An Invitation to the Occult?
Halloween – 1997
Author: Chuck Missler
Source: Koinonia House-Update
This is always a difficult time for Christians, especially those with children. It has been suggested that for a Christian to be asked to celebrate Halloween is like asking a Holocaust survivor to celebrate Hitler’s birthday!
It is also a dangerous time for some, since many of the seemingly “harmless” involvements associated with Halloween can also be “entries” for the occult, and can prove very tragic for the unwary.
In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, the end of summer. November 1 was the new year for both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon calendars and was one of the most important and yet sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic Year.
Settling in northern France and the British Isles, the Celtic people engaged in occultic arts and worshiped nature, giving it supernatural, animistic qualities. (Much like our Federal government is attempting to enforce today.)
The ancient Druids were the learned priestly class of the Celtic religion. Many of their beliefs and practices were similar to those of Hinduism, such as reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals. The Druids believed that on October 31, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals.
The Druids also believed that the punishment of the evil dead would be lightened by sacrifices, prayers and gifts to the Lord of Death. (This begins to reveal the strange link between this holiday and the non-Biblical concept of purgatory.)
The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired a sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature.
And, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther drove a stake into the heart of many of the prevailing non-Biblical concepts by nailing his famous 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, which started the movement known today as the Reformation-the single most important event in modern history.1 Appropriately, he did this on Halloween.
Modern Halloween Traditions
In early American history, Halloween was not widely practiced until the 20th century, when it was introduced by the Irish Catholic settlements. Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many customs and practices developed. The carved pumpkin may have originated with the witches’ use of a skull with a candle inside to light the way to coven meetings.
Since 1965 UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, has attempted to incorporate into the Halloween observance the collection of money for the United Nations Children’s Fund. This exploitation by the ungodly United Nations of this pagan holiday seems strangely appropriate.
The Occult is Increasingly Popular
Halloween is, for many, a “crossover” involvement in which innocent games can lead to serious entanglement with real witches, neo-pagans, New Agers, and other occultists.2 A common pastime is the use of a Ouija board to attempt to contact ghosts or spirits that are believed to be roaming about. This can lead to serious consequences including demon possession.3 Demons have a vested interest in Halloween because it supports the occult, and it also offers novel and unexpected opportunities to control and influence people.
Forms of the occult can include mediums, channelers, clairvoyants, psychics, spiritists, diviners, mystics, gurus, shamans, psychical researchers, Yogis, psychic and holistic healers, astral travel, astrology, mysticism, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, contact with the dead, UFOs, and thousands of other practices which almost defy cataloging.
Occultism includes Satanism, astrology, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, theosophy, witchcraft and many forms of serious magic. It includes activities seeking the acquisition of “hidden” things-which are expressly forbidden by God in the Bible.
The Biblical View
Halloween practices can open the door to the occult and can introduce forces into people’s lives that they are not equipped to combat.4 There is genuine power in the occult, but it is demonic power.5
Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult.6 The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. There were many superstitions and false concepts in ancient Israel about which the Bible is silent. However, occultism, in any form, was punishable by death! Why?
The spiritual power and reality behind idols involves demons.7 The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited.8 Nowhere are such practices acceptable.
Intellect alone is insufficient. “If it were possible, it would deceive the very elect.” This is another example of the necessity to truly understand the Armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6. This brief review was excerpted from our featured briefing package, Halloween: Invitation to the Occult?
[Related Article: Blending Witchcraft and Christianity]
1. Manuscript by his son D. Paul Luther preserved in the library at Rudolstadt, quoted by F.W. Boreham in A Bunch of Everlastings or Texts That Made History, Judson Press, Philadelphia, 1920, p.20.
2. See Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.
3. The case studies underlying William Blatty’s The Exorcist indicate that the trouble all began with a child playing with a Ouija board.
4. Russ Parker, Battling the Occult, Inter-Varsity Press, Downer’s Grove IL, 1990, p.35.
5. Isa 47:9; Mt 24:24; Acts 8:7; 13:6-11; 16:16-19; 19:18-20; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:7-11, 22; 2 Tim 3:8.
6. Deut 32:16,17; Ps 106:35-40; Acts 16:16-19; 1 Cor 10:19-21; 2 Thess 2:9, 10; 1 Tim 4:1f.
7. 1 Cor 10:20; Ps 106:37.
8. Lev 19:31; Deut 18:10, 11, 14 2 Chr 33:6.
- Missler, Chuck, Signs in the Heavens, The Mysteries of the Planet Mars Halloween: Invitation to the Occult? (briefing packages), Koinonia House, 1991-6.
- Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996. A key reference for this article.
- Sykes, Egerton, Who’s Who in Non-Classical Mythology, J.M. Dent, London, 1993.
- Patten, Donald Wesley, Catastrophism and the Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Co., Seattle WA, 1995.
- Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.
- Also the video, Halloween: Trick or Treat, Jeremiah Films, Hemet CA
This article was originally published in the
October 1997 Personal Update NewsJournal.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Source: Let God Be True!
Hallowe’en: The eve of All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Day celebrated the last night of October. In the Old Celtic calendar the year began on November 1, so that the last evening of October was the night of all the witches, which the Church transformed into the Eve of All Saints. Source: The Oxford English Dictionary.
1. The Druids invented the earliest Halloween celebrations. They were an order of Celtic sorcerers. The Bible condemns all sorcery and sorcerers (Rev. 21:8; 22:15).
2. November 1, the first day of the Celtic year, was a feast day to Samhain, lord of the dead, by the Druids. But the Christian God is the God of the living (Mark 12:27)!
3. The jack-o-lantern, large fires, and apple bobbing also come from superstitious paganism, as most any encyclopedia will prove; but God condemns the use of religious practices from unbelievers (Deut. 12:29-32; Jer. 10:1-2).
4. The only cultures and societies that masquerade religiously as evil characters around fires at night are patently pagan, God-rejecting, devil-worshipping nations, which Christians are to entirely reject (Lev. 18:24,28; Deut. 4:6; 9:5; 12:29-32; 18:9,14).
5. When God wrote the laws for Israel, all witches and any related persons were to be put to death, for He strongly hates anyone seeking to devils and witchcraft rather than to Himself (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26,31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:9-12; I Chron. 10:13-14).
6. God specifically commanded His people not to learn the dark customs of the nations around Israel, including all forms of witchcraft (Lev. 18:1-4; Deut. 12:1-4,29-32; 18:9-12).
7. The idolatrous practices of pagans are devil worship, no matter what the worshipper thinks or intends (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; II Chron. 11:15; Ps. 106:35-39; I Cor. 10:20).
8. The holy God condemns any observation of the religious traditions and customs of unbelieving pagans, even if you are doing it as a Christian to Him (Deut. 12:29-32).
9. The Catholic Church whitewashed the pagan customs with a new name to keep their pagan “converts” happy. But Jesus Christ declared that church to be the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth (Rev. 17:1-6; II Thess. 2:9-12; I Tim. 4:1-3).
10. The worshippers of God are to come out of Roman Catholicism by special warning from heaven (Rev. 18:4), and the celebration of Halloween as a non-pagan tradition is clearly and concisely traced directly to the Roman Catholic church. [The holidays celebrated by modern-day North America are the direct result of the efforts of the Catholic church - beginning in the Third century - to bring pagan beliefs and rituals into the church in an effort to attract pagans. This includes Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and many other Catholic customs and traditions.]
11. Halloween is an evil day originating with unbelievers and infidels, based on blackness, darkness, night, unrighteousness, and infidelity, which Christians should separate from and not even touch, if they want to be God’s children (II Cor. 6:14-18).
12. Christians burn anything that has to do with witchcraft, for they are commanded not to touch any unclean thing (Deut. 7:25-26; Acts. 19:13-20; Gal. 5:20; II Cor. 6:14-18).
13. Halloween is a worldly religious celebration of pagan origin, and Christians are not be conformed to this world, but rather to be transformed (Rom. 12:1-2).
14. When a devil or sorcerer meets God, he knows he is helpless; and one day God will cast all devils, sorcerers, and witches into the Lake of Fire (Ex. 7:11-12; 8:18-19; 9:11-12; Mark 1:24; 5:7; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).
15. The disciples of Jesus Christ and sons of God are to walk as children of light, not as the children of the darkness of this world (Acts 26:18; I Thess. 5:4-8).
[Related Article: The Sedgefield Community]
16. God’s true followers value His precepts on all subjects and hate any idea, opinion, or practice to the contrary (Ps. 119:128; Is. 8:20; II Tim. 3:16-17; I Tim 6:3-5).
17. Halloween is popular with the world, which is evidence that it is an abomination to God (Luke 16:15). Friendship with the world makes God your enemy (James 4:4).
18. If you must have Halloween, God has offered you a simple alternative. Become a great celebrator of Halloween and reject Christianity, because He cannot stand you polluting His name with your hypocrisy (Ezek. 20:39; Hos. 4:17; Amos 4:4-5).
19. The past lives of Christians had enough excess and sin to cover a lifetime, so there is no need to participate in this worldly, wicked, and pagan celebration (I Pet. 4:3-5).
20. Christians do not threaten “trick or treat” to anyone for any reason, so parents should not endorse such profanity (Gal. 5:14; Eph. 4:31-32; I Thess. 5:15; James 2:8), and neither do Christians deceive others with masks, even for a joke (Prov. 26:18-19; Rom. 13:13).
21. Paul condemned a compromising brand of Christianity that loves pleasure more than God and has a form of religion without authority or true discipleship (II Tim. 3:1-5).
22. The blessed God of heaven seeks worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth, according to the apostolic faith once delivered to the saints (John 4:23-24; Jude 1:3).
“Hallowe’en. The eve of All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Day celebrated the last night of October. In the Old Celtic calendar the year began on November 1, so that the last evening of October was ‘old years’ night’, the night of all the witches, which the Church transformed into the Eve of All Saints.”
Source: The Oxford English Dictionary (Second Edition)
“Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve, the name given to Oct. 31, as the vigil of Hallowmass or All Saints’ Day, now chiefly known as the eve of the Christian festival. It long antedates Christianity. The two chief characteristics of ancient Hallowe’en were the lighting of bonfires and the belief that this is the one night in the year during which ghosts and witches are most likely to wander abroad. History shows that the main celebrations of Hallowe’en were purely Druidical, and this is further proved by the fact that in parts of Ireland Oct. 31 is still known as Oidhche Shamhna, ‘Vigil of Sama’. This is directly connected with the Druidic belief in the calling together of certain wicked souls on Hallowe’en by Saman, lord of death.”
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica (14th Edition)
“The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, and elves came out to harm people. They thought the cat was sacred and believed that cats had once been human beings but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these Druidic beliefs come the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween festivities.”
Source: World Book Encyclopedia (1959 Edition)
“The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from pre-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games which people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1.”
Source: Halloween Through Twenty Centuries (by Ralph Linton)
“It was the Celts who chose the date of October 31 as their new year’s Eve and who originally intended it as a celebration of everything wicked, evil and dead. Also during their celebration they would gather around a community bonfire and offer as sacrifice their animals, their crops, and sometime themselves. And wearing costumes made from the heads and skins of other animals, they would also tell one another’s fortunes for the coming year.
The celebration remained much the same after the Romans conquered the Celts around 43 A.D. The Romans did, however, add a ceremony honoring their goddess of fruit and trees and thus the association with apples and the custom of bobbing for them.”
Source: World Book Encyclopedia (Quoted in the Atlanta Journal on 10/16/1977)
“In the A.D. 800’s the church established All Saints Day on November 1 so that the people could continue a festival they had celebrated before becoming Christians. The mass that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known as All Hallow e’ven or Halloween…. It means hallowed or holy evening.”
“Jack-O’-Lanterns were named for a man called Jack, who could not enter heaven or hell. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day.”
Source: World Book Encyclopedia (1959 Edition)
“Customs and superstitions gathered through the ages go into our celebration of Halloween, or ‘Holy Eve’, on October 31. The day is so named because it is the even of the festival of All Saints, but many of the beliefs and observances connected with it arose long before the Christian Era, in the autumn festivals of pagan peoples…. Even after November 1 became a Christian feast day, honoring all saints, the peasants clung to the old pagan beliefs and customs that had grown up about Halloween…. Our Halloween celebrations today keep many of these early customs unchanged.”
Source: Compton’s Encyclopedia (1978 Edition)
Author: T.A. McMahon
Source: TheBereanCall – 12.02.2008
What do you think of Jesus? That’s a question I’ve asked at times to engage non-Christians in conversation about Him for the purpose of witnessing. A fairly typical response used to be that He was a religious teacher who did a lot of good, said many good things, and they usually concluded with a belief that He was a very good man. I then could ask, “Did you know that He claimed to be God?” When looks of puzzlement followed, I would explain that He couldn’t be a “very good man.” In claiming to be God, He was either self-deluded or an outright fraud—that is, unless He was telling the truth. More often than not, that thought, raising the issue of being accountable to God, would bring our conversation to an awkward end. At least it had provided the opportunity to plant some seeds that I hoped would grow into conviction. Most people aren’t comfortable with the truth about Jesus.
Those who profess to be Christians quite often have ideas about Jesus that are just as wrong as those people who are not Christians. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is a created god and that He is also Michael the Archangel. Mormons believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer and that He was married and had children. The followers of Christian Science and the Religious Science religions believe that Jesus was simply a man upon whom the “Christ empowerment” came. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist can be transubstantiated, or changed, into the literal body and blood of Jesus, who is then ingested into one’s stomach. Lutherans believe that Jesus is consubstantiated, or present, “in, with, and under” the bread and wine of communion. Such unbiblical beliefs are a mere handful among hundreds promoted by various Christian denominations and cults. Yet what is even more appalling is that an inquiry about Jesus today among those who call themselves evangelicals (Bible-believing Christians!) too often reveals “another Jesus” and a “false Christ.” How does that happen?
Let’s start with how one comes to a true knowledge of, and relationship with, Jesus Christ. It begins with a simple understanding of the gospel that Jesus is God, who became a Man in order to save mankind from everlasting separation from God that resulted from man’s sin. Jesus satisfied the perfect justice of God by His once-and-for-all payment for the sins of humanity through His death on the Cross. His resurrection from the dead assures the salvation of all those who acknowledge before God their sin and their hopelessness in saving themselves, and who by grace through faith accept Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf and His free gift of eternal life. This is how one is reconciled to God and born again spiritually. This is how one’s relationship with the biblical Jesus Christ begins.
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Although that relationship is supernatural in that every true believer in Christ is indwelt by God, it nevertheless progresses, as any good relationship does, by getting to know the person with whom one has a relationship.
The primary way a relationship with Jesus develops is by reading the revelation of Himself given in His Word. This is the only way to obtain specific information about Him that is objective and absolutely true. In addition, not only is the content of Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, but that same Spirit of Truth is given to believers to understand that content. How then could those who profess to follow God’s Word come up with erroneous ideas about Jesus? Regrettably, many are getting their information about Jesus from sources outside the Bible or second hand from those who claim to be teaching what the Bible says about our Lord.
To demonstrate how ludicrous a relationship dependent upon such sources of knowledge is, consider what might happen to a husband and wife who try to form an intimate relationship with each other by relying on the insights of other people who claim to know them. That’s a sure recipe for failure, yet Christians often run to extra-biblical sources for their knowledge of Jesus.
The amazing popularity of the book The Shack among evangelicals is just a recent example of someone depicting a Jesus who is foreign to the Bible and worse. What does the author think about Jesus? He characterizes Him in a way that may make some people feel more comfortable with Him, yet the Jesus of The Shack is clearly a false Christ. He’s a “good old boy,” who likes to fix things and takes “pleasure in cooking and gardening.” He laughs at crude jokes, is a bit of a klutz, engages in trout fishing by chasing one down as He runs on water, carves a coffin for the body of a little girl, and enjoys kissing, hugging, and laughing with the two other members of the “Trinity.” The book is filled with dialogue from the characters of God the Father (portrayed as an overweight Afro-American woman), the Holy Spirit (a petite Asian woman), and Jesus. All three speak as the “oracles of God,” giving insights and explanations neither found in nor consistent with Scripture. Some enthusiastic readers say the words and interactions with the Godhead have comforted them, answered difficult questions about their faith, and made the person of the Lord seem all the more real to them.
The reality is that out of his own imagination the author has put his words into the mouths of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which are then perceived by multitudes as “thus saith the Lord.” This is not only a bogus secondhand source but the arrogance of false prophecy at least and blasphemy and idolatry at worst. It is man, making God in his own fallen image.
More influential among evangelicals than The Shack is Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which became a huge box-office success, thanks mostly to evangelical support. Available now as a “definitive edition DVD,” it features, for those who want the official Catholic theology of the film explained, a discussion with director Mel Gibson, along with a Catholic apologist and two Catholic priests who were the film’s theological consultants. The movie has a false gospel, a false Christ, and is loaded with supposedly biblical scenes from the minds of Gibson and a Catholic nun given to mystical hallucinations. Yet it continues to be used extensively by evangelical churches, especially during Lent and Easter week.
In response to “What do you think of Jesus?” millions who saw the movie now mistakenly believe that: He was confronted by Satan in the Garden of Gethsemane; He was thrown from a bridge by His captors and dangled from a chain; His image was captured for posterity on the veil of a woman named Veronica; as His cross began to fall, it levitated to keep Him from hitting the ground, and, most contradictory to the gospel, it was the merciless scourging He suffered that paid for the sins of humanity.
These are only a few of the unbiblical images that the world and many in the church have added to their perception of Jesus. Movies are today’s most popular form of disseminating superficial information and misinformation. Feature films about Jesus and God have put erroneous ideas about them into the hearts and minds of the masses: Jesus Christ Superstar; The Last Temptation of Christ; Bruce Almighty; The Da Vinci Code; Judas; Oh God!;Oh God, Book II; Jesus of Nazareth, to name but a few.
What about “more biblically accurate” Bible movies—those that take the words directly from Scripture, for example? When you have an actor portraying Jesus who says only the words of Jesus that are found in the Bible, does that make the portrayal more accurate? More accurate than what? Does the actor actually look like Jesus, or talk like Jesus, or reflect the godly demeanor of Jesus? More critically, can he accurately imitate the God-Man, the Creator of the Universe, the One in whom all things consist? Even if he could, which is impossible, it would still be an imitation! Furthermore, he will leave millions, including believers, with an image of a false “Christ.”
[Related Article: The Spirit Of This Age]
A few such movies are sincere attempts at communicating the content and stories of the Scriptures through visual media. Although sincere, they are doomed to failure regarding truth. Why? In addition to what was noted above, the Bible is an objective revelation from God given in words. All attempts at visually translating those words abandon objective revelation in favor of subjective interpretation. Take a passage of Scripture, for instance, and have five people give their understanding of the verse based upon the context, the grammatical structure, and the normal meaning of the words. More often than not, the interpretations will be quite similar. Should one of the five come up with something very different, it can be corrected by simply checking it out objectively against the context, grammar, and accepted definitions of the words in the passage. On the other hand, what if five artists were to translate the passage visually? The result would be five very subjective and quite different renderings. Even if only one artist visually translated the verse and four people tried to interpret the image, you would likely have four different views because the medium has no objective criteria comparable to that of words. Are you getting the “picture” here? Imagery is not the way to communicate objective truth.
God did not draw pictures on the tablets He gave to Moses. His continual command to him and to His other prophets was to write down His instructions. Visual imagery was at the heart of pagan worship used by people whose lives centered around idols—the chief by-product being unbridled superstition. The same was true of the medieval Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, who fed their followers images rather than teaching them to read and write (as the Jews had done successfully from the time of Abraham). Even today, superstition continues to be rampant within those visually oriented religious systems.
Where does the world get its ideas about Jesus? Most non-Christians only know what they’ve picked up from sources they regard as Christian, although rarely is the content biblical. More than a billion Muslims, for example, hold a view of Jesus that Muhammad gleaned from questionable Christians. The Qur’an states that Isa (Jesus) is not the Son of God because Allah has no son. Isa’s birth took place under a palm tree, and, while still a babe, he cried out from his cradle that he was a servant of Allah, who had given him a revelation and made him a prophet. He did not die upon the cross; someone took his place—all in contradiction to the Bible.
Many Jews put stock in the alleged Talmudic stories that oppose the gospel accounts. They have been taught that Jesus was an illegitimate child who was born to a harlot and a scoundrel. Declaring himself to be the Messiah, he performed healings by sorcery and consequently was stoned and then hung on a tree for his magic and blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God.
Hindus have added Jesus as one more avatar, or god, among their 330 million gods. All of their gurus who have become popular in the West—from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to Rajneesh—preach their own “Jesus.” Buddhists, such as the 14th Dalai Lama, regard Jesus as a bodhisattva, or enlightened god, among multitudes of gods reincarnated for the service of humanity.
Incredibly, the above erroneous beliefs about Jesus are fostered within professing Christianity by a popular practice among Emerging Church fellowships. Some invite the followers of the world religions for “conversation” in order to learn more about Jesus from a pluralistic perspective. The goal seems to be to establish a Jesus who is acceptable to people of all faiths—or no faith. A common refrain heard from the Emergent communities is “We love Jesus but not His church.” Certainly, as the church has compromised with the world, there is much not to like. Yet sadly, for many, it is neither the biblical Jesus whom they love nor the biblical church that they support. Some are under the delusion that Jesus is becoming more respected in our culture. That has never been the case for the Jesus revealed in Scripture.
[Related Article: Reinventing Christianity: Emergence and Relevance]
It is hard for anyone who has a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ to accept that the world hates Him, this One whom we love so much. It was difficult for me, and I still struggle with that. How could anyone reject the One who loves us more than we could ever comprehend, and whose sacrifice for those He created is so wonderfully unfathomable? Such hatred is often masked and develops progressively and by stealth. It is found in Satan’s strategy that began with “Yea, hath God said…?” His dialogue with Eve provided a ripe opportunity to subvert the truth about God and His command. Eve bought the Adversary’s lying alteration of God’s character and his denial of the consequence of disobedience. Her offspring down through the ages have done likewise.
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Yet that reality in the guise of condescension and mockery nearly moved me to despair as I reviewed a particular episode of Fox TV’s The Family Guy. The program (presented by the same network that created “Fox Faith” to market movies to Christian families) featured a Jesus character who left heaven to get away from his “nit-picking, overbearing father”; who proves his “deity” by changing meals into ice cream sundaes and enlarging a woman’s breasts; who walks on water to fetch a five-dollar bill; who appears on Jay Leno and an MTV award show; who goes Hollywood, gets drunk at a party, and lands in jail, and who comes to the conclusion that he’s not mature enough yet to help the world. I immediately searched for protests from Christendom against this Fox TV top-rated program. There were found neither cries of outrage nor weeping for those who blasphemed and ridiculed the only One who could save them. Some Christians offered uneasy rationalizations that Jesus certainly must have a sense of humor. That’s the Jesus the world wants.
My mind raced to the Garden of Gethsemane, thinking about our Savior on His knees in prayer before the Father, where in His anguish He sweat as it were great drops of blood. He would become sin for us. Our Creator would take our sins upon Himself and experience the eternal penalty due every soul. Although He would be triumphant in paying for the sins of mankind, He nevertheless cried out to the Father that if there was any other way to save humanity, to let this cup of separation pass. But there was no other way.
I thought of the Lord of Glory hanging upon the cross on Calvary’s hill, with the mockers about Him. Yet He died for them—and for those who mock Him still.
Pray that we who truly know Him would not drift from Him because of “another Jesus” conjured up by the world, our own flesh, or the devil. Pray also that the Lord will enable us to reflect the true character of Christ in our words and deeds; that He will help us to show the world the true Jesus, who, being God, came in the likeness of man, was treated as though He were sin itself, and satisfied the divine justice of God by dying upon the Cross, thus providing salvation for all of mankind. TBC
1. Romans 1:16
2. John 10:30-33
3. 1 Timothy 2:5
4. John 14:6, John 3:16-17
5. Isaiah 59:2
6. 1 John 2:2
7. Hebrews 10:10-12
8. Hebrews 12:2
9. Romans 1:3-4
10. 2 Corinthians 7:10
11. Romans 5:6
12. Ephesians 2:8
13. John 3:15
14. Romans 5:18
15. John 3:3
16. Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 1:23
17. Colossians 1:27
18. 1 Corinthians 6:19
19. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
20. John 16:13
Author: William Sullivan
Source: American Thinker – 01.24.2013
This week, Americans celebrate, lament, or just indifferently shrug at the fortieth anniversary of that storied 7-2 decision handed down by the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States.
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Aaron Blake of the Washington Post is among those shrugging his shoulders at the milestone, using the occasion to appeal to the GOP that “it’s time Republicans stop talking about Roe v. Wade.” It’s simply a lost cause, he argues, because public opinion is continually shifting to support abortion rights. “It’s hard to get 70% of Americans to agree on much of anything these days,” he writes. “But, for the first time, one of those things is Roe v. Wade.”
This conclusion that the trend we witness favors the pro-abortion crowd runs in stark contrast to the conclusion offered by Time magazine earlier this month. Kate Pickert offers that ever since Roe v. Wade, the pro-abortion lobby has lost significant ground in terms of both public opinion and legislation at the state level:
Even though three-quarters of Americans think abortion should be legal in some or all circumstances, just 41% identified themselves as pro-choice in a Gallup survey conducted in May 2012. In this age of prenatal ultrasounds and sophisticated neonatology, a sizable majority of Americans supports restrictions like waiting periods and parental consent laws. Pro-life activists write the legislation to set these rules. Their pro-choice counterparts, meanwhile, have opted to stick with their longtime core message that government should not interfere at all with women’s healthcare decisions, a stance that seems tone-deaf to the current reality.
In other words, scientific progress lends credible evidence to the notion that a fetus within a womb represents a life. Therefore, the argument that the decision to end that life is simply matter of “choice” is becoming ever more rejected by the public.
In truth, both Blake and Pickert are right. Blake is right in concluding that revisiting Roe v. Wade is very likely a lost cause. And Pickert is right that technological advances are undermining the narrative of the pro-abortion “power brokers” who made their push for abortion rights all those years ago. But if the pretext of “choice,” which was the pivotal driver leading to Roe v. Wade, is increasingly rejected by the public, why is challenging the decision such a distant possibility?
There is only one possible explanation. Because leftist engineers have constructed, and because Americans generally believe, the narrative that the decision is “settled precedent,” as Justice Sotomayor puts it. And because it has been so for decades, it simply doesn’t matter whether the decision and its aftermath were constitutional (they weren’t), whether the principle behind it is right (it isn’t), or whether the decision even makes sense anymore (it doesn’t).
[Related Article: The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, and Eugenics]
Rick Santorum was on to something when he confronted Al Sharpton with the logic that “abortion is acceptable for the same reason that slavery was tolerated: both the slave and the unborn are not considered full “persons” entitled to the protection of the law.” The parallel is useful here.
It is pertinent to note that the right to own slaves is not explicitly protected by the Constitution. The tenderness and divisiveness of that subject at the time of our Constitution’s ratification led many of our founders to regretfully leave the issue to the discretion of the states per the Tenth Amendment. Many founders, however, denounced the wickedness of the slave enterprise, noted that it was contrary to the freedoms enunciated by the Declaration, and some even anticipated that the legitimacy of slavery in the context of the Constitution would be challenged by future generations. It was, and that argument was bloody, to say the least.
Slave ownership was, however, declared constitutional by Supreme Court decree, just four years before the advent of the Civil War, handed down in Dred Scott v. Sanford. Despite the precedent having been “settled” by this Supreme Court decision in 1857, it does not change the fact that the decision was unconstitutional, morally reprehensible, and did not make any sense at all in a time when abolitionist logic arguing for slaves’ humanity and freedom was becoming increasingly accepted. As such, the decision was rightfully abrogated by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.
Likewise, the right to abort unborn children is not specifically protected by the Constitution, and prior to 1973, abortion legislation had been understood to be limited to the power of the states per the Tenth Amendment. Roe v. Wade introduced the specious notion that that a woman’s decision, however whimsical, to abort her child is protected by a “right to privacy” guaranteed by the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To believe that lawmakers had abortion in mind while crafting the Fourteenth Amendment requires a Herculean leap of faith. Dissenting Justice Byron White provides the more plausible reasoning:
I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new Constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes.
Roe v. Wade not only established abortion (for any chosen reason) as constitutional under curious pretenses, but it functioned as a federal edict granting new powers to the federal government — the power to provide an eternal allowance for abortion under the newly created guidelines prescribed by the ruling. And these guidelines and timetables by which states can legally proscribe abortion (the particulars of which were clearly not included in the Fourteenth Amendment) were arbitrarily decided upon by the Court, not federal lawmakers. In spite of this seemingly egregious usurpation of the powers of the legislative branch by the judiciary, the ruling in its entirety is now somehow understood to function as law.
So under the pretense of “privacy” and “choice” and without convincing legislative grounding, wholesale abortion became allowable by federal authority. The decision only passively entertains the notion of the unborn life’s humanity that is increasingly understood today, ruling that states can have some flexibility in deeming the life “viable” and protecting it in certain conditions after the first trimester — but never before.
So yes, Roe v. Wade and its application can be convincingly described as unconstitutional. Abortion can be as morally reprehensible as murder if modern science is to be believed. And the decision’s underlying principle of “choice” is being increasingly rejected by the public. But despite all of this, and despite the overwhelming support to curtail frivolous abortion at the state level in recent years, it’s untouchable.
I don’t necessarily argue against the conclusion that it would be a political mistake for Republicans to target Roe v. Wade. But if hindsight is truly 20/20, and in light of what we can now reasonably know to be the truth about the flaws in Roe v Wade‘s genesis and legacy that surpasses holocaustic magnitude, the pressing question we need to ask of our society is: Why?
[Related Article: Pondering the 2012 Election]
Author: Dave Hunt
Source: TheBereanCall – January 1, 2001
Inspired of the Holy Spirit, Paul declared, “For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,…so that they are without excuse” (Rom.1:20).
God has provided to humble observers of the universe ample evidence for His existence, evidence available in every culture and time in history. Thus there is no excuse for rejecting the witness of creation. No wonder the psalms twice declare bluntly, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Ps.14:1; 53:1).
Christians have long pointed to the works of creation as proof of design and thus of a designer, i.e., Creator. Atheists have insisted that science would solve all questions about the cosmos and thus do away with the need for a God to explain anything. And they have persisted in this delusion in spite of the fact that, with each discovery science makes, the evidence for God becomes ever more irresistible.
Every door science opens reveals ten as yet unopened doors. While knowledge of the universe is expanding exponentially, the unknown expands even faster, like receding images in a hall of mirrors. Scientific discoveries overwhelmingly necessitate a power and wisdom, without beginning or end and infinitely beyond human comprehension, which alone could have brought all into existence.
Nowhere is the evidence for God stronger than in life forms, especially since the discovery of the electron microscope and invention of computers. Investigating the molecular level of life, we have discovered that its intricate design and ingenious function are beyond imagination. Reflecting that fact 3,000 years in advance, David said, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works…” (Ps.139:14). Observing the astonishing design and function even of microbes or insects, let alone human bodies, one is forced to admit that David was right: we could not have evolved, we could only have been created.
Even such a determined proponent of evolution as Richard Dawkins confesses that living things “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” (1) He even admits that the nucleus of every cell (the smallest living unit, of which there are trillions in the human body) contains “a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the En-cyclopedia Britannica put together.” (2) Just the mathematical odds of getting millions of letters lined up in the right order by chance is off the possibility chart.
For life, something even more amazing is involved than the chance aligning of billions of chemical molecules in the right order. Dawkins refers to a digitally coded data-base! This is recent terminology never imagined by Darwin. Not only must the DNA molecules be put together correctly, but they must, like letters, express information in a language providing instructions to be followed.
Each person at the moment of conception begins as a single cell. How does that cell know what to do to construct a body composed of trillions of individual cells of different kinds and different functions? Most school children know the answer: imprinted in that original cell are instructions for the construction and operation of the human body—instructions which will be followed unerringly. DNA replicates this blueprint into every cell produced. And every cell, amazingly, will know which part of those directions it is to follow.
Today’s school child also knows that DNA has an incredible capacity for storing information. The information contained in DNA the size of a pinhead would fill a stack of books 500 times as high as the distance from earth to the moon! It would take tens of thousands of desktop computers to store and process that amount of data.
The world’s fastest supercomputer is now being completed. It is called “Blue Gene” and will perform one quadrillion (1 with 15 zeros after it) calculations per second! It is being built to map the three billion chemical letters in the human genome, equal to a 100,000-page run-on sentence of operating instructions for a human being. All put together by chance?
Blue Gene’s first task will be to figure out how the body makes just one protein molecule. To solve that problem it will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a full year! Yet the body, following the instructions imprinted in DNA, creates a protein molecule in a fraction of a second. Were the instructions which this computer will take a year to understand arrived at by random processes? All this for just one protein molecule! “The probability of the required order in a single basic protein molecule arising purely from chance is estimated at one chance in 1 followed by 43 zeros. Since thousands of complex protein molecules are required to build a simple cell, probability moves…outside the realm of possibility.” (3)
It takes many different kinds of enzymes (made of protein) to decode/translate the genetic information encoded into DNA—and the enzymes are independently encoded to do this. So it would do no good for evolution (even if it could) to imprint genetic information on DNA; at the same time it would have to independently encode the enzymes to translate it. DNA and the enzymes to decode it could not “evolve” over a period of time. All must be in perfect working order from the start. At the molecular level evolution is a bad joke!
Years ago the conundrum was, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Now it’s “Which came first, protein or DNA?” It takes protein to construct DNA, but it takes DNA to make protein. Obviously, both were created at once; neither could have evolved.
But the lesson of DNA points far beyond the statistical impossibility of it all somehow falling together through random processes over great time. The three billion chemical letters express information in a language which must be read to be usable! A language necessarily involves ideas framed within grammatical rules and can be created and expressed only by intelligence. This moves us beyond statistics and matter into another realm, involving issues—and issues cannot be comprehended by tissues.
Language expresses thoughts—and thoughts are not physical! They may be articulated in physical form, such as sounds or words and sentences on a page or the coded chemical letters in DNA. Obviously, however, the thoughts being conveyed by the language are independent of the material upon which they are expressed. A sentence may be written on paper, wood, sand, a computer chip, or audio tape, but none of these originated the message. It must have an intelligent, nonphysical source independent of the physical means of storage or communication. The Bible, of course, says that the God who encoded the DNA is a spirit (Jn. 4:24).
The fact that life is created and functions by language originating from an intelligent, nonphysical source forever finishes evolution. There is no way that chemicals could put together intelligent thoughts in a language that contains the instructions for constructing and operating even a single cell, much less the trillions of cells in the human body! The fact that DNA is designed to replicate itself precisely and only fails to do so through destructive error eliminates even theistic evolution.
We are driven by science and logic to admit that life in any form can have its source only in a God who is independent of the material universe. That there cannot be more than one source is proved by the uniformity and universality of the language. These inescapable facts refute not only atheism but pantheism and polytheism, the major delusions of paganism.
DNA, of course, does not understand the information encoded into it. It is a mechanism built and programmed by the Originator of the encoded language to follow His instructions automatically. And the most complex mechanism built by DNA is the human brain. More advanced than any computer yet built by man, it contains some 100 billion nerve cells connected by 240 miles of nerve fibers involving 100 trillion connections.
For all of its complexity, the brain no more originates or understands what it is doing than does DNA. The brain does not originate thoughts. If it did, we would have to do whatever our brains decided. On the contrary, we (the real persons inside) do the thinking and deciding, and our brains take these nonphysical thoughts and translate them into physical actions through a connection between the spirit and body that science can’t fathom.
Wilder Penfield, one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons, describes the brain as a computer programmed by something independent of itself—the mind. Science cannot escape the fact that man himself, like his Creator, must be a nonmaterial being in order to originate the thoughts processed by the brain. But man did not originate thought itself. He did not create himself nor give himself the capacity to think. The Bible says that God, who is a spirit, created man “in his own image” (Gen.1:27), that man is a “living soul” (2:7), i.e., a nonphysical being made like unto his Creator, capable of thinking thoughts and making decisions. This ability makes him morally responsible to God. To escape that responsibility is the sole reason for atheism.
Not only has science failed to do away with God, but the latest data from computers and the examination of life at the molecular level confirm what the Bible has always said. Christians have wondered for centuries what was meant by the Word of God dividing even between “the joints and marrow” (Heb.4:12). Now we know that the language God has encoded in the DNA in the act of creation does exactly that. But God communicates to man in his spirit in a higher language which “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (4:12). This Word of God is “for ever…settled in heaven” (Ps.119:89).
Long before modern science, David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Ps.19:1-4).
It becomes ever more thrilling and increasingly glorifying to God to allow Scripture to expound upon the essential role language plays in all creation. Genesis 1 tells us that God said, “Let there be light,” etc. The New Testament tells us that “the Word was God. All things were made by him…” (Jn.1:1-2). Later we read, “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb.11:3). And the universe is “by the same word…reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pt. 3:7). Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken…shall judge him in the last day” (Jn.12:48).
Man’s capacity to study and understand DNA language is proof that he is a nonphysical being like the Originator of DNA, thus capable of a spiritual relationship with the Creator which is far different from that of any part of man’s body. His ability to form conceptual ideas and to express them in speech allows man to receive communication from his Creator in language which man (but not animals) can understand and obey. And conscience tells us when we disobey. The Bible says that believing and obeying this communication from God is absolutely essential for spiritual life. Moses declared 3,500 years ago, “[M]an doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deut 8:3).
Since Adam’s rebellion, his descendants are by nature all “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph.2:1) and must be born again to spiritual life by the Word of God through the Spirit of God into the family of God: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn.3:6); “Being born again…by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever….And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pt. 1:23, 25); “the word of faith, which we preach” (Rom.10:8). The psalmist said, “thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Ps.138:2).
Miraculously, the children of their “father the devil” (Jn.8:44) can become the “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:26). Yes, “now are we the sons of God…” (1 Jn.3:2). After receiving spiritual life from Him through believing His Word, we are capable of and “must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn.4:24).
One can see the serious error of looking to physical things like baptism and the communion wafer for spiritual life. Yes, Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you” (Jn.6:53). Clearly, by eating and drinking He meant believing: “he that believeth on Me shall never thirst …every one which …believeth on Him, may have everlasting life” (vv. 35-40). As He explained to those who could not understand, “…flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (v. 63).
Man’s existence as a nonphysical being does not end with the death of his material body. For the Christian, death means a temporary separation for both soul and spirit “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor.5:8). That separation ends when “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven [and] bring with him” the souls and spirits of those who have been in His presence while their bodies have been asleep in the grave. “With a shout” He will call their bodies from the grave to rejoin their souls and spirits, the living believers shall be transformed and “caught up [raptured] together with them…to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Cor.15:50-53; 1 Thes.4:13-18). Fantastic? No more so than creation!
His bride, snatched from earth and taken to His Father’s house as He promised (Jn.14:1-3), after the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor.5:10), will be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white” and married to her Lord (Rev:19:7-8). The One who returns triumphantly to the Mount of Olives (from which He ascended – Acts 1:9-12) leading the armies of heaven as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,”…wearing “a vesture dipped in blood,…is called The Word of God” (Rev.19:11-16). TBC
1. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (Longman, England, 1986), 1.
2. Ibid., 18.
3. Jerry R. Bergman, in In Six Days, John F. Ashton, ed. (New Holland Publishers, 1999), 29.