Month: February 2015

Why did Jesus send demons into 2000 pigs?

add_toon_infoAccording to the synoptic gospels, Jesus came upon a man possessed by a “Legion” of demons. When he went to cast them out, the demons begged him to send them into a herd of about 2000 pigs. Jesus obliged and the pigs became possessed and ran off a cliff and died.

Matthew 8:30-37; Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:27-38

This story raises a few questions:

Why didn’t Jesus just send the demons out of the man and into Hell? Obviously God has a purpose for demons or they wouldn’t be here so maybe sending them to Hell wasn’t an option so then why not just send them out of the man and into the open air?

They were begging Jesus not to send them into the Abyss. Is that somewhere other than Hell?

Why torture 2000 pigs by having them possessed and killed? Someone obviously would have owned those pigs so that would have been a pretty devastating loss to the owner. Was it because they were pigs and are considered unclean by God? After all, it’s been pointed out that Jews wouldn’t have been raising pigs at the time so these must have been owned by a Gentile.

Why did the demons ask to go into the pigs anyway? The story implies that they looked around and it was their most likely option to avoid the Abyss so maybe that’s the intention. I’m guessing if they asked to jump into another human, Jesus would have denied that request. I guess I’m wondering why they didn’t ask if they could just leave town.

If the pigs had lived, would the demons have been constrained by the pigs? I always thought of demons floating around like ghosts looking for possession victims. Do they always have to possess something? If so, how did they get into the man to begin with?

Where did the demons go once the pigs were killed?

Why would 2000 demons crowd into one man?

How were the demons distributed into the pigs? What if there were slightly more demons in the man than could be evenly distributed into the pigs? I’m guessing if there were more demons than pigs, some would have to double up. But if there were fewer demons than pigs, some of the pigs would have survived.

If one were to lay down odds with one side that this is a historical story and the other that this is a mythological story, what would those odds look like?


God can’t decide anything

Make-DecisionsChristians have assigned the following attributes to God:

  • God is eternal.
  • God is infinite.
  • God is self-sufficient and self-existent.
  • God is omnipresent (present everywhere).
  • God is omnipotent (all powerful).
  • God is omniscient (all knowing).
  • God is unchanging or immutable.

and so much more

Let’s assume Christians are right about his attributes and start with the list above. He is all powerful, all knowing, and never changing. Therefore, he knows everything he will ever do forever. And he can never change his “mind.” What’s done is done. Plus, although it’s not in the list above, we can assume he’s perfect. At least that’s what I remember they told me in church/Sunday school. So just with those attributes, all the decisions are made for him. All the perfect decisions have already been made. There is nothing for him to do but execute them. So he is essentially just an actor in a play reading his lines. You would say if you were a Christian that the lines were all written by him but were they? He has come up with the perfect list of tasks and cannot change them. He is bound by his perfection to choose only one path.

God knows that you are going to pray and what his answer will be before any of it happens. And if he knows everything he will ever do, why does he even need to be there? He may as well be a computer with a set of instructions. He never needs to make any decisions because they are all already made. He can never change his mind because that would show that he’s imperfect in his decision making. He’s in a strait jacket of eternal actions. I can’t think of anything much more boring for myself than knowing everything I would ever do for my whole life and that’s short. Imagine knowing everything for everyone forever? You could never enjoy a movie with a twist because you have already seen it. Your whole “life” is a movie you’ve already seen.

I contend that even if there was a God, he wouldn’t have these attributes. And furthermore, I contend that the people giving him these attributes are short-sighted and don’t think of the philosophical conundrums they induce. But when God doesn’t reveal himself, he’s left it to us to assign him attributes, why should we cut him short? We can make him all knowing, all seeing, all powerful. Why leave room for some other God to come in and overtake him? Like all evolution, we have gone through all the smaller gods who simply controlled the weather and stars and seas and wound up with a GOD who can do it all.

It reminds me of a line in “This is Spinal Tap” talking about the “blackness” of their album cover.

Nigel Tufnel: It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.