Archive for November, 2013

Is ESP Real

November 7, 2013

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Title: Is ESP Real?

 

Text: Genesis 3:1-5, Exodus 7:10-12, 1 Corinthians 12:1

 

Time: October 30th, 2013

 

 

While we’re on the subject of occult powers I thought I’d cover the topic of ESP, or Extra Sensory Perception. What is ESP? It’s really a wide variety of things, but it usually boils down to so-called paranormal powers. It’s the ability to do things that are seemingly unexplainable through modern science, usually involving the powers of the mind – the ability to read someone’s mind, or  move an object without touching it through merely willing it to move, or knowing something without gaining information through the five normal senses, and so forth. It’s often claimed that it’s using an additional sense beyond the five known senses. It’s extra or additional senses being used, some claim. Now as Christians we need to figure out what we believe in respect to ESP because we need to know whether we are dealing with something legitimate or not. As Christians we are familiar with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, where through the power of God ordinary Christians can have extra-ordinary powers or ability or insights or knowledge. But that’s different from ESP, where there is no obvious connection with God. ESP is more connected with magic than it is with the Christian faith. Magicians like to fancy themselves as having special para-normal abilities to make things appear and disappear at will. While that’s their stage claim, magicians are usually just really good at working out the art of deception on their audiences. They trick people seeing and not seeing things in order to pull off a magic trick. That doesn’t mean that some magicians don’t really utilize ESP, it just means that most or the vast majority of magicians operate through totally natural means. Now what concerns us as Christians about ESP is that we are very careful with anything that is hidden or secret in nature, since the very word “occult” means hidden or obscure. We want to be sure that we don’t get sucked into the world of the occult, and hence, into the world of evil spirits. ESP is one of those areas that interacts with the world of the occult, and so we want to be especially cautious with it. Is it an occult activity? Or is it a para-normal realm that we simply haven’t developed science for as of yet? Are the abilities of ESP simply latent natural human abilities we haven’t yet discovered or rediscovered? Or are they powers from the devil intent on getting us drawn into a life of rebellion against the God of the Bible? These are important questions, and relevant. Most people have come into contact with some form of ESP at one or more times in their life. What is it? How should Christians approach the whole topic of ESP? Let’s look into this subject further. (more…)

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Is There Anything To Ghost Hunting?

November 7, 2013

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Title: Is There Anything to Ghost Hunting?

 

Text: 1 Samuel 28:11-16,

 

Time: October 31st, 2013

 

 

We’re near Halloween, so I’ll continue teaching on the dangers of the occult and related topics. Today, I’d like to talk about the so-called “ghost hunting” phenomenon that is sweeping the country. It’s hard to turn on the television without running into one show or another about paranormal activity, ghost hunting, and so forth. In fact, there are entire TV series devoted to searching for and finding traces of supernatural and paranormal activity, such as the famous series “Ghost Hunter” and similar copycat shows. The modus operandi for these paranormal shows is to assemble a team of so-called paranormal experts who then visit a supposedly haunted site and seek to find out what the source of the haunting really is, and then, ultimately to contact it and cause it to stop causing trouble. The whole genre of paranormal ghost hunting was made popular a few decades ago with the movie “Ghost Busters.” But that movie was supposed to be entertainment and comedy fiction. But today, people are taking the whole thing seriously, as if hunting for ghosts is possible. Well, is it possible? Can one track down, contact, and communicate with a ghost? And to get specific, what is a ghost anyway? Following the Ghost Buster movie script, a ghost is the spirit or soul of someone who died. That’s basically the assumption all the “ghost hunting” shows follow as well. But from a biblical Christian perspective we need to question this assumption. Instead of the departed spirits of the deceased, it’s more likely, and in fact, very probable, that these spirits are demons or fallen angels trying to impersonate the deceased. But we’ll deal with that later. For now, I just wanted to point out that more and more people are buying into the whole scenario that ghosts are the souls of deceased persons and that they sometimes haunt certain locations for their own reasons. So-called “ghost hunting” teams are able to detect the presence of theses departed souls, and more importantly, deal with them so that they stop bothering people in the here and now who want to get on with life without interruption from the spirit world. That’s the understanding that more and more are adopting today, as is evidenced by the popularity and multiplication of the paranormal TV shows. Well, the question we need to ask is, “Is there anything to the notion that ghosts can be detected, communicated with, and dealt with?” Is there any reality to ghost hunting? From a Christian perspective we must say that there is a mix of truth and false, real and fake to the whole “ghost hunting” fad. Yes, there is an element of the supernatural, but it’s not what most people think. But let’s explore further. (more…)

Top Three Movies That Warn Of Occult Dangers

November 7, 2013

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Title: The Top Three Movies That Warn About Occult Dangers

 

Text: Luke 8:30-33, 1 Samuel 28:7-25, Hebrews 1:14

 

Time: October 24th, 2013

 

 

As a Christian pastor I always take the opportunity around the Halloween season to warn people about the world of the occult, although my warnings go largely ignored, I’m sad to say. The world just doesn’t listen to spiritual leaders like it once did, but especially it doesn’t listen to warnings about spiritual dangers. Why not? Because our modern, secular world mostly rejects spiritual reality, and instead embraces materialism. Therefore, it pays no heed to warnings about spiritual danger coming from the occult world.  But ever once in a while people, even worldly people, do listen, do think about and consider spiritual reality – and that’s usually after they’ve seen a realistic movie depicting it. They say “a picture’s better than a thousand words.” Well, that’s usually true, and it’s particularly true in trying to teach people about spiritual reality. A couple of movies have come out that really got people thinking about the spirit world and have had a lasting impact on how people view the hidden, unseen spiritual reality. These movies are, first, The Exorcists, which described a person possessed of the devil; second, Ghost, which illustrated the reality and dangers of occult spiritualism; and third, City of Angels, which showed the reality of angels. Now all three of these popular, big-budget Hollywood productions got some things right and some things wrong as far as accurate theological correctness. If I were to review each movie in detail I’d have to point out both what each movie showed that was true, and also what each movie showed that was false – because each one has a mixed bad of true theology and bad theology. Theology, of course is thinking about God, or correct thinking about spiritual subjects. According to the Bible, all three movies got it right sometimes, and got it wrong other times. But what all three popular movies did was raised people’s awareness of the reality of the spiritual realm. It showed secular people that there is more to this world than meets the eye, that there is an invisible spiritual reality that affects us all and in which we interact, whether we know it or not, every day. So what I’d like to do today is simply outline how each of these Hollywood movies help get people thinking about the spiritual world. Now I’m not endorsing these movies, or even recommending them for viewing, I’m simply using them as tools to teach a secular world that doesn’t normally take spirituality seriously. I’m trying to use the popular images and languages of pop culture to teach modern people how to think about spirituality and teach it true Christianity. So let me start. (more…)

Touched By A FAllen Angel (How To Avoid It)

November 7, 2013

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Title: Touched By A Fallen Angel (How To Avoid It)

 

Text: Ephesians 5:15-17, John 14:30, James 4:8

 

Time: October 23rd, 2013

 

 

Every year I take Halloween as an opportunity to warn people of the dangers of the occult and related topics. I’ll continue that practice this year and talk about how to avoid contact with the devil and demons. Yes, there is a devil and there are demons! We live in a secular, modern, and materialistic world today where talk of devils and demons is out of place, but that doesn’t in any way negate their reality. In fact, it just makes it even harder to warn people of their reality and how to avoid contact with them. People are easily persuaded that there are angels, as evidenced by the widely popular TV series “Touched By An Angel” a few years back; but when it comes to fallen angels or demons, people live in denial or outright disbelief. But that’s a contradiction of logic – if you’re willing to believe in good angels, by what rule of logic would you deny the existence of the opposite or bad angels? You can’t. If you accept one, you must logically accept the other. Besides, the Bible is very clear that there are fallen angels or demons. It first indicates that the angel Lucifer sinned and was expelled from heaven by God: “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations,” Isaiah 14:12. Then, Jesus himself says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” Luke 10:18. In addition to Satan falling, other angels also followed him into sin and were cast out also: “Then another sign appeared in heaven; an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth . . . and there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back,” Revelation 12:3-4, 7. So while there is no single verse or section of the Bible that specifically says the devil and one-third of the angels rebelled and became evil, it hints at the fact. Just as there are good angels who remained loyal to God, so too are there bad angels or demons who rebelled against God. Now in dealing with this reality we must face the scary fact that there are not only good angels who aid and assist us in our walk with God in this life, but there are also fallen angels, demons, who oppose us in fulfilling the will of God with our life. The question is, how do we avoid contact with these fallen or demon angels? How can we minimize interaction with them, and so limit their influence in our life? That’s what I’d like to talk about today. It may not be possible to stay completely clear of demons, but let’s do all we can to minimize contact. Not that we are afraid or should be afraid, but let’s not go looking for trouble either. Here’s how. (more…)

Is Fortune Telling Real?

November 7, 2013

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Title: Is Fortune Telling Real?

 

Text: Acts 16:16-18

 

Time: October 17th, 2013

 

 

We’re getting close to the secular holiday of Halloween for this year, so I thought I’d address a few topics related to the world of the occult. Every year or so I try to use the season of Halloween as an excuse to remind people just how dangerous the occult world really is, contrary to our culture’s attitude towards it that makes it out to be fun and games.  It’s disturbing to see how many homes are being decorated in elaborate and morbid ways in celebration of Halloween. In never used to be that way. Years ago there might be a pumpkin on the front porch, but not much more than that. Now days, it’s normal to see tombstones in the front yard, demons dangling from the front porch, witches and ghosts and all kinds of things hanging from windows, and so forth. Unfortunately, people have really taken a liking to what the occult world considers the most important day of the year – Halloween. Now why does the world of the occult see Halloween as so important? They say it’s the one day of the year when there’s the most of spiritual energy flowing, and when people believe the strongest in the secret occult world. It’s also a platform for recruitment into the world of the occult by various groups, which as a fact should be disturbing to any parent. Even though most people see Halloween as harmless fun, as nothing serious, and as merely something different mostly for kids, there’s real power and real danger in treating occultism so lightly. Just because we live in a secular, materialistic modern society doesn’t mean that demonic spirits don’t exist. In fact, there is a lot that demons can do when and while people don’t believe in them. For example, imagine how much damage terrorists could do if governmental authorities didn’t believe in terrorism. The enemies of the United States, for example, could silently, secretly enter the country and strike without any notice, and quietly exit without detection. Then they could repeat the same destructive process again and again. That’s exactly what demons or evil spirits do, especially now, today, when most people don’t believe in them. It may comfort most people to not believe in the world of the spirit, but it doesn’t save them from the danger of demons, or the destruction demons cause. Look at marriage and family break-up. Look at rising suicides among teenagers. Can you explain all these merely on the basis of social problems? Hardly. Something far deeper and darker is occurring behind the scenes. Today, I’d like to talk specifically about Fortune Telling because millions and millions of people seek out information about their future through this means. Little do they realize that it’s part of the world of the occult. I’d like to warn everyone against using any form of fortune telling. There’s just too much spiritual danger in it to risk playing around with it. Please turn to Acts 16:16-18 (read). (more…)