Attributing to satan what comes from God or man


Hello fellow CAFers,

I remember a long time ago that a priest said something to us about the sin of attributing to satan what comes from God. If I remember right, this was seen as idolatrous, but my memory was a bit vague on this. It had something to do with a “sin against the Spirit”.

The reason I am asking is that it seems like we have a lot of things going on that people attribute to satan, but they may have more to do with our limited human nature, and blindness or ignorance.

Any insights?


Did Adam and Eve have complete dominion of reason over appetite?

See Mark 3, 22-30
It was suggested that Our Lord was casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub. –A pretty silly accusation, as He quickly points out. However, I have heard such things suggested in relation to modern miracles of faith. Be ever so careful not to suggest that good fruits can come from Satan!


Bingo! Thanks! Yes, that is exactly the verse that the priest was addressing. Here is the end of it:

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

I remember the priest talking about something like closed-mindedness about the presence and action of God. If a person is seeing “unclean spirits” where there is God, if a person is saying that anything God does comes from an evil source, such closed-mindedness places a wall between them and God. It is not put there by God, but by the person.

Essentially, the person is closed-minded about seeing God’s goodness, so for example he refuses to understand and forgive. So regardless of God’s ever-willingness to love and forgive, the person refuses the offer, he does not see Christ Himself (whose presence is in everyone) in those he condemns as having done works with an “unclean spirit”.

In reality, does anyone ever do anything motivated by an “unclean Spirit”? This is the accusation made against many, in some cases even scripture seems to point out such spirits in people, at least it is translated that way.


I think one of the easiest ways to oppose someone you disagree with is to demonise them. It is a communal activity (which can create closed minds) and it is a way to have people not bother with what someone is actually saying.

Believing in God and an external truth should be our best way to interact with people and things that we oppose (at least at the time). I would say taking the route of demonising people can be dangerous because it could devalue objective truth and our considering of things rationally with God as our guide.


Well…you have to go to the book of JOB -

And the first - bunch of evil misfortunes - came from satan - with God’s ‘go ahead’ approval.

Satan keeps many blind and in ignorance - via world powers of vast magnitude -
And many people enjoy sinning and lying and all sorts of things like that.

God - first and foremost - calls us - OUT OF THAT -
we have to answer that call - daily !
That’s when - it’s best to discern - if our own personal misfortunes - are a blessing in disguise.


This is a very good point. In this case, what appears to come from satan actually came from God. While this has broad application, the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of doing something not originating with God the Father.

Have you heard “Evil is an absence of good”? That absence takes the form of ignorance. Are you attributing ignorance to satan? See, this is where our minds go. We resent ignorance, so we attribute it to satan. The Pharisees resented Jesus’ work, so they attributed them to something other than God.

Even Jesus “grew in wisdom”, He went from a place of lack of awareness to enlightenment.

Are you open to the possibility that lack of awareness is not attributable to satan? Indeed, “ignorance” is the word we use to condemn lack of awareness, it has a somewhat negative connotation.


I think that it is an automatic part of our human nature, associated with the conscience. When we resent what someone is saying/doing, our brain goes into seeking cause and effect, and our mind stops in a place where “this thing being said/done comes from an evil place”.

We can see this in the way that people criticize and demonize politicians, condemning them, blaming them, essentially implying that what they are saying or doing is coming from a place of evil. In actuality, everyone has good intentions in what they do, but when they have an awareness gap, their choices and beliefs may be untruthful and/or hurtful.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, many are demonized, but those politicians are all well-intended, they are acting on what they perceive as best.

Can you see that even people who demonize others are well-intended in their demonizing?

Very good point, and your mention of this brings my mind back to more of what the priest said. He said that this verse was the basis for the importance of always giving people the benefit of the doubt. To say that their motives are coming from a bad place is “dangerous”.

In my own self-reflection, such attribution of motive coming from a “bad place” is not so much dangerous as it is simply untrue. People are all trying to attain some “good”.

Is this your observation also?


Mother Angelica of EWTN answered this question one time:

Q: ‘Is all evil caused by satan influencing a person?’

Mother Angelica answered:
‘Most of the time evil temptations do come from satan, but a lot of the time someone might be such a bad person that satan doesn’t have to influence them at all.’

What she meant was that we can’t blame every temptation on satan, that because of original sin, the tendancy to disobey God’s laws will be there anyway.

Sr Ann Shield’s wrote: ‘We can’t blame satan for all our temptations, but neither can we say that he never tempts us at all.’ You have to use discernment to figure out: is this of myself, or of satan.

(The Jesuits teach that in discernment, a thought/ inspiration can either come from yourself, from satan, or from God).


A temptation is simply a person’s appetite being stimulated. Our appetites come from God, right?

Is there even such thing as a “bad person”? This perception has to do with resentment of people who do evil, right?

Can you give an example of such a tendency?

What is an example of a thought /inspiration coming from satan?


OneSheep, are you a Catholic?

Your questions:
-all desires come from God?
(Wrong. Does murder of an innocent person come from God? Does torture of an innocent person come from God? Does unnecessary animal cruelty come from God?)

-is there such a thing as evil?
(Adolf Hitler for example. Satan himself is another example).

-tendancy to disobey God’s laws?
Are you familiar with any of the Bible, teachings of the Vatican/ Catechism/ popes?
Lies/ cheating/ stealing/ hurtful words/ murder/ abortion/ euthanasia/ adultery/ sodomy etc

Are you one of those liberal catholics who believe in using one’s own philosophies to decide what of the Bible/ Vatican/ catechism/ popes, that you ‘agree’ with logically according to thyself?

Saint peter even says in the bible in one of his letters: ‘Scripture is not open to one’s own interpretation.’

Read the bible as to what Jesus says, and read the Early Church Fathers (to see historically that Catholicism was passed onto the church from the Apostles), and read the Catechism to see what the Catholic Church teaches about your questions.


Yes! And you? :slightly_smiling_face:

“Murder” is not a desire, not an appetite. Where the appetite is involved is, for example, a desire for justice. The murder itself is made possible when a person is blinded by anger or resentment.

Torture, too, comes from desire for justice, which includes a desire to punish what we see as wrongdoing. The torturer sees their victim as “evil” or “worthless”, which is a blindness. Torture itself is not a human desire or appetite.

I think you can see that the above also applies here.

Evil acts, yes. Otherwise, “evil is an absence of good”. Hitler intended to do good, but his empathy was blocked by resentment. He was blind.

Please give an example, and we can see from where it comes.

Yes, and you? Here we are focusing in on what it means to give people the benefit of the doubt, to discern whether something is coming from an “unclean spirit”, because being wrong about this, pointing a finger and saying “this comes from satan” can be a problem. Did you read the verse?

These are all evil acts, yes. Do they come from satan, or do they come from people who are blind, but mean well? Pick one, and we can investigate.

Yes, we are not to ascribe to satan what comes from God. We are not to assume an “unclean spirit” which is saying that something comes from satan. As the priest told us, we are always to give people the benefit of the doubt. I am not promoting naivete, though. Sometimes we have to look pretty hard to see a person’s good intent.

So, do you have an example to address?


Pretty much. Not everyone I think. but the vast majority of people in my experience.


Communion in the hand and medjugorie…


Wow, thanks for that amazing example! Here is another one, closely related:

Perhaps the Cardinal should familiarize himself with Mark 3:22-30?


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