Humanity is the Devil: Faith and the Responsibility for Evil
Every religious movement faces the contradictions posed by the existence of evil in a universe supposedly under the dominion of a loving and benevolent God. It is one of the most debilitating questions posed to every faith, in fact, and requires rationalization in imaginative ways. Explanations vary from attributing the presence of evil as a test presented to humanity by God to sift out the worthy from the masses, a challenge conjured up by a malign force which opposes God, an illusion of the human condition, or some variant of the above designed to placate the questioning faithful.
Not many religions have turned the blame from alien figures of darkness to humanity itself. Though faiths such as Protestantism delegate blame onto humanity for the moral failings of the race and the suffering that exists in the world, still Satan or some corresponding figure is placed as the root of all evil, the tempter who led humanity out of the good path into darkness. Nevertheless, the Process Church of the Final Judgment does attribute the propagation of evil to a human origin: in their belief, the existence of evil comes from humanity. Evil was especially attributed to the disconnection of humanity from God, humanity's flouting of God's plan, and the division of God from the unity that once was into four parts which allowed the universe to exist.
In his essay "Social Construction from Within: Satan's Process", Bainbridge asserts the rational aesthetic and intellectual integrity of the Process Church, espousing their construction of a richly mystical religious community. However, amongst Brainbridge's excellent and valid observations on the Process Church, he neglects to elucidate the maturity and sense of responsibility reflected in the philosophy of the Church. By their acceptance of the darkness within human nature and within God, the Process Church took on a rationalization of evil that demanded humanity to take responsibility for redemption into its own hands. Rather than an isolated God who looked down and passed judgment upon the earth, for the Processians, the divine spirit was alive, although not well, within the human heart. The apocalypse was visible on the horizon not as a cataclysm wrought by God for punishment but as the reunification of God from four disparate and sometimes conflicting parts into one.
The co founder of the Processian Church, Robert de Grimson, asserts in his text titled "Humanity is the Devil" that in the beginning God gave his children the choice "whether to remain subject to the Will of its Creator, or to set out upon the path of destiny by the power of its own free will". Humanity chose free will and thereafter guided their own actions, with two poles of morality to guide them: the light that led to God and the temptations that led to hell. Naturally, however, when humanity is left to guide itself, the race collectively tends to choose the path of temptation and doom itself to Hell. Thus the human race becomes propagators as well as victims of the evil they created by turning away from God. Even when tendencies towards hateful and violent behaviors are suppressed for a time they eventually, inevitably must break free, these compulsions made uncontrollable and intrinsic to the human state because of humanity's disconnection from God. In his essay "As It Is", de Grimson grimly states that "Earth is hell, and humanity has made it so."
The Process theology revolved largely around their conceptions of four different God-aspects which were reflected in the world and in human nature, and around their belief that each follower had a strong kinship to one or two of these God-aspects. Named Lucifer, Jehovah, Satan, and Christ, different characteristics were attributed to each, and each believer who found their connection to a God-aspect was redeemed from the masses of the "gray" people that surrounded them. The kinship with...
Cited: 1.BainBridge, William Sims. "Social Construction from Within: Satan 's Process." The Satanism Scare. Ed. James T. Richardson, Joel Best, and David G. Bromley. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991. 297-310 .
2.Duvall, Kathryn L. The Religious Movements Homepage: The Process. 16 July 2001. 7 November 2007.
3.Lachman, Gary. The Rick A. Ross Institute for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups, and Movements: Sympathy for the Devil. 28 February 2007. 7 November 2007.
4.The Process Church of the Final Judgment. Humanity is the Devil. 10 October 2004. 8 November 2007.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document