When the good Christian minister/wicked demagogue politician Mike Huckabee was running for president in 2008, he ever so innocently stuck a shiv in his rival Mitt Romney by casually raising the point to a reporter that supposedly the Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers.  This idea seems to be the biggest easy point for Protestant preacher types who want to convince parishioners that Mormons aren’t really Christians, even though they do in fact worship Jesus Christ.  We might laugh off the funny underwear or a lot of other things, but good Christians bristle badly at any comparison between Jesus and Satan.

This panel comes from the Jack Chick tract The Visitors, in which a gullible old aunt was almost tricked into joining the Mormon Church under the mistaken impression that they were real Christians.  I note that his source for claiming that the Mormons claim Jesus and Satan to be “spirit brothers” is a 1980 magazine article, not Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon.  That makes me a little skeptical right there.

I don’t claim to begin to understand the LDS church enough to even say that I know quite what they believe or mean here, and I don’t that much care.  As a religious skeptic, Jesus and Satan being “brothers” would seem less strange than Catholic transubstantiation.  I have no interest in finding some little “gotcha” to screw with the Mormons.  They’re generally very good neighbors, so I got no beef with them.  Again, I emphasize the point that I make no claim of analyzing specifically LDS doctrine here.

But I am interested in the idea of Jesus and Satan being “brothers.”  What exactly would that mean, and why does it piss off good Christians so much? I sense that this is because the idea basically amounts to poking a stick into the basic contradiction of the nominally monotheistic Christian trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost.  Christians are real big on insisting that there is but ONE God – one only, I tell ya.  Say some other kind of nonsense contradicting that, and you’re definitely going to hell. 

But all Christians are obviously very high on the very distinct personhood of God’s son, born to Earth as Jesus of Nazareth.  The idea of God sending his only begotten son to suffer and die for our sins is the main nub of the whole belief system. 

Jesus phones home more than once in the gospels.  Was he talking to Himself when he asked to let the cup pass from him?  Who was he talking to on the cross?  The holy ghost you can maybe finesse around, regarding that as basically just God’s spirit voice because the ghost never has any independent dialogue in the Bible addressing the others. 

But Jesus Christ of Nazareth is presented as a clear and distinctly separate personality from God the father – and all the ideas of relationships between a father and son are basic to the Christian message of God sacrificing his only begotten son.  Of course, a bad person might discount this supposed big sacrifice.  Obviously, being omniscient, ol’ Yahweh knew that his son was not lost, but was just taking an ugly beating for maybe the period of a couple of measly little 24 hour Earth days and would be rejoining him whole in heaven shortly.  So then, what exactly was the major sacrifice on God’s part?  We’ll leave that issue for another day.

What though exactly would it mean to be God’s “son”?  The Christians and probably the Jews I’d venture to guess would generally be HIGHLY opposed to any idea of God having sex to generate a baby.  That would be a good way to differentiate between a son that Yahweh generated by a personal sexual union versus other lesser creations, such as Satan.  But Mary being a virgin is a very big deal in the Bible and thus to pretty much all Christians.  So that’s out.  But that’s not a big deal.  God the father could have created Jesus of pure spirit and pixie dust or whatever. 

But God created everything in heaven and Earth, besides the fact that fathers would seem to HAVE to someway create their sons.  Otherwise, what would it even mean to say that Jesus was God’s “son”?  Or do you think that Yahweh (God the father) and Jesus both always existed?  Do you think that Yahweh begat Jesus, and if not – if they both always existed – then how is one a “son” and the other a “father”?

If God made everything, including Jesus, then why wouldn’t Jesus and Satan – and everybody else, including you and me – be brothers?  It might be considered that it was one good brother and one bad one, like Cain and Abel.  But it would seem that if God made everything and everyone, then we would all be children of God, and thus brothers.  That would include you, me, Hitler, John the Revelator, the popes, Satan, Gabriel, Mother Theresa and Christopher Hitchens.  Just exactly where Jesus fits into all this is the Big Question.

But the general idea of universal brotherhood is also pretty basic to the gospel stories of Christ.  Love thy neighbor as thyself.  Demonstrating this, Jesus of Nazareth washed the feet of his disciples.  Was that in fact a show of equality and brotherhood among God’s children, or an affectation of noblisse oblige or what?

Yeah, I might as well cop to being a smartass, cause how am I going to pretend otherwise?  I seek a lighthearted and cheerful tone, but nonetheless my questions are serious and not facetious. How does all this stuff fit together?  Perhaps LDS or other Biblical scholars can reconcile some of this stuff.

Can someone dumb some of this down for a slow witted Kentuckian?






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