Banner of Heaven: My Take (So Far)

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Re: Banner of Heaven: My Take (So Far)

Post by Marcus »

Atheists can be critical of the occult and New Age on the grounds that it is all, collectively speaking, “snake oil.”
Many Christians see these things as inspired by demons or the Devil. Nevertheless, the two sides often cooperate in their criticism of and attacks on “cults” or “new religious movements.”
"the two sides" aren't getting any cooperation from this atheist.

that was my point in expressing such surprise. wow, there is a lot of weirdness going on.
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Re: Banner of Heaven: My Take (So Far)

Post by huckelberry »

Kishkumen wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:33 pm

I gave a paper or two at Sunstone that piqued the interest of Sandra Tanner and Ronald Huggins, two people I like and respect. I just don't share their views. When I was speaking about controversial topics, such as magic, they saw in what I was saying an opportunity to affirm their own negative views of Mormonism. One or both of them thinks that Mormonism is just a fraud and probably demonically inspired.
Fair enough.
But nothing I want to assist them in promoting because I don't agree with their views about esotericism. Yes, Smith was into magic and Freemasonry. That does not make him demonically manipulated, however. They have a tendency to lump esotericism in with Satanism, and I just don't think that is correct.

The Christian landscape is very complicated. What a rich tradition or set of traditions! I say let people follow the religions that speak to their desire for meaning. To say that one tradition or another is evil is a gross oversimplification or distortion that I can't get on board with. The effort of the Tanners does fall in a tradition of anti-catholicism, anti-Masonry, and anti other religious traditions.

I am probably not a good Christian because I do not believe in groups calling their competitors demon worshipers like St. Paul and the heresiologists of old did. Such bigotry is unfortunately very much part of the Christian tradition.
Kishkumen, you open a large and import set of question at least to my mind. I have not followed this film presentation but have some memory of the story. Perhaps some ideas which can become traditions can be evil, or at least that might be a way of speaking of the destructive power of some ideas. The story protagonists are locked into a bad idea that they must kill to be rid of an evil. Christian tradition contains this idea as you point out in the early heresy fights. The idea contained, an evil idea, has as is well known grown to monstrous proportions at times in Christian history.

Is it a demonic idea? It has had demonic results at times. I cannot help but wonder if you have some observations on this ideas growth. I gather that the idea of demons was a broadly held cultural view before after the start of Christianity. I think that the sense that demons were more malignant and in direct opposition to God may have grown with Christianity. I am not sure how much change is there however. People all over the world have suspected bad events illness and whatnot to be the result of malignant spirits or demons. It is hardly a Christian invention.

Many times the problematic thought has crossed my mind that the darker circles of Trump cult could be described as demonic. But the phrase may create more confusion than help. I do not see dark spirits whispering in people ears. There are homosapiens doing the whispering. I do not imagine garlic as big help turning back the tide of enthusiasm. At the same time it appears people are finding a kind of magic in being transported into the fantasy story where Trump is anointed by God and will be defeating the forces of leftist evil. This sort of thing is poisonous. We need an exorcism but how is that possible?

No matter how much I wish to see and share tolerance and respect for other traditions I find myself always with an obligation to make some distinctions. Some ideas are malignant crap.

(including that anti Mormon anti this that and the other spirit warfare stuff in the back of the Christian bookstore)
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