Thursday, November 14, 2013

Demonic Video Games Influence

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

You can really relate to your own age when you can remember Intellivision, Atari 2600, Commodore computers, and 1981 when Donkey Kong hit the arcades. What in the world, did we do as kids before that? We played outside; Bike riding (had a Varoom motor, and streamers), Hula Hoops, Croquet, ball sports, Tonka toys, Tag, Hide & Seek, Kick the Can, Hop Scotch, tree climbing, etc. SIGH!!!
As kids, we went outside to play after doing your homework “first.” We relied on our imaginations and limitless energy to be active. Mom said, “You kids go outside and play!” We were gone until we heard our name to come home for supper then back outside again until the street lights came on. SIGH!!!

With regular visits with our grandchildren, we started to see a trend and nipped it in the bud real quick. They would start to argue as we approach our apartment on who gets the laptop, Kindle, and putting the TV on Disney or some dumb sponge with other weird-looking characters. We could have pizzas delivered every hour, and we could go away for the weekend and they would not know it. I am one of those “bad” grandfathers, when I take the two pugs out the kids come with me, and funny how I find it possible to find the long way around the neighborhood. Hey! We have to find time to get on our own electronic devices too LOL!

Keep in mind this blog is not just toward your children, but for you, adults too. After finances, the #2 items for arguments in marriages are the fact that at least one is now home from work rooted on the couch with energy drinks, wearing headphones talking to their friends they are playing video games with. It does not work at our house, as when yours truly am on the computer playing some music, or online training course, wife Karen’s voice is loud enough that I get the hint if I sit here too long. LOL

Video games can easily cause people of all ages to become fixated to the point of obsession. That and the content of many are the two primary dangers. Some say it is just the times we live in, but when you factor in the devil’s motives in finding ways to keep us away from God. The combining of culture and technology we see is making it easier for him to win his battles. No doubt, that much of the content in these games is diabolically disposed. That is certainly true for all other media like the Internet, movies, and TV.

Video games are highly interactive, and many are about killings, zombies, robbery, high-speed chases away from law enforcement, etc. The greater engaging the game, the further deeply we are drawn. We might understand this is just a game, and in the reality of life is meaningless. What about the many who do not recognize that fact? It can begin to affect our behavior, and it starts to control us, and becomes an addiction. Whatever in life comes our way where we waste away time, energy, focus, and emotions it dominates us and everything else, and dare say becomes “cult” like or very close to "worshiping." 

God gave us Free Will, and every Christian should know that life is full of trials and tribulations, and we are accountable for our choices in life. While we can agree, the content in some of these games is troubling; the obsessive behavior they are prone to generate is even more of a danger. If anything else besides Jesus Christ comes to have the top place in our life, in our hearts, that is where we run into trouble. Once we genuinely put Jesus Christ, first in our lives everything else that raises itself up against the truth of the Word of God, and our spiritual growth increases, evil is defeated. These choices have to come from inside, and those who take that road all the way to the end are few (Matt.7:14). However, if we are only willing to have just a little faith, small as a grain of sand or a mustard seed, our merciful God will be there to help us with every forward step we choose to take. 
Researchers have been able to link tempestuous criminals and bloodthirsty video games, which in turn these studies have shown that those young people to get into trouble at school and likely to bully other students are also most likely to play even more violent video games.

We always need to be careful what we are letting into our brains, and need to be especially wary when participating in activities that cause us to act contrary to God's principles. God has saved us and called us to a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9). Let us; therefore, out of love for God and gratefulness for Christ's saving work, follow the wise words of Paul:

 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

How Serious is the Belief in Trapped Spirits?

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann    

My interest in the theological issue of spiritism accelerated like a rocket when I realized the titanic With the American spiritual landscape littered with the rubbish of all manner of crazy ideas and beliefs, it has the dubious distinction of being the arch-heterodox belief of the day…that is my opinion and I am prepared to defend that sentiment.

The first argument is simple but profound: fifty percent of Americans now believe in trapped spirits. HALF—ONE OUT OF EVERY TWO!—OF THE POPULATION HAS EMBRACED THIS ERROR…HIGHER WITH THE YOUNGER CROWD…AND GROWING FAST EVERY DAY.  No need to drone on here, but what other specific belief error comes anywhere near that quantity of people? Number of people affected should certainly be considered when determining if an issue merits being called a crucial issue, should it not?  Spiritism is a crucial issue which must be passionately addressed because more people have embraced this erroneous belief than any other heterodox belief.

Certainly one can believe in ghosts and still be saved, because Scripture clearly teaches justification by faith alone (Rom. 4; 5:1) However, the ability to discern the relative importance of theological/spiritual beliefs is vital for effective Christian life and ministry. The relative importance of certain issues/beliefs can fall within four categories. 1. Absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith…what one must believe to be saved (the belief in absolute truth is a distinct issue); 2. Convictions, while not core beliefs, usually have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church and individuals; 3. Opinions, are less clear issues and are usually not worthy of dividing over; 4. Questions are issues which are currently unsettled. These criteria, and the seven below, are designed to help sort through the myriad of issues we face by categorizing them into four distinct levels of seriousness…hope they will help you in the future with thinking through the significance of other issues as well.

Where an issue falls within these categories should be determined by weighing the cumulative force of at least seven considerations: 1. Biblical clarity; 2. Relevance to the character of God; 3. Relevance to the essence of the gospel; 4. Biblical frequency and significance (how often in Scripture it is taught and what weight Scripture places upon it); 5. Effect on other doctrines; 6. Consensus among Christians (past and present); 7. Effect on personal and church life…all the categories should be considered collectively in determining how important an issue is to the Christian faith. The ability to rightly discern the difference between core doctrines and legitimately disputable matters will keep the church from either compromising important truth or needlessly dividing over peripheral issues. (pg. 2502 ESV Study Bible, emp. added)

In a sense, the main goal of my book is to provide the cumulative evidence (mentioned above and other) to argue that the issue of trapped spirits lies within the realm of convictions—see above for distinctiveness of four categories of issues…#2. While a biblically accurate belief regarding spiritism is not a core/absolute issue (not necessary for salvation…belief in the deity of Christ is an example of a belief that is a core issue), it is an exceedingly important conviction or teaching of the bible. Belief in ghosts, and attempting communication with them, can do serious damage to the church and to an individual’s spirituality. I should hasten to add, it IS doing serious damage right now. Let us look at the relative importance the bible gives to this issue, and the ramifications for the spiritual and emotional health of people by looking at these seven points.

1. Biblical clarity—using accepted principles of hermeneutics, Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and Leviticus 20:6-8, 27 are they key texts relative to communication with the dead (this is a distinct issue which is beyond the scope of this newsletter, but I devoted an entire article on this), and they are clear and explicit regarding the exceptional wickedness of spiritism. God as Judge used Israel as executioner of the Canaanites due to the latter’s occult practices which included spiritism. The land had become so defiled by this and other occult practices that it was vomiting them out. As I mentioned, using sound interpretive principles, it is abundantly clear that these texts have priority over all other “ghost” related texts. Then, when we look at these texts, we see that they are transgenerational in their authority. As far as biblical clarity, these texts are as clear as clear can get. There should be no debate if you under Christ’s Lordship. Remember that Jesus Himself quoted from Deut. three times when countering Satan’s climactic temptations in the wilderness.

2. Relevance to the character of God—the notion of ghosts casts a shadow over God’s omnipotence, and goodness (actually ALL the attributes of God are frontally assaulted by this notion)…what kind of God would leave deceased babies here as spirit babies? That “God” would be Satan-like. Spritism implies that the Lord is not sovereign over His creation—a godlette or McGod. “They died so quickly their souls got stuck here.” Are we to believe that manner of death can snatch believers out of God’s hands? God forbid! I could go on and on here…

3. Relevance on the essence of the gospel—the perfection of the Person and work of Christ is seriously undermined and impugned if we believe that some people get trapped when they die. What are we saved from, if death is NOT a doorway to heaven?  A McSalvation at best. While it does not utterly ruin the atonement, as denial of the deity of Christ does, it comes perilously close to it. Was Jesus’s salvation perfectly efficacious or not? Is Jesus the Son of Man, the conquering Warrior over evil and death, or not? Is it good news to believe that God’s blood was shed, only to wake up in the front porch to hell?

4. Frequency and weight—while spiritism is not mentioned often in the bible, where it is mentioned, the utmost weight or gravity is placed upon this issue (see 1 above).

5. Effect on other doctrines—pull out a book on bible doctrine and you will see how EVERY doctrine is undermined by the notion of people getting trapped here. For example, the biblical doctrine of hope is hopelessly destroyed by this belief. Hope is certainty regarding our future glory—how can one enjoy this basic fruit of the atonement when the fearful prospect of possibly being trapped here is hanging over our heads? Hope is not only an important biblical doctrine, but it is also crucial for a healthy emotional state. Another example is the believers union with Christ—we are in Christ, and indissolubly united with the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. We are already in heaven with Jesus, in a very real sense (Col.3:3). Our union with Jesus is unbreakable, and it is the hub from which all other spiritual blessings flow. What does it say about that union, if we can be separated from Christ indefinitely in a paranormal gutter-world…Satan’s home turf? The same corrosive effects occur to many other biblical doctrines. Please check it out for yourself….it may cast a whole new light on this discussion.

6. The consensus of Christians (past and present)—from the early church fathers who railed against the same pagan Gnosticism as we do today, up until today, the monolithic consensus of the doctors of the church has been that death ushers everyone immediately into their eternal destiny. I do not know of a single judicious theologian, in 2,000 years of church history, who has believed in ghosts—death has always been seen as certain entry into either eternal life or eternal death. Are we so foolish to ignore their collective wisdom?

7. Effect on personal and church life—how can you live with joy inexpressible when you are speaking to demons, and are being demonically oppressed?  Because the spirit realm is the God ordained temporary home of most of the fallen angels (rest already in hell), then when people summon spirits they immediately find themselves playing in Satan’s sandbox…and they are trespassing, which gives the demonic legal right to attach and attack. Since the notion of ghosts is so hostile to all that we call holy, then belief/speaking to the dead seriously undermines the stability of a Christian’s spiritual foundation—like a three legged table, it would not take much a “bump” to cause them to crash. As I mentioned, this belief is extremely corrosive to all it comes in contact with—other orthodox beliefs held side-by-side with it, will tend to be affected by it, and not vice versa. Kind of like when a Christian marries a non-Christian, the latter tends to pull the Christian down…having a corrosive effect on their spirituality.

How to Treat Supernatural Creatures

By Lisa Grace

With the proliferation of ghost and demon hunters, and professional psychics who conjure (attract or communicate) with supernatural beings (and yes, many mediums are fakes) one of the issues seldom addressed is how we should be treating these angels/demons, etc.

The Holy Scriptures say:

We are not to pray to angels or demons. (Col 2:18)

It is best not to call on them as this can fall into the category of making them your god. Also, you run the risk of having one attach to you, in which case they may torment you or make your life more difficult. If you are having feelings of despair or depression, suicidal thoughts, after trying to communicate with spirits or going to a place known to be inhabited by them, you may want to find a Bible believing exorcist, who follows the rules of the Bible to drive them out. If you are not a believer, the solution will not be permanent though.

We are to treat even fallen angels and demons with respect, and rebuke them only in the LORD's name. (Jude 1:8 - 10)

Why?

Jesus is above the angels. (Hebrews 1:4, Hebrews 2:7 - 10)

Jesus (Yeshua) has authority above the angels. We can only drive them out in His name. Not all are strong enough in belief or faith or His authority to drive them out. Some can only be gotten ridden of through prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:14 - 21; Mark:17 - 29; Acts 19:11 - 17)

Do not call the devils' names, but treat them with respect, find someone to drive them out in Jesus' authority. Do not call on angels or demons, you're playing with fire.

I hope shows and/or pastors that taunt or treat these creatures with dis-respect, will stop. It is to their detriment and not Biblical.

Amazon SearchBox