Did Christians Demonize The Demons?

by metatron 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • metatron

    While working on computers, I came across the term "daemon" - a server process that sits and waits for data requests - and it made me

    think about the origin of the word. To the ancient Greeks, a demon ( or daemon) could be a very good thing. It was venerated as the spirit

    of inspiration or genius behind a great person, like Socrates or Alexander. It could guide you in making good decisions. It could be the

    modern equivalent of the cartoon lightbulb turning on above your head.

    Meanwhile, the Greek speaking Jews and Christians turned the word into something bad. A demon became an enemy of God Himself,

    a fallen rebellious spirit, to be absolutely avoided - unless you wanted to be possessed.

    The result? Well, since the idea of "gifts of the spirit" is no longer in vogue ( having passed away with the apostles - a very debatable

    conclusion), anything supernatural is automatically classified as "demonic". Nevermind that a person might be healed or benefited,

    such thoughts are merely deceptions to get you "hooked". Next thing you know, a person is going thru life surrounded by "demons"

    instead of helpful intuition or powerful insights. And you wonder how these people can be so dumb.....

    When I finally met people who "channeled" or practiced Wicca or acted as mediums or claimed to have ESP, I almost invariably

    found that they were nothing like the possessed image I was taught as a Witness. Indeed, most of them strongly advocated unconditional

    love like Jesus - unlike Witnesses! Even outright witches taught NOT to cast evil spells against anyone because it would come back

    against you "three times"!


  • Rooster

    Are you trying to read more into what is there. It was simple spirit sons of God rebelled & in doing so became unclean. There was no longer a place for them in heaven because of the unholy/unclean condition they voluntarily took on.

    Its too late for all of them the death of Christ sealed their doom.

  • Narkissos

    Interesting post.

    One noteworthy aspect of such "demonisation" is the traditional connection of "demons" with "uncleanness" (cf. the "unclean spirits" of the Gospels, especially Mark) -- evocative of our deeply rooted attraction/repulsion to what we have learnt (culturally) to reject as "dirty, filthy"... which underlies the ancient ritual dichotomy of "clean vs. unclean" as well as the more recent moral one, "good vs. evil".

    This notion of cleanness/cleanliness imo plays a major part in people's addiction to sects like JWs: they feel they have somehow made their way into the only existing "clean," "sound" and "safe" place, and "demons" embody (!) all the potential "filth" lurking from outside -- and inside. They feel uneasy with foreign items and places of worship which are, ironically, the "clean" and "safe" place of others. They feel uneasy with their own thoughts and fantasies which they prefer ascribing to "demons". In a way, the very naming of "demons" is an exorcism of itself: it drives away all the stuff we are not prepared to deal with, as belonging to someone/something else.

    Monotheism created such an artificial "clean" place for the mind in the ancient world. In a way, the rationalism which sprang out of Christian soil offers an even "cleaner" place to the modern mind. They both repress or explain away the not-so-clean secrets underlying the conscious mind. Have you ever noticed that Christian sectarians like JWs often feel much less uneasy with rationalists than with other believers, let alone "pagans," "witches," etc.?

    I am currently reading C.G. Jung's autobiography which is fascinating from this perspective (even though I'm not much attracted to the bulk of his original theses). That's the story of a Western, rationalistic mind who had to peek into the obscure "realm" usually repressed in our culture -- and yes, to him, it did look like "demons" at the start.

  • Narkissos


    I didn't read your post before sending mine and I am all the more glad you used the word "unclean"...

    Incidentally, the "evil spirits" which seem to pop up from nowhere when you enter the NT from the OT in your Bible had a long history in so-called "intertestamental" Judaism. And, no, they were not the "fallen angels" of the common monotheistic reading of Genesis 6 but the spirits of their hybrid progeny (Nephilim or "Giants"), left bodiless after the Flood. This is quite clear in the books of Enoch and Jubilees which are also part of the background of the NT. The epistle of Jude which quotes Enoch verbatim and refers to the "fallen angels" depicts them as locked in the abyss awaiting the final judgement: they are not the "evil spirits" allowed to torment mankind at the same time.

  • nvrgnbk

    Thank you for this, metatron.

  • metatron

    Rooster, as an elder, my faith started drifting when I came to believe that, if God was anywhere at all, he was everywhere!

    And if God was everywhere, then any person could demonstrate "spiritual effects" in their life. You could be a Witness, a Catholic,

    a Muslim, a Witch or whatever and prayer would be answered as well for one as for the next. It's simple.

    I have long argued that the Watchtower promotes this view without realizing it. If they see Jehovahs' guiding hand in all life, down to

    bacteria, then He's everywhere and disputes about religion are mostly pointless.


  • jaguarbass

    I think the Wac tower Society is the Evil and the Darkness.

    Placing people in Bondage and slavery to sell magazines.

Share this