|Posted by arcteduc7 on February 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM||comments (44)|
THE POLITICS OF JESUS
Rediscovering the true revolutionary nature of Jesus’
Teaching and how they have been corrupted
Today I am a seminary graduate, an ordained minister, a trained scholar of the Bile,
the current president of Asian Revival College of Theology, Inc. a
teacher and professor to aspiring ministers and an advisor to seasoned ones. I
have earned my Th.D in Newburgh Theological Seminary USA. And Ph.D in
Religious Education in Trinity Graduate Study of Apologetics India in progress.
Jesus the political the political revolutionary, the Jesus who is as concerned about liberating us from the kingdoms of earth as about getting us into the kingdom of heaven. Yet the Gospels tell us that is who Jesus is, too. And what he was crucified for. This is the Jesus that called me back to the church – the revolutionary Jesus.
Yes, Jesus of Nazareth was a political revolutionary. Now, to say that he was “political” doesn’t mean that he sought to start yet another protest party in Galilee. Nor does it mean that he was “involved in politics” in the sense that we know it today, with its bargaining and compromises and power plays and partisanship. And it certainly doesn’t mean that that he wanted to wage war or overthrow the Roman Empire by force.
To say that Jesus was a political revolutionary is to say that the message he proclaimed not only called for change in individual hearts but also demanded sweeping and comprehensive change in the political, social, and economic structures in his setting in life: colonized Israel. It means that if Jesus had his way, the Roman Empire and the ruling elites among his own people either would no longer have held their positions of power, or if they did, would have had to conduct themselves very, very differently. It means that an important goal of his ministry was to radically change the distribution of authority and power, goods and resources, so all people particularly the little people, or “the least of these,” as Jesus called them- might have lives free of political repression, enforced hunger and poverty, and undue insecurity. It means that Jesus sought not only to heal people’s pain but also to inspire and empower people to remove the unjust social and political structures that too often were the cause of their pain. It means that Jesus had a clear and unambiguous vision of the healthy world that God intended and that he addressed any issue – social, economic, or political – that violated that vision.
The reality, then, is that most Christians do recognize a political dimension to the message of Jesus, in some shape or form. Moreover, by the very facts of their involvement in politics and political matters, as well as by their certainty of Jesus’ approval of their efforts, these Christians demonstrate to the world their unquestioned conviction that political activities really are consistent with the message and ministry of Jesus. So what is the issue for most Christians is not whether the message of Jesus has a political dimension. What they reject is the notion that Jesus advocated revolutionary changes in a political order that militated against the happiness and wholeness of the people he came to serve. In what the Gospel of Luke portrays as the inaugural sermon of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus announces that the reason for his anointing by God and the purpose of his mission in the world are one and the same- to proclaim radical economic, social, and political change: “The Spirit of the Lord the Lord is upon me, because he ahs anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).
In this passage, Luke’s Jesus leaves no doubt as to the radicalism of his calling. First, he heralded good news to the poor (ptochois, the Greek word for “poor” here, indicates a collective or class identity). That is, he announced that the reason for his ministry was to struggle fro radical change I the circumstances and institutions that kept people downtrodden and impoverished. Yes, radical change, because only radical change could make a real difference in their plight.
He also announced release to the captives- that is, to those unjustly imprisoned – which was a declaration of major proportion, because Roman jails were full of political prisoners and those reduced to penury by economic exploitation.
Then he made the ultimate political pronouncement: he announced liberation to those who were oppressed by the crushing weight of empire. Not “bruised,” as some translations render it, but “oppressed,” from the Greek word thrawo, “oppress, crush.” Jesus ended his inaugural sermon by proclaiming “ the acceptable year of the Lord,” an allusion to the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-10), the end of a fifty-year cycle, when all land that had been confiscated or otherwise unjustly acquired was to be returned to its original owners. When read in the context of his times, Jesus’ sermon has the ring of manifesto. It is the pronouncement of his divine appointment to struggle for – to “bring” – economic, political, and social justice to his people. It is difficult o make a more radical political statement than this.
Or consider the “Lord’s Prayer,” in which Jesus instructs his disciples that whenever they pray, their concern should be that Caesar’s unjust governance and unjust will ( as manifested in imperial politics and laws) be replaced by the just governance and the just will of God( Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done”;). And to make sure that these instructions were not misunderstood as mere abstract notions Jesus carefully added, “On earth as in heaven.” These sentiments were so politically radical that under Roman law they fully constituted treason against the state – the very crime for which Jesus was executed.
Or consider Jesus’ statement “Blessed are the peacemakers.” He did not say,” Blessed are the peacekeepers”; he did not bless those whose primary goal was to keep the peace, to maintain the status quo without regard for justice or equity. No. the ones that Jesus explicitly blessed were the peacemakers, those whoa actively strove to cleanse the world of oppression and exploitation in order to make a reality where true peace can reign for all.
Or consider one point more. For all of his moral and ethical teachings in the Beatitudes and the parables and in his instructions to his disciples and others, Jesus gave just one criterion for judging the righteousness of our lives.
Today’s political landscape is rife with politicians proudly – and loudly – identifying themselves as Christians or some are Pastors. Some of these imply indeed, some even claim- that their political positions are inspired, it not fully guided, by the teachings of Jesus. Yet we have seen that the politics of Jesus are very different from the partisan politics of politicians. Partisan politics are characterized by self-serving deals, unethical compromises, and a thinly veiled selfishness in which all seem to seek only after the good of themselves and those they count as their own, while giving little thought to the well-being of others except as it benefits their personal agendas. Rather than “Love your neighbors as yourself,” the mantra of today’s political culture seems to be “: Love yourself and those who are like you.” And “God’s will be done” has been replaced by “Our will be done,” with the accompanying clam that our will is God’s unfortunately, the politics of most politicians “of faith” have proven to be cut from that same cloth. However, the politics of Jesus have little to do with what one calls oneself or the faith one confesses. Jesus’ politics is based upon principles, not slogan or self-serving rules.
Principles are directions or guide as to how we should live our; lives and conduct our affairs. The principles of Jesus’ politics are rooted in the most foundation ethics of the Bible, especially those that we shall revisit below.
It is in this spirit, the spirit of Jesus the revolutionary that we who follow him must call upon the religious and political leaders of Philippines or around the world to reclaim our biblical mandate to act justly in our nation and in the world.
• We call upon our government officials and elected representatives to turn from the greed and imperial ambitions of Caesar to embrace Christ’s call for us to care for those in need of care: the weakest, the neediest, those in the twilight of their days.
• We call upon the politicians of Philippines to stop the crony capitalism that enriches the few and impoverishes the many.
• We call for provision for all Filipino of adequate health care, a livable minimum wage, and access to an education that can prepare them to be fruitful in the marketplace and to contribute to the common good of all.
• We call upon our political leaders to stop their cynical misuse of religion and “faith” to support exclusionary policies, exploitative policies, policies that deal in killing and death.
• We call upon our leaders to serve the justice of God rather than grasping for political power.
• We call upon all who claim to be politicians “of faith” to return integrity to Filipino’s political culture by embracing the same humility that moved the psalmist to pray, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart;/test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me. And lead me the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24)
• We call upon all who bear the name of Christian or those who’s proclaim a righteous leaders to reclaim the holistic spirituality that Jesus taught, not the one- dimensional imitation practiced by many in the Church that frees us from the responsibility to make justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
• We call upon the religious politician in the Philippines to stop using the Name of our God and their religion in Vain, just to support our selfish motive of politics. “ Love your neighbors as you love yourself”
• Finally, we call upon our politicians to end their ceaseless drive for leadership. For the politics of Jesus seeks not possession of worldly power, but to serve the justice of God.
Finally, the politics of Jesus was not a partisan. Absolutely was different from corrupted politics today’s. Let’s go back to our mandate to mediate between man and God. Bless your enemies, bless the sinners, and bless all the people on the face of the earth. Let’s repent and go back to the apostolic teaching of Jesus. God is going to use us, even though; you don’t have any position in the government. Revival begins in the house of the Lord! Not in the outside, we cannot find God’s presence outside the Tabernacle of the Lord. Outside the Tabernacle is the world of sin and death. Religion and politics cannot change the world, it is God’s Presence and His pure Politics would change the world system. The problem and chaos in our country it reflects the disunity among the body of Christ. Where are our national leaders whom we believe that would lead us to the biblical politics of Jesus. We cannot expect unity in diversities, if we don’t set our standard according the Word of God; the Word of God is infallible undisputable without errors, not by religion or denominations. Because religion and denomination breaks relationship. Let’s build God’s Kingdom not our own kingdom or religion. Christ religion is “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done earth as it is in heaven. How can a Christian become salt and light if we continue to dwell in partisan spirit for our day. “Love your neighbor” Shalom and love attributes could be blessings to our nation. Lord Heal our Land! Lord, heal our Land, Lord, heal our we pray or else we will die in our fault and wickedness for fighting each other. Consume us with you Holy fire. 11 Chronicles 7:14; 7:1-4; Matt.3:10-12;Acts 2:1-3
|Posted by arcteduc7 on December 24, 2009 at 1:01 AM||comments (1)|
Is it Right for the Evangelical Christians to Celebrate Christmas?
In my research, I found many websites willing to tell the plain truth about Christmas. If so many know about the truth, why are Christians still celebrating the holiday? Looking at the elementary facts about Christmasit literally has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. Infact, many of the customs and traditions of Christmas pre-date our Lord and Savior and the celebration in itself was taken from many cultures and nations.The most obvious truth is that Jesus was not born on December 25th and if God wanted the birth of Christ to becommemorated, He would have made mention of Jesus’birth date. Actually, there are no placesrecorded in the Bible that the people of God celebrated or even acknowledged any one’s birthday. In fact, it was the death of a great person that was usually celebrated, hence “Communion.” Weare instructed by Christ in Luke 22:19, to eat of the body (bread) and drink ofthe blood (wine) in remembrance of Him, commemorating His death and not Hisbirth. Only heathens like Pharaoh and Herod rejoiced over their birthdays(Armstrong & Keyser, The Plain Truth About Christmas, p. 2).
Evidently,Jesus Christ was not even born in the winter. The Bible portrays a much more milder time of year for the birth of Christ, a season that permit shepherds to spend their nights in the field: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock bynight” Luke 2:8 (NKJV). December would have been far too cold and rainy in Judea for the shepherds and the flock. In examining Ezra 10:9 and verse 13 we discover this to be absolutely true, v.9:“So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem with three days.It was the ninth month (November-December,Chislev by Jewish Calendar), on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter of heavy rain” and v.13: “But thereare many people; it is the season for heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside.” It is believed that Jesus’ birth was no later than September.
If the Messiah, Jesus the Christ was not born on December 25th, whose birthday is being celebrated and why?The origin of Christmas dates back as far as ancient Babylon. “It is bound up in the organized apostasy which has gripped a deceived world these many centuries!” (Armstrong & Keyser, p. 6). It is believed that Nimrod, the son/husband of Semiramis the Babylonianqueen, who was also named the Queen of Heaven, was born on December 25th.Semiramisclaimed that a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead stump,which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod. Thenew life was presumed to be Tammuz. On the anniversary of Nimrod’s birth Semiramis claimed that Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts. Placing gifts under the evergreen is theorigin of the contemporary Christmas tree. In Rome a fir was decorated withberries during Saturnalia (Pack, p.7).
The word Christmas does not appear anywhere in the Bible nor does it have any Christian roots. According to David C. Pack, the writer of The True Origin of Christmas, nearly all aspectsof Christmas observance have their roots in Roman customs and religion.“Considering the following admission from a large American news paper (TheBuffalo News, Nov. 22, 1984): ‘The earliest reference to Christmas being marked on Dec.25 comes from the second century after Jesus’ birth. It is considered likely the first Christmas celebrations were in reaction to the Roman Saturnalia, a harvest festival that marked the winter solstice- the return of the sun- and honored Saturn, the god of sowing.
Saturnalia was a rowdy time, much opposed by the more austere leaders among the still-minority Christian sect. Christmas developed, one scholar says, as a means of replacing worship of the sun with the worship of the Son. By 529 A.D.,after Christianity had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire,Emperor Justinian made Christmas a civic holiday.’” In addition, Pack asks hisreaders to consider the following quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911edition, under “Christmas.” It states “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.”Further, “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated toChristmas” (p. 2). From December 17-24 marked the Roman Festival of Saturnalia, this was a time of celebration and gift exchanging. Saturnalia was the celebration of the fire god. “Saturn was the god of sowing (planting) because heat from the sunwas required to allow for planting and growth of crops. He was also worshippedin the dead-of-winter festival so that he could come back (he was the “sun”;)and warm the earth again so that spring planting could occur. The planet Saturnwas later named after him because, among all the planets, with its rings andbright red color, it best represents the god of fire!” (Pack, p. 3).
Almost all civilizations had a fire and/or sun god: the Egyptians (and sometimes Romans)called him Vulcan; the Greeks named him Kronos and the Phoenicians called him Kronos as well as Saturn. The Babylonians called their sun god Tammuz (asNimrod, resurrected in the person of his son) Nimrod was also called Baal and Molech. Nimrod was also considered the father of all the Babylonian gods (pp.3-4). In association with the worship of the sun/fire god, followed some heinous practices. One in particular was the human sacrifice, mainly children which is described in Jeremiah 32:35, “And they built the high places of Baal which are in the valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech (Nimrod), which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” It was the pagan belief that the fire purified them fromtheir original sin. Their doctrine of spending time in purgatory to purge thesoul from all sin derives from this belief (p. 4). Other practices such as the Christmas tree, the holly, the mistle toe and the Yule log have nothing to do with Christ or Christianity, in actuality they date long before Christianity and are utterly pagan practices.
Pack reveals the modern term for mixing the true God with false practices as syncretism. “Anyone whodid this in ancient Israel was put to death (Lev. 18:21, 29)! It was that serious!” (p. 8). And many Christians today wonder why they are living a cursedlife, surrounded by dead things: death in relationships, dying hopes and dreams; dead end jobs and so on. God’s Word was true then and remains true today for God is not a man that He should life or a son of man that He should repent. If He said it He will make it good (Numbers 23:19). For His word can not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11)? There will be more on this matter in the finalsection.
Upon knowing the facts from evidences traditionally and historically, about Christmas; what would be our stand today as a genuine Christian and followers of Jesus Christ. Do you celebrate Christmas like as the world doing this every year?Or we tried to exclude ourselves from this tradition which is not Biblical.Some say, because this is a pagan practiced before it was integrated to theChristianity, so they concluded that it is not proper for the Evangelical Christians to observe or celebrate Christmas and then they don’t put a decors in their houses such as: Christmas tree, stars from pagan worship or changing gifts, balls from Chinese traditions. The choice is yours that is minor doctrine.
But my stand is, I’m in the side of Redemptive Celebration through the essence of the true meaning of the word Christmas from the root word “Christ” and “mass”
The word Christ in Latin “Kristus” in Greek Christ is the English term for the Greek Χριστός (Khristós) meaning "the anointed one".It is a translation of the Hebrewמָשִׁיחַ (Māšîaḥ;).
The word is often misunderstood to be the surname of Jesus due to thenumerous mentions of Jesus Christ in the Christian Bible. The word is infact used as a title,hence its common reciprocal use Christ Jesus, meaning The AnointedOne, Jesus. Followers of Jesus became known as Christiansbecause they believed that Jesus was the Christ, or Messiah, prophesiedabout in the Tanakh(which Christians term the Old Testament). The majority of Jews reject this claimand are still waiting for Christ to come (see JewishMessiah). Most Christians now wait for the Second Coming of Christ when they believe he will fulfill the rest of the Messianic prophecy. For further information onthe anointingunderstood in the term Christ, please see Messiah, JewishMessiah and Jesus.The area of Christian theology focusing on the identity, life, teachings and worksof Jesus, is known as Christology. [i]
Mass – for everybody. So the meaning of the word Christmas is Christ for every body but they need to believe and receive that Jesus is the Messiah and the Savior and then, they will be saved through faith in Him alone; by his grace, we have been saved through our faith in Christ Jesus;not according to man’s effort so that no one will boast.
Let's focus our attention in His Birth; one of the main reason, why we celebrate Christmas because of the essence of it. Jesus came to the world just to save us from the power of death physically and spiritually. And the other thing is because of His marvelous and wonderful things that He has done to us within the whole year.[ii]
Therefore the redemptive way of celebrating this season must be our main focus today as a Church of God. We are the light of this world; the light must shine to the dark room to eradicate the total darkness of this room. The Church must influence the world in a proper way of applying the true meaning of Christmas Celebration without compromise. Let’s redeem this kind of celebration in the light of God’s word. From wrong practiced offered to the godesses; we will offer it to our living God who created the heavens and the earth who is worthy to receive glory and honor due to His name Abba Father; the source of source!
Merry Christmas and have a blissful new year to all
ii. Grudem ZodervanSystematic theology
Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D.,DRE
|Posted by arcteduc7 on November 18, 2009 at 7:33 PM||comments (0)|
How did the disciples die?
King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the Church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. Acts 12:1-2
Though the Bible records the fate of only Judas Iscariot and James, early Church leaders said most of the others died as martyrs – killed for preaching about Jesus.
1. Simon Peter. “Crucified at Rome with his head downward,” wrote Origen, a Church leader in the AD 200s. This seems to fulfill what Jesus told Peter would happen: “When you are old. You will stretch out your hands ….’ Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God” (John 21: 18-19).
2. Andrew, Peter’s brother. Crucified on an X – shaped cross, according to the Acts of Andrew, a book written in the Ad 200s.
3. James, son of Zebedee. The first disciple to die as a martyr, he was executed by King Herod Agrippa – probably beheaded “with a sword”
4. John, brother of James. Died a natural death in about AD 100 at what is now Ephesus, Turkey.
5. Philip. Crucified in Turkey, according to one tradition.
6. Bartholomew. Skinned alive and beheaded after preaching in India, according to one tradition. But the Martyrdom of Bartholomew says he was stuffed in a sack and dumped in the sea.
7. Thomas. Speared to death in what is now India after starting several Churches there.
8. Matthew. Martyred with an ax or a sword in Ethiopia, according to the most popular of many traditions.
9.James, son of Alphaeus. Crucified in Egypt, according to one tradition – in Iran.
10. Thaddaeus (Judas, son of James). Crucified or hacked to death with Simon the Zealot in what is now Iran, according to one story.
11. Simon the Zealot. Martyred with Thaddaeus in Iran, according to one tradtion. Another story says he was cut in two with a saw.
12. Matthias. Chosen to replace Judas Iscariot, he was stoned and beheaded, according to one story.
Let’s continue to serve God, no matter what happen, trust and obey his Word. Don’t pray that we can skip from worries and trials in life but pray how to face and overcome with the help of God. Have faith in God! Our faith will touch to the heart of God. The Bible says… “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him... “(Heb. 11:6). The disciples of Jesus, even to the point of death they never gave up their faith in God. Paul said in Romans 8:37-39, .." In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor power, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any any creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
By: Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D
|Posted by arcteduc7 on November 13, 2009 at 1:36 AM||comments (0)|
A Christian Philosophy of Education
"A Christian Philosophy of Education"
Those who can do; those who cannot, teach; those who cannot teach, teach Education. This kind of statement describes the Filipino system in more ways than one. Education is too important to neglect it or hand it over to those who cannot or do not know how to educate children and young adults. Most Filipino colleges have no philosophy of education at all. They may have some vague ideals or aims. But no concrete philosophy that has any value. Though Filipino colleges do not have a philosophy of education that can be called unified, or have an elaborate world-view set for their students, instead, they cater to having a unity in opposition to Christianity.
If education is to produce something good, then there must be an inclusion of morality (which good emerges from) into that system. If that system of education desires to reject morals or religion, then that educational system will have no possibility of creating a productive moral system whatsoever. Modern education today has become unified on morals by adopting Anti-Christian philosophy as a basis for its education. Humanistic and communistic hatred of Christianity will be the prevailing notion as it already is. Dictators are not stupid. They have used education throughout the centuries to press political ideas and their own agendas. Today so media is not stupid. It also has harnessed education through celebrity popularity and Hollywood influence within the schools. Ads on TV promote celebrities giving ethical advice to young people, and to parents, in a non-religious but subtly guised ethical manner. Hollywood cares about the children of the country and so do dictators. The defect of all this is that it has no purpose or direction to accomplishing that purpose efficiently one strategy of propagandist.
Philosophy in general is to study the whole of something, not the parts of something. And for a lack of series study as a whole, American and Filipino education has lowered its standards, compromised with commercialism, and distinguished itself by mediocrity. There are, as a result, two trends going on in Filipino: government-propagandized vocational training which aims to crush private institutions by high taxes as well as omitting home schooling; Small institutions, and the large majority of university men desire free schools committed to the wisdom of the liberal arts. But this is not philosophy, or a philosophy of education that could be helpful to Filipino as a whole. There is only one philosophy that can unify education and life, and that is the philosophy of Christian theism.
Humanists deny the Christian God and think they can shape young minds of the future for the better. Christianity is a supernatural religion that says no one is good, no not one, and that God is the only savior through His Son Jesus Christ. Men would rather not think about this and would rather think about the universe as a self-contained world with no possibility of the supernatural. If there is no supernatural, then there is no imputation of sin from Adam to the rest of the human race, and thus, everyone is just OK trying to get along. Well, sort of. Men must begin to assume there is no God and then decide whether they think Jesus Christ is right, or Plato was right, or any other philosopher who came up with a philosophy of education. For humanism, things just are. Historical events are all just a bunch of brute facts that men should just accept with no cohesion at all. But who will prove that life has any meaning if history has no meaning? If history has no meaning, and world-views are irrelevant, then Jesus Christ is irrelevant and so are all the secular humanists and the books they have written about philosophies of education. As a matter of fact, if the secular humanist is right, then the reader is wasting his time with this paper as well. What worldview will people choose that will promote a solid philosophy of education?
Skepticism cannot be chosen as a philosophy of education. Skepticism is not a worldview. It is a denial of everything. Skepticism must live according to some rule not by no rule. They must choose that God is God or there is no God. That makes them atheists not skeptics. Skepticism just leads them to their worldview. Atheists, in general assert there is no god, but to do this, they must themselves become omniscient to know this. They become God by denying God. The pantheist must do the same or their systems collapse. But either way, they still collapse for no one worshipped Bertrand Russell and paid him homage. Atheism can produce no evidence in its favor. None of the events of things in the world can validly support the conclusion that no God exists. Atheists try to set themselves on the scientific method of verification. But again, they cannot set themselves to this because the scientific method cannot prove that the past was like the present or that the future will even be; nor can it prove that the present is like the present. The truth of the Bible is the basic axiom of Christian theism which destroys a non-omniscient atheist making omniscient claims because it alone holds the theistic worldview of a God who not only has given men morals and a purpose for life, but demonstrates by divine revelation that every other religious or philosophical view is impossible to hold consistently.
What alternative is there to Christian theism? Whatever philosophy is chosen, the first principles of that philosophy will control the general tenor of a person’s life. Some people (like Spencer and Alfred Lord Tennyson) grasped an evolutionary idea and mindset to begin their philosophy. This simply creates a pluralistic universe where good and evil (whatever those are or mean) struggle for domination. History is unknown, and value is unknown. Direction and purpose of life is unknown. Evolution is poster boy is Hitler for whom all must bow down. Who knows if Hitler was good and the extermination of the millions of people is good? Is not evolution simply the survival of the fittest? What atheist or evolutionist will deny Hitler the right of supremacy? Or, maybe supremacy should be handed over to the Supreme Court of the US, the nine men and women who asserted abortion as legalized murder. Since that time over forty million children have been killed. But it’s OK. It’s all survival of the fittest, No one, in his or her right mind (which excludes all of humanity), would live in such a worldview. But they do and in happy inconsistencies (whatever happy means). Humanism cannot work and does not work. No incident, of any kind, can have a moral theory behind it in that worldview. Even art, just an eloquent pencil sketch of a hand, is only given value and means something in a theistic worldview.
Maybe philosophers are thinking about education in a new way. Maybe they are going to leave behind the nonsense of a naturalistic worldview and try something better? Optimism, though, is no remedy for bad education. Hoping things will get better will not work. May be everyone will die of AIDS in the coming year, or through some new mass plague. What is the value of life and why should life go on? Is optimism in hoping things will be better work? But if naturalism is allowed to go on, in spite of what Sartre or Heidegger thinks, suicide may be a great option. Suicide is absurd and meaningless to a naturalist. It is a vain and empty gesture. Nevertheless, upon reflection, education may simply take up the best ways to attempt suicide and leave it at that, hoping, that after the masses are taught a valueless system, they will answer Hamlet is question (to be or not to be) in the negative not to be. At least this would be logical to the rest of the theistic world. Non-theistic justification of any kind for any type of education is a failure. Even non-theistic math is a failure because arithmetic then means nothing. Nothing would have any value at all.
Some people like to become neutral about education. No religious propagation of any kind. However, this excludes naturalism and atheism of course, because the moment someone takes theism out of the picture a new worldview comes into play. Christians, though, should never be neutral about anything. They should speak about the absence of prayer in the schools. They should speak against promiscuous sex in school. They should speak against the Bible in the School. There is nothing neutral about a Christian and Christian theism. Christians know that all men are conceived in sin. They are wicked and depraved and need to be redeemed. How then, knowing full well that the schools systems are basically run by governmental agencies can them is silent about theistic issues? If Christians worship God instead of society (going along with societies trends for convenience), then no sin is unimportant.
Some schools want to give students control over the curriculum in order to find out what their needs are and how they feel about such things. This is ludicrous. They come to learn not to control. How much does the student know about what he has come to learn? And should students be the ones controlling the information? Children need self-control by people who are not afraid to assert that control over them. Anyone can watch a secret camera from 60 Minutes over a 5th grade classroom in a Filipino elementary school demonstrating that the teacher has no control over the class. Really she has become the referee in a bar fight, and hopes she can intervene in enough time before someone gets hurt. This is all to say that education policies of any educator or school system derive their character from an underlying philosophy.
Christianity is always attacked on educational fronts because Christianity is exclusivist and has all the answers everyone needs, and people hate that. Today, Christianity is attacked all through the public school system. Textbooks attacking Christianity in the school system are not illegal, but books on creationism are illegal. Teacher can deny creation and the Ten Commandments, but hey cannot recommend to the student Christianity or Christian values. The school system that ignores God teaches their students to ignore God. This demonstrates that the public school system hates God, does not want their students to learning about God, and has openly legalized atheism.
These attacks against Christianity are not merely misrepresentations of Christianity (and there is enough of that) but simply a subtle plausible misrepresentation or misinterpretation. It is not set on hard facts that Christianity is wrong, but on plausibility that it might be wrong, and so the school system does not need any of that. It would rather set its standards on hard, cold facts that it can scientifically verify. Christian faith is not injured so much by clear denials of it as by the methods of persuasion used in bringing others to deny it. Dewey, for example, attempts to instill an instrumentalism that rests on scientific facts. Morality is simply conventional. There is no criterion in which to judge change, nor is there a goal in progress. Things just are as they are. Does this sound rational? The Christian with his belief in the Law of God, and divine rewards and punishments has a reason for regarding suicide as immoral. Dewey has none at all. If morality is convention, then life is devoid of meaning and purpose. Dewey is book on the Philosophy of Education has had a huge influence on the American School as well as in the Filipino system. Should one be surprised? Educators are out to destroy the Bible and to destroy Christian theism. And here there are Christian parents sending their children to public school justifying atheism by saying, I went to public school and I came out okay. But, if their are children are going to public school when they make this statement, then this writer must say, apparently not.
Ethics are also on the list of extermination in public schools. Education is an ethical undertaking and it is impossible to not affect students in some ethical manner, whether with Atheism, agnosticism, the scientific method, or whatever. Schools teach sex education, where parents should be doing this with their bibles in their hands. But, to tell students that God condemns all sin is illegal. The Gospel is that which restrains sin. When the gospel is removed, then all manner of brutality, corruption and crime should be expected.
The Bible allows for no morality to take place outside the Bible. This is clear through both the Old Testament and the New Testament and the laws which God enacts and upholds for all men for all time. Revelation, then, is necessary to teach Christian ethics. Aristotle thought that virtue could be practiced and honed. But without revelation, there is no virtue to practice. And real virtue is only enacted by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is a greater problem, though, at stake. The greater Christian community in the 21st century is simply not Christian. Will one justifiably say there are more than thousands Christian denominations in the America even in the Philippines and then say, at the same time, there is nothing to be done about the Ten Commandments being taken out of the school or that prayer is abolished from it? Mysticism has replaced Christianity in most churches today. Mysticism is easier to deal with than standing up for ethical rights in schools that takes brainpower. But most go to church on Sundays looking to meet God by way of some experience. That is just easier to cope with than having to formulate a system of ethics that pervades every sphere of life.
In creating, then a Christian philosophy of education, one starts with biblical revelation. The Bible is authoritative on its own, and Christians are to know what it says and draw authoritative directives from it to constitute a philosophy of education. Christianity should view itself, and does view itself when viewed rightly, that there is no other compatible system of thought besides it. It stands alone. Christianity is Jeremiahs lonely ministry among professing believers. Christianity is when one voice speaks up, but speaks the word of God. If moral principles are enacted, then the reason they are enacted is because God gave image bearers His likeness to rationally think and dominate every sphere of life for His glory. This is clearly seen in passages dealing with the image of God in men. Genesis 1:26, Then God said, "Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 5:1, this is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. I Genesis 9:6, whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. I 1 Corinthians 11:7, For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. I Colossians 3:10, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him I James 3:9, With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Morality constitutes reflecting the image of God and this is something the wicked cannot do unless they are first changed (John 3:3). The image of God is there for a reason, and the Christian should understand what that reason is the glory of God. Naturalism of all kinds rejects the image of God and thinks that man evolved from an evolutionary cycle. But then, one must return to purposelessness and suicide as the only logical option.
The object of education is truth. God is truth. Truth should be transmitted to the younger pupils and the discovery of new truth by more advanced students. All our dignity consists in thinking about truth. For example, the intellectual standing of art, its function in society, of its relation to religion and morality is a precious gift of God to men. This is the subject of education. Humanists cannot give adequate recognition to this wonderful power of thought. A man is a single person that is able, because of the image of God, to think rationally. He is not made of up parts and did not evolve from one part to another. Humanism has no final truth to offer at all, but theism does. Through the intellect man is able to come into contact with reality, and ultimate reality at that. Reason should never be set above emotion, and emotion (as Schleiermacher would have desired) cannot rule the intellect. The intellect reigns supreme in the constitution of man and his intellect should bring all his affections into obedience before God in submission to Gods will.
A philosophy of education is relatively simple to set up, but it is the particulars of that philosophy that are complex. The sound principles governing any curriculum for the student should stress those subjects that will prove useful to the student no matter how he may choose to live his life later on. Should one give their tax money to baby-sit children for 120 years while they coast through school and colleges should schools develop a curriculum that would actually benefit the student? Government high school education in this regard is deplorable. Christian high schools always do better. Since governmental school cannot tell students to serve God with their mind, only Christian schools can fulfill the intellectual needs of the students. Schools of education with their uneducated faculties should be abolished. It is amazing that so many schools have inept teachers and inept leaders running them. Gordon Clark rightly says the preservation of law and order, without which school and civilization cannot exist, is aided more by Christian schools than by public education, through certain governmental structures Christian Schools thrive better. Here, Protestants should be supporting a Christian governmental structure and not a pagan governmental structure. Christianity must affirm the divinely given powers of the state and also its God-imposed limitations to have a foundation by which Christian schools can thrive. Education should start in the home, move to the church and finally use the tools of the State for the glory of God. It is important to have Christian education from Kindergarten to the University level. This does not mean every person should be trained as a minister of the Gospel or theologian, but that every sphere of life is arrested by the teaching of the bible, from the earliest years to the latter.
Family consists as an important part of education of the country. Without parents taking responsibility for their children, and teaching them values from the Bible, they are left with no weapons to deal with the outside world. Whenever a boy or girl is properly instructed by parents and forewarned of the existence of enemies, the enemies do little damage. Education, properly understood, is not about preparing a youth for this or that specific type of vocation, but for preparing them to be men. He should not be thrown into a pagan school system to learn how to be a man. They do not teach that there. They teach them how to be animals. Just because a young man survives pagan instruction is no reason for subjecting him to it. Children sometimes survive pneumonia, or the bubonic plague, but what parent would want to give it to his child? Single families may say, we just cannot teach our child any other way. We do not have the fiancés to send them to private schools and cannot home school, this may be true, but a church community could do this very easily. That is why the State hates home schooling and small establishment in each local Evangelicals Churches because atheistic education is taken out of their hands and placed in the theistic education of the parents. It is the quality of the education that is needful in a Protestant worldview setting.
How do we learn? Many people think learning is done by sense experience. They deny a priority forms in the mind and believe that life is seen through the empiricist’s glasses. The problem here lies in the inability of the scientists and the scientific method, to come to a fact on anything. They are not omniscient so everything they test is a guess, and it is not a perfect guess. They have no perfect formulas that never derivate they always deviate because they are never perfect. Their measurements are close, but not perfect. Every law they have are partial formulations based on some data which means they have nothing to say about anything concretely. Empiricism cannot work. Even in Christian circles some people think that Adam was an empiricist. Adam knew what commands God gave, and he understand that God gave them. Are we then suppose to believe that he laboriously worked out the cosmological argument, including the physics that underlined it? Empiricism cannot produce moral facts from scientific findings. It is impossible to trust in Empiricism. It furnishes no necessity, no universality, and no all, no one. I it cannot because no scientist is omniscient.
Can moral education be grounded in naturalism then? No. Empirical philosophy that repudiates revelation cannot provide any morals for anything whatsoever. So a Christian philosophy of education is grounded in the image of God, the God who gave that image, and the Bible which explains the revelation of God to men. Really, if God is banished from the education system, from society itself, how can society ask anyone to keep on living? May the Lord will bless you!
By: Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D
|Posted by arcteduc7 on November 12, 2009 at 3:16 AM||comments (1)|
The Right Prayer
What is prayer? Making request to God seems to some people to be illogically. They say” You can’t change the will of God. Yes theologically you can’t but prayer changes yourself. Prayer is really just meditation.”
Well, Jesus prayed to God to change thing and taught us to do the same. By our prayers God brings things about that He would not do without prayer. It is not a matter of changing God’s will but of praying that His will shall be done (Matthew 6:10; 26:39).
The possibility is that God’s will may otherwise not be done. For instance, Jesus prayed for the disciples asking, in so many words, “they are yours, keep them.” One would suppose that God would keep what was His anyway, but Jesus thought it proper to ask God to do so.
Even our Lord Jesus, you will be amazed that not all His Prayer was answered. His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-45). In human point of view, His was asking to His Heavenly Father to pass away the cup of suffering. The Father’s will must be done not the human will of His Son Jesus, He is both human and Divine; Christ became human in one personality.
Theologically not our human will but God’s Divine will must be prevailed. Meaning prayer is to re- a line ourselves to the will of God; not changing his will. “Jesus said, Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is heaven”. (Matt. 6: 10.)
By: Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D
|Posted by arcteduc7 on October 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Halloween Originsand Customs
Historytraces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics inIreland.The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world andhadtheir own ideas of how they could gain access to it - such as byhelping theirover 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle, or byimitating the gods inshowing cleverness and cunning.
Theirtwo main feasts were Beltane at the beginning of summer (May 1), andSamhain(pronounced Sah-ween) at the end of summer (Nov. 1). Theybelieved Samhain wasa time when the division between the two worldsbecame very thin, when hostilesupernatural forces were active andghosts and spirits were free to wander asthey wished.
"Duringthis interval the normal order of the universe is suspended,thebarriers between the natural and the supernatural are temporarilyremoved, thesidh lies open and all divine beings and the spirits of thedead move freelyamong men and interfere sometimes violently, in theiraffairs"
(Celtic Mythology, p. 127).
TheCeltic priests who carried out the rituals in the open air werecalledDruids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, whogenerallyperformed their rituals by offering sacrifices, usually ofcrops and animals,but sometimes of humans, in order to placate thegods; ensuring that the sunwould return after the winter; andfrightening away evil spirits.
Tothe Celtics, the bonfire represented the sun and was used to aid theDruidin his fight with dark powers. The term bonfire comes from thewords "bonefire," literally meaning the bones of sacrificed animals,sometimes human,were piled in a field with timber and set ablaze. Allfires except those of theDruids were extinguished on Samhain andhouseholders were levied a fee torelight their holy fire which burnedat their altars. During the Festival ofSamhain, fires would be litwhich would burn all through the winter andsacrifices would be offeredto the gods on the fires. This practice of burninghumans was stoppedaround 1600, and an effigy was sometimes burned instead.
October31, Halloween, is one of the more popular holidays for children.Whatchild wouldn't want to dress up as a monster or fairy and score abag of candyin the process?
BlendingofPaganism with ChristianityWhen Christianity spread to parts ofEurope, instead of trying to abolishthese pagan customs, people triedto introduce ideas which reflected a moreChristian world-view.Halloween has since become a confusing mixture oftraditions andpractices from pagan cultures and Christian tradition.
ByA.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. Duringtheirrule of the Celtic lands, Roman festivals were combined with thetraditionalCeltic celebration of Samhain. The Romans observed theholiday of Feralia,intended to give rest and peace to the departed.Participants made sacrificesin honor of the dead, offered up prayersfor them, and made oblations to them.Another festival was a day tohonor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit andtrees. The symbol of Pomonais the apple and the incorporation of thiscelebration into Samhainprobably explains the tradition of "bobbing"for apples that ispracticed today on Halloween.
Asthe influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7thcentury,Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints' Day, a time to honorsaints andmartyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It wasobserved on May 13.In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint's Day from May13 to Nov. 1 and forChristians, this became an opportunity forremembering before God all thesaints who had died and all the dead inthe Christian community. Oct. 31 thusbecame All Hallows' Eve ('hallow'means 'saint').
Sadly,though, many of the customs survived and were blended inwithChristianity. Numerous folk customs connected with the paganobservances forthe dead have survived to the present.
In1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of thepast bychoosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publiclycharge the Churchheirarchy with abandoning biblical faith. This becameknown as"Reformation Day," a fitting celebration of the restoration thesamebiblical faith held by the saints throughout church history.
Trick-or-Treat?Sometrace the origins of present day"trick-or-treat" to Samhain, which wasthe supreme night of demonicjubilation. Spirits of the dead would riseout of their graves and wander thecountryside, trying to return to thehomes where they formerly lived.Frightened villagers tried to appeasethese wandering spirits by offering themgifts of fruit and nuts. Theybegan the tradition of placing plates of thefinest food and bits oftreats that the household had to offer on theirdoorsteps, as gifts, toappease the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If notplacated, villagersfeared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroytheirproperty. The problem was... if the souls of dead loved ones couldreturnthat night, so could anything else,human or not, nice ornot-so-nice. The onlything the superstitious people knew to do toprotect themselves on such anoccasion was to masquerade as one of thedemonic hoard, and hopefully blend inunnoticed among them. Wearingmasks and other disguises and blackening the facewith soot wereoriginally ways of hiding oneself from the spirits of the deadwho mightbe roaming around. This is the origin of Halloween masqueradingasdevils, imps, ogres, and other demonic creatures.
Otherstrace "trick-or-treat" to a European custom called"souling". Beggarswould go from village to village begging for"soul cakes" made out ofsquare pieces of bread with currants. Themore soul cakes the beggarswould receive, the more prayers they would promiseto say on behalf ofthe dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it wasbelieved that thedead remained in limbo for a time after death, and thatprayer, even bystrangers could guarantee a soul's passage to heaven.
Inmany parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as'MischiefNight', which meant that people were free to go around thevillage playingpranks and getting up to any kind of mischief withoutfear of being punished.Many of the different customs were taken to theUnited States by Irish andScottish immigrants in the nineteenthcentury, and they developed into 'trickor treat'. Halloween Comes toAmericaTraditional Halloween symbols (witches, blackcats, pumpkins,candles, masks, parties and pranks) appeared in the U.S. duringthe late1800's. In 1848, millions of Irish emigrants poured into America asaresult of the potato famine. With this sudden influx of people, theholiday ofDruidism found its new home on alien shores. "Proudly Celtic,they calledHalloween Oidche Shamhna (`Night of Samhain'), as theirancestors had, and keptthe traditional observancesTheJack-o-lantern isthe festival light for Halloween and is the ancient symbol ofa damnedsoul. Originally the Irish would carve out turnips or beets aslanternsas representations of the souls of the dead or goblins freed fromthedead.
Whenthe Irish emigrated to America they could not find many turnips tocarveinto Jack O'Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins.Pumpkinsseemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and pumpkinshave been anessential part of Halloween celebrations ever since.Pumpkins were cut with faces representingdemons and was originallyintended to frighten away evil spirits. It was saidthat if a demon orsuch were to encounter something as fiendish looking asthemselves thatthey'd run away in terror,thus sparing the houses dwellers fromtheravages of dark entities. They would have been carried around thevillageboundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.
Bats,owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols ofHalloween,were originally feared because people believed that thesecreatures couldcommunicate with the spirits of the dead. Black catshave religious origins as well. Black cats were considered tobereincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During theMiddleAges it was believed that witches could turn themselves intoblack cats. Thuswhen such a cat was seen, it was considered to be awitch in disguise.
Witchesand witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witchesgenerallybelieve themselves to be followers of an ancient religion,which goes back farbeyond Christianity, and which is properly called'wicca'. Witches are reallyjust one side of a modern revival ofpaganism - the followingof pre-Christian nature religions, the attemptto return to worshipping ancientNorse, Greek or Celtic gods andgoddesses.
Towitches, Halloween is a festival of the dead, and represents the"endand the beginning of the witches year. It marks the beginning ofthe death anddestruction associated with winter. At this time the powerof the underworld isunleashed, and spirits are supposedly freed to roamabout the earth; it isconsidered the best time to contact spirits"(Halloween andSatanism, P. Phillips and J.H. Robie, 1987, p. 146).
Theapostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful natureandthose who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians5:16-21;see also Revelation 22:15).
DivinationThevarious activities traditional to Halloween are mostly associatedwiththe idea of obtaining good fortune and foretelling the future.Samhain was atime when it was customary for the pagans to use theoccult practice ofdivination to determine the weather for the comingyear, the crop expectations,and even who in the community would marrywhom and in what order.
· Theidea behind ducking, dooking or bobbing forapples seems to have beenthat snatching a bite from the apple enables theperson to grasp goodfortune. Unmarried people would attempt to take a bite outof an applebobbing in a pail of water, or suspended on a string. The firstpersonto do so was believed to be the next to marry.
· Samhainis a time for getting rid of weakness,as pagans once slaughtered weakanimals which were unlikely to survive thewinter. A common ritual callsfor writing down weaknesses on a piece of paperor parchment, andtossing it into the fire.
· Thereused to be a custom of placing a stone inthe hot ashes of the bonfire.If in the morning a person found that the stonehad been removed or hadcracked, it was a sign of bad fortune. Nuts have beenused fordivination: whether they burned quietly or exploded indicated goodorbad luck.
· Peeling an apple and throwing the peel overone's shoulder was supposed to reveal the initial of one's future spouse.
· Oneway of looking for omens of death was forpeople to visit churchyards,because the spirits of those who were going to dieduring the comingyear were thought to walk around the churchyard during thisnight.
Should Christiansadopt such practices? Can we borrow pagan customs and superstitions of ancient peoples and"Christianize" them?
Asbelievers, we are called to "Test everything. Hold on to the good.Avoidevery kind of evil. [1 Thesalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny thatvirtuallyall of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters,ogres,vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portrayevil.Christians are to "... have no fellowship with the unfruitfulworks ofdarkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11]
IsHalloween just another innocent holiday that doesn't harm anyone? Isitreally just childish fun? Vandalism and wanton disregard for theproperty ofothers is common on Halloween night. Even normallywell-behaved children aredriven by unseen forces to destructivebehavior. Police officials everywherereport a great increase in suchactivities on Halloween. Worse yet are thehorrifying accounts ofpoisoned candy and fruits booby-trapped with razorblades and needles.Such threats are so real that many hospitals offer freeX-rays ofHalloween treats in order to prevent children from being harmed. WhobutSatan could inspire such monstrous actions?
Should the church be compromised by accommodating itself to the culture?
"Do not conform any longer tothe pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." [Romans 12:2]
"Forwhat do righteousnessand wickedness have in common? Or what fellowshipcan light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ andBelial?" [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]
WhenAmerica and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and thepowersof darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating ourhomes, schools,businesses and churches with occult symbols, Satanicpower is glorified.
The sort ofpractices celebrated on Halloween are what defiled the ancientnations[see Leviticus 18:24-30]. The Israelites were warned againstsuchpractices when they entered the Promised Land, "When thou art comeintothe land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learnto do afterthe abominations of those nations." [Deuteronomy 18:9]
Letno one be found among you whosacrifices his son or daughter in thefire, who practices divination orsorcery, interprets omens, engages inwitchcraft, or casts spells, or who is amedium or spiritist or whoconsults the dead. Anyone who does these things isdetestable to theLORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD yourGod willdrive out those nations before you. You must be blameless beforetheLORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those whopracticesorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God hasnot permitted youto do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]
Asan alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christiansshouldrather do what Christians are supposed to do every day and thatis shine thelight of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize the Christianinfluences and striveto make Hallow's Eve a celebration of the acts ofGod through his people thesaints. We should make it a day when acts ofcharity instead of vandalism andhatred abound. A day that emphasizesthe light of Christ instead of thedarkness of evil. A day when peoplemeditate on the acts of Godly peopleinstead of ghosts and goblins.
Whileyou may have participated "all in fun," be assured,Halloween is seriousbusiness for Satanists and witches. Those who opposeChrist are known toorganize on Halloween to observe satanic rituals, to castspells, tooppose churches and families, to perform sacrilegious acts, and toevenoffer blood sacrifices to Satan. While some may say, "But we onlydothis in fun...we don't practice witchcraft," those things thatrepresentSatan and his domain cannot be handled or emulated "for fun".Suchparticipation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and thatis dangerousground.
Tom Sanguinet,former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca(witchcraft) said"The modern holiday we call Halloween has its origins inthe full moonclosest to November 1, the witches’ New Year. It was a time whenthe"spirits" (demons) were supposed to be at their peak powerandrevisiting the earth planet." He went on to say, "Halloween ispurelyand absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will dothat wouldmake it acceptable to the Lord Jesus."
Asevil prevails, Americans have embraced an evil day of Satan, withthepranks of 'would be' hoodlums, combined with 'demon faces' onpumpkins,clothing of 'death' being worn, and calling it fun. WhenChristians participatein Halloween, it sends a message to children thatwitchcraft, demonism,Satanism, and the occult are something fun,entertaining and harmless.
Manyyears ago,C.S. Lewis wrote that one of Satan's most deceptive tacticsis to convincepeople that he doesn't exist. Apparently he has done agood job in hisdeception. Sadly, many people think of the devil as nomore than a symbol ofevil: like Santa Claus, he is just a fictionalsymbol. Many people today alsodo not think of witches as real peoplewho practice magic, but
simply aseverything that is 'spooky.' Recognizing this pagan holiday givesthefalse impression that what is actually lethal is innocuous. Somechildrendevelop a fascination with the supernatural which leads themlater into moresinister occult practices. It's the spiritual equivalentof painting a loadedgun to look like a toy and giving it to child toplay with.
Itis the kind of celebration that encourages kids like the 16-year-oldinPearl, Mississippi who stabbed his mother to death in her sleep andthen openedfire at his high school, killing two students and woundingseven. Authoritiesfound this student along with at least six othersinvolved in a small, avowedlysatanic clique that calls itself "Kroth."
Howsome people can defend this kind of activity as just anotherinnocentholiday that doesn't harm anyone is beyond me. maginary figureswho representthe supernatural world and
Lighthas come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of lightbecausetheir deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, andwillnot come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.(John 3:19-20)
Acceptance of theSupernaturalCentral to Satan's goals is the widespread acceptance ofthe supernatural,including the occult, on the part of North Americans,accompanied by a greatrevival of spiritism all over the world.
Overthe last 30 or so years, the occult has moved into the mainstreamofAmerica - in television, movies, magazines, business, and variousaspects ofdaily life. Movies, books, magazines and encyclopedias of thesupernatural haveabounded. Turn on your TV and hear from theever-present "PsychicFriends" hotline, or see lead characters in TVshows meet their"spirit guide." Entire bookstores devoted to the occulthave becomecommon. Universities regularly offer courses on witchcraftand magic - usuallythe so-called "white" variety. Myriads of mysticalEastern religions,bizarre and often demonic, have invaded North Americaand found in most casesan amazing responsiveness.
Indeed,Halloween has taken root in America. Americans spend $21 milliononHalloween candies yearly second only to Christmas in total sales.Halloween isthe Number 1 season for selling humorous greeting cards. InNorth America, some25 million cards are sold annually. (Peter Smith,"Bythe Numbers," The Toronto Star, 2002-OCT-27.) Halloween isthethird-largest party occasion next to Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Increasingly the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer inoccultism.
Impressions,a curriculum used inmany school districts instructs teachers andstudents in how to cast spells. Oneteacher's manual reads, "Tell thechildren that a magician has cast aspell on some children. Have themwork in pairs to write the magic spell themagician used. Have each pairwrite another spell to reverse the first spell.Have them chant theirspells."
About16,000 school districts use the Pumsey the Dragon curriculum, byJillAnderson. Many of the relaxation techniques used are identical tothose used inhypnosis. Another curriculum called Duso the Dolphinemploys relaxationtechniques and sends hypnotized youngsters off onguided fantasies to a placecalled Aquatron.
Satanismhas become a phenomena that crosses the city limit into the ruralareasof our nation. It is reported there are some 6000 witches,andapproximately 10 million people are involved in the occult. However,it is verydifficult to establish how many actually participate. Theseindividuals areinvolved in a wide variety of activities from simplycasting spells to humansacrifice. The news wires carry story afterstory about young children beingkidnapped, only to be found later asvictims of some bizarre ritualistic crime.
Assatantic involvement among our youth increases, we begin to seetheprimary goal of such activity. According to Scripture (2 Cor. 4:4;Rev. 12:9),Satan's goal is to deceive man by blinding him to the truthof the gospel andto receive worship for himself (Matt. 4:9; Isa.14:12-14).
Ithas become clear that the primary goal is to alter an individual'svaluesand turn him against himself, his beliefs, family, God andsociety.
"Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devil, as aroaring lion, walketh about,seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
Youngsatanists believe the strong will rule with Satan. Once anindividualbecomes involved, they often make a pact with Satan. Theycommit themselves toa future date when they will take their own livesby suicide. They believe ifthey submit themselves to Satan in death,they will come back in another lifeas a stronger being and rule withhim forever. According to recent statistics,fourteen young people a daytake their own lives.
Recently, aCalifornia skateboard manufacturer used a package enclosuresimilar inappearance to a gospel tract to encourage purchasers to sell theirsoulsto the devil. The brochure titled, "Let's Make a Deal" hasasmiley-faced devil who explains to Flame Boy what happened in heavenafter hewas banished: "First off, they set up a bunch of dumb rules,and then theyimposed a really strict dress code. I'l wager that peoplemust be quite boredup there, but hey, that's what they get for beinggood." He contrasts thiswith, "Flame Boy, even a dimwit like you cansee that hell is by far thebest place to retire. Just look at all thefun to be had." Children are askedto sign and return a contract, bywhich they give possession of their souls tothe devil for eternity.
What'swrong withHalloween?It does not have even one single redeeming virtue.It is custom born out ofpagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired,devil-glorifying, occult festival.It is an evening holy unto evil,death, and divination. The Scriptures tells usto "Abstain from allappearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22]
Wake up Christian! This is the night of evil and those who love the LordJesus Christ should have nothing to do with it.
Weare all accountable for our choices and decisions. Ignorance isnoexcuse. The choice is up to you. Have you been involved in thissatanicholiday? Do you struggle with giving it up because "it's justfun"and an innocent opportunity for children to dress up and collectcandy? Don'ttake my word for it. Let God show you what he would haveyou do. You mightbegin by praying the following:
Fatherinheaven I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ to confess that I'masinner. I'm sorry! Please forgive me. I believe with all my heart thatJesusChrist is Your Son and that You raised him from the dead. Ibelieve that JesusChrist died for my sins and that I might be saved.Each and everyday Father Iturn my will and my life over to Your care,and may Your Holy Spirit lead andguide me in all the things I think ,do and say. I'm Yours and You are mine.Father, please use me that Imight help others come to know and love Your SonJesus Christ. Thank youfor saving me. Amen
Posted by: Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D., DRE
|Posted by arcteduc7 on October 29, 2009 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
Halloween Originsand Customs
History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics inIreland. The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world and hadtheir own ideas of how they could gain access to it - such as by helping theirover 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle, or by imitating the gods inshowing cleverness and cunning.
Their two main feasts were Beltane at the beginning of summer (May 1), and Samhain(pronounced Sah-ween) at the end of summer (Nov. 1). They believed Samhain wasa time when the division between the two worlds became very thin, when hostilesupernatural forces were active and ghosts and spirits were free to wander asthey wished.
"During this interval the normal order of the universe is suspended, thebarriers between the natural and the supernatural are temporarily removed, thesidh lies open and all divine beings and the spirits of the dead move freelyamong men and interfere sometimes violently, in their affairs"
(Celtic Mythology, p. 127).
The Celtic priests who carried out the rituals in the open air were calledDruids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, who generallyperformed their rituals by offering sacrifices, usually of crops and animals,but sometimes of humans, in order to placate the gods; ensuring that the sunwould return after the winter; and frightening away evil spirits.
To the Celtics, the bonfire represented the sun and was used to aid the Druidin his fight with dark powers. The term bonfire comes from the words "bonefire," literally meaning the bones of sacrificed animals, sometimes human,were piled in a field with timber and set ablaze. All fires except those of theDruids were extinguished on Samhain and householders were levied a fee torelight their holy fire which burned at their altars. During the Festival ofSamhain, fires would be lit which would burn all through the winter andsacrifices would be offered to the gods on the fires. This practice of burninghumans was stopped around 1600, and an effigy was sometimes burned instead.
October 31, Halloween, is one of the more popular holidays for children. Whatchild wouldn't want to dress up as a monster or fairy and score a bag of candyin the process?
Blending ofPaganism with ChristianityWhen Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to abolishthese pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas which reflected a moreChristian world-view. Halloween has since become a confusing mixture oftraditions and practices from pagan cultures and Christian tradition.
By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. During theirrule of the Celtic lands, Roman festivals were combined with the traditionalCeltic celebration of Samhain. The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia,intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrificesin honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them.Another festival was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit andtrees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of thiscelebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing"for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
As the influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7th century,Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints andmartyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13.In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint's Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and forChristians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all thesaints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thusbecame All Hallows' Eve ('hallow' means 'saint').
Sadly, though, many of the customs survived and were blended in withChristianity. Numerous folk customs connected with the pagan observances forthe dead have survived to the present.
In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of the past bychoosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publicly charge the Churchheirarchy with abandoning biblical faith. This became known as"Reformation Day," a fitting celebration of the restoration the samebiblical faith held by the saints throughout church history.
Trick-or-Treat?Some trace the origins of present day"trick-or-treat" to Samhain, which was the supreme night of demonicjubilation. Spirits of the dead would rise out of their graves and wander thecountryside, trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived.Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering themgifts of fruit and nuts. They began the tradition of placing plates of thefinest food and bits of treats that the household had to offer on theirdoorsteps, as gifts, to appease the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If notplacated, villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroytheir property. The problem was... if the souls of dead loved ones could returnthat night, so could anything else,human or not, nice or not-so-nice. The onlything the superstitious people knew to do to protect themselves on such anoccasion was to masquerade as one of the demonic hoard, and hopefully blend inunnoticed among them. Wearing masks and other disguises and blackening the facewith soot were originally ways of hiding oneself from the spirits of the deadwho might be roaming around. This is the origin of Halloween masquerading asdevils, imps, ogres, and other demonic creatures.
Others trace "trick-or-treat" to a European custom called"souling". Beggars would go from village to village begging for"soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. Themore soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promiseto say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it wasbelieved that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and thatprayer, even by strangers could guarantee a soul's passage to heaven.
In many parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as 'MischiefNight', which meant that people were free to go around the village playingpranks and getting up to any kind of mischief without fear of being punished.Many of the different customs were taken to the United States by Irish andScottish immigrants in the nineteenth century, and they developed into 'trickor treat'. Halloween Comes to AmericaTraditional Halloween symbols (witches, blackcats, pumpkins, candles, masks, parties and pranks) appeared in the U.S. duringthe late 1800's. In 1848, millions of Irish emigrants poured into America as aresult of the potato famine. With this sudden influx of people, the holiday ofDruidism found its new home on alien shores. "Proudly Celtic, they calledHalloween Oidche Shamhna (`Night of Samhain'), as their ancestors had, and keptthe traditional observancesTheJack-o-lantern is the festival light for Halloween and is the ancient symbol ofa damned soul. Originally the Irish would carve out turnips or beets aslanterns as representations of the souls of the dead or goblins freed from thedead.
When the Irish emigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carveinto Jack O'Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkinsseemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and pumpkins have been anessential part of Halloween celebrations ever since. Pumpkins were cut with faces representingdemons and was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was saidthat if a demon or such were to encounter something as fiendish looking asthemselves that they'd run away in terror,thus sparing the houses dwellers fromthe ravages of dark entities. They would have been carried around the villageboundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.
Bats, owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols of Halloween,were originally feared because people believed that these creatures couldcommunicate with the spirits of the dead. Black cats have religious origins as well. Black cats were considered to bereincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During the MiddleAges it was believed that witches could turn themselves into black cats. Thuswhen such a cat was seen, it was considered to be a witch in disguise.
Witches and witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witches generallybelieve themselves to be followers of an ancient religion, which goes back farbeyond Christianity, and which is properly called 'wicca'. Witches are reallyjust one side of a modern revival of paganism - the followingof pre-Christian nature religions, the attempt to return to worshipping ancientNorse, Greek or Celtic gods and goddesses.
To witches, Halloween is a festival of the dead, and represents the "endand the beginning of the witches year. It marks the beginning of the death anddestruction associated with winter. At this time the power of the underworld isunleashed, and spirits are supposedly freed to roam about the earth; it isconsidered the best time to contact spirits" (Halloween andSatanism, P. Phillips and J.H. Robie, 1987, p. 146).
The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature andthose who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21;see also Revelation 22:15).
DivinationThe various activities traditional to Halloween are mostly associated withthe idea of obtaining good fortune and foretelling the future. Samhain was atime when it was customary for the pagans to use the occult practice ofdivination to determine the weather for the coming year, the crop expectations,and even who in the community would marry whom and in what order.
· The idea behind ducking, dooking or bobbing forapples seems to have been that snatching a bite from the apple enables theperson to grasp good fortune. Unmarried people would attempt to take a bite outof an apple bobbing in a pail of water, or suspended on a string. The firstperson to do so was believed to be the next to marry.
· Samhain is a time for getting rid of weakness,as pagans once slaughtered weak animals which were unlikely to survive thewinter. A common ritual calls for writing down weaknesses on a piece of paperor parchment, and tossing it into the fire.
· There used to be a custom of placing a stone inthe hot ashes of the bonfire. If in the morning a person found that the stonehad been removed or had cracked, it was a sign of bad fortune. Nuts have beenused for divination: whether they burned quietly or exploded indicated good orbad luck.
· Peeling an apple and throwing the peel overone's shoulder was supposed to reveal the initial of one's future spouse.
· One way of looking for omens of death was forpeople to visit churchyards, because the spirits of those who were going to dieduring the coming year were thought to walk around the churchyard during thisnight.
Should Christiansadopt such practices? Can we borrow pagan customs and superstitions of ancient peoples and"Christianize" them?
As believers, we are called to "Test everything. Hold on to the good.Avoid every kind of evil. [1 Thesalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny thatvirtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres,vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil.Christians are to "... have no fellowship with the unfruitful works ofdarkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11]
Is Halloween just another innocent holiday that doesn't harm anyone? Is itreally just childish fun? Vandalism and wanton disregard for the property ofothers is common on Halloween night. Even normally well-behaved children aredriven by unseen forces to destructive behavior. Police officials everywherereport a great increase in such activities on Halloween. Worse yet are thehorrifying accounts of poisoned candy and fruits booby-trapped with razorblades and needles. Such threats are so real that many hospitals offer freeX-rays of Halloween treats in order to prevent children from being harmed. Whobut Satan could inspire such monstrous actions?
Should the church be compromised by accommodating itself to the culture?
"Do not conform any longer tothe pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." [Romans 12:2]
"For what do righteousnessand wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?" [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]
When America and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and the powersof darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating our homes, schools,businesses and churches with occult symbols, Satanic power is glorified.
The sort of practices celebrated on Halloween are what defiled the ancientnations [see Leviticus 18:24-30]. The Israelites were warned against suchpractices when they entered the Promised Land, "When thou art come intothe land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do afterthe abominations of those nations." [Deuteronomy 18:9]
Let no one be found among you whosacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination orsorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is amedium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things isdetestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD yourGod will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before theLORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practicesorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted youto do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]
As an alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christians shouldrather do what Christians are supposed to do every day and that is shine thelight of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize the Christian influences and striveto make Hallow's Eve a celebration of the acts of God through his people thesaints. We should make it a day when acts of charity instead of vandalism andhatred abound. A day that emphasizes the light of Christ instead of thedarkness of evil. A day when people meditate on the acts of Godly peopleinstead of ghosts and goblins.
While you may have participated "all in fun," be assured,Halloween is serious business for Satanists and witches. Those who opposeChrist are known to organize on Halloween to observe satanic rituals, to castspells, to oppose churches and families, to perform sacrilegious acts, and toeven offer blood sacrifices to Satan. While some may say, "But we only dothis in fun...we don't practice witchcraft," those things that representSatan and his domain cannot be handled or emulated "for fun". Suchparticipation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerousground.
Tom Sanguinet, former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca(witchcraft) said "The modern holiday we call Halloween has its origins inthe full moon closest to November 1, the witches’ New Year. It was a time whenthe "spirits" (demons) were supposed to be at their peak power andrevisiting the earth planet." He went on to say, "Halloween is purelyand absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that wouldmake it acceptable to the Lord Jesus."
As evil prevails, Americans have embraced an evil day of Satan, with thepranks of 'would be' hoodlums, combined with 'demon faces' on pumpkins,clothing of 'death' being worn, and calling it fun. When Christians participatein Halloween, it sends a message to children that witchcraft, demonism,Satanism, and the occult are something fun, entertaining and harmless.
Many years ago,C.S. Lewis wrote that one of Satan's most deceptive tactics is to convincepeople that he doesn't exist. Apparently he has done a good job in hisdeception. Sadly, many people think of the devil as no more than a symbol ofevil: like Santa Claus, he is just a fictional symbol. Many people today alsodo not think of witches as real people who practice magic, but
simply as everything that is 'spooky.' Recognizing this pagan holiday givesthe false impression that what is actually lethal is innocuous. Some childrendevelop a fascination with the supernatural which leads them later into moresinister occult practices. It's the spiritual equivalent of painting a loadedgun to look like a toy and giving it to child to play with.
It is the kind of celebration that encourages kids like the 16-year-old inPearl, Mississippi who stabbed his mother to death in her sleep and then openedfire at his high school, killing two students and wounding seven. Authoritiesfound this student along with at least six others involved in a small, avowedlysatanic clique that calls itself "Kroth."
How some people can defend this kind of activity as just another innocentholiday that doesn't harm anyone is beyond me. maginary figures who representthe supernatural world and
Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of lightbecause their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and willnot come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)
Acceptance of the SupernaturalCentral to Satan's goals is the widespread acceptance of the supernatural,including the occult, on the part of North Americans, accompanied by a greatrevival of spiritism all over the world.
Over the last 30 or so years, the occult has moved into the mainstream ofAmerica - in television, movies, magazines, business, and various aspects ofdaily life. Movies, books, magazines and encyclopedias of the supernatural haveabounded. Turn on your TV and hear from the ever-present "PsychicFriends" hotline, or see lead characters in TV shows meet their"spirit guide." Entire bookstores devoted to the occult have becomecommon. Universities regularly offer courses on witchcraft and magic - usuallythe so-called "white" variety. Myriads of mystical Eastern religions,bizarre and often demonic, have invaded North America and found in most casesan amazing responsiveness.
Indeed, Halloween has taken root in America. Americans spend $21 million onHalloween candies yearly second only to Christmas in total sales. Halloween isthe Number 1 season for selling humorous greeting cards. In North America, some25 million cards are sold annually. (Peter Smith,"By the Numbers," The Toronto Star, 2002-OCT-27.) Halloween isthe third-largest party occasion next to Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Increasingly the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer inoccultism.
Impressions, a curriculum used inmany school districts instructs teachers and students in how to cast spells. Oneteacher's manual reads, "Tell the children that a magician has cast aspell on some children. Have them work in pairs to write the magic spell themagician used. Have each pair write another spell to reverse the first spell.Have them chant their spells."
About 16,000 school districts use the Pumsey the Dragon curriculum, by JillAnderson. Many of the relaxation techniques used are identical to those used inhypnosis. Another curriculum called Duso the Dolphin employs relaxationtechniques and sends hypnotized youngsters off on guided fantasies to a placecalled Aquatron.
Satanism has become a phenomena that crosses the city limit into the ruralareas of our nation. It is reported there are some 6000 witches, andapproximately 10 million people are involved in the occult. However, it is verydifficult to establish how many actually participate. These individuals areinvolved in a wide variety of activities from simply casting spells to humansacrifice. The news wires carry story after story about young children beingkidnapped, only to be found later as victims of some bizarre ritualistic crime.
As satantic involvement among our youth increases, we begin to see theprimary goal of such activity. According to Scripture (2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9),Satan's goal is to deceive man by blinding him to the truth of the gospel andto receive worship for himself (Matt. 4:9; Isa. 14:12-14).
It has become clear that the primary goal is to alter an individual's valuesand turn him against himself, his beliefs, family, God and society.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as aroaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
Young satanists believe the strong will rule with Satan. Once an individualbecomes involved, they often make a pact with Satan. They commit themselves toa future date when they will take their own lives by suicide. They believe ifthey submit themselves to Satan in death, they will come back in another lifeas a stronger being and rule with him forever. According to recent statistics,fourteen young people a day take their own lives.
Recently, a California skateboard manufacturer used a package enclosuresimilar in appearance to a gospel tract to encourage purchasers to sell theirsouls to the devil. The brochure titled, "Let's Make a Deal" has asmiley-faced devil who explains to Flame Boy what happened in heaven after hewas banished: "First off, they set up a bunch of dumb rules, and then theyimposed a really strict dress code. I'l wager that people must be quite boredup there, but hey, that's what they get for being good." He contrasts thiswith, "Flame Boy, even a dimwit like you can see that hell is by far thebest place to retire. Just look at all the fun to be had." Children are askedto sign and return a contract, by which they give possession of their souls tothe devil for eternity.
What's wrong withHalloween?It does not have even one single redeeming virtue. It is custom born out ofpagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired, devil-glorifying, occult festival.It is an evening holy unto evil, death, and divination. The Scriptures tells usto "Abstain from all appearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22]
Wake up Christian! This is the night of evil and those who love the LordJesus Christ should have nothing to do with it.
We are all accountable for our choices and decisions. Ignorance is noexcuse. The choice is up to you. Have you been involved in this satanicholiday? Do you struggle with giving it up because "it's just fun"and an innocent opportunity for children to dress up and collect candy? Don'ttake my word for it. Let God show you what he would have you do. You mightbegin by praying the following:
Fatherin heaven I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ to confess that I'm asinner. I'm sorry! Please forgive me. I believe with all my heart that JesusChrist is Your Son and that You raised him from the dead. I believe that JesusChrist died for my sins and that I might be saved. Each and everyday Father Iturn my will and my life over to Your care, and may Your Holy Spirit lead andguide me in all the things I think , do and say. I'm Yours and You are mine.Father, please use me that I might help others come to know and love Your SonJesus Christ. Thank you for saving me. Amen
Posted by: Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D
|Posted by arcteduc7 on October 28, 2009 at 1:37 AM||comments (1)|
GOD'S MANIFEST PRESENCE
Theologically speaking, God is Omnipresent. Generally that's the way we understood His immutable attribute and tried to position ourselves on this concept and we stop at the front door. Unknowingly, that there's another door to be open to those who are hunger and thirst for God's manifest presence, more than knowing His attributes and Deity. We need to go deeper and explore going to the right doorway of intimacy with God. But when we talk about His manifest presence, there is a big difference of just knowing it, rather than experiencing it. Sometimes we know that He is Omnipresent or He is everywhere. And He is good but the problem is we don't taste it or having been experiencing His presence. I knew it personally and I had been experienced about it, that His manifest presence still moving actively hovering on this planet earth and most willing to manifest Himself or revealed His glory to man, as He wants according to the need and does a great miracle to man's point of view .
In December 22, 2002. The Lord has been so good! He visited the Church with unusual phenomenon that we never experienced before! The presence of the Lord filled the tent of meeting like a cloud and fire that covered the church. And then nobody could stand the weight of God's glory during the worship service; it was more of Him and less of man's service. There was a Baptism of the Holy Spirit and with Fire that cleansed the heart of God's people to get right with God; the spirit of fear, reverence and awareness of God's presence was visible. It was a remarkable event that brought a big impact and shaped the lives of God's people into the right concept of what is a genuine ministry is all about; not man's way but God's own prescribe way. After a year, the Lord blessed us so much spiritually and financially to win more lost sinners to Christ and also to help the body of Christ. We planted more churches and conducted crusades and revival conferences in the body of Christ in almost every place; from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. With God's grace and direction, the ministry right now has been extended in Seoul, South Korea, for reaching out the migrant Filipino workers, who doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and also to work with the body of Christ for unity as the Lord leads us to do. That’s our experience with God’s presence since then until today, I’m not introducing our practical theology and understanding about God’s Existence and His manifest presence because God move in different ways culture and theological background; this issue could be settled through the major belief of Christianity rather focusing on the minor thing.
We need to distinguish rightly between God’s “omnipresence” and His “manifest presence”. God is everywhere; there is no place where God is not. But sometimes, for some special purpose, God makes His presence felt by Believers. Yet the way in which this is experienced may vary according to the need of the hour. Knowing Him is not enough but if God manifest Himself that hour that’s more than enough. When King Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priest could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD upon the house…” That’s the meaning of manifest Presence of God (2 Chronicles 7: 1-3 KJV). We could choose the two modes whether just knowing it or experiencing His move.
It is true that God sometimes makes His presence felt by an entire group of believers so that they can all say in total agreement that “God is present” or “God was present”. They do not mean that God is or was not present at other times, but only that God’s presence was manifested on that occasion in so obvious a way that no one could deny it.
The relationship between God’s sovereignty and the spiritual state of the people in the gathering is not easy to fathom. It seems to vary from time to time. Additionally, the vehicle for the presence of God can vary. It can be related to the desire of the people, or it can be the result of an anointed ministry. Or it can be entirely owing to the sovereignty of God: He wants to move in that way for some purpose known only to Him and does so before anyone can even search his or her heart. There are, however, other modes of God’s presence. Individuals in meetings can testify as to how they felt God’s presence, when others do not.
The reasons for this also vary. It can be to do with the spiritual discernment of individuals or it can be that God has something particular to indicate to certain people, if only to encourage them. Then there are times when an individual is targeted by God in a meeting which everyone else agrees clearly lacked a universal sense of God’s presence. As such variations can occur within the same fellowships from week to week, it seems to me unhelpful to reduce God’s presence to two modes, Of course, we should observe how God is working and seek to get as right with Him as we can be so that we are not a personal hindrance to the work of God.
Of course, it is good for us to pray that God will be present in as obvious a way as possible. But none of these things can guarantee God’s obvious presence, although there is often a positive relationship between the two but its God’s option not of us. And then I'm not saying that if you don't feel the Lord is moving or felt the obvious phenomenon He is not present. Because we cannot program God or box Him. We are finite and God is infinite, He in varied ways that we cannot see. But usually He confirmed of what is written in His Word. The acts of the prophets and the apostles of Jesus was a confirmation of His Word, go and preach the word and the signs shall follows, heal, sick and raise the dead. Therefore we felt His presence or not the fact is God is present anywhere in this planet earth. Most Christians like dramatic spiritual experiences and this is natural because God made us with a spiritual appetite. The problem is that, like the rest of us, our spirits are fallen. It is, therefore, essential that our spiritual desires be renewed, like anything else in our lives. We need to ensure that what we are pursuing is truly from God and also a part of God’s agenda for our lives. The possibility of spiritual derailment is ever present and we often lack discernment where we need it most.
Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 6 “he said, "God's Glory is filled the whole earth..." His move and His power, it contradicts the natural sciences that they could not explain plainly in their finite mind. The God of Abraham and Moses is our God also, He is the same yesterday today and forever. Even Moses desired to be in the manifest presence of God inside the Tabernacle. He said." If Your presence doesn't go with us, we should not go. Seeking God's presence is all we need to do, no other than that, but God's manifest presence alone. As Jesus said, "Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." We can't live without God's manifest presence or else we're doing our dead service before God that we think it is the right thing to do. The result of this we died in the natural death, of not doing the prescribe way of the Lord. Like the sons of Aaron, they died on the spot, because they offered unauthorized fire on the altar of Incense. That's a wrong service. There are prescribe ways of God that's still we need to observe and follow even until today, deeper than the Old Testament Covenant. In the Tabernacle of Moses in the most Holy place, there the manifest presence of God was placed, and through the blood and the ritual of sacrificing of animals done by the high priest and through this, they could be able to enter in the Holy of Holiest to serve and face God's Presence.
Jesus Christ is our final sacrificed on the cross, through His blood; we can come boldly to the throne of grace alone, or to God's manifest presence for having a sweet fellowship with Him. That in this conversation with GOD, we are also employed in praising, adoring and loving him incessantly, for His infinite goodness and perfection. That, without being discouraged on account of our sins, we should pray for His grace with a perfect confidence, as relying upon the infinite merits of our LORD. That GOD never failed offering us His grace at each action; that he distinctly perceived it, and never failed of it, unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of God’s Presence, or he had forgot to ask His assistance. That GOD always gave us light in our doubts, when we had no other design but to please Him. That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake, which we commonly do for our own. That it was lamentable to see how God embrace us with His mercy and grace. That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of GOD, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often failed in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care, and to our exceeding great delight. That the whole substance of religion was faith, hope, and charity; by the practice of which we become united to the will of GOD: that all beside is indifferent and to be used as a means, that we may arrive at our end, and be swallowed up therein, by faith and charity. That all things are possible to him who believes, that they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues. That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of GOD we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity. That when we enter upon the spiritual we should consider, and examine to the bottom, what we are. And then we should find ourselves worthy of all contempt, and such as do not deserve the name of Christians, subject to all kinds of misery, and numberless accidents, which trouble us, and cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health, in our humors, in our internal and external dispositions: in fine, persons whom GOD would humble by many pains and labors, as well within as without. After this, we should not wonder that troubles, temptations, oppositions and contradictions, happen to us from men. We ought, on the contrary, to submit ourselves to them, and bear them as long as GOD pleases, as things highly advantageous to us. That the greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon Divine grace. Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to please GOD, which perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity. You and I have lived above 20 years in religion. Have we employed them in loving and serving GOD, who by His mercy has called us to this state and for that very end? I am filled with shame and confusion, when I reflect on the one hand upon the great favors which GOD has done, and incessantly continues to do, me; and on the other, upon the ill use I have made of them, and my small advancement in the way of perfection.
Since by His mercy He gives us still a little time, let us begin in earnest, let us repair the lost time, and let us return with a full assurance to that FATHER of mercies, who is always ready to receive us affectionately. Let us renounce, let us generously renounce, for the love of Him, all that is not Himself; He deserves infinitely more. Let us think of Him perpetually. Let us put all our trust in Him: I doubt not but we shall soon find the effects of it, in receiving the abundance of His grace, with which we can do all things, and without which we can do nothing but sin. We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life, without the actual and continual help of GOD; let us then pray to Him for it continually. How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him but in thinking of Him often? And how can we often think of Him, but by a holy habit which we should form of it? You will tell me that I am always saying the same thing: it is true, for this is the best and easiest method I know; and as I use no other, I advise the entire world to it. We must know before we can love. In order to know GOD, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure. This is an argument which well deserves your consideration. We should not pray that our God may be delivered from your pains; but I pray GOD earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross: He will lose you when He thinks fit. Happy those who suffer with Him: accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge to be necessary for you. The men of the world do not comprehend these truths, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer like what they are, and not like
Christians: they consider sickness as a pain to nature and not as a favor from GOD; and seeing it only in that light, they find nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of GOD, as the effects of His mercy, and the means which He employs for their salvation, commonly find in it great sweetness and sensible consolation.
Purposely God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle for Him to dwell His people. He is a social God; He loved to fellowship first his chosen nation Israel. For us as a spiritual Israelites, it is the same reason that, He loved to fellowship with us and dwell in us (Rev. 3:20; 1Cor. 3:16). God will use us according to His perfect plan and designed in each every one of us to become His instruments to minister His Church and the lost world. We are the living Tabernacle of God; His Spirit dwells in us, to fulfill His Mission on this planet earth. What a great privilege, that the Three Divine persons in the Godhead or Trinity lives in us. Seek God's manifest presence, inside the Tabernacle, we can't find His presence outside the Tabernacle. Outside the Tabernacle is the world of sin and death, it is not the will of the great shepherd, that his sheep will dwell and fellowship with sin. We are in this world but we are not belongs to this world. Therefore don’t live according to the lifestyle of this world. Jesus knew that eventually will be devoured by His enemy the Devil. The devil claimed the world, which belongs to him in Matthew 4: 8-9 (KJV) he said… “ all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them… all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” And Jesus said, … “ Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” What profit a man to gain the whole world but lost his own soul. The sheep knew and listen the voice of the Shepherd and follow Him, there is safe and sound when we listen to His voice rather than listening the strangers voice.
Jesus Christ is the great Shepherd. He is still waiting and standing at the gate of the Tabernacle with His wide and open arm full of grace, love and mercy and He said, with a gentle voice come and get inside and I will give you rest of your soul. We could have a temporary rest and peace in the midst of the chaos and troubled world. He knew the place that His sheep would be able to find refuge and security no other place than the Tabernacle. The only place that we can find peace, is the place where God is. But He did not promise and assured us with a total joy and peace here on earth, but a little cup of suffering like Him while we are on this physical and temporal place. The Tabernacle is a place of Shalom means peace; a joy of fellowship with His suffering, training and processing ground; a place of Justification by faith, Sanctification and Glorification, all in entire processed are inside the Tabernacle, not in the outside. To have God's Presence, Holiness is one of the requirements. "Be Holy for I am holy "says the Lord. We are clothed by His righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and imputed Holiness or righteousness, through His blood its all we have, oh what a great spiritual blessings that we accumulated from Him. Through His grace and mercy, we're now belonging to His Kingdom as princes and kings, sons and daughters to the mighty King of kings. Therefore we should walk according to the old perfect patterned given by God since from the nation of Israel down to our generation. The Tabernacle is a just a shadow of real Tabernacle not made of human's hands, but made by the Hands of God. So it has a Spiritual meaning for us to follow today as a true authentic Christians. This is a perfect designed of a Great Engineer, the Creator and the Finisher of our faith.
Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan Th.D
|Posted by arcteduc7 on October 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM||comments (0)|
What does the Bible contribute to philosophical ethics? I shall develop some of these suggestions further, but for the present we may note following biblical input into ethics.
1. It gives a theological basis for our moral obligation, in terms of our obligation to do the will of God, the Creator and Law-giver
2. It gives an acount of the relation morality to God's purpose in creation, our perversion of those purpose through sin and our restoration to righteous living by the grace of God.
3. It teaches the principles of justice and love which describe God's charater and should also characterize us.
4. It reveals the moral law of God, declaring duties in many areas of human life. This summarized in the Ten Commandement of God and spelled out by precept and examle throughout scripture.
5. It demonstrate that the love of God and gratitude for his mercies come to the motivation and dynamic for moral living.
6. It depicts the ideal and promise of the Kingdom of God that Christ came to establish, first in our hearts and lives and eventually throughout the entire world.
|Posted by arcteduc7 on September 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM||comments (1)|
1-FUNDAMENTALISTS (TheologicalConservatives): Here ?fundamentalists? refers only to those Christians who are devoted to the fundamentals of the Bible. Their presuppositions are:
Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is the Holy Spirit-inspired word of God, and is thesource of all revelation, doctrine, and authority. Human experience or traditions have no authority in the above matters.
Sola Gratia: Grace alone is thebasis of salvation. Grace is unmerited favor from God. No man however saintly can obtain salvation through his own meritorious works.
Sola Fide: Faith is the only means through which one can attain the free gift of justification. Faith is a non-meritorious activity. Meritorious human works play no part in receiving the gift of justification.
Solus Christus: Christ is the only Savior and the only mediator between God and man. There is no other Savior ormediator.
Inspiration:Each word of the Bible is recorded there by God?s inspiration (verbalinspiration). This inspiration extends not only to the words, but also to ideas and historical/scientific facts.
Inerrancy: The Bible is totally and completely free of moral, spiritual,historical, and scientific errors.
Infallibility: The Bible is infallible in all matters of doctrine, practice,morals, and every subject on which it makes an authoritative pronouncement.
Canonicity: The 66 books of the Old and New Testament, and they alone, are theWord of God. The Apocrypha are not part of the Bible.
Revelation: Christ and the Bible are the only divine revelations given toman kind through the Holy Spirit. Mankind can know God only through Christ and the Bible.
The Biblical record makes no sense without the above presuppositions. The Bible demands that we approach it with the above presuppositions in mind. Anythingless would force a person to explain away significant portions of Bible andtheology.
A good apologist certainly knows the major presuppositions of his opponents as well ashis own. Leading questions will help expose the anti-biblical presuppositionsand errors of one?s opponent.
Christian Apologetics is a vast subject which deals with more than just the Bible andscience, but includes several branches which deal with various opposing views against the Christian faith. The task of the Apologist continues to widen asopponents present an every widening array of question against the Bible. ChristianApologetics can be classified by four broad categories, each with several subcategories:
When opposition to Christianity was simple so was Christian Apologetics. In the last two centuries the attacks on the Bible and Christian faith have become highly sophisticated. This has caused Christian Apologetics to become an advanced subject with numerous branches.
Everyone who tries to use anything other than the Conservative Presuppositions is trying to synthesize two opposites into one harmonious entity. However, opposites canbe synthesized only at the cost of truth, and that is an alarming possibility for any apologist.
Theauthors close with: Tens of thousands of Protestant Reformers have sacrificed their lives to defend the truth expressed in the following statements:
We should be willing to die for our faith in God, no matter what happen. Defending our faith in God by the truth in God's Holy Word, nothing but the turth, will set us free! " one of our early father, he said, " I rather die a thousands deaths, rather than to deny my Christain faith."
Bishop Dan O. Bantilan Th.D.,DRE
Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone)
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Be Glory)