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I heard somewhere (can't remember where) that Satan is more of a term than a person. In other words, Satan is not so much a fallen angel, person, or being, but rather a designation for evil.

Is this a standard position of any churches or denominations?

If so, please clarify where this idea comes from and what backing (if any) it has from Scripture.

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If such a group exists, there is no guarantee that it justifies its position on the basis of Scripture (what counts as scripture for this unknown group?) –  Alypius Apr 7 '13 at 6:45
    
This page covers the topic well. Basically, Satan is not Lucifer. Satan, meaning adversary, is that which is against God. Satan is not a person. This is not an answer; that's why it is in the comments. –  fredsbend Apr 7 '13 at 7:26
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3 Answers 3

This is a typical "enlightened" / liberal view.

Here is a resource that can help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_in_christianity

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Bible Churches, which are often non-denominational do NOT subscribe to the point of view you state. I'd also argue that the majority of Protestants especially Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in the US) definitely do think Satan is a person on average. –  Affable Geek Jul 14 '13 at 13:28
    
The only sentence I agree with is that this is a fairly typical ultra-liberal position –  Affable Geek Jul 14 '13 at 13:29
    
thanks @AffableGeek, the comment was from "my experience" but I agree that it was unnecessary. I edited my answer –  Greg Bala Jul 17 '13 at 17:26
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Some claims that "satan" simply means "adversary" - the "nay-sayer" or the "voice of opposition" - rather than a specific person... and certainly not the embodiment of evil.

E.g. God plans to do something, and all the minor gods and angels agrees... except one, who voices his opposition against the plan. Then he is "satan" - God's adversary, the one who disagreed with God... this time. Another time, it may be a different one of God's advisers that voices opposition and becomes "satan".

There are some stories from the Bible (like the story about Job) which make more sense with this view, that "satan" just refers to whomever opposes/disagree/questions God at the moment, rather than one particular entity. It certainly explains why God seems to repeatedly allow "satan" into His midst, and use him as an adviser along with other advisers.

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Could you cite any sources, or at least traditions which hold to this view? –  Jas 3.1 Apr 8 '13 at 20:24
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Sorry Baard. But the question was about what traditions(I.E. denominations) teach this doctrine, it's ok to clarify what they teach only in context of who they are. –  2tim424 May 8 '13 at 21:19
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Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Monism and its child Empiricism both hold that all spirits are figments of the imagination or physical condition rationalized by the human mind. I do not know how one could believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and completely believe monism or empiricism because to accept Christ as your King and Friend you must believe that God raised Him from the dead. Some people believe in less literal views of the word of God and call many thing partial or full metaphors. The people who I know who are not literalists are Anglican and Catholic however I'm told that Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Orthodox Christian all hold to metaphorical interpretations of the word when it suits them.

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