Category Archives: Paganism

John Ankerberg | Can Halloween Be an Entirely Innocent Practice?

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2002
With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, many churches and Christian parents are going to start wondering what their position on this holiday should be. The authors will present a brief case for abstinence in this two-part article.

Do you think these Scriptures relate to the issue of Christian participation in Halloween? Is it possible to abstain from every form (or appearance) of evil and also send your child out dressed as a devil? Is it possible to not imitate or learn evil while imitating or “learning” modern symbolism of ancient evil practices? Is it possible to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness—and still participate in Halloween? “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth” (1 John 1:5, 6). Can Halloween be considered, at least in some sense, “walking in the darkness”?

When Scripture tells us we are not to learn the ways of the pagan nations, but that we are to learn that which is good (Deuteronomy 18:9; Hebrews 13:7; 3 John 11), the term “learn” involves the following definition as given by A. T. Robertson in his Word Pictures of the New Testament: the “directing of one’s mind to something and producing an external effect, learn; 1) as learning through instruction, be taught, learn from someone (John 7:15); 2) as learning through inquiry, ascertain, discover, find out (Acts 23:27); 3) as learning through practice or experience, come to know, come to realize (Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 5:8); 4) as achieving comprehension, understand, learn (Revelation 14:3).” This is the sense in which we should understand Deuteronomy 5:1, “And Moses summoned all Israel, and said to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your hearing this day, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.’” The issue then, is whether our kids are imitating and learning something they shouldn’t on Halloween.

Read the entire article….

The Origin of Easter

I will be labeled a prude for daring to post something about another holiday, but the error of Easter has long been a worry to me, especially as I read and hear of churches having Easter services or even Easter egg hunts for church children. This article is from Christian Answers.net and of course I agree with it completely. I also plan to soon post a portion of a teaching by Zola Levitt on the subject. My question is…with the obvious truth about the origins of Easter…why in the world would we continue to be a part of it?

The name “Easter” has its roots in ancient polytheistic religions (paganism). On this, all scholars agree. This name is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is it ever associated biblically with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For these reasons, we prefer to use the term “Resurrection Sunday” rather than “Easter” when referring to the annual Christian remembrance of Christ’s resurrection…..

The seductive symbols of ancient ungodly religions inspired by Satan have been incorporated into people’s everyday lives, even to this day – continuing to obscure the truth of God .

One might wonder if there is a better way for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the most important of all Christian holy days. In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would have been a better witness to the world if Christians had not attempted to “Christianize” pagan celebrations – adopting the name “Easter” (Ishtar/Semiramis) in remembrance of Christ. Jesus has been obscured by painted eggs and bunnies. Attention has been shifted away from spiritual truth and toward materialism (clothing, products and candies with the wrong symbolism). Stores merchandise the name of Easter (not “Resurrection Sunday”) and sell goods that have nothing to do with Christ’s death and resurrection. Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions – symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews. Is the Devil laughing at us?

Many church bodies recognize the problem and make every effort to keep the focus of Resurrection Sunday totally on Jesus Christ and the Good News that He brought.

Read the entire article…

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Mardi Gras-Just Harmless Fun?

This comes via the website http://www.exposingsatanism.org and is from a tract by  Last Call Ministries in Shreveport, LA. They may be contacted at P.O. Box 4203, Shreveport, La 71134

Mardi Gras! The word conjures up all sorts of images in the mind. We think of parades, floats, masquerades, balls, beads, doubloons, parties, king cake and revelry. New Orleans Promises it as “the greatest free show on earth”, and it is considered by most to be a time of good wholesome fun.  

Pre- Christian Origin

Spring time pagan celebrations are the roots of the modern day Mardi Gras. Ancient Greek and Roman festivals involved sacrifice, drunkenness, lewdness, immoral sex and revelry. In the parade of the pagans, false gods are worshiped by exalting an image above the assembly. Pagan priests accompanied by the idol, shower the crowds with spring flowers, herbs, grain and coins. Both good fortunes, spells, and curses were shouted, including the calls to the idol god to grant favor and blessings.

On example of the gods is Pan. He is represented by a half animal, half man incarnation. He represents wanton lust and crudeness. In The Roman celebration “lupercalia” a fertility festival, the worship of Lupercus involved cross dressing and masquerading to promote sexual orgies.  Today the celebration of Centaur exalts the same spirit of revelry and wanton abandonment, drunkenness, homosexuality, nudity and brawling all still exist today.

What was once deplored by the church is now accepted. A blend of pagan rites , animism and church religion exist today.  In an attempt to convert the masses the church, the Catholic church, fixed the celebrated resurrection of Jesus (Easter) around the astrological event that “spring rites” celebrate. (the full moon of the spring equinox).  The fixing of Easter allows the unscriptural religious celebration of Lent and ash Wednesday to follow Mardi Gras.  Instead of resisting the ways of the pagans, The “church”  absorbed many of these festivals in hopes that it would convert the pagans. What we have today is a churchy world and a worldly church!!!  In French, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday. This is  a day to gorge and over indulge oneself before the seasonal religious practice of fasting, abstinence and denial. It is not surprising that the symbol for Mardi Gras is the “Bouef Gras”…… The fatten bull

Idolatry

The bull is the old testament symbol of Baal. 1st Kings 12:28 —- 19:18  Exodus 32.   Baal the bull is symbolic of strength and fertility. God condemns the production and worship of idols. Yet many in the church do just that, worship idols.  Exodus 23:13  ” And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Steeped in Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman fertility rites. Half of the parades celebrate and honor false gods. The rest promote sex and drunkenness.

Exodus 34:13-17   But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;  And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
Can we claim his lordship and still be involved in this demonized activity?  It is the same spirit that has contended against God for the souls of man since we were created. That same spirit,Satan, works to turn man away from Holy God, and towards these false gods

1st Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.                           

John I 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 

Revelation 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Scriptures that deal with these false gods:

Dianna  Acts 19:24-29  Hermes and Zeus  Acts 14:12  Aphrodite, Venus, Istar Judges 2:13 & 10:6

It is hypocritical to instruct Christ centered living to include pagan rituals. Christians who participate in Mardi Gras, fellowship with unbelievers and promote Godlessness, blessing every evil that opposes the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!  Humanism and universalism have a big time when Mardi Gras comes to town. 

Corinthians II 6:16-18  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 

Christians should have nothing to do with evil 


Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate

John I 2:15-16  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 

Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 

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Ray Yungen-The New Age Christian—An Accepted Oxymoron

read the entire article at  LighthouseTrailsResearch.com

The current popularity with meditative mysticism presents a very new and perplexing challenge for evangelical Christianity. We are beginning to encounter the New Age or Aquarian Christian. This new term describes someone who remains in his or her home church and professes the Christian faith but has also incorporated various aspects of the New Age or Aquarian mindset into his or her life. New Age author David Spangler was very optimistic about the possibility of this integration when he wrote, “The point is that the New Age is here … it builds itself and forms itself in the midst of the old.”1

What has fueled the momentum of this trend is the buffet-style dining approach that has become a hallmark of American religious sensibilities in the last twenty years—you take what you want and leave the rest. Americans are picking and blending religions as if they were ordering espressos: pick your espresso blend, but you still get coffee—pick your spiritual path, but you still get God. Whatever suits your spiritual tastes, you bring together. The result is hybrid New Age spirituality.

 

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The Dangers of Wicca

I offer this excerpt from a wonderful article by Kimberly McRae entitled “The Dangers of Wicca” and the entire article is available at http://www.armorofgodbooks.com/armorofgod/?p=358. I was saddened recently by the discovery that someone I know is involved in this “religion” and also claims to be a Christian at the same time. This is a deception and a lie. You cannot be both a Christian and a Wiccan!

Those involved in Wicca and other aspects of the occult need the truth of the Gospel, our love, compassion and prayers. A the same time, I believe a firm and scripturally secure stance must be taken to rebuke this evil. PARENTS…WARNING! Is your child becoming interested in wicca, witchcraft and new age mysticism?

Wicca, also known as witchcraft, is an occult religion in which multiple gods are worshipped. It can be practiced alone, as a solitary practitioner, or in a coven. Many of you may have heard of or seen covens glamorized on television or movies. A coven is a group of people who practice Wicca together.

Most Wiccans take on the Celtic god and goddess, Diana and Pan, to worship. While others, take gods from other ancient cultures. I worshipped the gods, Isis and Osiris, from Egyptian times. This drew me to Aleister Crowley’s works as he worshipped the same false gods. The goddess is always seen as more revered than the god because she brings life to the god. I will discuss the importance of sexuality to Wiccans later in this article. Regardless of the form that the worship of these deities takes there are always two things that remain the same. The goddess is the mother of all life and relates to the moon. The god relates to the sun and represents nature.

Wiccans also believe in the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit. These elements are called on frequently during magical divination and rituals. The symbol of a pentagram, five-pointed star within a circle, relates to these elements. Each point of the star represents one element.

Spirit communication and guides are often called on to aid the Wiccan during rituals, meditation, or divination. Many practitioners use objects such as crystals, tarot cards, or Ouija boards to communicate with what they believe to be spirits.

The Bible clearly tells us that witchcraft is an abomination to the Lord in Deuteronomy.

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

Deuteronomy 18: 10 – 12

God’s Word goes on further to tell us that the lies and deceptions of Wicca, occult practices, divination, and other pagan practices are not from Him.

Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

Jeremiah 14: 14 – 15

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.

Jeremiah 27: 9 – 10

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 29: 8 – 9

In God’s eyes witchcraft is seen as rebellion or disobedience to Him.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1 Samuel 15:23

 

Additional information available at ArmorofGodBooks.com and KimberlyMcRae.com.


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R.C. Sproul-Confronting Paganism

from the Ligonier blog, 19 December 2010

 

Nehemiah served in a pagan government as a believer in God. He was humble and respectful to the king, but proper fear of his king did not stop him from acting to save his people. He prayed to God and made a request of the king, asking for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild it. He also asked for letters that he might present to various governors for safe conduct, and even a grant for building materials.

Not all the pagan governors were sanguine toward Nehemiah and his plans. Indeed, some were fiercely resistant to them. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite heard of his efforts, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.

When Nehemiah set about the task of rebuilding, his enemies laughed at him and despised him. Nehemiah, though, did not let his critics determine his agenda. Nehemiah’s temptation would have been to allow the pagans to alter the plans and engage in a joint venture of compromise in the mission. That would have eased the burden on his own people and won him the applause both of the Jews and the pagans. But Nehemiah cared nothing for the applause of men and was totally unwilling to compromise the mission he had undertaken for God.

Instead of worrying about accommodating the pagans, Nehemiah focused on the reforms needed among his own people. The paganism Nehemiah feared was not the paganism of the pagans; it was the paganism of his own people. It was not paganism outside the camp that threatened Israel so much as the paganism within the camp.

Coram Deo: Are you seeking the applause of men rather than the approval of God?

Nehemiah 2:18: “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to do this good work.”

Nehemiah 2:10: “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

Nehemiah 4:9: “Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.”

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