Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween -- Should Christians Celebrate?

By Evangelist Stephen Piersall
God’s Preservation Ministry, sfprs.org/

If you have children, grandchildren, or perhaps a teacher, Halloween is hard for you to overlook. There are many different conclusions about whether to celebrate it or not. For some, it is a time for dress-up and candy and an opportunity for fun. That responsibility to decide to participate rests with the adults in the family, not the children. The peer pressure on children is far too great for them to be impartial. There are many who look at the holiday's origin as Pagan and associate it with the occult, and not observe it at all.

Some parents adopt the traditional Halloween practices, while others develop very different alternatives. These alternatives may include fall festival parties where children are encouraged to dress in a particular theme such as positive cartoon or book characters, famous historical characters, or Bible heroes. If you decide to make a major change in the way, your family celebrates Halloween, you may not need to do all the work yourself, or perhaps your local church may have something planned already.

Rather than separate completely from the night's activities, some Christians give gospel tracts along with treats to children who come to their homes and make Halloween an opportunity to witness for Christ. A good friend “Kristine McGuire” has a web site of a unique way a Christian can observe the day.

http://kristinemcguire.com/31-days-of-light-the-pumpkin-challenge/

The Clash of Two Worldviews: Christianity and Paganism

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

"Do not forget that the fundamental contrast has always been, is still, and always will be until the end: Christianity and Paganism, the Living God or the idols." (Abraham Kuyper, 1898)

I believe the Lord has called me to focus on shining the Light of truth on the the diabolical nature of the paranormal craze. However, this is not an isolated phenomenon, and this series is designed to help us to not miss the Pagan forest for the paranormal trees--even though I believe the paranormal is the chief culprit in the spiritual pollution of our land...by opening doors to the demonic in larger numbers than any other aspect of this large New Age umbrella. The more fascinated we become with the spirit realm, the more we open the floodgates to the influx of unclean spirits.

At 57 years old, I am a baby boomer, and our generation which jettisoned the God of our fathers at Woodstock, is hungry for spiritual reality. The pagan baby was conceived in the mid-sixties but was not born until the 1990's. We are possibly in the midst of the greatest threat ever to the Christian Church. As Dr. Peter Jones, professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary said, "Does the average Christian know what is going on in our ostensibly  civilized society? Pagan ideology, sometimes of the most radical and anti-Christian nature, is taught in university departments of religion, theological seminaries, mainline church agencies, feminist networks and wicca covens across the land. It adopts the name of Christianity, but will render our world unrecognizable. ...if you doubt the success of this revolution (1960's), note the following statistic: in 1994, seventy-one percent of Americans and forty percent of those calling themselves "evangelicals" no longer believed in absolute truth." (Spirit Wars, pg. 35)

The Aquarian nightmare is here, and as Os Guinness said, we are weak at the very points needed to withstand this onslaught from the East. (The Dust of Death ) With absolute truth obliterated for so many Christians, where else can we turn for truth (eg. ethics) except inwards to ourselves and intuition, as ultimate reference points for reality/truth? So, we find ourselves and the Bride of Christ in severe crisis--many of those who say they are bible believing Christians, do not really believe in divinely revealed truth. If anything, the statistics are worse in 2013. If the bible is not really true, then why follow its ethical mandates? Do we have the backbone to discern or disarm the gnostic revival?

Christianity or Paganism.... the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, or goddess spirituality in which  meditation will usher in the dawning of a new era of realizing our inner divinity and a quantum leap in consciousness. This is much deeper than Culture Wars...it is spirit wars, and though we know that Christ will ultimately prevail in the war, He has not promised victory in every battle. American Christians need to wake up. It is time to take what we have learned about worldviews and examine this arch-enemy....which is creeping into our churches. What follows is what might be called the "Creed of the Religious Left." To understand what is happening in our culture, and by God's grace make a difference, we must grasp this occult worldview (Pagan goddess, New Age, Neo-gnostic).

There are numerous anti-Christian worldviews, for example, the old, atheistic and materialistic humanism--but it is moribund. The failure of atheistic Marxism is a classic example of what happens when we do not take into account our incurably spiritual nature as humans....we wither. Religious Liberalism has recognized this....  it realized that it had no satisfactory spirituality, and so shed its old anti-supernaturalism. We all long for some "sacred canopy" which provides a framework for understanding the world as well as a vibrant spirituality.  Liberalism, or the Religious Left, has seized upon this new, occult pagan spirituality. Hence, Religious Liberalism has become intensely spiritual almost overnight...but not everything spiritual is holy. Let us take what we have learned re worldviews and analyze the primary worldview challenge to classical Christianity....and see how they clash.

1. Ultimate Reality--God is not outside the universe; She IS the universe. Instead of two kinds of reality--Creator and creation--there is only one (the creator IS the creation and vice versa). Mass and energy is what it all reduces to. The universe is expanding in consciousness as we evolve.Ultimate reality is poised for a quantum leap forward to utopia. Some form of goddess worship is at the heart of this worldview.

.Eastern thought must be made palatable to western sensibilities, so the radical monism (all is one) of eastern thought has given way to a "soft" monism. The Creator/creature distinction has been obliterated since the creator is co-extensive with the "creation".A pagan goddess spirituality is at the heart of ultimate reality.Lucifer is seen by many as the good force of creation. I have been hammering home the paramount importance in one's worldview regarding what Ultimate Reality is. Two radically opposed ways of understanding God are vying for the soul of America...indeed the world. One defends the truth, and the other a diabolical lie. Genesis 1-3...the cast of characters are reversed. In seminaries feminist theologians (men and women) are consciously re-interpreting the biblical narrative so that it is no longer "patriarchal" in its view of God.

I want to make a paranormal observation here--it is no coincidence that the notion of "residual energy/haunts" originated and flourishes after the collapse of the Christian worldview, and the adoption of an energy-centric worldview. The language we currently use re reality and energy, has made plausible that which is really utterly implausible. Simply put, NOTHING occurs in nature that even remotely resembles what is said to be happening routinely in the paranormal realm--intelligent storing of non-intelligent energy, which then self-summons itself to replay "memories"....acting like an audio and/ or video recorder. The book of Proverbs speaks of the foolishness of autonomous human thought. But such is the power of worldview assumptions, especially when there is a group dynamic.                                                                                                                                                                                          .
2. The nature of reality is not illusory, as in hard-core eastern monism. Rather, the physical universe is real, as is its mirror spiritual realm...both are eternal. The latter is populated with an endless assortment of spirit entities, which are vital to our gaining cosmic consciousness. Getting in tune with the vibrations of the universe (actually infinite universes) is the key to living "in reality." I got an email today inviting me to a mass meditation exercise of 20,000+ folks determined to ushering in a new phase of cosmic evolution for reality. Reality is not created and sustained by an infinite and personal God.
3. The purpose of life is planetary oneness achieved via vibrational changes and visualized meditation. Loving God with all of our being is seen as anachronistic and patriarchal...anathema!!. Rationality is downplayed and true meaning can only be achieved by mystical experience. Gnosis or knowledge of the self as divine is the highest goal or "salvation".
4. Humans are essentially good since there was no Fall in space and time.No original sin. Indeed, understanding our inner divinity is the main hallmark of this pagan spirituality (same old lie as in Eden)Spiritual understanding through meditation and intuition is the only means to "salvation."... Humans beings are divine, as is the rest of the universe. Creational distinctions between male and female are intentionally abolished. "Patriarchy", or male headship in home and church, is replaced with androgyny. Humans are a breed of animal.
5. The source of ethics--is our autonomous mind.(no objective truth revealed from an infinite personal God) Spirit guides play a significant role here as well, as they are said to be the voices of the goddess and the unfolding universe. The notion of absolute truth is denied absolutely in this system...which is self-refuting.
The primacy of experience and intuition in determining right and wrong has displaced the use of reason in studying the word of God. One's mystical experience has become the arbiter of each persons own ethical truth/s. Alternate expressions of sexuality are preferred to heterosexuality.
6. Human beings are seen as divine (instead of made in God's image). We are essentially good with no need of redemption, other than freedom from ignorance of our divinity. Deep differences between male and female are denied.
7. Regarding the afterlife there are some differences...some believe in  reincarnation and others do not. But the consensus is that we are poised to usher in an era on earth that is a veritable garden of Eden. Gnosis (knowledge) of one's divinity is the key to eternal bliss. When we die our souls are freed from the confines of our bodies and we many get "stuck" here...at least for awhile. There is no personal God before whom we stand for judgement.

Observation...emphasis on occult knowledge and experience, naturally leads to interest in necromancy....communication with the dead. EVP solicitation is necromancy and is substantially no different than using a  Ouija board, and just as dangerous. I mentioned this on Facebook the other day and one person tried  to show how they were different. However, they missed my main point--both address the spirit realm and inquire of it. Both give demons the "legal right" to attach and oppress.

Has the CLASH of worldviews become clearer? Not everyone who has, consciously or unconsciously, adopted a New Age worldview embraces all seven of its contents mentioned above. We all have inconsistencies in our worldview (I certainly have). However, in order to make a difference for Christ in our generation, we need to understand this mindset as a coherent system, diabolically empowered for the destruction of humanity. God help us to awaken!  May the Lord renew our minds that we may love Him more deeply and be more effective witnesses for Him in a lost, dark world.

The Nag Hammadi gnostic texts discovered in 1945 in Egypt (not to be confused with the Dead Sea scrolls) have become the sacred texts for this new spirituality.Perhaps we will discuss that next time and why these texts were NOT included in the bible....many are confused regarding this issue. May the Lord bless you!

Visions and the Supernatural

By Lisa Grace

Visions are one of the primary means of communication from God. The Bible makes it clear that in the later days, it is a form of communication God will use. (And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions  Joel 2:28 KJV and Acts 2:17).

What is a vision and how is it different than a dream?
Visions are mentioned in 73 Bible verses in the KJV. Visions have a clarity and can be had while in an "awake" state, or while in a dream state. You feel you are really there. It is literal, not allegorical. Events that will happen. Dreams are full of symbolism, while visions are the future reality.

Visions as a direct form of communication have less room for being interpreted incorrectly. Dreams require in interpreter. While visions maybe of such a far off future that it seems incomprehensible and almost impossible to understand. For instance, if one of the Biblical prophets saw a helicopter flying in the sky. or an airplane dropping bombs, how exactly would he describe it? Or a TV show, or a cell phone? A bullet train, or Siri?

Seeing into the future hundreds/thousands of years makes explaining an event almost impossible, even if you clearly "see" it. We all need references we understand, or there is no way to explain what was seen.

In some ways visions can be less readily understood than symbolic dreams. Yet at times God will choose to communicate in this way.

Why were visions given?
If we examine the events in which the visions occurred, we can see they were given for very few purposes. One is to strengthen the faith of the receiver. In these cases, they are told not to share the vision.  Another reason seems to be that of a warning. The visions are meant as a way of communicating where to go, what not to do, or who to trust.

The last reason is for the viewer to record what he has seen for future generations, and the viewer is told that while he must write down what he saw, it won't be understood until a much later date.

It's important to remember that visions are not for our own edification, but for God's purpose. Prophecy, visions, and dreams are the primary means God chooses to communicate His will to us.

How do we know a vision is sent from God?
Is it serving as a warning, and is it in compliance with the rest of Scripture? If it contradicts the Scriptures, it's safe to say—it's not from God. Any vision would be in support of what is already known in the Scriptures. If you've received a vision, God would clearly send to you the knowledge of what you are to do with the information.

Lisa Grace is the author of the popular Angel Series which is in development for a major movie. You can reach Lisa at: lisagracebooks@yahoo.com

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