DUEL with the DEVIL, Idolatry’s Original Sin
The Jihadist Christian not only duels Satan and sin within, but he is at war with anyone not Born Again like them. I prefer the new, mellower Christians who respect Hebrew as G*d’s Language, support Israel, and are willing to concede that our one Creator may have a different, older covenant with the Jews. (Even the Pope said as much). Besides, Armageddon is building up fast, so we’ll soon know what religious adjustments to make. Ethically behaving people don’t have to worry about going to hell because they were taught the wrong dogma. At least in Torah, it’s what you DO, more than what you BELIEVE.
I’m too busy documenting Divine Design in language to be concerned with dueling theologies. And there’s no competing with internet stars of interdenominational theology like Rabbis Tovia Singer and Michael Skobac. But I do get a bit chippy in this blog. Dueling motivated by objection to Dualism, from the dual meaning of Hebrew חטא [K]HaiDTE: 1) To miss the mark )Judges 20:16, 2) Sin and fault (Genesis 20:6). So sin is not about an outside, Satanic force of evil . Sin is about using one’s G*d-given judgement and Free Will poorly. All crimes must be prosecuted as חטא “HATE” crimes , where emotions got in the way of rational thinking.
Eve wasn’t trying to defy the Lord with the forbidden fruit. She missed the mark by seeing the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge as a good thing. Adam thought that any offering from his G*d-given mate was a good thing. They had both missed the mark by not following the law (literally one law) of the land (Eden). They let their subjective sense of greater good override the objective law set down by the Lord. Similarly, the noble Progressives who pulled down a Confederate statue yesterday thought that they were doing a good thing. In the heat of the moment they did not consider that there were laws to be followed.
Even Hitler and Stalin thought that they were acting heroically for the greater good of their nation. Given the scale of their atrocities it is tempting to think of people like this as demonic. But people are not demons even when their behavior is demonic.
To Christianity, the Sin in Eden was not a personal failing, but an external, universal cosmic condition . The notion of “Original Sin” is overwhelming, pivotal in a theology which requires “salvation” to avoid an eternity in hell with the source of sin: the Devil. To many Christians Satan is not a serpentine tempter, but a powerful spiritual being. At very least Lucifer is a fallen angel, but at most he’s straight from a long, idolatrous tradition of belief in a rival deity of evil. A fearful creature who wants to tempt, corrupt, then own every divine soul of his hated ex-boss: the Creator. The “Original Sin” is the reason for a deified messiah offering expiation with a divine human sacrifice.
In the Hebrew Bible, crimes and punishments fit the misbehavior of people not obeying the advice to “therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19). This dominant concept of Torah supports Free Will and responsibility for the actions we chose. There is no room in the eternal Hebrew Torah for Original Sin, for undeserved culpability.
Greek Bible death is the wages of Sin and Evil, which are pre-existing conditions presided over by the Greek tragedy’s supervillain, the Prince of Darkness. In the extreme views of this Good vs. Evil opera, the Christian mission resembles more of a struggle against the Devil and hell than a celebration of living ethically in a grounded but spiritual life.
Even without the 1+1+1 of the trinity, the Good G*d/Bad G*d system does not fit Torah’s monotheism or holistic ONEness. This is why the Good vs. Evil philosophy is called DUALism. Dualism has a rational appeal, not just the emotional appeal of some primitive idolatry. Dualism explains why there is an ISIS, the Holocaust, the Crusades and Inquisition, and general suffering of the good and prospering of the wicked. The Devil made them do it. Evil is real in Dualism. Satan is the G*d of This World (2 Corinth. 4:4). (Anything like “the Dark Side” in Jewish thought is from late, assimilated thinkers, who y, experienced too much devlish persecution by the proponents of love. ) Dualism, the eternal Wrestlemania of deities in black and white trunks, was big in the Manichaeism of ancient Persia, then in the Platonism of the Greeks… two important streams feeding the religion begun by Paul and codified by the medieval Catholic Councils (using votes, not prophecy).
In the Torah, even the Canaanites and Amalek are called out for their culture, their behavior. They are not demonized as being born the evil sons of Satan. There is no original sin, hell or Devil in Torah. In the Five Books of Moses, the primary source of Torah theology, שטן SaDTaN is only a verb of hindrance, not a noun or a being.
A world without Original Sin is about human חטא [K]HaiDTE Hit or Miss. The extremes of devil worship, Dualism, Manicheism or Christianity are dangerous, idolatrous errors. Because a Torah sinner errs with his Free Will, he is responsible. An idolatrous, demonic sinner is possessed, and so is NOT responsible. All he needs for “salvation” is the magic bullet of faith -- no demands for just actions of restitution to victims.