Today Emily is THRILLED to discuss Justin. Strap in as we talk about several people that have no last names and how Christianity's polarizing worldview threatened second century world peace.
This is Chapter 5: Satan's Earthly Kingdom - Christians Against Pagans, in the book: The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics, by Elaine Pagels.
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TOS - Chapter 5 - Christians Against Pagans
[00:00:00] Announcer: In a world where Christians are slaughtered for entertainment, one man's life is about to be turned upside down. Justin, who doesn't even have a last name, converts to Christianity only to learn that everything and everyone he knows are actually agents of The Devil.
[00:00:16] I mean, who knew?
[00:00:18] Join us as we explore Satan's Earthly Kingdom, Christians against Pagan's.
[00:00:23] This, is the Devil You Don't Know.
[00:00:25] Jeremy Spray: It gives you the opportunity for beardom now, and you can
[00:00:48] Don Early: It does.
[00:00:49] Jeremy Spray: start making choices.
[00:00:50] Don Early: You know, and choices are good. That's good to have options. Well, this is the Devil You Don't Know. And, uh, I'm Don.
[00:00:59] Emily Quann: I'm Emily.
[00:01:00] Jeremy Spray: I'm Jeremy,
[00:01:01] Emily Quann: Hello!
[00:01:01] Don Early: Yeah, it's been a while. It's been like several weeks, several weeks.
[00:01:08] Emily Quann: Lots of s tuff going.
[00:01:09] Don Early: We had like holidays and
[00:01:12] Jeremy Spray: And vacation trips that were in there and yeah, it's. It,
[00:01:15] Don Early: Yeah. You went to Disney-crazyland,
[00:01:18] Jeremy Spray: I went to Disney world and I went to the Galactic Starcruiser. Yeah.
[00:01:22] Don Early: Oh my God.
[00:01:23] Jeremy Spray: So I was, I was gone for nine days over the course of our podcast and came back with COVID because I was in Florida
[00:01:33] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:01:34] Jeremy Spray: Uh, it was, it was awful. And the, the amount of people that just don't even cover their cough. Like, like so straight up COVID deniers that are just like, hach hachhhh!
[00:01:47] Don Early: Oh my god,
[00:01:49] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. So, uh,
[00:01:50] Don Early: You gotta dress up as Darth Vader. Just so you have some protection or stormtrooper.
[00:01:54] Jeremy Spray: Right. It was just ridiculous. So it was not so much of a surprise when we got, when we got back.
[00:02:00] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:02:01] Jeremy Spray: It was fairly mild, but, and we're, we're on the recovery side of it. Like when I say mild, I mean, like we went through like sinus attacks and like we had a deep cold, um. The one thing that I wasn't ready for was the crazy amount of endurance sapped out of me. Like it was though. It was as though I have not been working out for two years and, uh, now I'm suddenly trying to start running. Like I just, I had no energy and I just needed sleep all the time. And I still do. Yesterday morning was my first workout since I've gotten back and I did a half hour slow yoga.
[00:02:36] I didn't do anything else, but yoga. And after 30 minutes I was like, oh, I'm done. I'm spent. And there's just, I was just winded. And so it's, it's wild. So it's, it's taking a whole lot of like, active, slow recovery to get myself back up into it.
[00:02:54] Don Early: Yeah, that sucks.
[00:02:55] Jeremy Spray: Yeah I I'm looking forward to it. Like I'm looking forward to like getting back into a safe space, but like, whew. It took a minute. I do not recommend getting COVID if you can avoid it.
[00:03:04] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah. You know, the whole perception thing of reality down there. I think it was Katy that said something about, you know, COVID deniers. It it's a whole bunch of people who have COVID and don't believe that COVID exists. Something like that.
[00:03:24] Jeremy Spray: That is, that's a great description. That's very much what it felt like.
[00:03:27] Emily Quann: That's infuriating.
[00:03:28] Jeremy Spray: A little bit! It, I mean, just for the, the, the sake of what's happened to so many other people in the world, and to just actively like, well, that's not real, like you- million people says otherwise. The, these, the flags were at half-mast while we were at Disney World and we had to look it up and go, why are the flags at half-staff?
[00:03:48] And it was because we just hit the 1 million people have died in America
[00:03:52] Don Early: Oh, my God.
[00:03:53] Jeremy Spray: Mile marker while we were there.
[00:03:56] Don Early: Wow.
[00:03:57] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. And so to be surrounded by people that go, nah, it's not a thing. Like, the flags
[00:04:02] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:04:03] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, it was wild.
[00:04:04] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:04:05] Emily Quann: So to lighten it, lighten things up a little bit. My husband and I were talking, and we didn't know what would be more fun: doing the Galactic Star Wars, new thing that they have going on over there or... watching Jeremy do the, uh, Galactic Star Wars thing. We were like, we would love to be a fly on the wall and just be watching Jeremy having the time of his life role playing right along with all the actors.
[00:04:37] Jeremy Spray: Hundred percent.
[00:04:39] Emily Quann: It, oh my
[00:04:40] Jeremy Spray: I've got more than a couple of stories for you.
[00:04:43] Emily Quann: Oh, I can't wait to hear them.
[00:04:47] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, I, I dove in deep. I went really,
[00:04:50] Emily Quann: Oh, I'm sh I would not expect anything different from you.
[00:04:55] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:04:57] Emily Quann: Oh God, I wish I would've been there to watch. Oh, it would've been fantastic.
[00:05:01] Jeremy Spray: It was, it was really fun. I will tell you, uh, it was not a cheap experience, and I was very glad to have someone else already have paid for it. And we paid for half, uh, even doing so it was several thousand dollars. And, uh, we we've talked about like how crazy it was and, and like the emotional high and then drop afterwards and what would go through and would the kids really love it.
[00:05:25] And at the same time I was like, or… we could go to Europe! Because it's about the same cost for the two days it was in the Galactic Starcruiser, or a week in France or something like seems, seems a bit more possible. So, I don't know if we'll ever do it again. I surely don't, we we've talked about it on and off.
[00:05:45] Um, but it was a hell of an experience and, and it would be fun to, to tell stories some other time. And I will, I'll tell you.
[00:05:53] Emily Quann: I'm so excited.
[00:05:55] Jeremy Spray: I'm glad we started 20 minutes early to get right here to get right
[00:05:58] Don Early: Right.
[00:06:00] Emily Quann: Oh, god.
[00:06:01] Don Early: Well,
[00:06:02] Emily Quann: So then this is gonna be normal length podcast, and we can sum up 10 minutes of Justin on a road with some, some Christian who magically converts Justin. Justin Philosopher, who knows where he is going in life, who all of a sudden the conversation with some stranger on the road.
[00:06:22] Don Early: Old man.
[00:06:23] Emily Quann: Changes his life forever. He's now a Christian, a born again, Christian. And we have like 150 pages of this
[00:06:33] Jeremy Spray: Oh my gosh, that’s right.
[00:06:34] Emily Quann: to sort through.
[00:06:35] Jeremy Spray: So I, I broke the audio book up into two segments and there was one that seemed to be very clear, like middle point. And I just finished the other half tonight. And, uh, it's because the middle point was the Justin story.
[00:06:46] Don Early: Yeah. They spent, she spent a lot of time on Justin, so, uh,
[00:06:50] Emily Quann: He doesn’t even have a last name! Who is Justin? He wasn't even some famous philosopher. He
[00:06:55] Jeremy Spray: He was rich.
[00:06:56] Don Early: He was The Justin.
[00:06:57] Emily Quann: Some, yeah.
[00:06:59] Don Early: Okay. So let me recap. Uh, we are
[00:07:03] Emily Quann: I just did. I just did.
[00:07:04] Don Early: I'm talking about the whole podcast!
[00:07:07] Emily Quann: Okay. I'm not a fan of Justin because he took so many pages.
[00:07:10] Don Early: I got you. I understand. So, uh, we are we are reading The Origins of Satan
[00:07:17] Emily Quann: Some of us are enjoying it more than others.
[00:07:19] Don Early: By Elaine Pagels. Yes, I get that. Um, we are in chapter five. There are only one chapter left and a conclusion. Like one and a quarter chapter's left after this, and then we're done with the book. Okay.
[00:07:34] Emily Quann: I'm sorry, Jeremy, did you have the time of your life reading this chapter? and mowing
[00:07:38] Jeremy Spray: So I mowed a lot of the lawn. And, uh, and I walked the dogs and, and while I was there, uh, we, we, we heard a lot about Justin. Uh, I really have spread this out over like three weeks getting through this chapter. It is, it is the longest chapter in the
[00:07:55] Don Early: It is. Yeah, it is very, very long. Um, and so you were saying, Hey, can we just like sum this up real quick? The answer is yes. Honestly, a lot of this material is not really stuff we really have to cover in an episode like this, because
[00:08:11] Emily Quann: Cool. Well, I just did,
[00:08:13] Don Early: Yeah, you did, you did great. Um, we need to talk a little bit about, uh, things to lead up to Justin, a couple of things, and then we'll talk quickly recap the points you just said, and then we'll move on to some more interesting stuff, but Justin
[00:08:29] Emily Quann: To my favorite, my favorite character. Whose name? I can't remember.
[00:08:33] Don Early: Okay. We'll get there.
[00:08:34] Emily Quann: I screw it up Cephalus, Celsius
[00:08:38] Don Early: Jesus.
[00:08:39] Emily Quann: Cephalopod, I don't know.
[00:08:40] Don Early: We'll get to Celsus. He'll be great.
[00:08:43] Emily Quann: Celsus! Okay.
[00:08:43] Don Early: Yes. All right.
[00:08:45] Emily Quann: I liked him. I did like him.
[00:08:47] Don Early: To me, this chapter, this chapter is called Satan's Earthly Kingdom: Christians Against Pagans. And man, is it Christians against Pagans and Pagans against Christians? It's it's it's the both. And I think Jeremy, you.
[00:09:04] Emily Quann: Yeah there's no love lost there.
[00:09:05] Don Early: No. Jeremy you, uh, teed it up pretty well in the last episode, uh, where, um, the context is the pagans are the dominant religion. The pagans,
[00:09:17] Jeremy Spray: very much,
[00:09:19] Don Early: This is the way things are. Society is based on the values of this pagan religion and the way of life. And here come these Christians who are considered atheists because they don't worship the God. Um, and that was kind of a big, like, wait, what?
[00:09:39] Don Early: So this chapter for me is summed up into, to two major categories, uh, or, or topics one is that Christianity divided the cosmos and the people into two polarized groups.
[00:09:57] So obviously all non-Christian and then the Christians. And so all the non-Christians have to deal with these buggy Christians over here and why they think everybody's in, there are two types of people.
[00:10:12] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:10:14] Don Early: There are two types of people, Christians, and non-Christians, that's really what it is. And, and so the Christian point of view is that all non-Christians are slaves to the devil and his forces and doing the devil's bidding, whether they know it or not. So that’s -
[00:10:31] Jeremy Spray: And you're right, but I'm, I'm just gonna jump in. Like that was an evolved context because that, that was a process that was brought up in the fact that Christians, originally, to the pagan world wore “those crazy Jews”. Right. You had the Jews and you had the crazy Jews. And then the crazy Jews were like, no, no, no, we're not Jews anymore.
[00:10:49] And they're like, what are you talking about? Because a lot of the people that were following the Christianity were now the Gentiles, which according to the Jews were the other nons. And, and so they were like, “You know what, though? We don't like your rules. We don't like your laws. We don't like the way things are set up.
[00:11:06] We're gonna do it this way and our way, because we think that this is what makes sense.” And everyone goes, that's crazy talk, you're going against your own nature. You're going against all of nature. And they're like, no, you're going against nature. In fact, you're the devil nature and slaves of the devil and you're the devil.
[00:11:25] And it was just this like, Suddenly, they got really angry and really, really zealous. And you're like, what the hell just happened? And, and they, and it really was this flip. It was just like this weird switch happened that they just got emotional and crazy.
[00:11:41] Don Early: But to your point though, Jeremy, like the Christians are like really throwing out the devil and, and accusing everybody, but they have kind of a good reason to. Let's step step back for a second. So the first concept of the devils that we were learning about in the, in the, in the gospels, in the previous sessions, it was really a Jewish internal, like it was a internal Jewish thing, right?
[00:12:09] So it was this sort of off splinter group of, uh, Judaism and the larger. Group of, um, Judaism was just not having this Jesus people. They're like, no, he wasn't the Messiah you guys are wrong.
[00:12:28] Jeremy Spray: he was a dude. He was kind of annoying. He had had some things to say. And then the writers that we previously established, they're like, well, let me take the story of Jesus for my purposes.
[00:12:41] Don Early: And, and so the people who were following Jesus. And so they come up with this defense mechanism of, Hey, we are the, we are the true Israelis. We are the true God's chosen people. If they rejected Jesus, then they're the ones that are working with the devil. And the gospel writers, as we saw, pretty much said, you know, the enemies of Jesus are the allies of Satan, all allies of the devil.
[00:13:12] And it was. Whole thing with, you know, and so the gospels are like, no, no. See, see how we've established that the devil was at work in all of these people to bring an end to Jesus because Jesus was such a threat to the devil's empire and whatnot. Well, now we flash forward a generation and there are more Gentile, more pagan converts to Christianity and Christianity is now. Christianity is now less Jewish coming from this pagan side of things. Well, and to back up, the Jewish authorities and, and everybody sort of conspired to squash these people. I mean, stoning death penalties, the crucifixion, the, the Christians were not treated well, uh, in their budding infancy of a faith by, by the Jews, by by non-Jews, you know, so.
[00:14:12] But now we get into
[00:14:13] Jeremy Spray: In, in a couple of times, and I, I am not gonna play, haha, devil's advocate so much here, except that those crazy Christians were kind of terrorist-level zealots. There were, there were a couple of times that it showed up where there were, there were like, Because they were very much the, like you are agents of the devil, but there were other times, at least according to the writings that we, we saw in, in Elaine Pagel's book, like there were other, there were others that were just like, they're trying to do their thing.
[00:14:43] And they were being hunted down. Like that's that's for sure. That was, that was the thing that definitely happened, but there was right small enough group. They were mashed together. Like, like,
[00:14:52] Don Early: Well, there, there are certainly different groups, uh, of Judaism that were extremist and radicalized and revolutionaries.
[00:15:00] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:15:01] Don Early: And some of them may also have been, uh, you know, Jesus-follower type groups, you
[00:15:09] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:15:10] Don Early: But by and large, the, the gospel writers were, and, and, and that sort of lot were like, “No, no, none of this really matters to us because the world's gonna end real quick anyway, so Romans, you do, you. We'll. Just don't fucking kill us though.”
[00:15:27] Jeremy Spray: Right. Exactly.
[00:15:28] Don Early: But the Romans, you know, so flash forward a little bit, now Christianity become a lot more pagan or, or has pagan converts. And now in this chapter, we really get to understand what the pagan society in society was, what, you know, uh, try to imagine what normal civilization and evolved society was like, and it was based on these fundamentals of all these gods and that destiny and fate were interwoven into the fabric of reality. Uh, you know, what I found was that was kind of interesting is that, um, by the second century, so, you know, between 100, 200, you know, A- CD or CE, the Romans and the philosophers really have kind of come around to this notion.
[00:16:23] The gods, may be not literal gods, but they are expressions of forces that we find in nature. And we can have relationships with those things that happen. Um, and then there's the daimones, uh, the, these invisible spirits or, uh, that can be helpful or hurtful or guiding or Um, and they're just intrinsic in everything.
[00:16:49] Jeremy Spray: Right. They're a part of nature itself. They, they, they, they are not the controllers of it, but they live within it. Yeah.
[00:16:55] Don Early: Right. There's just this understanding like, Hey, just don't piss off the gods. Uh, and, and everything's gonna be great. And, and we'll honor this and work with that and, and society and so on. So Christianity comes around and says, like you said, fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
[00:17:15] Emily Quann: Throws a total wrench in.
[00:17:17] Don Early: But a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Romans are rounding them up and throwing them into the arena to be eaten by lions. Brutal torture and public execution and death.
[00:17:31] Emily Quann: Yipee!
[00:17:31] Don Early: I mean, cuz basically the idea, uh, it will get to this later, when we talk about Celsus, we'll get to him promise. And he's the one that comes out and says, you know, really behind every Christian is a revolution. There's a rebellion and you gotta, you gotta quash that shit because they have that… they've invented this shit… anyway, we'll get to him in a second. But I I've been really kind of looking at this from they- So they polarized their experience, right? They polarized reality. Christians have polarized reality. We’re good, we're good with God
[00:18:08] Jeremy Spray: Yep.
[00:18:09] Don Early: and everybody who is not a follower of Jesus, not a Christian, are seduced by the devil; are agents of the devil. There were every, all of these other things are actually evil demons, plotting and controlling you and can actually control your mind.
[00:18:31] Jeremy Spray: It's it's so conspiracy theory, right? It's it's like I heard that someone say that the other Jews were, uh, in control of the devil in lieu, the devil to kill Christ, which must mean that everyone who is not a Christian is controlled by the devil. That would make sense because I really hate Janice and Janice was a jerk to me last week. It must have been the devil that made her- like it's so, sticking to the old ways.
[00:18:59] Emily Quann: Yeah, there's no middle ground. It's definitely one end of the spectrum or the very other end of the spectrum. There is no spectrum at all. There's there's a line and people are on one side of the line or they are on the other.
[00:19:14] Don Early: That's right. It is so binary
[00:19:17] Emily Quann: Yeah.
[00:19:17] Don Early: and it, again, you're either with us or you're against us, whether you know it or not.
[00:19:25] Emily Quann: Yeah.
[00:19:26] Don Early: And that really stuck out at me. Uh, there's two things that come up here that actually still continue to happen today. First off we do meet Justin. And Justin was a person who was, uh, trying to be a philosopher.
[00:19:43] Right. And he studied all these different philosophies. He's trying to achieve a certain. Level of enlightenment and whatnot to be, to, to attain the divine on his own. That that's, I mean, and this is Greek philosophy. I mean, that, that, there's so many different ways that the, the philosophers have come to try and figure out what all this means.
[00:20:10] But Justin sees this group of Christians led out into the arena and they are serene and calm in the face of being torn to bits. And he's like, what?
[00:20:28] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:20:28] Emily Quann: Christians have the special power.
[00:20:31] Don Early: There must be something there.
[00:20:33] Jeremy Spray: Totally. They've obtained enlightenment! I can see it!
[00:20:37] Emily Quann: I want some of that.
[00:20:38] Don Early: They sort of allude to this later on, um, that this is kind of happening in the, the pagan world now where they're getting a little tired of this notion of destiny and fate and trying to figure out what's in store for them. Right. And how do they avoid it and that sort of thing. And so they there's even a story how, uh, you know, one might go to the cult of Isis in, in Egypt and convert to Isis because she's a more powerful God than these other gods, hopefully, and maybe she can break the chain of this destiny bullshit.
[00:21:16] And you know, so there's this kind of like, is there a stronger God out there? We can go and have intervene on our behalf and, and, and change the Fates and that sort of thing. But he meets this old man, that Emily is entirely excited about,
[00:21:35] Emily Quann: I already told this story. We can just move right on. This and we'll save listeners like 300 pages of, of book
[00:21:43] Don Early: this number keeps getting bigger.
[00:21:47] Emily Quann: that is very redundant,
[00:21:49] Don Early: It is pretty redundant.
[00:21:51] Emily Quann: But yeah, no, he meets this old guy and the old guy's a Christian and Justin wants to be a philosopher. That's what he has decided. He's going to devote his life to, and
[00:22:01] Don Early: That's right.
[00:22:02] Emily Quann: this random person on the side of the road and they start talking. And Justin's, Justin's no longer philosopher anymore.
[00:22:13] Don Early: Yeah. Well, let me get into a little bit of that. On page 116, he says he already made great progress towards enlightenment. This is Justin, and expected to be able to raise his mind to apprehend the divine. But this old Christian, he met walking by the sea, challenged his basic philosophical premise quote”
[00:22:34] “Is there then such a great power in our mind, will the human mind ever see God through its own capacity?” And this just pulls the rug out from under Justin and the whole lot, this concept and this my God, this, this whole very premise that the human mind cannot comprehend the divine. It is not new at this point. But it carries forth so hard in Christianity
[00:23:05] Emily Quann: Oh yeah,
[00:23:05] Don Early: So that we, we cannot, we cannot get there on our own. I mean, that's a very, very Lutheran tenant, you know, you must have God's intervention in order to achieve salvation.
[00:23:17] Jeremy Spray: Right
[00:23:17] Don Early: And so, yeah. So now Justin goes through this. Oh, well, oh, Christianity, this is way better than what I was gonna do and oh, blah, blah, blah. But get this. This is what jumped out at me. Before the old man left him.
[00:23:32] Don Early: Justin says he admonished the young man to, so this old man tells Justin, “pray that above all things, the gates of light may be open to you for these things cannot be perceived and understood by everyone, but only by the person to who God and his Christ have given wisdom.” This is the same bullshit missionaries toss out all the time.
[00:23:58] Jeremy Spray: Yep.
[00:23:59] Don Early: Even today. If you believe hard enough, if you pray hard enough, pray that this truth comes to you, that you realize it.
[00:24:12] Emily Quann: And if it doesn't come to you, you just haven't
[00:24:15] Jeremy Spray: You didn't try hard enough.
[00:24:16] Emily Quann: given it your all.
[00:24:16] Jeremy Spray: You're you're not Christian enough. Yep.
[00:24:18] Emily Quann: Nope. You're not, you're not worthy. You're not deserving because you haven't, you haven't prayed hard enough or believed hard enough or opened your mind or your heart, big enough.
[00:24:33] Don Early: It it's a, it's a vicious cycle, isn't it? And it's kind of this, I don't know. I mean, I would call it a brainwashing technique.
[00:24:41] Jeremy Spray: Uhhuh . I would call it control. Yeah.
[00:24:44] Don Early: it's a,
[00:24:44] Emily Quann: I call it manipulation.
[00:24:46] Don Early: yeah, but it's a, it's a very seductive one too, though, because you want to achieve the thing, right?
[00:24:52] Emily Quann: Yeah, look at, look at this, this, you know, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I want that that's that's something that looks amazing. I, I. that's for me.
[00:25:04] Don Early: And really what this means is in, in my brain, in my, in my thought process these days is it's self-manifestation. It's, it's the self-fulfilling prophecy. It's true because you believe it to be true.
[00:25:19] And it becomes real to you. It can be as real as you want it to be. And, you know, the, the, the power of the mind can be extremely, extremely powerful enough to create this new perception of reality.
[00:25:35] And I just, I was, I was hit me hard thinking, you know, in the, when I was growing up and the, in the missionaries would come to the doorstep, right. We'd get really, uh, two kinds of missionaries that would visit our, uh, our house. One would be uh, the LDS, and they would say, you know, pray ask God that the, uh, the Book of Mormon is true.
[00:25:59] See for yourself, know, read it and pray to God if Book of Morman is true. It's the same precept right there. Jehovah’s Witnesses were the other ones and, and they had very similar proposal. And again, it's like, well, the answer is not what this missionary wants to hear. Then what
[00:26:21] Jeremy Spray: Hey so I tried the thing. Didn't work. Well. Well, try, try again.
[00:26:27] Don Early: It's astonishing to me. I think that that particular… do I call it a tactic?
[00:26:33] Jeremy Spray: It's weird because I know at the heart, what missionaries are doing is they're spreading what they consider to be their truth. And trying to let people know and indicate them on what they assume they don't already know. Right. Let them know that like, “Hey, you are probably unaware that this is what's real. And, uh, this is gonna be important for you. It's changed my life. It will change yours.” But
[00:26:59] Emily Quann: Right, I I don't fault them for that. That's that's like a really nice intention.
[00:27:03] Jeremy Spray: Right,
[00:27:04] Emily Quann: to, I, I care about you as, as a fellow human being, and this was great for me. And I want you to have this too.
[00:27:13] Jeremy Spray: but then go
[00:27:14] Emily Quann: I think it comes from a space of goodness in their heart. However, and I think this is where Jeremy's going with this.
[00:27:22] Jeremy Spray: It turns into sales.
[00:27:24] Emily Quann: Yeah, it's a sales pitch.
[00:27:26] Jeremy Spray: Right. It's it's, it's a capitalistic style sales pitch, and it's not about the like, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know this. I hope it works out for you.” It turns into the like, “Hey, let me know, let you know about this. And also come here with this thing and get this thing from me.”
[00:27:39] And, and, and like, it just starts turning into this inspiration of check these new things and try this other stuff out that gets really daunting because now it's not a conversation anymore. Now it, now you're selling me.
[00:27:53] Don Early: Yeah. That's a very very good point. Yeah. It, it is a sales pitch. You're right. I guess the thing that, what I was gonna say is what is astonishing to me is that we are talking circa 140 CE.
[00:28:12] Emily Quann: Yep.
[00:28:15] Jeremy Spray: I was gonna bring that up, uh, later on too, in the other part of the book, same exact conversations that still happen today were happening with, uh, Celsus and Origen and, and, and like, and like I was, I was listening to, I was like, oh my God, it's never going to end. This is always how we've been talking to each other, like, oh my God, it was depressing and relieving at the same time. We're like, oh, we're never gonna win this. Check. This is a human condition.
[00:28:44] Don Early: Yeah. I could see that. So, you know, Justin does the thing. He prays, he say, yeah. Okay. I'll become a Christian.
[00:28:53] Don Early: And then they on page 118, they talk about, they talk through this sort of initiation process. Right? And so I'll just read it on 118. “First, the celebrant would demand to know whether Justin,” (so the celebrant would be this old man or, you know, person who's initiating him) “would demand to know whether Justin was willing to renounce the devil in all his pomp and his angels.
[00:29:19] Justin would literally declare three times, I renounced them. Then Justin would descend naked into the river, immersing himself to signify death to the old self and washing away of.” Let's back up to this thing. Hang on, though.
[00:29:33] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, Uhhuh.
[00:29:34] Don Early: He's asked whether he is willing to renounce, renounce the devil and all his pomp and his angels. And then he is then ritually responds three times: I renounce them. This is still happening today. This is in the rite of baptism
[00:29:55] Emily Quann: Yep
[00:29:56] Don Early: And I dug it out. This is out of the, uh, the current red Lutheran book of service and in the Profession of Faith during baptism, it says, uh, “I ask you to profess your faith in Christ Jesus rejects sin and confess the faith of the church.”
[00:30:15] By the way, this is probably very, very similar to the Catholicism too. So those of you who are from Catholic-based denominations, that you're all, this is all gonna sound similar. And so here are the questions. “Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God? I renounce them. Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God?” That's loaded. “I renounce them. Do you renou renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God? I renounce them.” I've never paid attention to this very, very closely until now until what I was reading in this. And that is this term “renounce.” The term renounce means that you were previously part of the things that you were renouncing from
[00:31:12] right, now. It is long term Christian tradition that we are all, uh, baked in with sin, right? It's and that we have to ask God for that sort of olive branch, or we can't, we can't free ourselves from sin. And, and that sort of thing, we can't do, blah, blah, blah. We can get into that. But really what this means is, let's phrase it a different way. Do you promise to stop claiming to be with the devil and the forces that defy God? Do you promise to stop participating in the world that rebels against God?
[00:31:54] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, wait was I
[00:31:56] Emily Quann: These are loaded questions.
[00:31:57] Don Early: I mean, it's that term renounce. It just, you are already participating in this and we are asking you to give it up.
[00:32:07] Jeremy Spray: Right. Exactly.
[00:32:09] Don Early: It, it implies heavily that you are already a part of it that you already have it. In some of this, I could, you know, I could let go, like the last one, you know, with the whole, with the sin and that sort of thing. We can philosophically talk about that quite a
[00:32:24] Emily Quann: Well, it makes sense because only baptized Christians are getting into heaven.
[00:32:32] Don Early: Sure. You know, according to this old,
[00:32:34] Emily Quann: Right, and this is, this is the, this is the sacrament of baptism. And so if, if that's, that's the purpose of this, you, have to renounce this, that's the point of baptism so that you then are, are worthy to-
[00:32:51] Don Early: Right, but it's not deny. It's not reject.
[00:32:56] Emily Quann: Right.
[00:32:57] Don Early: It's renounce
[00:32:59] Emily Quann: mm-hmm
[00:33:00] Don Early: And maybe I'm splitting hairs here. But I think the difference between reject and renounce is pretty staggering.
[00:33:05] Emily Quann: So what you're saying is.
[00:33:09] Jeremy Spray: That you're acknowledging that you have already and always been a part of the devil's world and doing the devil’s acts. And now you are turning away from those acts that you once were doing and you're giving it up. Renouncing it to become a Christian. Now.
[00:33:24] Don Early: Yeah. Versus
[00:33:26] Emily Quann: Well, no to become a baptized Christian.
[00:33:28] Don Early: Sure. Sure.
[00:33:30] Emily Quann: So this is no longer a Christians versus others. Now this seems to be a baptized person versus a non baptized.
[00:33:38] Don Early: I think at this point in history that we're talking about, we are still talking about if you're baptized, you're Christian. If, if you're not baptized, you're going to be a Christian soon. It's just part of that process. The point that I'm like, putting my finger on and going, “Hey, let's call this out.” Is this whole term renounce. And, and it makes sense in the context of where it's presented, which is that again, if all non-Christians are agents and participations of the devil, whether they know it or not, then renouncing it as saying, oh yes, I was part of that. I was enthralled by the devil. I was enslaved by the devil's machinations. And now I willingly give myself away from that. I give that up and I'm turning to this. Because that's the worldview that the Christianity is split that down the center saying, Hey, if you're not following God and in Christ and Jesus, then you are part of this devil’s working, right? The, the, the devil's world and the devil's power principalities and, and society. The, if there's one thing that I would, I would change, I would offer as a theological thought to the church people would be, how much do you really need to use the word renounce anymore? These days? Would reject be, you know, how would that change things? Not a topic for us to solve, but
[00:35:17] Emily Quann: I think most people think those two terms are interchangeable. I don't think they think about it that much.
[00:35:24] Don Early: I think you're right. I think that's absolutely a hundred percent right on. It's just in the context of where we're digging all
[00:35:31] Emily Quann: Oh, for sure.
[00:35:32] Don Early: Oh wow. I never thought of it that way. And now that kind of bugs me. So.
[00:35:42] Jeremy Spray: Is one of the reasons we have so much detailed story about Justin is the fact that he had writings? That he wrote this?
[00:35:51] Don Early: I mean all, anytime that we have a written record that's material that a historian can go on. Right. Um, and try and, and, and pry out the point that they wanna make.
[00:36:02] Jeremy Spray: Because I was just listening to it all. I didn't check for sources or, or where all this information came from, but it was, I, I was clear on like, we're not, obviously we're not in the gospels anymore, so we're not following New Testament level study.
[00:36:16] Emily Quann: Yeah. So who the hell are these people?
[00:36:18] Jeremy Spray: Right? Like where the hell this guy come from and why do we have so much detail about his particular journey?
[00:36:24] Emily Quann: Thank you! 850 pages nonstop and I don't even know who this person is.
[00:36:34] Don Early: Well, if you don't know my now, you know,
[00:36:37] Emily Quann: His name is Justin.
[00:36:40] Don Early: he was a philosopher. We got a lot. We got a lot
[00:36:42] Emily Quann: a Christian and then he was a Christian
[00:36:45] Don Early: yeah.
[00:36:46] Emily Quann: and then he was executed.
[00:36:47] Don Early: Well
[00:36:46] Emily Quann: Spoiler alert.
[00:36:49] Don Early: later, but yes, and he's, he's faced it. He, he, he wrote a lot. He, we learn a lot about early Christian, uh, life from his writings, you know? So that's, that's why that would be, uh, important. It's also, um, I'm wondering, cuz she spends a little bit of time on this, about daimones. You know, gets crystallized in the Christian tradition as demons, as evil demons so that, you know, there are certainly maybe bad daimones, but most daimones in the, in the classical world were not, were ambivalent. They were neither good nor bad they could do could go either way. Uh, they could be helpful or unhelpful.
[00:37:39] Um, but because they are not of the Christian worldview, then they are literal demons and everything is now demons. And it's this massive supernatural army of demons all over the place. So, if you're confused about that, I've attached. I've, I've linked this video before, but in the show comments, um, below in the description, um, there's a link to Religion for Breakfast.
[00:38:08] There's the history of demons. It's Daimones versus demon. And where does that all come from? it's a pretty helpful topic that clarifies that. I think that's, I think we're done with Justin. I mean, I think.
[00:38:22] Jeremy Spray: I think the, the one thing I would want to, uh, kind of touch on. As like, why the hell does that matter for the podcast? What, what was the Justin deal with the, the Satan? It was, is it just the fact that because of Justin's experience, there was that, uh, the, the thought that the demons were all over the world, right? That, that, that huge expression of, of them being all out there or was the devil and was Satan really factored into part of either his own teachings or his own experience or discovery?
[00:38:54] Don Early: Well, I think it's definitely a huge part of where we get the understanding, the Christian understanding and the worldview that we've been talking about so far
[00:39:07] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:39:08] Don Early: is, you know, because again, you said it like, we have a lot of these writings. And so, you know, we have this documentation of the perspective, what the, what the Christian worldview was on the pagan worldview. Um, you know, I'm looking at page 124 and Justin is, um, addressing an open letter of protest to different rulers. You know, the emperor Antoninus Pius and his two sons, Stoic prince Marcus Aurelius, who he calls the “truest philosopher” and “Lucius the Philosopher” appealing to them as fellow philosophers, hoping, he says, to open their eyes.
[00:39:59] Um, and, but he sort of publicly identifies himself as, uh, I don't know that he names himself a Christian, but he definitely puts a target on his back. And, you know, sort of goes on and says, he says a quote, “Even now, Justin warns the rulers of the Roman world, these demons seek to keep you as their slaves by preventing you from understanding what we say. And so their irrational, public hatred of Christians proves, Justin says, that their minds have been captured by the same evil spirits who incited the Athenians to kill, to kill Socrates for now the same reason these spirits are driven them to kill Christians,” uh, cuz they're coming for you. I don't know that's well, and it also, what it also does is it sort of helps paint because now, now all of the, the gods, the pagan gods are demons,
[00:41:09] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:41:10] Don Early: From the Christian perspective, what does that do? How does that inform how we visualize the devil and demons? And so, oh my God, you, you start looking at the representations of the gods and you start seeing, you know, Aries. Uh, or not Aries, uh, Hermes has wings on the feet, right. Wings on the feet. So there are medieval depictions of the devil having wings on his feet. Pan is basically the horned devil that we get
[00:41:47] Jeremy Spray: Right. For sure. Yeah. The half-satyr goat-man. Yep.
[00:41:52] Don Early: absolutely. And Pan is fertility, sex, having fun, music. Uh, all the good things in life, but now all of that, we used to understand it in this way, in, in the pagan context but now that's, that's evil, that's the devil. Um, and, uh, and so in the Jeffrey Burton Russell book, um, The Devil, that we've kind of gone over in season one, pretty heavily, one of the chapters that we didn't quite get to was the concepts of evil in the classical world. And a lot of that chapter is how the different representations of the gods became what we associate with the devil today.
[00:42:43] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. Wow.
[00:42:44] Don Early: um, yeah,
[00:42:46] Emily Quann: But there's no Justin in it
[00:42:47] Don Early: but there's, yeah, we didn't talk about Justin in that book. We're gonna skip over Tatian.
[00:42:53] Emily Quann: Because why not?
[00:42:54] Don Early: I mean read the chapter.
[00:42:55] Emily Quann: Now we get into lots of random people.
[00:42:57] Don Early: Yeah, there's a, there's a lot there, but so the second concept and the second half of really what I kind of felt like this was driving at was again, Roman paganism was the dominant religion and the basis for society. Christianity then comes along and to the Romans, to the pagans, threatened the security of civilization. Um, what they offer, what they promise, uh, threatens, you know, anarchy and the wrath of the gods for the Christian's atheism; non-belief of the gods. And so we have this sort of fear or threat cause that's where violence in this, all this terribleness comes from, right. Is, is through insecurity and fear.
[00:43:46] Jeremy Spray: Right for sure.
[00:43:48] Don Early: If you are in power and have something to do about that, then you can nip that in the bud that you don't, because you're trying to protect what is established.
[00:44:02] Romans were very good about squashing rebellion as we have seen in these episodes. Uh, so Christianity now being paganized, or rather maybe the other way around, there's this sort of disconnect of like, wait, you were one of us, you understood how the cosmos works here.
[00:44:26] Don Early: What can Christianity possibly offer you? Why would you turn against the values of family and state and the natural order of And, and like, why would you turn against your family? But one thing is true, that has been the case for millennia is this conflict between fate and destiny and free will. And fate and destiny is just intertwined with the classical thought.
[00:45:01] But so it is with Christianity. It's just very interesting to me that, uh, Christianity in, in here we learned breaks the bonds of destiny and fate and, you know, only God is in control and, that sort of thing. Like, well, hang on. If God is in control and you are not, how is that different? You know, fate and destiny apparently, they, they, she talks about, uh, uh, the Christians claimed, uh, were invented by the demons, the evil demons.
[00:45:39] Jeremy Spray: Right Yeah. They're the ones that, that are, are again, trying to control you control everything. And so they invent the idea of, you only have to be in this one direction, but that's when, right? That's, that's the, where Origen & Celsus come into play.
[00:45:56] Don Early: Yeah, because Celsus kind of lays some things down around Origen. So Origen, Origen is this kid who saw his father executed for being a Christian, and Origen then grows up to, you know, as a Christian, both, both his parents were Christian. And so he grows up with this almost crusade idea, um, that tyrant, uh, he goes on to even be so bold to say that we have a moral obligation to execute tyrants.
[00:46:35] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:46:36] Don Early: To assassinate them.
[00:46:39] Jeremy Spray: And yeah. And, and like, and that is, that is a very Christian thing to do. If you see someone acting in tyranny, then it is your responsibility to take them down.
[00:46:50] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:46:51] Jeremy Spray: Like way you cross the line there.
[00:46:53] Don Early: Yeah. And with Origen, Origen, really, as he gets more renowned, he gets kind of threatened in this whole... He, he could have been executed a lot sooner. But what's very interesting is in that, in this part of the chapter, we see the revolving chair of the emperor's throne.
[00:47:17] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. Assassin after assassin, after assassin making new emperors.
[00:47:22] Don Early: And just how fast that went and what that meant for Christians and the persecution of Christians. Sometimes they got, you know, they were left alone. Uh, sometimes they were hunted real hard.
[00:47:35] So it says on, uh, here on page 138, “Origen knew that pagan opposition to Christianity was often based more on superstition and prejudice. Years before his arrest, Origen had read a tract called “The True Word,” which charged that Christian atheism, masked a rebellion against everything society and government held.”
[00:47:57] Um, and the person who wrote that was Celsus. And it was only a few years before his arrest, uh, Origen had decided to respond to these charges. And, uh, and so Celsus was the one who wrote this track around 180 CE. And he was a religiously inclined, Platonic philosopher, very Greek, and charged that the cult of Christians is a secret society whose members hide together in corners for fear of being brought to trial and punished.
[00:48:30] I mean, yeah,
[00:48:32] Jeremy Spray: Right. You're not wrong.
[00:48:35] Emily Quann: He gets it.
[00:48:37] Don Early: But he says “citing the refusal of the magistrate's orders to sacrificing to the gods. Celsus says that if everyone adopted the Christian's attitude, there would be no rule of law. It would be chaos. Celsus lived at a time when Christian movement was growing rapidly, especially among the illiterate. He writes that Christians refusal to obey certain laws and who cooperate with local or Imperial officials threatens to destroy legitimate authority.”
[00:49:04] I mean, it's basically, he go, he's talking about, you know, you're, these Christians are, are secret anarchists trying to overthrow our, our livelihood. And so Origen goes out there to refute that, but he doesn't do it
[00:49:23] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:49:23] Don Early: Quite do
[00:49:24] Jeremy Spray: Exactly refute it.
[00:49:26] Don Early: Because he does kind of, he stops short of basically saying, the Roman law is of the devil.
[00:49:33] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:49:34] Don Early: But he, he does, you know, Origen gives the Pax Romana the, the, the Roman way of life, the Roman Peace, some credit that it, kept things going while Jesus was alive. And that there were some very, very good things there. Um, but, uh, Origen, goes on to say whoever considers empirical evidence will have to admit. He says that “the spread of Christianity, although unanimously opposed by human authorities, governmental and military, proves that some enormous previously unknown power is now at work in the world.”
[00:50:13] So Origen is to say, it's out there. You guys are seeing it. You didn't see it before.
[00:50:19] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:50:20] Don Early: We're here now. Celsus comes back swinging though. And I have to give him some credit.
[00:50:28] Emily Quann: I wonder if you're about to read, like my favorite, uh,
[00:50:32] Jeremy Spray: I'm confident. It's probably my favorite part. Cuz I remember listening to it. I was again, mowing, mowing that lawn. I was like, no, I believe this now this, this sounds about right to me.
[00:50:41] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah, I think I got it here. [Page 143] “We've seen that Christians did teach converts not only that the bonds of family, society and nation are not sacred. But that they are diabolic encumbrances designed to enslave people to the Roman customs. That is to the demons. What makes the Christians' message dangerous, Celsus writes,
[00:51:03] Don Early: Is not that they believe in one God, but that they deviate from monotheism by their bla of blasphemous belief in the devil. For all the I impious errors to the Christians commit, Celsus says, they show their greatest ignorance in making up a being opposed to God and calling him the devil, or as in the Hebrew language Satan. All such ideas, Celsis declares, are nothing but human inventions, sacrilegious even to repeat… it is blasphemy to say that the greatest God has an adversary who constrains his capacity to do good. Celsus is outraged that Christians who claim to worship one God impiously divide the kingdom of God, creating a rebellion in it as if it were opposing factions within the divine, including one that is hostile to God.” Um, Celsus
[00:52:04] Jeremy Spray: Its own like, wait a minute, God created something that's against God?
[00:52:09] Don Early: Right. Yeah, exactly. Celsus accuses Christians of inventing a rebellion in heaven to justify a rebellion on earth. Bam!
[00:52:26] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, that was huge. And, and, and that was the section I was thinking of. Was that the one you had Emily? Was that your favorite moment? Yeah.
[00:52:33] Emily Quann: I mean, yeah. And, but then the, the snarky one where he's like, How can Christians even eat any food
[00:52:40] Don Early: Oh, yeah. Let me read that
[00:52:41] Emily Quann: from? Yeah,
[00:52:43] Don Early: That was good.
[00:52:44] Emily Quann: I, I laughed out loud at that part
[00:52:45] Don Early: It was hilarious for saying this. They were really projecting their own feelings onto God. Yeah. Uh, liking this guy. “Celsus ridicules Paul's warning that Christians must not eat food offered to the God's list. They participate in communion with daimones. First Corinthians 10: 20- 22. Since daimones are the forces that energize all natural processes, Celsus argues, Christians really cannot eat anything at all”
[00:53:16] Emily Quann: Yeah,
[00:53:17] Don Early: “or even survive without participating in communion with daimones. Celsus declares, whenever they eat bread or drink wine or touch fruit, do they not receive these things? As well as the water they drink and the air they breathe from certain, various elements of nature? Therefore, he adds, we must not. We, we must either not live and indeed not come into this life at all, or we must do on do so on condition that we give things and offerings in prayers to daimones who have been set over the administration of the universe and must do so as long as we live so that they may well be disposed towards us.” That's where it gets that sort of ancient, old religion part of things. I love his point of like you're rejecting the very thing. That's intrinsic to all of life.
[00:54:13] Jeremy Spray: Which,
[00:54:13] Emily Quann: Got a bit salty there and I was, I was there for it.
[00:54:17] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:54:18] Jeremy Spray: But like, I, I think it really. To the conversation that we were having earlier, I think it really encapsulates kind of a big part of what the pagans were freaking out about. Right. They were, the whole thing we started with was they were upset about the fact that there was just this crazy atheism in these Christians.
[00:54:35] And he's like, he's really bringing it up and like, look. You're saying that it's all this one thing and you're rejecting all of the nature that we see that that's causing this to happen it and be this thing. And you're telling us that by the way, all of the nature that we are evolving created with is evil in the same at the same time? Like you're not making any sense here.
[00:54:56] Don Early: Yeah,
[00:54:57] Jeremy Spray: Like whoever you're trying to convince, it's not working.
[00:55:02] Don Early: Exactly
[00:55:03] Jeremy Spray: Except that it did.
[00:55:06] Don Early: It did.
[00:55:06] Emily Quann: Well, yeah, can't argue with that.
[00:55:09] Don Early: It stuck around long enough. You know, the, so the cults of Christianity, you know, at this point, I mean, they've been on the run. Persecuted violently by one larger group or another, be it the Jews or the Romans, um, torture often public death, but the Christian message offers hope to the persecuted, the Christians see that from the gospel's, Satan was at work to destroy Jesus, so also is the devil at work in all of the dominant authorities that work to kill Christians. Um, again, making the Us versus Them violently clear,
[00:55:48] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:55:49] Don Early: But when it's finally the Christians turn for being the dominant religion and basis for society as we shall see and as you can remember, they escalate this to a whole new level. And, uh, in this next episode, we're gonna explore how the Christians turn on themselves.
[00:56:10] Jeremy Spray: Oh man.
[00:56:11] Don Early: To find the devil. Or in chapter six, the Enemy Within: Demonizing the Heretics.
[00:56:21] Jeremy Spray: The Heretics! Oh man here we go. You’re gonna make it through, Emily, I promise!
[00:56:31] Emily Quann: This next chapter's just gonna piss me
[00:56:34] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's gonna have a lot of that.
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[00:56:48] And remember the devil you don't know is the devil someone else does. Until next time.