The Seed of the Serpent and the Children of God

“But holiest thoughts may yet be sideways drawn,
And that which seemed so fair at early dawn,
May be, ere nightfall, blurred by Satan’s spawn.”

A. J. Christie, The End of Man (1886)

Many ostensibly Christian churches have taken to preaching that all homo sapiens are equally children of God.  This novel dogma is offered as a cheering correction to the longstanding and, some say, fallacious doctrine that mankind has sprung from two fathers, and that the children of God are mingled in this world with the sons and daughters of Satan.  Albany James Christie was a member of the Oxford Movement who crossed the Tiber with John Henry Newman, and in my epigram he refers to the offspring of the evil one as Satan’s spawn.

It may be that the churches that preach this dogma no longer believe in Satan, or believe that Satan is childless, or perhaps that the father of the prodigal son would have been equally overjoyed if the scowling scion of his worst enemy had broken down the gate and demanded to be fed that fatted calf.

I readily admit that there are dark mysteries in this business of “election,” and I do not speak as a man who enjoys what an old hymn calls “blessed assurance,” but there seems no getting round the fact that a truly Christian church ought to preach some version of the “two seeds doctrine.”  I am using this term in a general sense, and not with any special allegiance to the backwoods theology of Nathaniel Parker, or to any other brand of rationalistic Calvinism.

* * * * *

The “two seeds” doctrine is rooted in God’s first curse, the Curse of the Serpent, which is related in Genesis 3:15.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

From this it appears that that the fallen earth will be inhabited by two spiritual families, not one.  One of these families will honor and bear some likeness to their Heavenly Father, whereas the other will honor and bear some likeness to what Jesus called the “Father of Lies.”  He does this in John 8:44, where he rebukes the Jews with words that seem to suggest they are, or had become, that seed of the Serpent to which God referred in his first curse.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

The enmity of the Serpent’s seed is expressed in their acts of murder and lying.  More specifically, it is expressed in acts that kill the bodies and pervert the minds of the children of God, the the seed of Eve.  Murder and lying are low and treacherous acts, and I believe that this is why the Curse of the Serpent said the seed of Satan would seek to bruise the seed of Eve on its heel.  Like their Father the Serpent, they would hide in the grass, creep up from behind, and strike without warning at a man’s lowest limb.

When Jesus called himself the Son of Man, he was identifying himself as the perfect seed of Eve.  He was, indeed, identifying himself as the great warrior sent by the Heavenly Father to fulfill the first curse.  Thus Jesus felt perfect enmity for Satan and his seed, and he expressed his enmity by bruising their scaly heads with a sharp and fatal blow.  The fallen but penitent children of God are, by way of contrast, marked by their intermittent liking for Satan, his spawn, and their lies; and by the feebleness and inaccuracy of the blows with which they try (all the while shrieking like a girl who has seen a spider) to bruise their scaly heads.

We also find both John the Baptist and Jesus alluding to the two seeds of the first curse when they call the Jewish teachers a “generation of vipers.”  They are saying that these teachers are, like their father the Serpent, actuated by an implacable enmity for God, his children, and his one and only perfect Son.  They therefore seek to beguile those children with lies, just as Satan sought to beguile Jesus with his temptations in the wilderness, and failing that will seek to murder those children, just as they murdered Jesus on the cross.

* * * * *

If we are all children of God, then there is no generation of vipers, the Father of Lies has no children, the Serpent has no seed, and Satan has no spawn.  Moreover, if we are all children of God, it must be said that Jesus “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”  Thus either he or many who now preach in his name are throwing sand in our eyes.

When sand is thrown into your eyes, your eyes will water and blear.  That water is actually called rheum, and its purpose is to flush away the sand and restore proper vision.  But the eye is bleary while it is being washed by this rheum.  To be “bleary eyed” is, therefore, to be partly blinded by rheum, and it is from this word bleary that we have its close relation, blurred.  Eyes are bleary and vision is blurred.

With this in mind, let us return to A. J. Christie and my epigram.

“But holiest thoughts may yet be sideways drawn,
And that which seemed so fair at early dawn,
May be, ere nightfall, blurred by Satan’s spawn.”

When Christie says that “holiest thoughts may yet be sideways drawn,” he is rejecting the doctrine of predestination.  The children of God can be pulled from the path of election, and those who feel “blessed assurance” are deluded by a dangerous lie.  The truth is that the path of election runs through tall grass that is teaming with the seed of the Serpent, with the low and treacherous children of the Father of Lies.  And of their lies the first are that the Serpent has no spawn; that there is, indeed, no Serpent; that we are all of us children of God.

And so the handful of sand is thrown, our eyes are bleared and our vision is blurred.  And so while we stand waiting for the rheum to do its work and restore our sight, our heel is most grievously bruised by slithering snakes in the grass.

6 thoughts on “The Seed of the Serpent and the Children of God

  1. The covenant of Abraham was very much rooted in his lineage, and if I recall correctly, Christ abolished the bloodline in favor of a spiritual fatherhood. We are adoptive sons of Christ, but can also choose to be adopted as sons of the serpent. I would disagree if you said that the children of the serpent are irredeemable–I’m not clear that that is indeed what you are saying, just stated as a point of clarification. I believe every human being may opt in to the spiritual fatherhood of Christ, and they equally have the choice to opt into the spiritual fatherhood of the serpent.

    The option to volunteer for adoption by Christ does not imply the act of doing so. Narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and few there are who find it.

    • This is one of the “dark mysteries of election” that I do not understand. And by that, I do not mean that I think it is nonsense, just that I have no definite opinion. The freedom to choose means nothing if there is no disposition to choose, and we enter a hall of mirrors the moment we begin to speak of choosing our dispositions. My point here is that the spiritual unity of mankind is radically unscriptural, and that we may pause to wonder why it is so often taught in our churches.

      • I agree. I think ecumenism does more damage to the cause of winning converts than stark orthodoxy. Why join the club if you can get all the benefits without being a member? The act of contrition addresses the two reasons people seek heaven: First, the fear of hell; second, obedience to God. Fearing hell comes first, and no one wants to think of themselves as the ones wailing and gnashing their teeth.

  2. Pingback: The Seed of the Serpent and the Children of God | Reaction Times

  3. Did you ever read A Generation of Vipers (1942), a non-fiction entry in Philip Wylie’s mostly novelistic bibliography? A trenchant book it is, which predicted, among other things, that “Momism,” or what we might call the Resurgent Matriarchy, would gradually erode the political vitality of the U.S.A. and destroy the nation.


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