Is Satan a chaos creature?

Doing that too much can create a lot of trouble for you too. If you ever stand up for anything in public, which sometimes we need to do, then you will always be offending somebody. Jesus caused penty of offense among the religious leaders of his day.

I could show you where MacDonald writes these things; but I’m not sure it will mean much to you. His style of writing is challenging even for us native English speakers. You might have trouble getting much out of it, but let me know if you want to try.

Well - Dale isn’t alone among Christians who do feel a calling to call out anything seen as a deviation from truth, even if such zeal is sometimes misplaced in terms of building relationship or listening. But truth has a place too, and if we are convinced we know the truth about some particular thing, then it is hard not to rise to its defense whenever we see it denied. Where I would start in a response to Dale is to note that all of us have a false version of God in our minds to some extent. If we didn’t, it would mean that we knew God perfectly well, so as not to be mistaken about anything regarding God. And that is exactly none of us - and least of all the ones who would most loudly deny this. Anybody who thinks they understand God completely has just revealed … that they don’t. This isn’t to say that all your ideas about God are right or that all Dale’s are wrong. I’m only saying, that if others want to follow you around all the time with some “you’re still wrong” mantra, you eventually may need to tune them out just for your own mental health. It could be that you actually are wrong, and maybe will just need to hear it from a closer or more trusted source, or at another time when your understanding may have grown in other directions. But I think it’s also true that all of us can learn something about God from you, just as we can from Dale or anybody else here, each in our own incomplete and usually faulty ways.

(Sorry to be talking about you in 3rd person here, Dale, I’m not meaning to be rude; I just want to give Riversea some different response to work with.)


I wrote a reply as a private message but I don’t care to make it public. If you’d like to receive it you’ll have decide how I can get it to you. Fine if you would rather not.

  • Lot’s of luck with that. Some folks are beyond the pale of contact. God knows, I’ve tried and failed.

No need. Merv said it better.

Where I would start in a response to Dale is to note that all of us have a false version of God in our minds to some extent. If we didn’t, it would mean that we knew God perfectly well, so as not to be mistaken about anything regarding God. And that is exactly none of us - and least of all the ones who would most loudly deny this. Anybody who thinks they understand God completely has just revealed … that they don’t . This isn’t to say that all your ideas about God are right or that all Dale’s are wrong. I’m only saying, that if others want to follow you around all the time with some “you’re still wrong” mantra, you eventually may need to tune them out just for your own mental health.

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  • “Tuning out” is a fine art, not quickly grasped by some.

God is findable. Some don’t want to find him and are content with their own flawed deductions, imaginations and fantasies. We have objective evidence of both.

Which reminds me – I should add Phil Yancey’s account to the thread linked above. He was given objective and communicable facts, they just weren’t empirical,1 external events impersonally observable by others, nor were they solely subjective and merely feelings or impressions.

1Empirical here is a synonym for observable at the time – it does not carry the scientific connotation of reproducibility. It does however allow for the forensic recognition of one of God’s M.O.s in his interventions into the lives of his children. His intervention into Phil Yancey’s life is another M.O. and no less meaningful.

Huh. I wonder if that might apply to any here.

Jesus is God. If Jesus is not your best friend, you have some work to do and some education to acquire. The New Testament is your best source for that prayerful education – do not look to anyone who is trying to start their own universal world religion by amalgamating counterfeits.

And a song in my heart.

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Yeah lets do this, because Macdonald is my type of person if he uses the word monster. Because I used the word monster too. I want to learn how Macdonald used the word monster.

Please share please

Lets do this ok

I can’t help but feel I may be adding nothing but more confusion for you here. But I will try, and will certainly reference a couple Macdonald texts for you to read directly. But first, you should know that what I attributed to Macdonald, I still put into my own words. The ideas were his - and most of the words were mine - but with a few phrases I borrowed from him. The passage I was most drawing from did not actually use the word “monster”. But Macdonald does use that word elsewhere, and he follows the customary usage of it as speaking of something that is (or seems) large, powerful, scary, and evil. It is almost always used as a metaphor. Let me know if you want to know more about metaphors.

Since you are curious about that very word: ‘monster’, I did find a paragraph of Macdonalds making use of that very term: I bolded it in the text below.

The moral philosopher who regards duties only as facts of his system; nay, even the man who rewards them as truths, essential realities ofhis humanity, but goes no farther, is essentially a liar, a man of untruth. He is a man indeed, but not a true man. He is a man inpossibility, but not a real man yet. The recognition of these things is the imperative obligation to fulfil them. Not fulfilling these relations, the man is undoing the right of his own existence,destroying [his very reason for being], making of himself a monster, a live reason why he should not live, for nothing on those terms could ever have begun to be. His presence is a claim upon his creator for destruction.

However, if you are actually curious more about the content of what I had written in a post above, I include more of Macdonald’s writing below from his sermon titled “Justice” which was where I actually got those ideas from. Even though he didn’t use the word “monster” below, I hope you will see where that very idea comes from; I bolded a sentence near the end to help you zero in on that bit.

If it be asked how, if it be false, the doctrine of substitution can have been permitted to remain so long an article of faith to so many, I answer, On the same principle on which God took up and made use of the sacrifices men had, in their lack of faith, invented as a way of pleasing him. Some children will tell lies to please the parents that hate lying. They will even confess to having done a wrong they have not done, thinking their parents would like them to say they had done it, because they teach them to confess. God accepted men’s sacrifices until he could get them to see–and with how many has he yet not succeeded, in the church and out of it!–that he does not care for such things.

‘But,’ again it may well be asked, ‘whence then has sprung the
undeniable potency of that teaching?’

I answer, From its having in it a notion of God and his Christ, poor indeed and faint, but, by the very poverty and untruth in its presentation, fitted to the weakness and unbelief of men, seeing it was by men invented to meet and ease the demand made upon their own weakness and unbelief. Thus the leaven spreads. The truth is there. It is Christ the glory of God. But the ideas that poor slavish souls breed concerning this glory the moment the darkness begins to disperse, is quite another thing. Truth is indeed too good for men to believe; they must dilute it before they can take it; they must dilute it before they dare give it. They must make it less true before they can believe it enough to get any good of it. Unable to believe in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, they invented a mediator in his mother, and so were able to approach a little where else they had stood away; unable to believe in the forgivingness of their father in heaven, they invented a way to be forgiven that should not demand of him so much; which might make it right for him to forgive; which should save them from having to believe downright in the tenderness of his father-heart, for that they found impossible. They thought him bound to punish for the sake of punishing, as an offset to their sin; they could not believe in clear forgiveness; that did not seem divine; it needed itself to be justified; so they invented for its justification a horrible injustice, involving all that was bad in sacrifice, even human sacrifice. They invented a satisfaction for sin which was an insult to God. He sought no satisfaction, but an obedient return to the Father. What satisfaction was needed he made himself in what he did to cause them to turn from evil and go back to him. The thing was too simple for complicated unbelief and the arguing spirit. Gladly would I help their followers to loathe such thoughts of God; but for that, they themselves must grow better men and women. While they are capable of being satisfied with them, there would be no advantage in their becoming intellectually convinced that such thoughts were wrong. I would not speak a word to persuade them of it. Success would be worthless. They would but remain what they were–children capable of thinking meanly of their father. When the heart recoils, discovering how horrible it would be to have such an unreality for God, it will begin to search about and see whether it must indeed accept such statements concerning God; it will search after a real God by whom to hold fast, a real God to deliver them from the terrible idol.

If you find this confusing or disturbing, then I can do my best to try to help explain Macdonald’s thoughts here, but I’m also thinking it might not have been a good idea to dump all this on you and may think better of it yet. If it upsets or disturbs you, then I’d advise just to let it go for now.

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@riversea I am saddened that Christians do such a poor job of being a witness for the truth. I am guilty of this myself, and am neither confirming nor denying that @Dale came across this way. I honestly haven’t followed the course of the conversation over the past few months. But yes, tune them (or us) out if we are ugly monsters. Follow what you believe and don’t worry about those who disagree with you. I am a very strong believer in the freedom you have in following your conscience.

But there is one thing I cannot help but explain, in coming to be near a holy God, I am fairly confident you will have an Isaiah 6 kind of experience, “Woe is me!” And that’s where Jesus comes in rather uniquely.

But then maybe you are not a sinner, so definitely feel free to disregard anything that me and Dale have to say.


I was wondering what all the talk was added to this thread… surprised people had so much to say about Satan and chaos… and I see now that the discussion has followed a winding road into other interesting topics and ideas.

This concern for offending others is something I have been thinking about recently. And I realized that my lifelong family mantra not to care for what others think isn’t precisely where I stand. There is a sense in which I don’t care and a sense in which I do. And I think the parting of these comes down to an acceptance of the fact that I cannot control the opinions of other people. But this does not mean I have no empathy and no care for what I would think if I were in their place. I certainly do not accept the nonsensical judgements of others according to whatever strange standards they choose to employ. But I have always strongly identified with other people and taken my morality from a sense that whatever you do to others is in some sense doing the same to yourself. For example, if you measure other by some trivial quality, then in effect you reduce yourself down to that same quality and spurn all the other aspects of yourself that you have ignored in them.

Accordingly, I identify with people in other religions, and thus I naturally embrace a pluralistic version of Christianity. To be sure I think the Christian teachings are correct and very much disagree with teachings of other religions such as reincarnation. On the other hand, I also strongly oppose the notion that God is somehow defined or confined by Christianity. I find somewhat laughable the idea that the notions that some finite beings have about an infinite God can be described as the correct version and thus others are simply mistaken in their own perception of God. But this does not alter my own decisions about God. This difficult contrast is resolved by my admission I make not pretense to objectivity in my view about religious matters and my conviction that reality is not exclusively objective, but there are also irreducibly subjective aspects to reality as well.


Viva Cristo Rey!

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ok I change the settings to accept private messages

I just sent it if you want to seal it up again. Hope it’s worth it.

  • Maybe next, someone will teach you how to add people to your “Ignore” list. Practice with Terry_Sampson first.

Can you explain your potision on sin and judgment then?
So everyone can become a trash human beign but will eventually be saved right?

Do you understand how infuriating this is and how insulting to us who have been treated like trash by your kin especially (other Christians)?

I’m so sorry to hear that. Say more about how my kin have been treating yours.

I posed a question. You guys here have a habit of avoiding them huh? Answer it please so it can shed some light.
By saying this

you basically want me to start venting again about my experiences with the church and Christians. Which is not going to happen.

So by universal salvation and all are saved.
What judgment will be inflicted upon them if any since they will be saved?

And since Satan isthe matter of the thread do you think he will be saved as well?

I was just giving my answer to Riversea’s question … there is no “you guys” about this - I’m only speaking for my own understandings here.

All will (eventually) find that repentance and forgiveness are the only avenues that Christ opens up for us to be restored. Short of that, there will be no salvation. Neither repentance nor forgiveness are mere window dressing added on to something. They are essential ingredients. Otherwise the evil remains unrepentant and undefeated to eternity. God’s (and our own) victory never finally comes if evil (including the evil in you and me and in all the past and present enemies we still identify as such) is not utterly destroyed. Hell’s gates will not be surviving being stormed by even just the church (much less God). That’s my own hope and prayer - not just my own, but a hope now passed along through the ages.

Trying to distinguish ourselves from other so-called “trash human beings” is a fool’s errand. If you can’t yet identify the older brother’s place in the parable of the prodigal son, then all I can recommend is that you re-read and prayerfully ponder that parable. Also the parable of the unforgiving servant. According to 1 John 1:8, If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

It isn’t my intention to provoke you to venting. I was just trying to help Riversea grasp some further understandings in this. You may take or leave anything I say, of course. And as regards Satan, there will be nothing of evil finally left that can stay active and living in God’s eternal presence. That alone is a final verdict enough for me. I have no stakes or claims in trying to discern natures of things or beings beyond our understanding, save to hold firmly that no evil has any lasting part or share in the Kingdom of God.

[It seems to be a lasting fear of yours that this understanding of Christ is somehow letting ‘trash human beings’ off scott-free of all consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth - and in fact it might be some of the more traditional formulations of substitutionary atonement that ironically come closer to doing what you fear - letting an eternal injustice stand by placing it into so-called opposition to mercy. One advocate for the higher view (infinite justice and infinite mercy actually being one and the same) notes that nobody escapes the consequences of their sin - indeed until ‘the last farthing is paid’. It is this understanding that I find much more biblical, much more Pauline, much more attuned to what Christ has done for us: that we will be separated from our sin (and that includes our desire for it) as far as the east is from the west. And in the end, we will be willing participants in that process of being baptised into his death so that we too might be raised anew. Not unwilling subjects as we first are, still in our sin, and yet still loved by Christ anyway.]