The history of Demonology is an evolving explanation of two Christian theological understandings. The first is one is that the world was created good by God who is all-good and there is pain in the world. Cancer, war, natural disasters, poverty and other woes and evils are is difficult to reconcile with a cosmos created by an all-good God who created the world and agents within it out of love. That evil entered early on with the fall of Adam and Eve. This first understanding concerns human life and endeavor while bound up within the temporal confines of time within the created earth. The second concerns the supernatural understandings of Satan and Demons, how they came to fall, and how and why they have influence in earthy endeavors. This essay concerns itself with an understanding of demonology as grounded in history and a rich tradition within Christianity, which constructed these worldviews on the Greek tradition of philosophy. It also creates a modern demonology, which separates these two understandings that much of the theological tradition attempts to synthesize into separate phenomenon. The setting for this demonology is the modern day movement where Christianity is faced with modern understandings and scientific discoveries, which some scientists believe, is the antithesis of Christian doctrine.
Theologians and philosophers’ thinking often is a product of their surroundings and the ongoing of the world that there were born into. An example of this is the changing view of Augustine over time over demonology. His view did not change solely as a result of rethinking, but also in response to the world changing around him. After Rome was sacked in 410. This occurred during the end of his life and radically altered his thought. Jeffrey Burton Russell in his book writes that “ God’s percept of the plot’s meaning presumably never changes, but Augustine’s understanding of it shifted, especially after the terrifying fall of Rome in 410” (Russell 198).
One could argue that Augustine’s view narrowed and became “ harsher” because the world around him became so. Truth remains consistent through time and space and reality, but are understanding of it shifts given the world and context that we are born into. That in the ancient world people were frightened of the night, and believed in a very real presence of demons and their caused evil in their daily life also stemmed from a lack of understanding of truths that modern science has revealed. Understanding natural disasters as caused by forced of nature governed by predictable and immutable laws of physics takes the edge of a hurricane destroying a house and killing a family.
There is evil in the world today, and the evil in the world of demons and Satan are not connected. But ever since Jesus came as a sacrifice for our sins, the world was no longer under the dominion of Satan. As part of the Occupy Movement we believe in demons being able to infiltrate and possess not just individuals but corporation and buildings, political parties, and even entire countries. Things will get worse before they can get better.
Insofar as Satan led to the original sin of Adam and Eve defying God’s command is true, but since Jesus came as a sacrifice to amend for that sin, the devil no longer has dominion of the world and therefore he and his minions are not invisibly walking around on the earth tempting people into sin, as the image that is often painted. The mark of the beast is also the mark of progress. The world was created as a self sufficient garden, but greed has caused the world to suffer from it’s own evils. This is the legacy of the original sin.
As the Bible recounts that episode after Adam has eaten of the fruit that he has been instructed to steer clear of, “ And he said, ‘ who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, “ The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it” (Genesis 3: 11-13). Because of this infraction, which came into the world because God’s fallen angel, Lucifer, brought into the world resulted in God changing the terms of humanity’s lease in the cosmos. The that was God enacted in his own words was, “ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”
Scientific studies have shown that psychopathy is a condition in which people do not feel human empathy and have no regard for other’s need. Without empathy, there is no compassion and without compassion everyone is a world onto themselves outside of the light of Christ. While psychopathy affects less than 1% of the population, studies have shown that over 10% of CEOs of companies suffer from the psychological condition of psychopathy. Science understands this condition as a mental disorder, but our religion understands it as a demonic influence in the world. Satan has gone corporate and realize like Walmart that the best way to turn a profit, or in his case to turn souls, is to go mainstream. This is why if you look at our corporations to day, you see that they are mostly promoting worldly pleasure that cause people to lose focus of what is really important in the world and their lives. Music is no longer about spiritual endeavoring, but it is noise to distract from real music of feeling. Corporations bring us fast food and the instant gratification culture. Companies neglect to be good stewards of the land.
Evil is not just a lack of good; it is like a black hole sucking light into itself. Those on the inside, in accordance with the will of Satan, already know what the mainstream culture is slow to realize: These corporations are more powerful than any single person or government, and as they continue to grow, evil’s influence in the world grows.
How one can protect themselves is to avoid taking a job in which their paycheck is being derived from a corporation. We are essentially controlled by what pays for our rent and food. Without that a person ends up on the street. But by working for an evil entity, a corporation that has become possessed by a demon, one is vulnerable to the influence of evil’s bidding.
Free will still exists, and although leading a life of total boycott of corporations, this includes mas produced products, and paying oil companies for fuel, buying cars, is difficult, but it ensures a level of protection. Priests of our sect can preform exercisms on individuals within a company, but unfortunately, because of the current laws of our time, they must do it with the will of the possessed and this is rarely granted. Another way they combat demon’s influence is by blessing buildings owned by the corporation with holy water. They feed off profit and sometimes through grace and pray businesses that are processed return to that state of grace and go out of bussines.
“ The Devil deceives our minds, darkens our hearts, and tries to persuade us to worship him rather than the true God. But his powers over us are limited, for he is only a usurper of authority that legitimately and ultimately belongs to God” (Russell, 81). This may have worked in the ancient world where psychological illnesses, disease and disasters were explained as evil and Satan in the world. But in modern times, many of these things can be explained through not the Devil’s influence on individuals, but instead on entities.
Under Occupy Demonology, there are still moral and natural evils. Moral evils are evils that come from people choosing to turn their will away from being aligned with God’s will and through pride, the original sin of the devil, defy the natural and moral laws of God. This evil has its origin in original sin, when mankind became capable of sin. Insofar as original sin was caused through Satan’s temptation, moral evils still exist within the world, but they are not caused because of Satan’s direct temptation, but through the indirect proxies of the corporations that he controls.
The other level evil, natural evils, do cause harm to mankind, but they are not intrinsically evil. There is nothing morally depraved about a tornado anymore than the bacteria that causes E Coli is evil. It is an accidental property of these things that bring hardship to mankind. Before the breach of contract with God in the Garden of Eden, God in his goodness protected humanity from suffering from these woes. But with the new lease where man must “ toil the ground” and endure new hardships that he was kept from in the past, is a permanent state of affairs until Jesus returns and linear time ceases.
Jesus’s coming banned the devil from the world, but his legacy of evil persists. Just as Satan no longer has the freedom to repent and return to his state of Grace, humanity cannot return to Eden. The consolation to this though is that although boycotting corporations in this world will lead to a difficult life, it ensures bliss in heaven.
Hofstadter, Douglas R.. I am a strange loop. New York: Basic Books, 2007. Print.
Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Satan: the early Christian tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981. Print.
The Bible in basic English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Print.
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