Posts Tagged ‘witchcraft’

NEW BOOKLET: The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf

NEW BOOKLET: The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf  by Linda Nathan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf, click here.

The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf

By Linda Nathan

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, with 5 million daily users worldwide.1

Should Christians use pot? Should they condone the use of it in our society? What would Jesus do? The author’s extensive experience, biblical approach, and current research provide clear guidelines for those struggling with today’s exploding drug culture.

INTRODUCTION

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
For the first time in U.S. history, Christians in America are facing the challenge of a majority approval of marijuana. A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 58% of Americans now favor its legalization, and 67% of ages 18 to 29 back legalization. Yet when Gallup first asked the question in 1969, only 12% favored legalization.2

By September 2017, there was some form of marijuana legalization in 29 states and the District of Columbia.3

This massive change has occurred in less than fifty years, and it is a major sign of the seismic shift occurring in our culture—a shift that should concern Christians deeply.

But some Christians are uncertain how to view this shift, for the Bible doesn’t mention marijuana directly—or does it?

What do we know about marijuana? Is it good for our health? Or can it be harmful and even lead to psychosis? But, most important, how does the Bible deal with it?

Before we continue, let me tell you a little about myself and why I’m writing this booklet. I think it’s fair to say my involvement with marijuana stretches over half a century, through experience, observation, and research. My husband Richard and I met in San Francisco in 1962 and spent fourteen years in the Bay Area counterculture. By the grace of God, we survived the ’60s meltdown for thousands of young people into corruption, crime, and madness. And we personally experienced and saw with our own eyes the destructive effects not only of marijuana but also of some of the other drugs to which it opened the door. And the pot we smoked then was much milder than what is available today.

I thought I knew all about marijuana from my experiences during the ’60s and ’70s. But as I researched what is happening today, I saw that it’s now an entirely different ballgame. Today’s marijuana has a much, much stronger psychoactive (THC) content. Billionaires now power its promotion. And radical changes are occurring in our society as a result.

Besides our personal experience, Richard, who has a B.S. in Biology and a Master’s in Christian History, has spent the last 24 years working in psychiatric and drug treatment centers where he has continually observed the devastating effects of marijuana and other drugs.

So, let’s look at what’s happening.

TWO MOVEMENTS IN ONE: MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL
Although there are around 400 derivatives of the marijuana plant, the battle for legalization focuses mainly on two: medical marijuana (cannabidiol or CBD) and recreational marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC).

“Recreational” marijuana (THC). Currently (2017) eight states (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and Colorado) plus the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, but the movement is growing rapidly as other states are moving toward legalization.4 More on recreational marijuana later.

Medical marijuana (CBD). By September 2017, twenty-nine states and Washington DC had medical marijuana laws, and another eighteen had passed CBD laws.5 CBD has minimal THC content. Therefore, many states have legalized it for specialized cases, primarily with childhood epilepsy or seizures. Some believe that legalizing CBD isn’t the same as legalizing medical marijuana because it’s not using the entire plant.6 A common assumption is because the CBD extract has some healing benefit, then the entire plant does too. But there are many dangers with using the entire plant.

Later, I will discuss the use of marijuana for medicine and the positions of major medical organizations.

Many powerful factors are propelling these movements, but first, we need to know what the Bible says. While it doesn’t address the issue of marijuana specifically, it has a great deal to say about its effects and about God’s demand for holiness for His people.

THE BIBLE SPEAKS

1. We are to obey the law. We are to obey the Law of God (Romans 13:1–2), as well as the laws of the land, unless those laws conflict with God’s law (Acts 5:29). Marijuana is still illegal by federal law except within approved research situations.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)

2. We are to live soberly. The Bible tells believers to be sober and practice holy behavior. Marijuana (THC) can lead to a vulnerable, drunken type of state.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (Romans 13:13)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

3. Marijuana can be harmful. There is a great deal of scientific evidence concerning its mental and spiritual harm, which is discussed later. According to the Bible, our bodies are not our own; we belong to Christ.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

4. Only God’s Word can transform our minds; supposed “consciousness-raising” drugs can be spiritually dangerous. Here again, I speak from experience: Under marijuana, the soul can become more vulnerable to false teachings.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

5. Marijuana can lead to idolatry and demonic bondage. Whatever has power over you becomes an idol, and behind every idol is a demon. Richard has observed marijuana leaf tattoos on many young psychotic patients, sometimes entwined with a cross. The idolatry of drug abuse involves both spiritual and physical bondage.7

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

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:21)

6. Marijuana is a method of sorcery. This is one of the strongest arguments against Christians using marijuana and the reason why it opens the door to worldview changes. Witches have used it and other such drugs for centuries to contact the demonic realm. The Bible uses the word pharmakeia for “sorcery,” which is the root of our modern word “pharmacy.”8 Consider the following thoughts from a Bible forum:

Marijuana is a hallucinogenic. This is one of the reasons why using it is sorcery and witchcraft. With the use of drugs, you are opening yourself up to all sorts of spiritual attacks and seducing spirits. Mind-altering drugs are used in witchcraft to alter your reality. This can be very dangerous. This is why God calls us to be sober and avoid attacks from Satan (1 Peter 5:8).9

Let us make it our concern to grow in holiness through obedience to Christ. Scripture exhorts us:

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)

TURBO POT—
NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S MARIJUANA

It occurred to me lately that these new ultra-high THC level marijuana breeds or what the kids refer to as (KB) Killbud mixed with any other narcotic is [sic] altering the children’s minds in such a destructive way the consequences are irreparable.10

When I committed my life to Jesus Christ, I knew that I needed to give up marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs. I realized that the influence of these drugs was the opposite of the influence of the Holy Spirit. The two are incompatible.11

Now, maybe despite the Bible’s warnings about how we are to live, you’re not convinced that there isn’t some good in using marijuana recreationally.

But there’s a vital fact many people don’t realize: The current weed is immensely more powerful than it used to be—to the point of being hallucinogenic. In their book Going to Pot, William Bennett and Robert White explain:

Let’s acknowledge that today’s marijuana is at least five times stronger than the marijuana of the past. The THC levels of today’s marijuana average around 15 percent, but go as high as 20 percent and above in the dispensaries found throughout the states that have legalized it for ‘medicinal’ or recreational use. The marijuana of today is simply not the same drug it was in the 60s, 70s or 80s, much less the 1930s. It is much more potent, leading to a great many more health risks.12

The Marijuana Potency Project at the University of Mississippi has found levels of THC as high as 37 percent. That is a growth of a psychoactive ingredient from 3 and 4 percent a few decades ago to close to 40 percent.13 (emphasis added)

WHAT IS THC, AND WHY DO HIGH LEVELS MATTER?
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives the “high.” Synthetic versions can be very harmful.14 Consider the following:

The difference between 3 to 5 percent THC and 13 to 30 percent THC is very significant. It is like comparing a twelve-ounce glass of beer with a twelve-ounce glass of 80 proof vodka; both contain alcohol, but they have vastly different effects on the body when consumed. Indeed, many argue that because of the difference in potency, it is not even the same drug we once knew. Some have taken to calling today’s marijuana “industrial marijuana” or “turbo pot.”15

A hallucinogen. Such high levels can be hallucinogenic and cause profound perceptual distortions of reality. Regular use may lead to “flashbacks” or (sometimes frightening) hallucinations that can reoccur for years. There may be panic and anxiety attacks, and health problems. Used with other drugs or medications, it can lead to vomiting, stroke, increased blood pressure, convulsions, seizures, and nerve problems; and it can affect babies in the womb.16

Psychosis. And then there is the connection with psychosis. “Nine studies following hundreds to thousands of people for decades searched for a connection between marijuana use and psychosis. All but one of these studies suggest a connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia.”17

Other studies reveal the connection between high pot use and a clinically significant increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other mental illnesses during adolescence.18 Our own experience has shown that you can’t know how it will affect you; it might seem fine for a while and then act without warning as a depth charge in your soul.

Sir Robin Murray, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London, says, “Even I, 20 years ago, used to tell patients that cannabis is safe. It’s only after you see all the patients that go psychotic that you realize—it’s not so safe.’”19 My husband says amen to that, having worked 24 years at treatment centers.

MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE?
PART I: THE BATTLE

In 1970, the US Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act because they considered it to have “no accepted medical use.” Since then . . . [21% of the U.S. population] now lives in a state where smoking weed is legal.20

There is no level of marijuana use that is actually completely safe. . . . even the casual use of marijuana changes the brain.21

This new marijuana is waaaaaaay beyond simple medical use for pain.22

The controversy rages. The Journal of the American Medical Association defines medical marijuana as:

. . . the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms. Cannabinoids can be administered orally, sublingually, or topically; they can be smoked, inhaled, mixed with food, or made into tea. They can be taken in herbal form, extracted naturally from the plant, gained by isomerisation of cannabidiol, or manufactured synthetically.23

So, do the Bible’s warnings apply only to using marijuana with THC? After all, the CBD used for medical purposes doesn’t contain THC. Does it?

Actually, CBD does contain the hallucinogen THC, in varying ratios. Some claim the two work together therapeutically and that “a patient’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor to determining the ratio and dosage of CBD-rich medicine.”24 But many advocates don’t differentiate and insist on using the entire plant.

Proponents argue that it can treat the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced vomiting, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, childhood epilepsy, and neuropathic pain. Testimonials are the main support for other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.25

In 2015, The Journal of the American Medical Association published the preliminary conclusion of a compilation of 79 studies of the experiences of 6,000 patients who used marijuana for self-medication. The report stated:

Smoking pot was found to be of little use in relieving symptoms for many ailments, among them hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers found that smoking pot did show some success in relieving nausea caused by chemotherapy, and “spasticity” for multiple sclerosis patients. The authors of the study did not rule out other medical benefits, but found little evidence of any so far.26

Opponents decry marijuana’s dangers, the fact that it lacks FDA approval, and that legal drugs make marijuana unnecessary. They point out its addictiveness and that it can lead to harder drug use and mental problems; they also say it “interferes with fertility, impairs driving ability, and injures the lungs, immune system, and brain. They claim medical marijuana is a front for drug legalization and recreational use.”27 There is no clear optimal dose for its various approved conditions. THC concentrations vary widely; and sometimes users breed out CBD, which can ameliorate THC’s negative effects, to increase THC’s potency.28 Furthermore, marijuana smoke can contain up to 70 percent more carcinogenic materials than tobacco smoke.29

No one medicine has ever been recommended or used for the number of diseases and ailments political proponents of medical marijuana say it is a therapy for. The proponents have turned it into some kind of major miracle drug while, at the same time, the scientific literature finds marijuana either dangerous or of extremely limited use, and often both.30

Now let’s look at the positions of professional medical associations.

MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE?
PART II: THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY SPEAKS

The American Psychiatric Association—

There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. In contrast, current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders.31

Medical treatment . . . should not be authorized by ballot initiatives.32

The American Medical Association—
In November 2013, the AMA retained its longstanding position that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” Recent policy changes call for further well-controlled studies.33

The American Society of Addiction Medicine—
The ASAM warns against marijuana’s adverse effects on mind and body, its increasing potency, and its influence in precipitating relapses in alcoholism and other drug dependencies. It recommends carefully controlled medical use and drug education for early school grades and health workers.34

The American Cancer Society—
A 2013 position paper states that cancer patients may receive benefit from marijuana, which can “help alleviate the nausea, vomiting, wasting, and muscle spasms caused by chemotherapy in some patients.” The ACS supports more research for treatments for cancer and its side effects, but it does not advocate marijuana legalization.35

The American Ophthalmological Society—
In 2014, the AOS reaffirmed its stand that marijuana does not help glaucoma. Ophthalmologists believe marijuana has side effects that could endanger eye health, increasing risk for cancer and eye diseases.36

The American Academy of Pediatrics—
In 2015, the AAP reaffirmed its opposition to legalizing marijuana for either recreational or medical use. It recommended protections for children in states that have legalized either. It says, “For adolescents, marijuana can impair memory and concentration, interfering with learning, and is linked to lower odds of completing high school or obtaining a college degree. It can alter motor control, coordination and judgment, which may contribute to unintentional deaths and injuries. Regular use is also linked to psychological problems, poorer lung health, and a higher likelihood of drug dependence in adulthood.”37

CRITERIA FOR MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE
The general conclusion appears to be, “If marijuana is to be used for medical purposes, it should be subjected to the same evidence-based review and regulatory oversight as other medications prescribed by physicians.”38

Bennett and White offer the following controlled program for obtaining medical marijuana: a) A physician specialist for the patient’s chronic condition must sign a special waiver; b) Approval by the Institute of Medicine; c)Both patient and physician must sign a formal statement under penalty of federal perjury charges limiting the marijuana to that patient only; d) The patient must sign a waiver of understanding releasing the government of any liability regarding marijuana’s possible adverse side effects; e) It must be a standardized dose of government-provided marijuana; f) A hospital pharmacy must fill the government-approved, doctor-certified prescription; g) The patient’s prescriptions must be based on the doctor’s regular reviews.39

So, if marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, and all these authorities oppose or caution about its legalization, why is the legalization movement growing so rapidly? This is a question that begs an answer.

BIG MARIJUANA AND CULTURAL CHANGE

“The pro-legalization movement hasn’t come from a groundswell of the people. A great deal of its funding and fraud has been perpetrated by George Soros and then promoted by celebrities,” said John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under George W. Bush. “The truth is under attack, and it’s an absolutely dangerous direction for this country to be going in.”40

Marijuana use in the United States before the ’60s was mostly underground; but as its popularity spread, the public became much more accepting, until by the ’90s,

]L]eaders and politicians stopped speaking of the harms of marijuana . . . anti-drug ads became less prevalent . . . arguments on behalf of marijuana use were no longer answered . . . a market was found to create medical marijuana and call marijuana medicine because of its analgesic effects, and . . . Hollywood made punch lines out of the use of marijuana in blockbuster movies and popular television shows.41

NEVERTHELESS, LEGALIZATION TODAY IS NOT A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT.

Billionaire financier George Soros and other wealthy people jump-started it and are maintaining it. Soros “has become one of the largest supporters of drug reforms ranging from medical marijuana use to the easing of sentencing for drug charges. His foundation has donated about $200 million to drug reforms since 1994.” He has also spent around $80 million on reforms through a nonprofit network and his mouthpiece, the Drug Policy Alliance.42 Soros provided 68% of the financial backing to pass Washington State’s 2012 initiative and is focusing on other states.43

Other promoters include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and billionaires Peter B. Lewis, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, and Sean Parker and Dustin Moskovitz of Facebook.

THE NEW GOLD RUSH
Today the pot industry is viewed as the “new gold rush,” with “hundreds of tributary businesses.”44

Sales of marijuana grew 30% in 2016, and as long as acceptance continues to gain steam, the industry could hit $20.2 billion in North America within four years, according to a marijuana market research firm.45

The legalization movement and industry are transforming our culture and institutions.

THE POT PRESIDENT
Former President Obama’s administration greatly expanded the movement. He openly admitted smoking marijuana when young, calling it merely a “bad habit and a vice,”46 and supported legalized pot in Washington State and Colorado. In April 2013, his administration even told the Supreme Court to ignore a lawsuit by Oklahoma and Nebraska opposing legalized pot in Colorado.47

The Obama administration also pressured the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the Department of Justice to consider removing marijuana from the list of the country’s most dangerous drugs.

That list was created as part of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, which consolidated all federal drug laws into a single comprehensive measure and defined marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, alongside heroin, LSD and other drugs that the government says have no medical value and the highest potential for abuse. That meant marijuana was saddled with the strictest possible restrictions and penalties.48

To date though, the DEA has maintained its “core priority” to oppose marijuana and prosecute “those who manufacture, distribute, or possess any illegal drugs, including marijuana.”49

However, movement is underway to reclassify cannabis as a non-Schedule I drug, allow states to regulate medical marijuana programs, remove CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, and reconcile federal banking issues in the legal marijuana industry.50

DRUG-DEALING STATES
George Soros also funds studies about the profits from marijuana legalization.

Colorado. Such a study found that marijuana legalization could generate as much as $100 million in state revenue after five years. “That research was widely considered to have influenced the election.”51 (emphasis added).

Washington State. Marijuana sales generated $70 million in tax revenue during the first year of legalization, with over $257 million in sales.52 But one business owner said $70 million is low and sales should increase.53

Logan Bowers, who co-owns a recreational cannabis store in Seattle, claims there’s a “cultural shift happening in Washington, Colorado and other states that have started to legalize marijuana use.” 54 (emphasis added) Although the article doesn’t describe that “cultural shift,” I know it well. And my husband sees its results every day.

POPULAR ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST

You talk to the kids and with everything that’s going on with it being legalized in Colorado and comments being made that it’s just not that bad for you, the kids are taking it one step further and they’re telling me, “It’s just an herb. It’s OK. In fact, it’s used for medical purposes, it’s not bad for you. It’s good for you.” And that’s the belief our kids are getting.55—Fourteen-year veteran, Salt Lake City Police Department

There’s a wide spectrum of opinion about legalizing marijuana, but the battle doesn’t fall on a simple Left-Right continuum. Some Republicans favor it and some Democrats oppose it. Issues involve personal health and freedom, tax revenues, public policy, expense to our justice system, cultural change, and states’ rights. Many believe a ban would be futile.

Bennett and White conclude in Going to Pot that most advocates are poorly informed because of deliberate falsehoods by interest groups, ignorance about the strength of today’s marijuana, and unwillingness to give it up.56

Even Christians have many different views, as you will see in the chart below.

FOR

Divine intervention. Pot is God’s intervention to bring healing and relief. Even Jesus must have smoked it because it grew in the Middle East then.

AGAINST

What can bring temporary relief isn’t necessarily good (e.g. alcohol, opioids, etc.) (1 Corinthians 10:23). To assume that Jesus Christ smoked it because it may have been around is an irrational unbiblical leap.

FOR
Relaxation. It relaxes me, so it must be good.

AGAINST

Don’t count on it. Marijuana is not a sedative; it can excite and even stimulate hallucinations and psychosis. The present high levels make it unpredictable.

FOR
God’s creation. God created everything and gave us the plants of the field (Genesis 1:29).

AGAINST

God created deadly nightshade, too, but we treat it with care. This is a fallen creation.

FOR
Not from Satan. Satan doesn’t create, so marijuana couldn’t be of Satan.

AGAINST

Instead of creating, the devil spins webs of deceit (2 Corinthians 11:3).

FOR
Freedom. Jesus wasn’t legalistic; Christians live by grace.

AGAINST

This is true, but Scripture clearly says that we are never to use our freedom as a license to sin (Romans 6). And the Bible has given us many instructions on how we are to live including being sober minded and avoiding drunkedness.

FOR
Fairness. Trust the democratic process.

AGAINST

The democratic process also brought us homosexual marriage and transgender bathrooms.

FOR
Just an herb. Marijuana is just a medicinal herb.

AGAINST

Opium can be medicinal too, but recreationally it’s destructive.

FOR

Popularity. My friends all use it.

AGAINST

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15; see also 2 Timothy 2:22).

FOR
Bigotry. You’re a bigot to oppose pot.

AGAINST

Don’t be afraid to be criticized for standing for righteousness. Be bold. (1 Peter 4:1–5)

FOR
Legality. It’s okay for Christians in states with legalized pot.

AGAINST

It’s still illegal on the federal level, and even if that changes, it won’t make it safe or right. You can sin with legal and social approval.

 

WHAT CAN CHRISTIANS DO?

For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. . . . Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:9, 11)

Many Christians today are confused about marijuana. This may result from:

Lack of education

Misreading the Bible / rejecting biblical authority

Peer pressure and moral laxity in churches and society

Confusing propaganda

Naiveté and/or ignorance of the devil’s wiles

Here in Washington State, we’ve not witnessed any noticeable Christian resistance to the “legalization.” On the contrary, we’ve encountered apathy in some churches and casual openness to it in some church youth groups. Online, youth pastors sometimes seem uncertain. There seems to be little awareness of its spiritual dangers. A woman who had opposed a marijuana factory in her neighborhood called us after our letter protesting the new law was published. She’d approached many Christian neighbors, but few had signed her petition. There was a lot of apathy, she said, an attitude of, “Well, it’s a law now, what can we do?”

Well, there’s a lot we can do. First and foremost, we can pray. In spite of all that is happening in the world today, including the growing use of marijuana and other drugs, as Christians, we serve a God who cares and who listens to our prayers.

We can also help to educate those around us, in our homes, churches, and neighborhoods. And while it may seem like a hopeless case there are some encouraging signs. As of this writing, the White House has announced that we should expect to see greater enforcement of federal marijuana laws, regardless of states’ laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposes the drug. Furthermore, marijuana is still classified on the federal level as a Schedule I drug along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

But the battle will continue. The exploding marijuana industry is up in arms about losing its huge profits from a possible major crackdown. While President Donald Trump doesn’t oppose medical marijuana, the White House views recreational use differently. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is examining the whole issue. If the White House and the DOJ go easy on the “legal” states, the marijuana industry will continue flourishing, with the states as drug dealers. But if the DOJ cracks down, marijuana will increase as a powerful symbol of rebellion. One thing is clear: President Trump, the DOJ, and the country need our prayers.

No one knows which w

ay the nation will go.

But which way will you go?

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17–18)

To order copies of The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf, click here.

ENDNOTES
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24904437.
2.https://tinyurl.com/y7zl4f5y.
3. http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html.
4. http://www.refinery29.com/2016/04/107985/where-is-weed-legal; www.westword.com/marijuana/eleven-states-considering-pot-laws-in-2017-8720; see a current map of state marijuana laws at http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html.
5. https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006473; https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881; and http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html.
6. See http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881 and http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006473. See a chart of medical marijuana pros and cons at http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000141.
7. There is a good discussion about this at https://justprayno.org/tag/idolatry.
8. See http://www.revelation.co/2010/01/27/what-does-the-bible-say-about-marijuana-is-smoking-pot-a-sin-in-gods-eyes.
9. See http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/127483-Sorcery-Drugs-In-The-Bible for a thorough discussion. Also http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-sorcery.html.
10. William Bennett and Robert White, Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana Is Harming America (New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, 2015), p. 152.
11. http://www.sosmin.com/pdf/marijuana.pdf.
12. Going to Pot, op. cit., p. 172.
13. Ibid., p. 18.
14. See http://spiceaddictionsupport.org/what-is-spice.
15. Going to Pot, op. cit., pp. xiv–xv.
16. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/can-marijuana-use-during-pregnancy-harm-baby.
17. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/06/390143641/pot-can-trigger-psychotic-symptoms-for-some-but-do-the-effects-last.
18. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana/there-link-between-marijuana-use-psychiatric-disorders.
19. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/06/390143641/pot-can-trigger-psychotic-symptoms-for-some-but-do-the-effects-last.
20. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org; http://www.businessinsider.com/marijuana-in-america-20-of-americans-can-now-access-legal-weed-2016-11.
21. Going to Pot, op. cit., p. 92. Also see http://adf.org.au/drug-facts/hallucinogens.
22. Ibid., p. 19.
23. “Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” (The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2015, at http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338251).
24. https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cannabis-dosing.
25. “Problems with the Medicalization of Marijuana” (2014, at http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1874073; https://tinyurl.com/yd6tet2a).
26. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/12/editorial-a-bust-for-medical-marijuana.
27. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org.
28. “Problems with the Medicalization of Marijuana,” op. cit.
29. Going to Pot, op. cit., p. 19.
30. Ibid., pp. 61–62.
31. https://web.archive.org/web/20161003070041/https://www.recoveryanswers.org/pressrelease/apa-position-statement-on-marijuana-as-medicine.
32. Ibid.
32. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/addiction/marijuana-and-psychiatric-patient
33. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/20/ama-reaffirms-opposition-to-marijuana-legalization; http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/AMA09policy.pdf.
34. http://www.asam.org/docs/publicy-policy-statements/1marijuana-5-062.pdf.
35. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.source.php?sourceID=001399.
36. https://tinyurl.com/yb5mxrt9.
37. https://tinyurl.com/zolhjrl.
38. Going to Pot, op. cit., p. 68.
39. Ibid., pp. 65–66.
40. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/2/billionaire-george-soros-turns-cash-into-legalized.
41. Going to Pot, op. cit., pp. 177–178.
42. https://tinyurl.com/ybt8ph67.
43. https://tinyurl.com/mfqdk4o.
44. http://www.msnbc.com/the-cycle/how-marijuana-could-be-the-new-gold-rush; http://www.fox5ny.com/news/160812124-story.
45. https://tinyurl.com/yctqxtm9.
46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8pZ2AC_pv0.
47. https://tinyurl.com/y962aclb; http://countercurrentnews.com/2016/01/obama-tells-supreme-court-to-legalize; https://tinyurl.com/y8am2h57.
48. Joel Warner, “Marijuana Could Soon Be Rescheduled As A Less Dangerous Drug By The DEA, So Why Aren’t Cannabis Proponents Excited?” (04/14/16, https://tinyurl.com/yd3bvlm2).
49. The DEA Position on Marijuana, https://www.dea.gov/docs/marijuana_position_2011.pdf, p. 1.
50. See http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/10/us/washington-marijuana-70-million-tax-dollars.
51. https://tinyurl.com/ya9tkpqg.
52. “Pot Money Changing Hearts in Washington” (July 2015; http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/10/us/washington-marijuana-70-million-tax-dollars).
53. Ibid.
54. Ibid.
55. Going to Pot, op. cit., p. 12.
56. Ibid., p. 82.

Note: To follow this discussion and for updates, visit http://www.logosword.com/blog.

AUTHOR BIO: Linda Nathan spent many years in the ’60s and ’70s West Coast counterculture before Jesus Christ rescued her. She has a B.A. in psychology and master’s work from the University of Oregon, and ten years in the legal profession. Since 1992, she has provided professional freelance writing, editing, and publishing consultation services through her company, Logos Word Designs, LLC (www.logosword.com). You can visit Linda on the web at www.logosword.com.

To order copies of The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf, click here.

“Why Millennials Are Ditching Religion for Witchcraft and Astrology”

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content. It is also a reminder that young people today desperately need to hear the true biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.

By Kari Paul
Marketwatch

When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn’t “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” but “What’s your sign?”

“So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,” Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. “It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.”

Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012. Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith

Halloween! A Warning to Parents

 

LTRP Note: This warning by former New Ager Johanna Michaelsen is available as a Lighthouse Trails booklet, suitable to give to others.

Halloween! A Warning to Christian ParentsBy Johanna Michaelsen

It was the night of Halloween, and ironically, I was working on a chapter about Halloween for my book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult when the doorbell rang. I was greeted by an adorable bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome Witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and oranges in response to lusty cries of “trick or treat!”

“You kids want to know something?” I asked very softly.

“Yeah!” came a unanimous chorus.

“With the Lord Jesus, there is no trick. He loves every one of you very much.”

Several little faces beamed up at me through their ghoulish makeup. “That’s neat!” exclaimed one little girl. “Yeah!” chimed in a few others.

“This is Jesus’ night,” I said. Why I said that, I’m not really sure. I was poignantly aware of the fact that it is a night the devil has made a point of claiming for himself.

“No it’s not!” snarled a hidden voice. “It’s Jason’s night!” A boy who was taller than the rest stepped out from the shadows. He was wearing the white hockey mask of “Jason,” the demented, ghoulish killer in the movie Friday the 13th and was brandishing a very realistic-looking hatchet. I have to admit that the boy gave me a start, but I stood my ground and dropped a banana into his bag.

“No, ‘Jason,’ this is still Jesus’ night!” I repeated. And indeed it is, even though it is most assuredly the night set aside for the glorification and worship of idols, false gods, Satan, and death. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”1

“Jason” evidently resented the competition, however, for he ripped our mailbox right out of the ground and left his banana squished on the stair.

PET GHOSTS?

Most of us in the United States have grown up observing Halloween in one form or another. From the time we are in preschool, we make drawings or cutouts of sinister black Witches—the haggier the better. We make paintings of gruesome black cats with gleaming, evil, orange eyes; we hang up smirking paper skeletons with dancing limbs; we glue together ghost and bat mobiles; and we design demoniacal faces for our pumpkins.

For several years, one thoughtful kindergarten teacher in Southern California even provided ghosts for her pupils to commune with at Halloween. I spoke with one of the mothers from that school who told me that her little boy was sent home with a note from the teacher informing the parents that their child would be bringing home a “special friend” the next day. The child was to nurture his “friend,” name it, feed it, and talk to it—all as a part of a special class project that was designed to “develop the child’s imagination.”

The next day, the little boy came home with a sealed envelope along with explicit instructions that his parents were not to touch it; only the child was allowed to open the envelope. Mom said, “You bet!” and promptly opened it up. Inside was six inches of thick orange wool string with a knot tied a quarter of the way up to make a loop resembling a head. The mimeographed “letter” that accompanied it read as follows:

Haunted House
001 Cemetery Lane
Spookville

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your order. Your ghost is exactly what you ordered. You will find that your ghost is attached to an orange string. Do not untie the special knot until you are ready to let your ghost go.

Your ghost will tell you when it is hungry and what it prefers to eat. It will sleep in the air beside you all day. It especially likes quiet places where there are cobwebs, creaky boards and corners.

If you follow the above directions, you will have a very happy ghost.

Yours truly,

Head Ghost

The mother, a Christian, didn’t approve of the idea of her son taking in a pet ghost, however housebroken. She was also a little suspicious of her six-year-old being addressed as “Dear Customer.” So she confiscated the thing and put it in the garage on a shelf until she could decide what to do with it. The next day, her sister was in the garage on an errand, unaware of the matter of the “ghost in the string.” Suddenly she was frightened by the sense of a threatening presence around her. She heard the sounds of a cat hissing in the corner and something like a “chatty doll” mumbling incoherently at her. Later that night they threw the “ghost string” into the garbage pail, prayed to the Lord to remove the entity, and were never bothered by the “presence” again. This family had no trouble whatever believing that a spirit had indeed been sent home with their little boy and that it didn’t much like having been assigned to a Christian household.2

The Halloween ghosts were given out again the following year by the same teacher. The Christian mother managed to get hold of the envelope, orange ghost-carrier and all, and sent it to me. It is possible, of course, that the teacher meant nothing sinister by it. Perhaps to her it was just a cute exercise in imagination for her kindergartners. Nevertheless, in light of the stated intent of many Transpersonal (i.e., a branch of psychology that focuses on mysticism and the occult in the search for transcendence) educators to introduce children to spirit guides, I can’t help but be a little curious about any teacher who sends the children home with “imaginary friends.”

CHURCH-SPONSORED HORROR

Even in the church, Halloween is a time of spooky fun and games. Any number of evangelical churches, ever mindful of their youth programs and ministries, will sponsor haunted houses designed to scare the wits out of the kids. From 1970 to 2001 in Bakersfield, California, Youth for Christ’s Campus Life was a co-sponsor of “Scream in the Dark,” an event that was held every night for about a week before Halloween. At least 20,000 people “brave[d] the chilly corridors and dark passages” every year to face ghoulish figures, terrifying tunnels, and screams in the dark.3

While many churches have switched from Halloween activities to alternative events on Halloween such as Harvest parties, countless Christians still allow their children to celebrate Halloween with door-to-door trick or treating and dressing up in scary costumes. Christian actor Kirk Cameron (Left Behind films and Fireproof) has come out publicly defending Halloween. In an interview in a popular online Christian magazine, Cameron stated that Christians “should have the biggest Halloween party on your block.” Cameron said he had no problem with Christians dressing up in devil, ghost, and other traditional Halloween costumes because they could do it as a way to witness to unbelievers.4

But is this church-sponsored horror a good idea? There are a number of reasons it is not. For one thing, terror can kill. When my husband was a teenager, the family next door to him lost their toddler one Halloween when the little one opened the door to trick-or-treaters. Their hideous appearance and shrieks so traumatized the child that he literally dropped dead on the spot. That may be a rare example, but the fact remains that terrorizing children is dangerous.

Church-sponsored horror isn’t a new phenomenon. My husband’s Lutheran church in New York always sponsored a “Chamber of Horrors” when he was a boy, complete with fluorescent skeletons, scary pop-ups, peeled grapes to simulate dead eyeballs, and a bowl of cold spaghetti that was supposed to be . . . well, you know. Anyway, they made you stick your hand into it, and any number of kids spent the rest of the night throwing up.

Halloween has become a full-fledged national children’s play day, but for hundreds of thousands of people in the Western world (and their numbers are growing steadily) Halloween is a sacred time, the ancient pagan festival of fire and death.

FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD

The origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the transition from summer into the darkness of winter. It marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit, according to some pagan traditions, to Samana the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts.5

On this night, the spirits of the dead rose up, shivering with the coming cold of winter and seeking the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited. And even colder, darker creatures filled the night: evil Witches flying through the night,6 hobgoblins, and evil pookas that appeared in the form of hideous black horses. Demons, fairies, and ghouls roamed about as the doors of the burial sidh-mounds opened wide,7 allowing them free access to the world of living men. These loathsome beings were usually not in a particularly good mood by the time they arrived, and it was feared that unless these spirits were appeased and soothed with offerings and gifts they would wreak mischief and vengeance by destroying crops, killing cattle, turning milk sour, and generally making life miserable.

So it was that families offered what was most precious to them: food—a “treat” which they fervently hoped would be sufficient to offset any “trick” which the ghostly blackmailers might otherwise be tempted to inflict.

The ancient Celtic villagers realized, however, that merely feeding the spirits might not be enough to speed them on their way. The ghoulies might decide it would be rude to eat and run, as it were, and might just be tempted to stick around.

That simply would not do. So arose the practice of dressing in masks and costumes: Chosen villagers disguised themselves as the fell creatures at large, mystically taking on their attributes and powers. The “mummers,” as they were called, cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient Celtic equivalent of protection money, and then romped the ghosts right out of town when they were through.

They carried jack-o’-lanterns to light their way—turnips or potatoes with fearful, demonic faces carved into them which they hoped would duly impress, if not intimidate, the demons around them.8

SACRIFICE AND FIRE

As a part of their ancient New Year’s ritual, massive sacred bonfires were lit throughout the countryside of Wales, Ireland, and France—fires from which every house in the village would rekindle their hearth fires (which had been ritually extinguished, as they were at the end of every year). The villagers would gather and dance round and round the bonfire, whose light and heat they believed would help the sun make it through the cold, dark winter.9

But the great fires served another purpose as well: On this night, unspeakable sacrifices were offered by the Druid priests to the Lord of Death. Lewis Spence in his book The History and Origins of Druidism says:

Certain writers on Celtic history have indignantly denied that the Druidic caste ever practiced the horrible rite of human sacrifice. There is no question, however, that practice it they did. Tacitus alludes to the fact that the Druids of Anglesea “covered their altars with the blood of captives.” If the words of Caesar are to be credited, human sacrifice was a frequent and common element in their religious procedure. He tells us that no sacrifice might be carried out except in the presence of a Druid.10

It is in his Commentaries that Caesar speaks of the great wicker images “in which the Druids were said to burn scores of people alive.”11

Some modem Witches may still deny that the Druidic religion, on which many of their beliefs and practices are based, ever practiced human and animal sacrifice as a part of their “peaceable nature religion.” But some noted Witches have indeed acknowledged the murderous bent of the ancient religion:

Propitiation, in the old days when survival was felt to depend on it, was a grim and serious affair. There can be little doubt that at one time it involved human sacrifice—of criminals saved up for the purpose or, at the other end of the scale, of an aging king; little doubt, either, that these ritual deaths were by fire.12

The Druids (from the Gaelic word druidh, meaning “a wise man” or “magician”13) would carefully watch the writhing of the victims in the fire (whether people or animals) and from their death agonies would foretell the future of the village. The Feast of Samhain was by no means the only celebration at which the Druids practiced human sacrifice. Sacrificial victims were also burned in their sacred fires during the spring festival of Beltane held on the eve of the first of May as part of their fertility rites.14 So it would seem, according to ancient historians, that human and animal sacrifice was a particularly noxious and pervasive habit among the Druids.

The Farrars, well-known authors and practicing Witches in Ireland, tell us that “Later, of course, the propitiatory sacrifice became symbolic . . .” but then mention that the royal sacrifice at Samhain may have lingered in the form of animal substitutes. The Farrars tell us of at least one animal sacrifice they knew of that took place in their village “within living memory.”15 We can only hope that “the old days when survival was felt to depend on human sacrifice” will never return.

THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN

One Halloween several years ago, I watched a rerun of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. Garfield was thrilled at the realization that Halloween was a night where he got to rake in free candy. “This is the night I was created for,” he exclaimed with as much enthusiasm as Garfield ever seems to muster.

He decides to sucker poor unsuspecting Otie, an exceedingly dumb (though endearing) doggie, into going with him so that Garfield could double his personal candy haul. Well . . . maybe he’ll give Otie one piece of candy for his troubles.

Then suddenly Garfield pauses in his Machiavellian musings and wonders, “Am I being too greedy? Should I share my candy with those less fortunate than I? Am I missing the spirit of Halloween?” Wouldn’t it be nice if that were in fact the spirit of Halloween! But nothing could be further from the truth.

The “spirit of Halloween” is more accurately discerned in the horror movies and DVDs traditionally released in honor of the season.16 Popular cinematic “treasures” like Halloween (and its three sequels), Friday the 13th (three of those), Halloweennight, Tale of Halloween, and any number of slasher, blood-and-gore, murder- and-terror flicks are truer to the original “spirit of Halloween”—the spirit of sudden death and murder—than is the sight of little Linus sitting all night in his “sincere” pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or of Garfield in his relentless quest for candy.

SPIRITED COMMUNION

Modern Witches would vehemently deny that their celebration has anything to do with the demonic horrors depicted in such films as Friday the 13th. To them, Halloween is one of the four greater Sabbats held during the year. It is the time of Harvest Celebration—that season in which the Great Goddess goes to sleep for the long winter months, giving way to the Horned God of Hunting and Death, who will rule until her return on the first of May. It is a time of ritual and for ridding oneself of personal weaknesses,17 a time for feasting and joyful celebration. It is also a time for communing with the spirits of the dead.

Witches Arnold and Patricia Crowther say that—

Halloween has always been the Festival of the Dead and was believed to be the best time to contact those who had passed over. Today, spiritualists try to contact the departed by means of “spirit guides”—American Indians, Chinese men, nuns, priests and even little girls. Witches tried to make contact through the god of Death himself. So when the bonfire had burned down, the priestess, in her new role as the god, held a skull between her hands, using it as a crystal-gazing ball. This was the kind of necromancy practiced centuries before the Fox Sisters, with their poltergeist tappings, started the modern craze for spiritualism.18

The Celts, say the Crowthers, would sometimes lie on graves during Halloween, hoping to hear some word of wisdom from the spirits of the corpses beneath them. And the Crowthers boast that “the high priestesses were just as successful in contacting the dead as are our own mediums.”19 According to a longtime Witch with whom I once spoke, they still are. Communing with the spirits of the dead is a regular feature of their covens’ Halloween rituals.

Several years ago, an article in the Los Angeles Times featured a story on a certain coven’s celebration rituals during Halloween. The story described the ritual and then told that it “will be repeated throughout the Southland today as Witches celebrate their most important holiday, Samhain, or Halloween, when they believe the veil between the worlds becomes thin, making visits with spirits possible.” Some Witches will use the Ouija board to contact the dead. Others will use a darkened scrying-mirror into which they stare until the faces of their beloved departed supposedly appear. Others may use a crystal ball or “sit quietly round the cauldron, gazing into the incense smoke, talking of what they see and feel.”20

SATANIC REVELS

While the Witches are spending the Halloween season tucking in their Goddess for her long winter sleep and frolicking in joyful communion with the spirits of the dead, there is another religious group that is equally serious about its Halloween celebrations: the Satanists. Halloween to them is a more sinister and direct celebration of death and Satan. Unlike the Witches, of whom most do not even acknowledge the existence of Satan, the Satanists are quite candid about exactly who the dread “lord of death” happens to be, and they celebrate Halloween as one of his two highest unholy days.

As is the case among the Witches, different “denominations” of Satanists have their own peculiar traditions, beliefs, and practices on this night. For some of them Satan is not a real, specific entity but rather the personification of evil resident within all men, a “dark hidden force in nature responsible for the workings of earthly affairs.”21

Other Satanists however—cult Satanists—understand that Satan is very real indeed. To them, the sacrifices he demands are not symbolic at all.22 They believe that the blood sacrifice of innocence which Satan demands as the ultimate blasphemy and sign of devotion to himself must be very literal indeed. At various times during the year, but especially during the month of October, police across the country report finding the remains of animals—some with the blood drained, others with various organs missing, some carefully skinned while keeping the tortured creature alive. They are frequently found at sites which indicate that some form of ritual took place. When no altar or pentagram or other symbolism is in evidence, it is entirely likely that some neophyte or self-styled Satanist is simply practicing to make sure the “sacrifice” is letter-perfect for the ceremony.

Because of its innocence and frailty, a tiny child is viewed by these Satanists as the perfect sacrifice to their Master. The infant is seen as a representation of the Christ Child, and it is He whom they are blaspheming and symbolically destroying in the prolonged and brutal torture and slaying of the child. After the death of the baby, the members will all eat a portion of the little one’s heart and will drink its blood.

RECRUITERS FOR SATAN

Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for the Satanists. Much as the government will plant undercover narcotic agents in various high schools to find out who is pushing or using drugs on campus, so some Satanists may plant kids at the schools who are there solely for the purpose of discerning potential members or victims among the students. The Dungeons and Dragons clubs are key hunting grounds for them, as are other groups and clubs based on medieval themes.

Church-sponsored “haunted houses” are also fertile recruiting centers. The Satanists watch for those kids who show a marked bent for the macabre and the sinister, and they invite them to a “real good” party being held elsewhere, which proves to be a lower-level ritual held for the purpose of initiating these kids into Satanism.

IMITATORS OF GOD

So . . . should your family participate in the traditional Halloween celebrations? Absolutely . . . if you and/or your children are Witches, Satanists, humanists, atheists, pagans, or anything other than born-again Christians (or Orthodox Jews). For a true Christian to participate in the ancient trappings of Halloween is as incongruous as for a committed cult Satanist coming from a blood sacrifice on Christmas Eve to set up a crèche in his living room and sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” with heartfelt, sincere devotion to baby Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1 admonishes us to be imitators of God. Can you picture the Lord Jesus dressing up as Satan, or as one of the demons He cast out that week, or perhaps as a Druid priest, just because it was the Feast of Samhain and His disciples were giving a nifty party that night in honor of the tradition? Or can you see the apostles disguising themselves as temple prostitutes or as worshipers of the god Moloch, to whom the Canaanites (and even the Israelites in their darker days) sacrificed their children?23

Halloween is a day in which virtually every occult practice that God has called “abomination” is glorified.

When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, NASB*)

“But it’s only for one night!” some cry. “It’s only in fun for the children!” If this is how you feel, then you need to understand what the Word of God says to you:

Learn not the way of the heathen! (Jeremiah 10:2)

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES

There are any number of creative alternatives that can be provided for children on Halloween without participating in the ancient religious traditions of the Witches and Satanists.

Some families view the occasion as a witnessing opportunity and handout Gospel tracts along with the treats. Some churches are now sponsoring “Bible Houses,” in which the kids go through and hear different Bible stories read or acted out—a godly alternative to the haunted-house routine!

Other Christian families choose to spend the night remembering the saints who have gone to be with the Lord during the year. Saints aren’t just those who have been canonized as such by some church. A saint, according to the Bible, is anyone who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Messiah. Perhaps you could spend this night talking about the martyrs who were willing to die rather than compromise their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian parents can also make a difference in the way the schools their children attend celebrate Halloween. In Colorado, parents protested the traditional celebration of Halloween in several public schools, including at least one elementary school on the grounds that it is a “high holy day in the satanic religion, and as such is an inappropriate holiday for schoolchildren.”24 One mother said that she “would like to see the same measures applied to the Halloween parties as have been taken with the Christmas parties.”25 In light of the present distress, I fully agree. Since God and Jesus have been banned from Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving celebrations in most of our schools, why should the government-recognized religions of Witchcraft and Satanism get free promotion on Halloween from these same institutions?

One thing Halloween should not be for the Christian is a time of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8)! Spend at least part of this night worshiping God by singing hymns. Above all, spend time in prayer and intercession for the children.

It is tragic that many people in the church have forgotten that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and that includes on Halloween! Too many of our children have been made vulnerable to a spirit of fear and to the occult where we allow faith in God to be extinguished by participating in the darkness of this world.

After the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England in 1951, the Witches and Satanists experienced a revival which is currently in full swing. You might not know too much about Witches or Satanists, but I guarantee you that most kids do in today’s computerized, Internet, social-media world.

For ye were sometimes [formerly] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. (Ephesians 5:8,11)

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

Endnotes
1. 1 John 3:8.
2. Back in 1985, there was an outfit that called itself “Adopt-a-Ghost” based in Hollywood, California. For a paltry $10.00 to cover adoption papers and conjuring fees, you could adopt a ghost for your house, condo, apartment, or office . . . like a Cabbage Patch Kid, only cheaper and considerably livelier. Hauntings were guaranteed, and the ghost even came with written tips on ghost-raising to make sure it would stick around.
3. Connie Swart, “Event Still a Scream,” the Bakersfield Californian, October 16,1982, p. 13.
4. Emma Koonse, “Kirk Cameron on Halloween: ‘Christians Should Have the Biggest Party on the Block’” (Christian Post, October 20, 2014,  http://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-on-halloween-christians-should-have-the-biggest-party-on-the-block-128345/#Jx3ZzPQLf0A8bigp.99).
5. Barbara G. Walker, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row Publishers, 1983), p. 372.
6. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (London: Octopus Books Ltd., 1974), p. 166. Introduction by Hans Holzer.
7. Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats (New York, NY: Magickal Childe Publishing, Inc., 1981, 1984), p. 122.
8. The lantern was also called a “corpse lantern” or”fairie fire,” or a will-o’-the-wisp, and numerous fascinating legends about its origins have risen up around it. Some thought it was the spirit of a child which had been buried in the swamp. Others thought it represented the lights fairies used to beckon fools to watery death in the swamps. Another legend tells of a clever fellow named Jack who got himself barred from hell as well as heaven for being something of a Faustian smart aleck and was doomed to run about earth for all eternity with the burning coal he snatched from hell itself with the turnip he was eating just before the gates slammed shut. This story makes little sense to me at all. I mean, would you be eating a turnip while standing at the gates of hell politely requesting admittance? Doubtful. One version of this tale found in an elementary school teacher’s “Halloween Fun” manual observes that the devil threw the burning coal at Jack to drive him away and that Jack caught the thing in his turnip. This makes more sense. Anyway, the Celts carved jack’o’lanterns out of turnips, nonetheless. They probably used turnips because they didn’t have pumpkins. They had to come to America to discover them, which they did during the mass immigration to America during the great potato famine of 1886. They soon realized that pumpkins are a whole lot easier to carve than turnips. They also make nicer pies.
St. James Church in the Los Angeles area held a “Pumpkin Mass” in 1987 in which the priest blessed the parishioners’ Halloween costumes (to be brought in boxes or sacks) and the pumpkins which were to be carved and placed in the sanctuary. The verse quoted for the occasion: “Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
9. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, p.166.
10. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins of Druidism (Great Britain: EP Publishing Ltd., 1976), p. 104.
11. Ibid.
12. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1 The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
13. Raymond Buckland, Witchcraft from the Inside (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1975), p. 16.
14. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins, op. cit., p. 105.
15. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
16. James Frazer records in The Golden Bough (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1922) that in some areas “people who assisted at the bonfires would wait till the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, “The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!” The saying implies that originally one of the company became a victim in dead earnest” (The Golden Bough, p. 736). The “cropped black sow” was a representation of the Goddess Cerridwen in her dark aspect as the Crone, according to Welsh mythology (A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats, p. 125). She is still worshiped in that aspect by Wiccans today, as well as in her more appealing forms of Maiden and Mother.
As the Farrars point out in A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, p. 725), “All these victim-choosing rituals long ago mellowed into a mere romp, but Frazer had no doubt of their original grim purpose. What was once a deadly serious ritual at the great tribal fire had become a party game at the family ones.” They may have “mellowed in time,” in most places, but nevertheless, it was the terror of the original sacrifices and demons that most accurately represents the “true spirit” of Halloween. The true “spirit of Halloween” is that of sudden death and murder.
17. Raymond Buckland, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1986), p. 68.
18. Arnold and Patricia Crowther, The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot (West Caldwell, NJ: University Books, Inc., 1974), pp. 67-68.
19. Ibid., p. 68.
20. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 135.
21. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, NY: Avon Books, 1969), p. v of introduction.
22. Anton LaVey clarifies his position on human sacrifice on page 88 of his Satanic Bible, in which he says: “Symbolically, the victim is destroyed through the working of a hex or curse, which in turn leads to the physical, mental or emotional destruction of the ‘sacrifice’ in ways and means not attributable to the magician. The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.”
23. Ezekiel 16:20,21; Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 57:5.
24 Rebecca Jones, “Halloween Parade Off” (The Eagle Forum, vol.8, no.4, Fall 1982), p. 17.
25. Ibid.

*Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible, except on page 14 where one verse is taken from the NASB. Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible(R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975, 1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

About the Author

Johanna Michaelsen is a noted author, lecturer, and authority on the occult. Her internationally best-selling autobiography, The Beautiful Side of Evil, tells the story of her involvement with the occult, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, a well-known psychic surgeon in Mexico City, and her eventual rejections of all such practices. Published by Harvest House in 1982, it has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish.

Her second book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (available through Amazon), also a best seller, clearly and extensively documents the invasion of occultism and dangerous religious practices into America’s public education system, movies, television, books, games, holidays, and more.

Since Johanna Michaelsen’s exit from the occult in November of 1972, she has devoted her time to studying current trends and occult practices for the purpose of warning and equipping the church in these last days. Her books, tapes, audio-book, seminars, and lectures have helped thousands find freedom and peace in Jesus Christ.

Johanna is available for interviews and seminars and can be reached at Johanna@michaelsenministries.org. You may visit her on the web at: http://michaelsenministries.com.

The Shack’s Universal Papa

By Warren B. Smith

There is nothing new about saying, “I am God.” . . . However, in the Judeo-Christian-Moslem world, God is usually not popularly understood as a universal presence, the ground of all being.1 —New Age leader David Spangler (emphasis added)


God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things [a universal presence]2—The Shack’s “Jesus” defining “Papa” as a universal New Age God (emphasis added)


I‘m not who you think I am, Mackenzie.”3—Papa, The Shack (emphasis added)


Shared Universal Presence

Ask certain indigenous peoples of the South Pacific Islands who Papa is, and they will tell you she is a female goddess4—just like The Shack’s female Papa. Ask certain Haitians, New Orleanians, and Wiccans who are into Voodoo, and they will tell you that Papa is a shapeshifting “trickster” who can appear as either a male or female deity—just like The Shack’s Papa.5 And if you ask, they will all tell you that their Papas are universal Papas who dwell “in, around, and through all things”—just like The Shack’s Papa.

From L to R: Avraham Aviv Alush as “Jesus,” Sumire as “Sarayu,” Sam Worthington as “Mack” and Octavia Spencer as “Papa” in THE SHACK. Photo by Jake Giles Netter.

Papa as Earth Mother
Shack enthusiasts should take note that “Papa” is also the name of a Polynesian Earth goddess who is part of a pantheon of gods and goddesses found in the South Sea Islands. On the “Journeying to Goddess” website, under the heading “Goddess Papa,” we read that Papa is “the Earth Mother who gave birth to all things” and that “Polynesians summon Papa to help in all earthly matters.”6

In his book Unshackled, Pastor Larry DeBruyn describes how William P. Young’s “Papa” bears a striking resemblance to “the name, nature, and nurturing potential” of this Polynesian Earth goddess Papa.7 Quoting from a source on Hawaiian gods and goddesses, DeBruyn cites the references they make to the “comfort,” “care,” “guidance,” and “unconditional love,” that are given to people “in times of crisis and grief” by this Hawaiian Papa and how her “intervention instills calming reassurance and healing.”8 Young seems to parallel the same script as The Shack story wholly revolves around the comfort, care, guidance, and unconditional love that is given by Papa to his main character, Mack, during his time of crisis and grief—how Papa’s intervention instills calming reassurance and the ultimate healing of Mack’s “Great Sadness.”9

Another website elaborates on how the female Polynesian Papa “worshiped by Native Hawaiians” is regarded as “a primordial force of creation who has the power to give life and to heal.”10 A pagan site informs us that a Papa goddess is especially prevalent amongst the Maoris of New Zealand,11 while another site references a South Seas Papa as part of the mythology of the Southern Cook Islands group.12 While Young obviously put a lot of thought into the naming of his Shack characters, and even though he spent his early childhood living on the South Pacific Island of Papua New Guinea,13 he claims to have had no knowledge of this South Seas Papa goddess prior to his writing of The Shack.14

Papa as Trickster
Certain Haitian, New Orleanian, and Wiccan Voodoo practitioners are devoted to a spiritual “Papa” who can appear as both “male and female” and is known as the “trickster.”15 By simply googling “Papa” and “trickster,” a variety of websites emerge to describe this Papa Legba spirit that stands at the gateway to the spirit world. One of these sites—“Exemplore”—states that Papa Legba “is one of the most widely served African deities” and “is always the first and last spirit invoked in any ceremony” because “he opens and closes the doorway to the spirit world.” 16 The site explains that in Voodoo, “Papa” is “the intermediary” who “stands at a spiritual crossroads and grants or denies permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee.”17

On the same Exemplore site, in a special section for witches, Papa is described as a “master shape shifter” who “can help you transform on the astral realm, master dream powers, and advanced magics.”18 But in regards to Papa, it states that “in his shapeshifter form he tends to change genders and forms to delight himself. So don’t be surprised if a woman shows up to help you.”19 And just as Young’s female Papa and the South Seas islands female Papa can be summoned for help, comfort, and healing, this Voodoo trickster Papa can be similarly called upon. One of the posted comments on this witches part of the site states—“Anyone can summon Papa!”20 But sometimes this Voodoo Papa comes when he is not summoned. In another comment, a perplexed woman wrote—“I did not know about Papa at all until he presented his self to me as my spirit guide. Is this normal?”21 A posted reply assured her that “Papa does his own thing his own way, so if he presented himself to you, you can be sure it is him.”22 Another site expressed the confusion that can result from a female ”God” named Papa—“It’s so confusing because Papa is a Mama.”23 But Scripture assures us that the one true God is “not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is not a Papa who is a Mama which art in a shack—He is “our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9).

Praying to Which Papa?
So what Papa are people invoking when they are inspired to pray to Papa after reading The Shack? Is Young presenting Shack readers with the true God of the Bible or with a generic Papa “God” that overlaps with all the other mamas and papas and gods and goddesses around the world? The Shack’s “Jesus” answers that question loud and clear for any Shack reader who has a heart for the truth. With words purposefully put in his mouth by Young—a self-described universalist24—The Shack’s “Jesus” proclaims that his Papa “God” is “the ground of all being” because he “dwells in, around, and through all things.”25 In other words,  The Shack’s Jesus says that the Shack’s Papa indwells everyone and everything. This is the same universal God that David Spangler describes in the  beginning quote of this article. But this is panentheism, and this is a lie. This is the foundational teaching of the New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview that has been rapidly emerging both in the world and in the church. All of this is to say—The Shack’s Papa is a universal Papa and The Shack’s “God” is a counterfeit “God” who has cunningly wormed his way into an unsuspecting church.

Trickster Book
As seen with the Voodoo Papa, some of these mama and papa gods and goddesses are also “tricksters.” And they are definitely doing their trickster thing—which often entails cleverly undermining existing societal rules and established religious beliefs as they offer their unique brand of spiritual healing in the name of a more universal alternative spirituality. What can be especially deceptive is that much of their rebellious spiritual activity is cloaked in half-truths, clever remarks, playful humor—and even Christian language. And what seems all too apparent is that The Shack—and particularly The Shack’s Papa—fall into this trickster category. The novel grabs people’s hearts and minds even as biblical Christianity is being dismantled in front of them as they read the book. And only a trickster book can convince people they are reading about Jesus Christ when the name of Christ is never mentioned—not even once—in the entire story. A generic universal Jesus and a generic universal Papa and not a single mention of Christ, or the Devil for that matter—yet The Shack has already become one of the most popular Christian books ever written!

Trickster books for the church will use Christian language to pull the wool over your eyes so they mess with your mind—it’s all part of “messing around” and being a trickster. Toward the end of The Shack’s story, when the female Papa shapeshifts into being a male Papa, Mack asks if Papa is “still messing” with him. Papa’s immediate answer is—“Always.”26 At this point, sincere readers of The Shack need ask themselves a reasonable question—“Is the one true God of the Bible always “messing” with us, or is this what you would expect from a universal gender-bending trickster Papa “God” who bears more of a resemblance to the trickster god of this world than the one true God of the Bible.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

Endnotes (Caution: Some of the endnotes in this article are from occultic websites.)
1. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture (Sante Fe, NM: Bear & Company Publishing, 1991), p. 148.
2. William P. Young, The Shack (Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
3. Ibid., p. 96.
4. Part Three: The Chiefs xx Papa and Wakea, http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/hm/hm22.htm | Godchecker website: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/oceanic-mythology.php?list-gods-names.
5. Denise M Alvarado, “Papa Legba and Other Spirits of the Crossroads” (Who is Papa Legba?, Images of Legba, https://exemplore.com/magic/papalegba).
6. https://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/goddess-papa/, “Goddess Papa” September 19, 2012.
7. Larry DeBruyn, Unshackled: Breaking Away From Seductive Spirituality (Indianapolis, IN: Franklin Road Baptist Church, 2009), pp. 27-28. Author’s reference pertains to the now archived Wahine’o Wanana Institute’s “Hawaiian Goddesses” website: https://web-beta.archive.org/web /20110410205614/http://www.powersthatbe.com /goddess/papa.html.
8. Ibid.
9. William P. Young, op. cit.,  pp. 43-66, p. 92, pp. 96-98, pp. 101-102.
10. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papahanaumoku
11. The Goddess Papa, http://www.holladaypaganism.com/goddesses/cyclopedia/p/PAPA.HTM.
12. Wikipedia: Papa (mythology)— https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_(mythology).
13. Wm. Paul Young—About (http://wmpaulyoung.com/wm-paul-young-about).
14. Eric Barger, “Why The Shack Must be Rejected” (Lamp & Lion Ministries, Lamplighter, May 2017, http://christinprophecyblog.org/2017/04/why-the-shack-must-be-rejected),  pp. 13-14.
15. “Papa Legba and Other Spirits of the Crossroads” (Exemplore blog, Images of Legba, Who is Papa Legba?, https://exemplore.com/magic/papalegba).
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. “Papa Legba for Witches,” How Legba Can Help You (https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/papa-legba-for-witches)
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid., Posted Comments (Nitecat response to babygirl1414)
21. Ibid., Posted Comments (jacynnavarro)
22. Ibid., Posted Comments (Nitecat response to jacynnavarro)
23. http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/oceanic-mythology.php?deity=PAPA
24. Wm. Paul Young, Lies We Believe About God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2017), pp. 118-119 (Young states that he believes in universal salvation.)
25. William P. Young, The Shack, op. cit., p. 218.
26. merriam-webster.com and encyclopedia.com (ousia)

Author Bio:

Warren B. Smith (B.A. University of Pennsylvania; M.S.W. Tulane University)—A free lance writer and community social worker who was formerly involved in the New Age movement. He has served as a program coordinator for people with special needs, directed several homeless programs, and has worked as a Hospice social worker in New Orleans and on the California coast. He has written extensively on the subject of spiritual deception and has spoken on radio, television, and at seminars and conferences.

Attempts to Blend Christianity with Other Religions

By Maria Kneas

Numerous attempts have been made to blend Christianity with other religions on a world-wide scale. You can read about them in Carl Teichrib’s article “Unveiling the Global Interfaith Agenda.”1

There are also other attempts to merge Christianity with different religions. For example, Chrislam tries to combine Christianity with Islam.2 There are people who call themselves Christian witches (i.e., combining Christianity with Wicca). There are attempts to mix Christianity with Hinduism, and with Buddhism, and with Shamanism. (A shaman is a Native American medicine man.) Some people claim to be Christian witch doctors or Christian sorcerers. You can even buy a book about Christian Voodoo.3

Nominal Christians are people who are Christians in name only. They call themselves Christians, but they really aren’t. They don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they ignore or deny foundational Christian doctrines, and they don’t try to live the way God has instructed us as described in the Bible. Such people can fit in with other religions. However, born-again Christians aren’t able to do that because they have God’s Spirit living inside them Who convicts them of sin and enables them to trust and obey the Lord. And because God is living inside them, He gives them the grace and strength to abide in Him. Simply put, biblical Christianity cannot mix with other religions.

             Water and oil | bigstockphoto.com

To compare it to something physical in everyday life, you cannot mix oil and water. Because of their very nature, they just don’t mix. You can put them in a glass jar and shake them until they seem to be blended, but then they will separate and the oil will rise to the top of the jar.

To carry that analogy further, if you add an emulsifier, then they can mix. It goes against their nature, but the emulsifier bridges that gap. In real life, Christians who are under severe pressure (such as the threat of prison or torture or death) may go against their nature and try to blend in with whatever is politically correct. That happened in Nazi Germany. I’ve seen pictures of church altars with swastikas on them. However, Jesus warned us not to make such compromises:

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

These days, it is not politically correct to be “exclusive” by claiming that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. However, we need to be biblically correct rather than  politically correct. The antidote to the fear of men is the fear of the Lord. Jesus warned us:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)

Jesus made it clear He is the only way to be right with God the Father. There is no other source of salvation. He said:

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:7-11)

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
(by Edward Mote, 1797-1874)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Endnotes:

1. Carl Teichrib, “Unveiling the Global Interfaith Agenda” (Kjos Ministries, October 2, 2011, www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing change/11/interfaith.htm).
2. To read more about Chrislam, read Mike Oppenheimer’s article/booklet titled, Chrislam: The Blending of Islam & Christianity: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=13109.
3. I found all of these attempts to mix Christianity with other religions by doing a quick search on the Internet. You can easily find them for yourself. Just search for “Christian” plus any other religion or spiritual practice that you can think of.

Maria Kneas is the author of two Lighthouse Trails books and several booklets.

NEW BOOKLET: HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents

NEW BOOKLET:HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents by Johanna Michaelsen is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

Halloween! A Warning to Christian Parents

By Johanna Michaelsen

It was the night of Halloween, and ironically, I was working on a chapter about Halloween for my book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult when the doorbell rang. I was greeted by an adorable bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome Witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and oranges in response to lusty cries of “trick or treat!”

“You kids want to know something?” I asked very softly.

“Yeah!” came a unanimous chorus.

“With the Lord Jesus, there is no trick. He loves every one of you very much.”

Several little faces beamed up at me through their ghoulish makeup. “That’s neat!” exclaimed one little girl. “Yeah!” chimed in a few others.

“This is Jesus’ night,” I said. Why I said that, I’m not really sure. I was poignantly aware of the fact that it is a night the devil has made a point of claiming for himself.

“No it’s not!” snarled a hidden voice. “It’s Jason’s night!” A boy who was taller than the rest stepped out from the shadows. He was wearing the white hockey mask of “Jason,” the demented, ghoulish killer in the movie Friday the 13th and was brandishing a very realistic-looking hatchet. I have to admit that the boy gave me a start, but I stood my ground and dropped a banana into his bag.

“No, ‘Jason,’ this is still Jesus’ night!” I repeated. And indeed it is, even though it is most assuredly the night set aside for the glorification and worship of idols, false gods, Satan, and death. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”1

“Jason” evidently resented the competition, however, for he ripped our mailbox right out of the ground and left his banana squished on the stair.

PET GHOSTS?

Most of us in the United States have grown up observing Halloween in one form or another. From the time we are in preschool, we make drawings or cutouts of sinister black Witches—the haggier the better. We make paintings of gruesome black cats with gleaming, evil, orange eyes; we hang up smirking paper skeletons with dancing limbs; we glue together ghost and bat mobiles; and we design demoniacal faces for our pumpkins.

For several years, one thoughtful kindergarten teacher in Southern California even provided ghosts for her pupils to commune with at Halloween. I spoke with one of the mothers from that school who told me that her little boy was sent home with a note from the teacher informing the parents that their child would be bringing home a “special friend” the next day. The child was to nurture his “friend,” name it, feed it, and talk to it—all as a part of a special class project that was designed to “develop the child’s imagination.”

The next day, the little boy came home with a sealed envelope along with explicit instructions that his parents were not to touch it; only the child was allowed to open the envelope. Mom said, “You bet!” and promptly opened it up. Inside was six inches of thick orange wool string with a knot tied a quarter of the way up to make a loop resembling a head. The mimeographed “letter” that accompanied it read as follows:

Haunted House
001 Cemetery Lane
Spookville

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your order. Your ghost is exactly what you ordered. You will find that your ghost is attached to an orange string. Do not untie the special knot until you are ready to let your ghost go.

Your ghost will tell you when it is hungry and what it prefers to eat. It will sleep in the air beside you all day. It especially likes quiet places where there are cobwebs, creaky boards and corners.

If you follow the above directions, you will have a very happy ghost.

Yours truly,

Head Ghost

The mother, a Christian, didn’t approve of the idea of her son taking in a pet ghost, however housebroken. She was also a little suspicious of her six-year-old being addressed as “Dear Customer.” So she confiscated the thing and put it in the garage on a shelf until she could decide what to do with it. The next day, her sister was in the garage on an errand, unaware of the matter of the “ghost in the string.” Suddenly she was frightened by the sense of a threatening presence around her. She heard the sounds of a cat hissing in the corner and something like a “chatty doll” mumbling incoherently at her. Later that night they threw the “ghost string” into the garbage pail, prayed to bind and remove the entity, and were never bothered by the “presence” again. This family had no trouble whatever believing that a spirit had indeed been sent home with their little boy and that it didn’t much like having been assigned to a Christian household.2

The Halloween ghosts were given out again the following year by the same teacher. The Christian mother managed to get hold of the envelope, orange ghost-carrier and all, and sent it to me. It is possible, of course, that the teacher meant nothing sinister by it. Perhaps to her it was just a cute exercise in imagination for her kindergartners. Nevertheless, in light of the stated intent of many Transpersonal (i.e., a branch of psychology that focuses on mysticism and the occult in the search for transcendence) educators to introduce children to spirit guides, I can’t help but be a little curious about any teacher who sends the children home with “imaginary friends.”

CHURCH-SPONSORED HORROR

Even in the church, Halloween is a time of spooky fun and games. Any number of evangelical churches, ever mindful of their youth programs and ministries, will sponsor haunted houses designed to scare the wits out of the kids. From 1970 to 2001 in Bakersfield, California, Youth for Christ’s Campus Life was a co-sponsor of “Scream in the Dark,” an event that was held every night for about a week before Halloween. At least 20,000 people “brave[d] the chilly corridors and dark passages” every year to face ghoulish figures, terrifying tunnels, and screams in the dark.3

While many churches have switched from Halloween activities to alternative events on Halloween such as Harvest parties, countless Christians still allow their children to celebrate Halloween with door-to-door trick or treating and dressing up in scary costumes. Christian actor Kirk Cameron (Left Behind films and Fireproof) has come out publicly defending Halloween. In an interview in a popular online Christian magazine, Cameron stated that Christians “should have the biggest Halloween party on your block.” Cameron said he had no problem with Christians dressing up in devil, ghost, and other traditional Halloween costumes because they could do it as a way to witness to unbelievers.4

But is this church-sponsored horror a good idea? There are a number of reasons it is not. For one thing, terror can kill. When my husband was a teenager, the family next door to him lost their toddler one Halloween when the little one opened the door to trick-or-treaters. Their hideous appearance and shrieks so traumatized the child that he literally dropped dead on the spot. That may be a rare example, but the fact remains that terrorizing children is dangerous.

Church-sponsored horror isn’t a new phenomenon. My husband’s Lutheran church in New York always sponsored a “Chamber of Horrors” when he was a boy, complete with fluorescent skeletons, scary pop-ups, peeled grapes to simulate dead eyeballs, and a bowl of cold spaghetti that was supposed to be . . . well, you know. Anyway, they made you stick your hand into it, and any number of kids spent the rest of the night throwing up.

Halloween has become a full-fledged national children’s play day, but for hundreds of thousands of people in the Western world (and their numbers are growing steadily) Halloween is a sacred time, the ancient pagan festival of fire and death.

FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD

The origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the transition from summer into the darkness of winter. It marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit, according to some pagan traditions, to Samana the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts.5

On this night, the spirits of the dead rose up, shivering with the coming cold of winter and seeking the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited. And even colder, darker creatures filled the night: evil Witches flying through the night,6 hobgoblins, and evil pookas that appeared in the form of hideous black horses. Demons, fairies, and ghouls roamed about as the doors of the burial sidh-mounds opened wide,7 allowing them free access to the world of living men. These loathsome beings were usually not in a particularly good mood by the time they arrived, and it was feared that unless these spirits were appeased and soothed with offerings and gifts they would wreak mischief and vengeance by destroying crops, killing cattle, turning milk sour, and generally making life miserable.

So it was that families offered what was most precious to them: food—a “treat” which they fervently hoped would be sufficient to offset any “trick” which the ghostly blackmailers might otherwise be tempted to inflict.

The ancient Celtic villagers realized, however, that merely feeding the spirits might not be enough to speed them on their way. The ghoulies might decide it would be rude to eat and run, as it were, and might just be tempted to stick around.

That simply would not do. So arose the practice of dressing in masks and costumes: Chosen villagers disguised themselves as the fell creatures at large, mystically taking on their attributes and powers. The “mummers,” as they were called, cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient Celtic equivalent of protection money, and then romped the ghosts right out of town when they were through.

They carried jack-o’-lanterns to light their way—turnips or potatoes with fearful, demonic faces carved into them which they hoped would duly impress, if not intimidate, the demons around them.8

SACRIFICE AND FIRE

As a part of their ancient New Year’s ritual, massive sacred bonfires were lit throughout the countryside of Wales, Ireland, and France—fires from which every house in the village would rekindle their hearth fires (which had been ritually extinguished, as they were at the end of every year). The villagers would gather and dance round and round the bonfire, whose light and heat they believed would help the sun make it through the cold, dark winter.9

But the great fires served another purpose as well: On this night, unspeakable sacrifices were offered by the Druid priests to the Lord of Death. Lewis Spence in his book The History and Origins of Druidism says:

Certain writers on Celtic history have indignantly denied that the Druidic caste ever practiced the horrible rite of human sacrifice. There is no question, however, that practice it they did. Tacitus alludes to the fact that the Druids of Anglesea “covered their altars with the blood of captives.” If the words of Caesar are to be credited, human sacrifice was a frequent and common element in their religious procedure. He tells us that no sacrifice might be carried out except in the presence of a Druid.10

It is in his Commentaries that Caesar speaks of the great wicker images “in which the Druids were said to burn scores of people alive.”11

Some modem Witches may still deny that the Druidic religion, on which many of their beliefs and practices are based, ever practiced human and animal sacrifice as a part of their “peaceable nature religion.” But some noted Witches have indeed acknowledged the murderous bent of the ancient religion:

Propitiation, in the old days when survival was felt to depend on it, was a grim and serious affair. There can be little doubt that at one time it involved human sacrifice—of criminals saved up for the purpose or, at the other end of the scale, of an aging king; little doubt, either, that these ritual deaths were by fire.12

The Druids (from the Gaelic word druidh, meaning “a wise man” or “magician”13) would carefully watch the writhing of the victims in the fire (whether people or animals) and from their death agonies would foretell the future of the village. The Feast of Samhain was by no means the only celebration at which the Druids practiced human sacrifice. Sacrificial victims were also burned in their sacred fires during the spring festival of Beltane held on the eve of the first of May as part of their fertility rites.14 So it would seem, according to ancient historians, that human and animal sacrifice was a particularly noxious and pervasive habit among the Druids.

The Farrars, well-known authors and practicing Witches in Ireland, tell us that “Later, of course, the propitiatory sacrifice became symbolic . . .” but then mention that the royal sacrifice at Samhain may have lingered in the form of animal substitutes. The Farrars tell us of at least one animal sacrifice they knew of that took place in their village “within living memory.”15 We can only hope that “the old days when survival was felt to depend on human sacrifice” will never return.

THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN

One Halloween several years ago, I watched a rerun of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. Garfield was thrilled at the realization that Halloween was a night where he got to rake in free candy. “This is the night I was created for,” he exclaimed with as much enthusiasm as Garfield ever seems to muster.

He decides to sucker poor unsuspecting Otie, an exceedingly dumb (though endearing) doggie, into going with him so that Garfield could double his personal candy haul. Well . . . maybe he’ll give Otie one piece of candy for his troubles.

Then suddenly Garfield pauses in his Machiavellian musings and wonders, “Am I being too greedy? Should I share my candy with those less fortunate than I? Am I missing the spirit of Halloween?” Wouldn’t it be nice if that were in fact the spirit of Halloween! But nothing could be further from the truth.

The “spirit of Halloween” is more accurately discerned in the horror movies and DVDs traditionally released in honor of the season.16 Popular cinematic “treasures” like Halloween (and its three sequels), Friday the 13th (three of those), Halloweennight, Tale of Halloween, and any number of slasher, blood-and-gore, murder- and-terror flicks are truer to the original “spirit of Halloween”—the spirit of sudden death and murder—than is the sight of little Linus sitting all night in his “sincere” pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or of Garfield in his relentless quest for candy.

SPIRITED COMMUNION

Modern Witches would vehemently deny that their celebration has anything to do with the demonic horrors depicted in such films as Friday the 13th. To them, Halloween is one of the four greater Sabbats held during the year. It is the time of Harvest Celebration—that season in which the Great Goddess goes to sleep for the long winter months, giving way to the Horned God of Hunting and Death, who will rule until her return on the first of May. It is a time of ritual and for ridding oneself of personal weaknesses,17 a time for feasting and joyful celebration. It is also a time for communing with the spirits of the dead.

Witches Arnold and Patricia Crowther say that—

Halloween has always been the Festival of the Dead and was believed to be the best time to contact those who had passed over. Today, spiritualists try to contact the departed by means of “spirit guides”—American Indians, Chinese men, nuns, priests and even little girls. Witches tried to make contact through the god of Death himself. So when the bonfire had burned down, the priestess, in her new role as the god, held a skull between her hands, using it as a crystal-gazing ball. This was the kind of necromancy practiced centuries before the Fox Sisters, with their poltergeist tappings, started the modern craze for spiritualism.18

The Celts, say the Crowthers, would sometimes lie on graves during Halloween, hoping to hear some word of wisdom from the spirits of the corpses beneath them. And the Crowthers boast that “the high priestesses were just as successful in contacting the dead as are our own mediums.”19 According to a longtime Witch with whom I once spoke, they still are. Communing with the spirits of the dead is a regular feature of their covens’ Halloween rituals.

Several years ago, an article in the Los Angeles Times featured a story on a certain coven’s celebration rituals during Halloween. The story described the ritual and then told that it “will be repeated throughout the Southland today as Witches celebrate their most important holiday, Samhain, or Halloween, when they believe the veil between the worlds becomes thin, making visits with spirits possible.” Some Witches will use the Ouija board to contact the dead. Others will use a darkened scrying-mirror into which they stare until the faces of their beloved departed supposedly appear. Others may use a crystal ball or “sit quietly round the cauldron, gazing into the incense smoke, talking of what they see and feel.”20

SATANIC REVELS

While the Witches are spending the Halloween season tucking in their Goddess for her long winter sleep and frolicking in joyful communion with the spirits of the dead, there is another religious group that is equally serious about its Halloween celebrations: the Satanists. Halloween to them is a more sinister and direct celebration of death and Satan. Unlike the Witches, of whom most do not even acknowledge the existence of Satan, the Satanists are quite candid about exactly who the dread “lord of death” happens to be, and they celebrate Halloween as one of his two highest unholy days.

As is the case among the Witches, different “denominations” of Satanists have their own peculiar traditions, beliefs, and practices on this night. For some of them Satan is not a real, specific entity but rather the personification of evil resident within all men, a “dark hidden force in nature responsible for the workings of earthly affairs.”21

Other Satanists however—cult Satanists—understand that Satan is very real indeed. To them, the sacrifices he demands are not symbolic at all.22 They believe that the blood sacrifice of innocence which Satan demands as the ultimate blasphemy and sign of devotion to himself must be very literal indeed. At various times during the year, but especially during the month of October, police across the country report finding the remains of animals—some with the blood drained, others with various organs missing, some carefully skinned while keeping the tortured creature alive. They are frequently found at sites which indicate that some form of ritual took place. When no altar or pentagram or other symbolism is in evidence, it is entirely likely that some neophyte or self-styled Satanist is simply practicing to make sure the “sacrifice” is letter-perfect for the ceremony.

Because of its innocence and frailty, a tiny child is viewed by these Satanists as the perfect sacrifice to their Master. The infant is seen as a representation of the Christ Child, and it is He whom they are blaspheming and symbolically destroying in the prolonged and brutal torture and slaying of the child. After the death of the baby, the members will all eat a portion of the little one’s heart and will drink its blood.

RECRUITERS FOR SATAN

Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for the Satanists. Much as the government will plant undercover narcotic agents in various high schools to find out who is pushing or using drugs on campus, so some Satanists may plant kids at the schools who are there solely for the purpose of discerning potential members or victims among the students. The Dungeons and Dragons clubs are key hunting grounds for them, as are other groups and clubs based on medieval themes.

Church-sponsored “haunted houses” are also fertile recruiting centers. The Satanists watch for those kids who show a marked bent for the macabre and the sinister, and they invite them to a “real good” party being held elsewhere, which proves to be a lower-level ritual held for the purpose of initiating these kids into Satanism.

IMITATORS OF GOD

So . . . should your family participate in the traditional Halloween celebrations? Absolutely . . . if you and/or your children are Witches, Satanists, humanists, atheists, pagans, or anything other than born-again Christians (or Orthodox Jews). For a true Christian to participate in the ancient trappings of Halloween is as incongruous as for a committed cult Satanist coming from a blood sacrifice on Christmas Eve to set up a crèche in his living room and sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” with heartfelt, sincere devotion to baby Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1 admonishes us to be imitators of God. Can you picture the Lord Jesus dressing up as Satan, or as one of the demons He cast out that week, or perhaps as a Druid priest, just because it was the Feast of Samhain and His disciples were giving a nifty party that night in honor of the tradition? Or can you see the apostles disguising themselves as temple prostitutes or as worshipers of the god Moloch, to whom the Canaanites (and even the Israelites in their darker days) sacrificed their children?23

Halloween is a day in which virtually every occult practice that God has called “abomination” is glorified.

When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, NASB*)

“But it’s only for one night!” some cry. “It’s only in fun for the children!” If this is how you feel, then you need to understand what the Word of God says to you:

Learn not the way of the heathen! (Jeremiah 10:2)

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES

There are any number of creative alternatives that can be provided for children on Halloween without participating in the ancient religious traditions of the Witches and Satanists.

Some families view the occasion as a witnessing opportunity and handout Gospel tracts along with the treats. Some churches are now sponsoring “Bible Houses,” in which the kids go through and hear different Bible stories read or acted out—a godly alternative to the haunted-house routine!

Other Christian families choose to spend the night remembering the saints who have gone to be with the Lord during the year. Saints aren’t just those who have been canonized as such by some church. A saint, according to the Bible, is anyone who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Messiah. Perhaps you could spend this night talking about the martyrs who were willing to die rather than compromise their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian parents can also make a difference in the way the schools their children attend celebrate Halloween. In Colorado, parents protested the traditional celebration of Halloween in several public schools, including at least one elementary school on the grounds that it is a “high holy day in the satanic religion, and as such is an inappropriate holiday for schoolchildren.”24 One mother said that she “would like to see the same measures applied to the Halloween parties as have been taken with the Christmas parties.”25 In light of the present distress, I fully agree. Since God and Jesus have been banned from Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving celebrations in most of our schools, why should the government-recognized religions of Witchcraft and Satanism get free promotion on Halloween from these same institutions?

One thing Halloween should not be for the Christian is a time of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8)! Spend at least part of this night worshiping God by singing hymns. Above all, spend time in prayer and intercession for the children.

It is tragic that many people in the church have forgotten that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and that includes on Halloween! Too many of our children have been made vulnerable to a spirit of fear and to the occult where we allow faith in God to be extinguished by participating in the darkness of this world.

After the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England in 1951, the Witches and Satanists experienced a revival which is currently in full swing. You might not know too much about Witches or Satanists, but I guarantee you that most kids do in today’s computerized, Internet, social-media world.

For ye were sometimes [formerly] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. (Ephesians 5:8,11)

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

Endnotes
1. 1 John 3:8.
2. Back in 1985, there was an outfit that called itself “Adopt-a-Ghost” based in Hollywood, California. For a paltry $10.00 to cover adoption papers and conjuring fees, you could adopt a ghost for your house, condo, apartment, or office . . . like a Cabbage Patch Kid, only cheaper and considerably livelier. Hauntings were guaranteed, and the ghost even came with written tips on ghost-raising to make sure it would stick around.
3. Connie Swart, “Event Still a Scream,” the Bakersfield Californian, October 16,1982, p. 13.
4. Emma Koonse, “Kirk Cameron on Halloween: ‘Christians Should Have the Biggest Party on the Block’” (Christian Post, October 20, 2014,  http://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-on-halloween-christians-should-have-the-biggest-party-on-the-block-128345/#Jx3ZzPQLf0A8bigp.99).
5. Barbara G. Walker, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row Publishers, 1983), p. 372.
6. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (London: Octopus Books Ltd., 1974), p. 166. Introduction by Hans Holzer.
7. Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats (New York, NY: Magickal Childe Publishing, Inc., 1981, 1984), p. 122.
8. The lantern was also called a “corpse lantern” or”fairie fire,” or a will-o’-the-wisp, and numerous fascinating legends about its origins have risen up around it. Some thought it was the spirit of a child which had been buried in the swamp. Others thought it represented the lights fairies used to beckon fools to watery death in the swamps. Another legend tells of a clever fellow named Jack who got himself barred from hell as well as heaven for being something of a Faustian smart aleck and was doomed to run about earth for all eternity with the burning coal he snatched from hell itself with the turnip he was eating just before the gates slammed shut. This story makes little sense to me at all. I mean, would you be eating a turnip while standing at the gates of hell politely requesting admittance? Doubtful. One version of this tale found in an elementary school teacher’s “Halloween Fun” manual observes that the devil threw the burning coal at Jack to drive him away and that Jack caught the thing in his turnip. This makes more sense. Anyway, the Celts carved jack’o’lanterns out of turnips, nonetheless. They probably used turnips because they didn’t have pumpkins. They had to come to America to discover them, which they did during the mass immigration to America during the great potato famine of 1886. They soon realized that pumpkins are a whole lot easier to carve than turnips. They also make nicer pies.
St. James Church in the Los Angeles area held a “Pumpkin Mass” in 1987 in which the priest blessed the parishioners’ Halloween costumes (to be brought in boxes or sacks) and the pumpkins which were to be carved and placed in the sanctuary. The verse quoted for the occasion: “Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
9. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, p.166.
10. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins of Druidism (Great Britain: EP Publishing Ltd., 1976), p. 104.
11. Ibid.
12. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1 The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
13. Raymond Buckland, Witchcraft from the Inside (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1975), p. 16.
14. Lewis Spence, The History of Origins, op. cit., p. 105.
15. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 122.
16. James Frazer records in The Golden Bough (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1922) that in some areas “people who assisted at the bonfires would wait till the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, “The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!” The saying implies that originally one of the company became a victim in dead earnest” (The Golden Bough, p. 736). The “cropped black sow” was a representation of the Goddess Cerridwen in her dark aspect as the Crone, according to Welsh mythology (A Witches Bible, vol.1, The Sabbats, p. 125). She is still worshiped in that aspect by Wiccans today, as well as in her more appealing forms of Maiden and Mother.
As the Farrars point out in A Witches Bible, vol. 1, The Sabbats, p. 725), “All these victim-choosing rituals long ago mellowed into a mere romp, but Frazer had no doubt of their original grim purpose. What was once a deadly serious ritual at the great tribal fire had become a party game at the family ones.” They may have “mellowed in time,” in most places, but nevertheless, it was the terror of the original sacrifices and demons that most accurately represents the “true spirit” of Halloween. The true “spirit of Halloween” is that of sudden death and murder.
17. Raymond Buckland, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1986), p. 68.
18. Arnold and Patricia Crowther, The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot (West Caldwell, NJ: University Books, Inc., 1974), pp. 67-68.
19. Ibid., p. 68.
20. Farrar and Farrar, A Witches Bible, vol 1, The Sabbats, op. cit., p. 135.
21. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, NY: Avon Books, 1969), p. v of introduction.
22. Anton LaVey clarifies his position on human sacrifice on page 88 of his Satanic Bible, in which he says: “Symbolically, the victim is destroyed through the working of a hex or curse, which in turn leads to the physical, mental or emotional destruction of the ‘sacrifice’ in ways and means not attributable to the magician. The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.”
23. Ezekiel 16:20,21; Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 57:5.
24 Rebecca Jones, “Halloween Parade Off” (The Eagle Forum, vol.8, no.4, Fall 1982), p. 17.
25. Ibid.

*Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible, except on page 14 where one verse is taken from the NASB. Scripture taken from the New American Stanard Bible(R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975, 1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

To order copies of HALLOWEEN! A Warning to Christian Parents, click here. 

About the Author

Johanna Michaelsen is a noted author, lecturer, and authority on the occult. Her internationally best-selling autobiography, The Beautiful Side of Evil, tells the story of her involvement with the occult, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, a well-known psychic surgeon in Mexico City, and her eventual rejections of all such practices. Published by Harvest House in 1982, it has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish.

Her second book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (available through Amazon), also a best seller, clearly and extensively documents the invasion of occultism and dangerous religious practices into America’s public education system, movies, television, books, games, holidays, and more.

Since Johanna Michaelsen’s exit from the occult in November of 1972, she has devoted her time to studying current trends and occult practices for the purpose of warning and equipping the church in these last days. Her books, tapes, audio-book, seminars, and lectures have helped thousands find freedom and peace in Jesus Christ.

Johanna is available for interviews and seminars and can be reached at Johanna@michaelsenministries.org. You may visit her on the web at: http://michaelsenministries.com.

Spiritual Warfare: The Unseen Foe Behind Rising Evil

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…” 1 Timothy  4:1-2

We don’t hear much about spiritual warfare these days. Most churches seem to ignore the reality of Satan and the evil he inspires. God’s warnings about fellowship with the world’s alluring thrills doesn’t fit the contemporary image of Jesus as a tolerant, easy-going friend.

Since the 18th century’s birth of the “Age of Reason,” an increasing number of “enlightened” Western leaders and influential “change agents” have tried to discredit the Bible and silence believers. More recently, a vast number of politicians, media masters and educators have joined this war against biblical truth and Christian values.

No wonder our public schools are becoming bastions of atheism, immorality and — spreading fast — the promotion of Islam. Like the persecuted Jews during and after Hitler’s holocaust, today’s Jews and Christians are facing hatred and rising persecution for standing firm in their faith.

It’s no secret that Satan’s lies have sparked wars and cruelty through the ages. Ever since Eve chose to follow her own feelings rather than God’s wise guidelines, humanity has faced assaults from “the evil one” — often through his willing pawns. Call him the Devil, Deceiver, Satan, or serpent; it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same ruthless oppressor:

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Revelation 12:9

From the beginning, this invisible fiend has been seeding doubt, depravity, despair and death. Through the ages, he has inspired idolatry, witchcraft, deadly curses and magical arts that were used to control people and corrupt cultures. He lost some ground during America’s Christian era, when — by God’s grace — our nation was relatively free from such dark forces. But our times are changing fast, and once again the captivating forces of evil are mesmerizing vulnerable children as well as adults.

In 2014, Fox Network launched a new TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets:

“The more subtle side of satanism in Hollywood entertainment is now a thing of the past, as primetime television airs blatantly evil shows like the upcoming Fox drama Lucifer, which glorifies the goings about of the ‘lord of hell’; after he fictitiously leaves the lake of fire and retires to Los Angeles.

“The premise behind the absurd drama, which is set to release in 2016, centers around so-called ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ and his new life as the owner of Lux, an upscale nightclub located in the City of Angels…. ‘It’s only fitting, then, that this modern-day show produced by satanists would portray Lucifer as a type of benevolent god… to take the place of the real God…. Whether you believe what the Bible says or not, this is the clear-as-day implication of this upcoming show that will soon be watched by presumably millions of people.”[1]

This world is changing fast, and we must prepare for the challenges ahead. Our children need to know and remember warnings like these:

“There shall not be found among you any one that…  that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer….  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…”  Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Satan knows well that no nation can maintain true freedom apart from God’s moral law. Quenched by propaganda, hedonism and distorted views of God’s Truth, the biblical values that made America kind, generous, honest and successful are now fading fast — even in churches. Some years ago a youth pastor sent me this conflicting message:

“I am a strong Christian and love the Lord with all my heart. The problem is I really enjoy reading the Harry Potter books and nothing about them conflicts with my spirit…”[2]

A young woman who called herself “a solitary witch” wrote this revealing message:

“I am a Harry Potter fan for several reasons. … You are not just drawn into the story but into that world. Then through talking about them with fans you fall further and further in love with the characters, you analyze them and worry about them until they feel real to you. Then you have, in a way, become a part of that shared universe, and it is a wonderful place to be.”[3]

What a cruel illusion! When a nation turns from God’s ways to decadence and imaginary thrills, our Lord withdraws His blessings and protection. And when Satan has his way, calamity reigns. Remember, the evil one rules a hierarchy of like-minded demonic beings:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God , that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:12-13

That “evil day” may already be upon us. It’s beginning to bring fear and oppression to wayward America — as it did to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. And now, with today’s massive movement of migrants who — like some of our leaders — despise both Jews and Christians, our world is changing faster than ever. What’s more, Western countries like America, the UK and Germany are still hosts to unthinkable occultism and secret societies. Some of those empowered servants of darkness may well join tomorrow’s tyrants.

Are we prepared to “stand firm” in Jesus Christ, wearing His Armor  as we face the challenges ahead? Can we count on our Lord and King to win this battle on behalf of His people?

Yes we can! God always wins — even when the victory looks more like defeat to us! He is the sovereign Lord and King over all, and His wisdom and long-range plans for our lives far surpass our finite understanding. Everything is under His command:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

With our limited insights into His heavenly plans, we may be tempted to complain. To resist that lure, we need to trust God, know His Word, and remember His Wonderful Promises.  No matter what challenges we face, He is with us – strengthening our faith and training us to endure! For,

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….  

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all,  taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”   Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18.

  1. Fox Network launched a new “TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets.”
  2. This was a personal note from a private person.
  3. This was a personal note from a private person.

Used with permission from Kjos Ministries.

 


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