usually they are thought of as not possessing physical bodies, so one can't really say what they look like. Angels have appeared in visible bodies in the past, often looking like regular people. I imagine they can appear pretty much however they want.

    However, I can't think of recorded physical appearance by a demon in the Bible. One possible occurrence is that cryptic verse Genesis 6:4 which speaks of the sons of God having children by the daughters of men, and those children being giants. Some people have interpreted this as fallen angels reproducing with humans (there's a whole myth built up around this one verse!), but others say it just refers to followers of God marrying pagans.
     
  12. Crusader

    Crusader New Member

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    Why does it seem that devil/demon possession is not as prevalent as it once was?

    When Christ came He granted power over all spiritual darkness to the apostles and the Church. He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it...us. Thus, we have authority and power over the denizens of hell through the name of Jesus.

    When the apostles and the early Church began casting out devils, the possession of men became an ineffectual strategy for Satan and his minions.

    Today true possessions are more rare than in the BC/early AD days. Comparing the situation today with that era is like comparing apples to oranges. They're just not the same.

    I am not saying it doesn't happen today, only that it is rare. To be cast out is an unpleasant experience for a demon/devil. And nowadays there are children of God all over the planet.

    To put it another way: It's a risky business trying to break into someone's home that lives near many police officers.


    Then why does it seem like there are so many more diseases by natural causes today?

    Contrary to what the scientific community would have us believe, the human race is not getting stronger, but weaker. Mankind has slowly diminished in its faculties throughout the millennia living in the curse imposed from the Edenic fall.

    We are not the most advanced generation of mankind...we are the most degenerated. Living in the earthly curse has caused man to become less capable. There are several different quoted numbers, but perhaps you have heard that mankind only uses 2%, 5%, 10% of the capability of his brain. This is because our species has lost this function over the millennia.

    We think we are geniuses compared to those of ancient times, but we have stood on the accomplishments of those who have come before us. We credited ourselves with our capabilities out of the pride of our hearts.

    It wasn't until the world became so populated (or "poop"-ulated) that men's desires turned to scientific advancement. Our medical knowledge is greater because quite frankly "necessity is the mother of invention."


    There are other points I would make (like demon activity increasing during the time of Jesus), but this post is long enough.

    God bless.
     
  13. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    Yeah, and [all of those numbers would be wrong].

    I don't know where the idea that disease is more common now comes from. Throughout recorded history and even before it the average lifespan was much shorter than it is now in developed nations. At Jesus' time illness was definitely not rare and the infant mortality rate and life expectancy were much worse.
     
  14. Crusader

    Crusader New Member

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    I think if you believe in evolution you will believe that genetic mutation is responsible for all the new diseases adding to the pathology books. However, another point of view is that the curse from the Edenic fall is responsible for the weakening of the human body which makes us more susceptible to disease.

    In the Bible were told Adam lived to be 930 years old, Methuselah, the oldest listed in the Bible I believe, lived to be 969. Today, we're told the expectancy for a man in the USA is between 70-75 years, but thanks to our great medical technology we are living longer.

    We're told the reasons the earth is facing overpopulation is because we are living longer and that teen pregnancies and children being born outside of wedlock have nothing to do with it. Look at the nations with the highest per capita birth rates (the ones that are worried about overpopulation), and you'll see what I mean.

    But all of this is off-topic, so I'll stop.
     
  15. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    Not really. You could in a roundabout way blame genetic mutation in viruses and bacteria trying to find a way around our defenses, but then humans also undergo mutations that are beneficial in fighting them. There are some heritable diseases, but the vast majority of deaths are due to other causes. For noninheritable diseases caused by genetic mutation there is cancer, but this cannot be blamed on accumulating genetic flaws because it arises in one person by a series of spontaneous mutations and is not heritable.

    All I can say is that if young earth creationists believe that the human genome is degrading that rapidly and also that all of the species alive today originated from rapid speciation after the Flood 4000 years ago, you believe both beneficial and detrimental mutations occur at a rate far beyond anything any evolutionist would claim!

    And yeah, you're right, this is off topic. . .

    Returning to the topic, I think that demons are just as capable now of possessing people and that refraining from doing this is a strategic move to cause a decrease in interest in religion. What do you think of this?
     
  16. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Petrel,

    Man is becoming weaker. We just play with our numbers, and we use artifical methods to prolong life.

    In early days a heart attack was less common, but more deadly. Cancer was less common, but always fatal, and fatal over a much shorter time span, at least from discovery to final breath.

    A study was on just this weekend talking about how some scientists think that the Y chromosome may be shrinking and that eventually the male of the species will cease to exist, but they can't figure out why.

    I hope they were crackpots and wrong, but my first question was "Why would that happen?"

    In other areas: We did away with small pox, but we have a stronger version of strep throat that is resistant to antibiotics. We aren't dying of pneumonia, but we have the bird-flu. We can cure Syphallius, but we can't even stop the spread of AIDS. We can control diabetes, but we can't cure it.
     
  17. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    Yes, it's called Muller's ratchet, but don't worry! The Y chromosome has [ways around it] so that it will not totally vanish. Besides, we can't get by without males until we figure out parthenogenesis once again, and mammals don't favor that.

    The reason heart attacks and cancer are more common now is because we are living longer (and to some extent are eating worse diets!)

    I didn't see much demonstration that humans are genetically less fit than we were 4000 years ago. And this is still of topic. :D
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    You've fallen victim to an oft-repeated old wives tale. Humans use most of their brain on a regular basis. The "10%" and similarly repeated claims are baseless and completely false.
     
  19. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    M.R.I.'s and P.E.T. scans show that the 10% theory is not accurate.
     
  20. James Flagg

    James Flagg Member
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    You've fallen victim to an oft-repeated old wives tale. Humans use most of their brain on a regular basis. The "10%" and similarly repeated claims are baseless and completely false. </font>[/QUOTE]I actually know about this. This legend comes from an old neurology experiment from the 1920s or 30s. They found (thought?) that humans use onle 10% of their brain at any one time, and that somehow got changed to ALL of the time. The two previous posters are correct, humans do in fact use all of their brain.
    Sorry for the brief hijacking of the thread.
     
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