December 13, 2004

What Compels us? Force and Fear or Our Weakness and God's Love?

What compels you to do anything in life? Does forcefulness persuade you?

It may for a time, but in the long run, you will grow to resent the use of force aimed at you.

If someone tries to manipulate you with fear, will that compel you to do anything?

Again, for a time it may. But some time afterwards, resentment and bitterness will take over and stop you from doing the very thing that fear motivated you to do in the beginning.

There are many people who have turned their backs on God. Some of these people chose to because they were at some point in their lives forced to go to church or to take part in other religious actions that they wanted no part of.

Christianity is not a religion of force but many misguided Christians have demonstrated it as such.

You cannot force your views upon another and go against the very will that was given to them by God and expect any good to come from it.

I was never forced to attend church and I never felt forced to live for God.

I consider myself very fortunate that I was not forced to do these things by my parents or by anyone.

I had some friends who were forced to go to church and they were not happy and they did not feel the freedom in their lives that I did. I recall one friend of mine who had fights with her parents and grandparents practically every other Sunday over the issue of going to church.

I felt sorry for her for having to go through this.

I thought it was too bad that a parent would force their child to go to church. Her parents were very devout Christians and my parents were not living for God and therefore not pushing their beliefs upon me, their child. Of course I felt freedom where my friend felt only pressure. I felt at the time that there were other issues between my friend and her parents. There is also another thing I remember. It was the way I felt, knowing that it must have been hard on her to understand my desire to go to church and live for God and her not having that same desire.

I understand why she didn't. She was Forced and I was not. God does not force any of us to do anything we do not want to do.

I'm sure there are many of us who felt forced to act in a certain way or to agree with a certain view held by church members. I can recall that pressure I felt from church members to agree with their views, etc.

But I did not agree with them on issues that went against what I knew to be the truth as outlined in the Bible. This has caused me to not be very popular with many Christians.

Why must anyone try to sway others to believe something that only they themselves feel so strongly about? This is on line with manipulation.

We should not ever seek to control anyone on any issue. We should seek to get the truth of God out to the multitudes of people who are lost. That should be our desire and objective.

I believe that if we as Christians would just live our lives the way God tells us to live, love others and truly seek to help those in need, those actions alone would show the love of Christ and there would be no need for anything else. It is our actions and our words that are supposed to express who we serve. Not what we say absent of good fruits

The pressure, petty manipulations, and the lack of total faith in God to preserve those who are his.

These are some of the key reasons why I seldom attend church now. Things have not changed since I was a teenager with the exception of an increase in deception and merchandising. Many church members and those in authority in the Christian churches still attempt to force their will upon others around them. It's all about control. Jesus was not about control, he was about teaching the truth along with faith, love, mercy and compassion. A free will is a horrible thing to lose. If you lose your free will, you are no better than a mindless robot.

From the Parents to the Children

I have never forced my children to go to church. They either go or they don't. Now on this subject, I have Christian friends who disagree with me. That doesn't bother me, and I am not hostile toward different views. I believe that my decisions about how I raise my children comes from my upbringing somewhat.

I was not forced to attend church by my parents, so I did not feel that particular pressure. All of us are affected to some degree by how we were raised and what we learned earlier in our lives. What I have tried to do in my life is to teach my children the principles of Christianity at home first and not to rely on the church to indoctrinate them.

The church does not need to do for my children what I was told by God to do myself. I think that many Christians are too content with forcing their children to go to church and learn through the leaders there instead of teaching them at home. The problem is compounded for many of these kids because as the parents are sending the kids on their way to church, the parents never attend and that is wrong. It's a double standard. The parents in many instances forcing their kids to do what they are not willing to do themselves.

Children always pick up on this and will rebel accordingly. I feel as though I was given a gift in not having Christianity forced on me in my younger years and am sure now that I am older that this had much to do with my endearing faith later in life.

Fear as a Motivator and Spiritual Burnout

A spiritual relationship with God based upon force and fear will go nowhere. I can hear many Christians out in cyberspace right now who are disagreeing with me. But let me ask you a question.

Do you find it comforting and uplifting to have a relationship with another person that you fear or who attempts to force their personal beliefs on you? I personally do not. Why should we then find it acceptable to have a relationship with God based upon fear or force or both?

When anyone forces religion upon another based upon fear, the end result is not good.

I had friends that made the decision to accept Christ as their Savior simply because they were fearful that if they didn't, they would go to hell. At that time in my own life I was learning much and caught up with my own new relationship with God and so I didn't have the time nor knowledge that I do now to discuss the subject of force and fear in relation to Christianity. But I remember that the majority of preaching by their pastors and parents was geared toward the fear issue in regards to salvation and living a godly life. Many of those friends of mine did not last long in church and suffered spiritual burnout as a result. Spiritual burnout happens when you are working at a fevered pace to live the Christian life. You grow tired and weary and give up. It is at this point that some completely turn their backs on God and decide that they will no longer serve him. But others find that spiritual burnout is a positive turning point for them. In reality, suffering from spiritual burnout is the best thing that could happen to a person caught up in the cross hairs of religion. We are not able to live a life dedicated to God in our own power. It is only by the Spirit that we are able to live a life that is fulfilling and that brings glory to God. We have a responsibility to turn over our lives to him, we alone must make that choice, but it is HE and not we ourselves who keeps us all the while we are submitted to him as his obedient children.

I should know because I suffered from spiritual burnout. And when I was finally spent and had nothing left in myself that I could cling to in order to live the life God and others expected me to live, that is when I gave up and told God, "I cannot live this life, I cannot do anything without you God". In my own power I have nothing to offer, nothing to give anyone. Take me and use me for your glory, with all of my weaknesses, you're welcome to them as well and see if you can do anything about them. Just take them and allow me to have strength through you. I had to realize how truly weak I was while at the same time recognizing God as my tower of strength.

That is coming clean with God, that is what leading the Christian life is truly all about. It is not about attempting to be something you are not. It is not about putting up false appearances. It is not about forcing our beliefs upon others, it is about each one of us personally making a decision based upon the truth of the Gospel and allowing God to be God in our own lives.

Who Keeps Us?

Anyone with eyes and understanding can read the bible for themselves and conclude that Jesus was not about FORCE or FEAR. So where does this twisted thinking come from?

During my years of being a Christian as well as listening to other Christians,
I am convinced that it comes from a lack of faith on the part of those who are supposed to be teaching and leading us.

They believe that if they do not instill fear in us, mixed in with a dab of force and crack that spiritual whip that we will not live a life that is centered upon God given morality.

What they neglect to understand is that it is God himself who keeps us and has patience with us during our walk with Him.

They neglect to understand that it is not by might, nor by power, but it is by his Spirit that we are kept in his care.

So whether it be pastors or parents, they feel it is their responsibility to BRING US INTO the kingdom of God and then to KEEP us in a position of submission and control and in order to accomplish this, they use Fear and Force. They will do or say what they feel they must in order to assure themselves that we are living for God and that we stay on the right and holy path. I have seen this my friends. I have seen this type of fear and force in action.

I am not saying this is right, but it does happen this way much of the time. I've seen it at work. This is why many have felt negatively toward Christianity for years.

We must learn that it is God who keeps us by his Spirit, but we have a hand in making the wise choices that lead to our submission to him. Nobody can force you to submit to God. But it isn't for lack of them trying. Man likes to believe that he has control of things, even if it is just a little control, that is better than none at all. But submission to God is entirely in each of our hands and a choice that we must make individually every day of our lives. Only we have the power and the choice to submit to God, keep ourselves humble with God's help and to follow him. These choices will lead us toward our own spiritual progress. Another person's spiritual progress we have nothing to do with apart from building up one another instead of tearing each other down, and being willing to help one another. When it comes to telling people what to do and how to manage their lives, we have no business being caught up in another's spiritual life.

We should be there when they ask for help, prayer and our opinions based upon the word of God. But aside from these things, we should never allow force to take up residence in our hearts and lives in any manner.

Preventing the Pressure

I have found some things helpful. I tend to stay away from a majority of churches and I stick to studying what the Word of God says and applying it to my own life. In addition to these I pray a prayer almost daily that God by his Spirit would keep me humble. I feel the world very desperately needs God's people to love them and to care for them. If our light is supposed to shine in the darkness, then what are we doing keeping to ourselves in the churches? I never understood that.

But isn't it ironic that nowadays, there are many in the churches that are in darkness?

I have seen much foolishness in the Body of Christ spanning over 30 years. This has helped me to know a scheme from the real thing and the truth from error. I don't claim to know a lot. There are many more out there that are more knowledgeable than me. There is still much I do not know and I am on a journey just like everyone else in this life. I do not expect to be perfect when I am taken out of this world and into the next. If I know more next year than I did the year before, I am quite content. I don't struggle to gain much knowledge. I take life as it comes at me. Leaning on and trusting in the God that made me. Living life tends to make all of us more resilient and knowledgeable as every day and year passes.

I find that many Christians do not want to admit it if they don't know an answer to a question put to them by unbelievers. Why can't people just admit that there are some things that they don't know? Whether you are a Christian or an unbeliever, not any one of us can claim to know all things. The only one who does know all things is God himself. But many Christians fear that if they do not know "all the answers", it will make God look bad. This is ridiculous thinking. It does not make God look bad if we don't know all the answers. We are his people, we are humans and he is God. If someone asks me about something I don't have a clue about, I will tell them that I don't know. God has given us what he wanted us to know in the Bible, and the rest will be answered by him at a time of his own choosing. Who are we to demand all answers to all things anyway?

A Time to Fear God

In conclusion, there is a time to fear God

Those who have totally rejected God and cast him and his truth aside based upon the adequate knowledge they have had of him should fear him. These should indeed fear the judgment of God because those who knew the truth openly defied God's truth and they chose instead to discard his love and count it as nothing. They also counted the sacrifice of his Son as nothing, those who do these things should fear God. Sadly, many are too far along in deception and darkness for it to matter to them that they have rejected the one who made them.

Only God knows if you have come to the point in your life in which you've had chance after chance to turn to him and have decided to stay in your pride, stubbornness and rebelliousness.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But here again, God gives us the choice to believe in him, to serve him or not. While it is so very wrong for anyone to try to force their beliefs upon another, ultimately you are all responsible to pick up the bible and gain knowledge that God and not man has provided for you. There will be no excuse for those who do not do this. Nobody will be able to say in that day when standing before God at the judgment, "Well, I was taught wrong by preacher such and such and that is the reason why I rejected Jesus Christ". Although it may be true that preacher such and such was teaching you contrary to the Word of God, you KNEW to go to the source which is the Word of God. Some do not know to go to the source instead of trusting in man to tell them the truth. Well, now I have cleared that up for a number of people and I stand on record as having told you.

Maybe I will be the only one you will come across that has told you this.

Go to the source and trust not in man! Go to his Word that he has provided for you.

God is angry if you have been given the truth, have understanding based upon that truth and you still choose to reject him. He does have long patience with us, it's true, but it is a dangerous line you are crossing each day you spend in rebellion towards God. But even that rebellion is yours and has not been forced upon you, it is chosen by you and you alone.

Has the Holy Spirit spoken to your heart? Have you been turning a deaf ear and heart to him? These are the reasons to fear God.

It is only through our brokenness, admitted weakness and desire for a way out of our shattered lives that compels us to give up and trust in God. This is why pride is a killer. This is why pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Our pride blinds us to these truths.

We must see God's strength and power as greater than our own because it truly is. We must realize our own frailties and weaknesses. We have no need to rely upon God if we believe ourselves to be strong and fully capable of managing our own lives and directing our own steps.

December 1, 2004

This King - Conquerors Christmas Page

This King Jesus

Our Savior's entrance into this world took place in a stable, not a palace. This was the King whose majesty would never be recognized by his wardrobe or influential friends. Instead, this King would be loved one moment and mocked the next. This King's home was not of this earth, yet he loved the people of this earth.

This King desired that all would learn of him and be saved from their sins through faith in him.

This King had many attributes that drew multitudes of people to him.

This King was the King of compassion, and all who crossed his path experienced this abundant compassion firsthand.

This King announced that his kingdom was not of this world when men approached him to make him a King.

This King knew what his mission was for his time here on earth and with his face and spirit set like flint, he set out and accomplished that mission.

This King's mission was to save all that were lost. To bind up the brokenhearted, to heal those who were sick and hurting, and to release the prisoners born into this world out of the shackles of sin, death, hell and the grave.

This King's life brought honor and glory God.

During this King's time on earth, there were vast numbers of Religious leaders. All of these religious leaders had one thing in common. They loved to rule the people, the common man. They wanted to be held in admiration by the influential as well as the common man. They also loved the most important seats in the temple and to be called "Master" by those who listened to them.

But for all of their rules and regulations, they couldn't keep the law and couldn't do what they were instructing others to do.

But these religious leaders would not admit to this King that they were unable to keep the law. They felt that keeping up the appearance of doing right and being righteous by their own power was good enough, though they would never admit that.

This King gave up all of the splendor of Heaven to walk the roads of Jerusalem, teaching all men about the Love of his Father.

This is the King who said "You without sin, cast the first stone" to those who were ready to kill the adulterous woman.

This King healed the deaf and gave sight to those who could not see.

This King endured being mocked, beaten and crucified just so that you and I would be free.

This King did not fear those who would have him crucified and end his life on this earth.

This King endured the cross and arose on the third day from his earthly death, triumphant!

All of this was the enormous price he was willing to pay.

You might ask why would this King pay such a price? What would move this King to give his very life? Friend, there would be only one reason for him to do these things for you and me. It was because of the great love he had for humanity.

And even after all of these things were done for you and I by this King, he would not allow us to be without help in this world. He even sent us his Holy Spirit after he ascended into heaven.

Without gifts, and absent of decorated trees, would you still have much to celebrate on Christmas Eve?
You would if you knew in your heart what the meaning of Christmas truly is.

Christmas is not about sales reports that department stores generate.

Christmas is not about bright lights and tree ornaments nor brightly decorated packages to open on Christmas day.

It is not even about that traditional family Christmas feast. All of these are the traditions of men.

The only way to know what it is all about is to hear the story of that first Christmas so long ago, documented in the Bible.

Luke 1: 31-33

The Angel speaks to the Virgin Mary:

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Joseph and Mary

Joseph and Mary would find no vacant room for them in the inn.

They instead stayed in a stable.

Shepherds nearby were watching over their flock when an angel appeared unto them.

They were told by an angel of the Messiah's soon arrival into this world.

Luke 2:8-14

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 1

4 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2: 41-52 Jesus, the Boy

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

May you reflect on the giver of all gifts this Christmas.

Jesus Christ

He loves you more than you could imagine. There is no way to express in words how large his love is for you.

He even came into this weary world in order that every man and woman would know the way to eternal life.

He was crucified for our sins and the chastisement of our peace was upon him.

God the Father allowed all of this because of the great love he had for you and I.

Merry Christmas and God bless you.

November 2, 2004

Economic Collision Just Ahead, The Titanic has nothing on America

In watching the movie Titanic, I gained more than just entertainment, and all from a much hyped Hollywood movie.

Only the Best people would be lucky enough to stride most of its glorious expanse.

When the Titanic set out for New York Harbour from Newfoundland , all seemed well. The passengers were excited about gaining the experience of a lifetime.

Those with boarding tickets, carried in their hands the rare opportunity to ride this "Ship of Dreams".

The passengers

Both the wealthy and the poor were overtaken with anticipation when boarding the great ship.

Among the passengers, there was old money (those who came from wealthy and influential families, their wealth was inherited) and new money (those newly wealthy, among these was The "unsinkable Molly Brown", who had "married" money). Most of the passengers had only one thing in common - MONEY.

Anyone who has seen the film would remember the snide, stuck-up mother of Rose. She had a real problem with her daughter. The mother was penniless, left nothing from her deceased husband but a "good name" and some bad debt.

The daughter was not in love with the rich fiance that was chosen for her by the mother, but was being forced to marry him. The snide mother watched over her daughter and hovered so that the daughter would not back out of the arranged marriage. Her daughter's marriage to a man she did not love was the mother's meal ticket.

There was the wealthiest man on the ship, John Jacob Aster. He was having a fling on the Titanic with a girl many years younger than himself. The elite passengers of the Titanic were well taken care of and seemed to have every need met.

The other group of passengers had one thing in common also, poverty. These were the "steerage" who were for the most part restricted to the lowest level of the ship. When the Titanic was sinking, many of these people were kept from boarding the lifeboats, this disgusted me, but such is the way of the world.

One thing was clear, the steerage on the lower deck seemed to be having a much better time than the wealthy on the top deck.

They danced, drank and sang while the wealthy retired to their smoking rooms for a cigar and brandy and talk of their most recent economic conquests.

The young "Rose" of the upper deck, took off with one of the "rats" (Jack) of the lower deck and commenced to run away from her fiance's nosy bodyguard who was chasing them frantically.

The Journey

On April 11, the ship leaves from Newfoundland bound for New York.

The poor were no doubt happily dreaming of the opportunities that awaited them in America. Many of these poor people were going to America to start new lives, hoping for the better life that the New World would offer them once they arrived.

The first few days were wonderful and no problems arose with the ship. None that was accounted of in the movie. Seems to me that after I had seen the movie, I watched a documentary that noted how the Titanic narrowly escaped an impact with another ship while pulling away to leave. If this happened, it was not recounted in the film. All seemed eerily calm and the captain and crew seemed to have everything under control.

How could they have ever known that in a very short time, the great Titanic would be carrying it's passengers to their watery graves.

Trouble Ahead

While making the journey for New York, the ship's designer *Bruce Ismay* had a little chat with Captain Smith. The designer commented to the captain "wouldn't it be wonderful if the Titanic made it to New York BEFORE it's anticipated arrival time"?

He commented how it would make for "great headlines" in the papers.

The captain said he would prefer not to stress the ship's engines before they'd had a chance to be broken in.

It was not enough that the ship was on course, perhaps a bit ahead of schedule, the designer of the great Ship wanted the Titanic to "make headlines". No doubt that in the Titanic making headlines, Mr. Ismay himself would make headlines.

Iceberg Warnings

Now at some point, during the two days of calm, there were iceberg warnings from nearby ships. These iceberg warnings were addressed to the Captain who upon hearing of the possible dangers ahead, seemed unconcerned. Had he and the crew taken the WARNINGS more seriously, the disaster perhaps could have been avoided. But it was not to be.

The captain then gives the order to take Titanic "full steam ahead".

Now here is something interesting:

Had the lookouts been doing their jobs, and had the speed not been set to full, and had the warnings been heeded, in all likelihood the great ship would not have met it's terrible fate.

These three, not heeding to the warnings of others, accelerated speed and lack of alertness caused the sinking of the titanic.

By the time the iceberg was spotted by the watchers, the speed the ship was set at made it impossible to steer the ship away from the iceberg. The impact did not have to happen. It was simply a result of wrong decisions. There was a chain of negligent decisions that caused the sinking of the Titanic.

Just before midnight, April 14th, 1912

When the ship hit the iceberg, there was simply no time for planning. There was not adequate lifeboats available for the passengers. There was a ship that was not far from Titanic when the Titanic went down, but this ship didn't notice the distress signals from the Titanic. This other ship most likely thought that the signals were celebratory and nothing to do with distress. In the havoc that followed, there was no time for the passengers to be astonished. There was simply no time for anything. The speed at which the Titanic went down was remarkable. Passengers scurrying around grabbing for anything to keep their heads above water. Looking for anything to grab onto. In the movie, we see many of the lower class passengers having to stay below, they were locked in down there, while the first class passengers were offered lifeboats. Women pleading to have their husbands go with them in the lifeboats, children screaming for their fathers to come with them.

It took around 2 hours for the Titanic to finally go to it's watery grave.

God himself could not sink this ship!

Before the impact and while all was well, passengers commented on the safeness of the Titanic.

One passenger commented "This ship is not capable of sinking! God himself could not sink this ship!"

But in the end, these brazen and confident proclamations would not prove to be accurate.

Warning, Economic Collision just ahead

The Titanic Has Nothing on America

I can see many similarities in the Nation we live in and that great and grand ship Titanic. But first, some recent changes I've noticed.

America was a great Nation and still has in it the capabilities to surpass even what we used to be. But at present, we have lost sight of those things we most need (A healthy and strong spiritual life) and have focused on those things that are of no use to us and are at best, detrimental to our nation (greed, selfishness and pride). All U.S citizens have been very fortunate to live in such a nation as this. The reasons for being fortunate are many. The freedom that America affords those who have lived in bondage in other countries is something to be extremely thankful for. The economic freedoms we have been allowed to enjoy have seemed to be infinite. However, they are not infinite. Ask the many who are no longer employed. Ask those whose jobs have been given away to cheap foreign labor markets abroad. The career opportunities we have been able to enjoy have been a sight to behold in times past. But it's not quite what it was before, and the career outlooks for many who are graduating college are bleak at best. Many who have a degree are flipping burgers and IF they can find a better offer, they will grab it up for less money than was previously offered them in years past.

The problem is, America is increasingly becoming less of what it was and more of what it was not. As I said above, we have been blessed with much but now we seem to be spinning out of control. Lack of self control and a dry or non-existent spirituality has made us blind and as a result, we have lost our discernment.

Economic Disaster for Our Great and industrious American economy?

The money analysts on CNN will not sound an alarm before economic disaster hits this country, it will not be done.

The money barons of Wall Street forecast nothing but the most excellent financial projections for American companies. Never mind the fact that lately, more and more projections turn out to be below expectations.

They say, "This quarter, profits could be down but it's ok, profits are projected to rise during the next quarter". There are an abundance of economic prophets and prognosticators. They will always have something good to say, never anything dismal or negative. The bulls always will overshadow the bears. These bulls foresee positive growth and excellent economic potential for various companies and corporations. We can forget about getting a warning from these people. No matter how bad our economy gets, they will always mouth the optimistic commentaries of those they serve, regardless of what the truth is.

Of Living in America in 2004

Here is just a small peep into what we experience every day in our current society:

We have American workers going broke and losing jobs, while corporations are making more profit than ever before.

We have tax cuts for the richest in America while the poor in America are paying the price for their corporate Greed.

We have Billions of dollars going to a foreign country to rebuild their schools while our own schools are in shambles. Do we care about our children's education?

We are building fire stations in Iraq while our own firehouses are drastically under funded and do without necessities. Not that we should not build theirs, but should we hold such disregard and disinterest for our own? Should we build their's at the expense of our own?

We have many Christians turning a blind eye to gut wrenching sins, while ranting about the few (sins) they choose to rant on about. They speak out against the sins of their own choosing.

We have millions of citizens cowering in fear after watching a two minute clip on the latest terrorism warnings.

A presidential nominee and Vietnam Veteran who served his country well and should be commended, is instead slandered, yet many see no problem at all with this.

We have Veterans that have to worry about getting their benefits cut, yet they were the ones who served our country and should be held in high regards by our Administration.

The Ten Commandments are hauled out of a courthouse, yet a little later, homosexual marriages are performed on courthouse steps all across the nation.

We have pastors divorcing their wives and marrying another soon after. There is no sorrow over it, he believes he is in God's will and his previous wife was not his "soul mate", but he has been told by God that this new one is.

Money, The Stumbling Block Of our Iniquity

What can be said is the one thing that we hold most dear to our hearts?

The love of Money, The Root of All Evil

It was not by accident that God placed this warning to us in the Bible. We should thank him many times over for giving us this warning.

God knew that the Love of Money is indeed the root of all evil. Money, or the love or lust for it brings greed. When greed takes control of people, there is a disastrous outcome, not only for the greedy, but for the victims of those who would allow greed to gain control of their lives and steer them toward a devastating and destructive path.

It is all too true that at present, there are many who are walking over whomever they have to in order to extract GAIN in financial respects. Some of them are even known as Christians, but Christ said that we would know these people their fruits.

Why would God allow our prosperity to be taken away from us? Why would God allow our country to experience an economic Titanic?

Because money has become the stumbling block of our iniquity .

Ezekiel 7:19

They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.

Money is the biggest Idol in the world, and can certainly be said to be the biggest idol in America.

We believe that if we can buy it, then it will make us happy. What we fail to realize is that the most precious things in life cannot be bought. Just like salvation , it IS the most precious gift we could ever have in our possession, yet it cannot be purchased with money. It cannot be bought with the finest gold or the most choice silver.

An Economic Titanic

There is coming upon this earth an economic disaster that I do not believe has been seen in history, and America will not be spared. We somehow think that we as Americans will never know the suffering and judgment of God, but this is incorrect. We will not get by escaping God's judgment. The most important thing that we can do right now is to prepare for the dark days ahead, and in order to do this we must repent . We must repent of our sins as well as ask God to forgive everyone in this nation for setting up the idol of money in their hearts and leaving him out of their lives. We must realize also that we have done this to ourselves. God has not done this to us and he is not responsible. When we turn away from God and allow ANYTHING to take the place that he rightly deserves in our hearts, we have chosen a slippery path that will surely plunge us into disaster.

First off, we know that this economic catastrophe will happen according to scripture because the new monetary system must be implemented at some point. Money will surely be worthless and I believe it will be replaced by a universal monetary system. We read about this in the book of Revelation. I plan to write at length on this topic, but that will be in 2005/2006.

A warning to the Rich of this World

We are given a warning from God. This warning is to the rich of this world who engage in fraud and other deceptive practices. God addresses the fraud that they place upon their laborers who are hired to work in the rich man's fields. This scripture tells me that the cry of those who are treated unjustly will be heard by God, and he will make it right and defend those weaker ones who cannot resist the greedy tyrants of this world.

James 5 1-6

1Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

This Ship is Sailing

Just as the passengers of the Titanic were carefree and without a concern in the world, many in America have lived in the lap of luxury and expect nothing to change. They expect that the type of life they lead will never be taken away from them. Others in America have not had many needs and have not had to do without. But that is going to change. The prosperous economic ship of the 90'S has set sail AWAY from us and is no more. We may not see this completely at present, but the full impact is not here yet either.

Many of us just cannot believe that this great economic ship called "American Productivity" will surely sink. All who refuse to give heed to a valid warning are doomed to suffer. Just as the ship's captain was warned of surrounding icebergs and chose not to take the warning seriously, many in America will be in disbelief when the full measure of economic mayhem strikes this country. We are told of the major deficits that we have incurred since 2001, yet many are unconcerned about this as well. Where is the concern you may ask? Gone, all concern about paying off the debt of this nation is something that we feel can be put off, just like many other vitally important issues, we simply refuse to deal with it. Just like we refuse to deal with the most important issue of the current state of our souls. When we are given warnings from the word of God such as the above scriptures I listed, we must heed them. Disregarding them and counting them as nothing will surely cause us to suffer the consequences of our inaction at a future time known only to God.

The Economic Health and Security of this nation does not depend upon this Election

It does not matter which President is elected in 2004, we are going to see an economic disaster no matter who is appointed to the White House. The reason why is because a MAN or an ADMINISTRATION cannot stop a judgment from the Almighty God. We have foolishly thought that a United States President could protect us from Terrorist attacks. How ridiculous and unbiblical. A human being is not able to watch out for us, even if that person carries the title of President. The only one who can take care of us and give us security is God, in his mercy. Many do not realize that we are to heed what God says in his word if we expect to enjoy a thriving and healthy economy, as well as a secure nation.

The only thing that will remedy our ills and the course we've taken is our repentance coupled with a genuine heart felt seeking of the one true God. But how many of us will choose to alter our course, get on our knees in humbleness and DO what we are told to by the one who made us and fashioned us? We have been given a mandate, this mandate is thousands of years old. It promises us that God will heal our land IF we choose to hear it and live by it.

Here it is, read it, believe it and put it to practice in your life:

IF my people who are called by my name shall HUMBLE themselves and PRAY, seek MY face, and TURN from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from HEAVEN, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

September 25, 2004

We've been blown away by the winds of a strange doctrine

The sooner we realize that we've replaced God's truth in favor of man's knowledge and spiritual fantasies, the sooner we can return to God's pure doctrine that gives life and truth to all.

Ephesians 4:14

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

It was in 1990 that I first noticed large numbers of fundamentalist Christians and others slowly moving away from the true gospel of Christ in favor of another. The result of this shift was spiritual foolishness, superstitious nonsense, none of which could be validated by scripture.

I plan to give you first hand accounts of the nonsense I witnessed during those years when I observed this "takeover". The best way to describe this move: It was as if Christians had closed their bibles and decided to center on their own feelings and trust their own imaginations rather than the word of God.

Since that time, I have staggered upon the topic of "Gnosticism" and now believe that if I had to apply a name to this strange new man centered doctrine invading many Christian churches, I would call it "Christian Gnosticism". This is only my personal opinion.

A Gnostic believes in knowledge all right, they believe in "Self" knowledge over and above the knowledge one can acquire from God's Truth.


A religious orientation advocating gnosis (knowledge) as the way to release a person's spiritual element; considered heresy by Christian churches

the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis (knowledge)or *knowing*

GNOSIS: Greek gnOsis, literally, knowledge

Gnostics rely on gnosis, (knowledge) rather than faith. Gnosticism has been around for 1000'S of years. However, It has experienced a renewal of sorts in the past twenty years. Some elements of gnosticism pre date Christianity.

Man's Fascination with all things Spiritual

Man is at all times thirsty for things spiritual. There is evidence of this by the staggering profits made by those offering spiritual books, manuals and conferences of every kind imaginable. Yet there will never be a substitution for real truth, which can be gained only from God's truth combined with the leading of the Holy Spirit. We as humans, created by God, and in the image of God, have a side of our nature that is empty if not filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father when Jesus ascended to heaven after rising from the dead. This same Holy Spirit was meant to dwell in us and to bring us into all truth and knowledge of who we are in Christ Jesus.

Who dwells in us?

Now IF we do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have given a place for any or all deceptive influences to dwell within us.

Although in life there is usually no black and white, but shades of gray at times, There is an EXCEPTION here. We know by scripture that the question of who dwells in us IS a black or white issue!

Either the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you OR he is not. If he is not, you are without God, full of SELF (man centered spirit), and you are in rebellion toward God and His spirit. Hence, the emptiness will be ripe for deception.

Note the following scripture:
The Return of the Unclean Spirit - Jesus spoke the following:

Matthew 12: 43-45

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

The emptiness Jesus spoke of is that same emptiness I refer to when I said that IF the Holy Spirit of God is not present in you, then that leaves PLACE for spirits of deception.

Notice that the last state of the man Jesus says, is WORSE than at the first.

Another Doctrine: Strange Winds Blowing

Over the past 10 years or so, I have witnessed everything from Christian preachers seldom opening their bibles when giving a sermon, to giving outright questionable if not blatant false prophecies. When the bible isn't opened, what is replacing God's word and commentary on it during a sermon? MANS KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCES.

Experience in a man or woman's life does hold certain credibility, yet not above the credibility of God's word. When a pastor, one who is in authority in a church is not following God in his own life, he cannot be counted on to benefit and direct his congregation. When God is not sought after, our focus is ALWAYS going to be dimmed spiritually and the result is self - that's all that is left. Self rises up and God is thrust down. Sadly, because of man centered doctrine and the grip it's had on the multitudes in the Christian Church, the fruits of Christ are not grown but are rather absent from the branches altogether.

Red Flags and Warning Signs

I have talked with people who have quit their churches because of the adherence the church had to strange doctrines. Many pastors and congregations fall into "Shepherding" type movements.

One red flag that should go up is when members have to go through a type of "chain of command" in order to ever speak with a pastor or those close to the pastor. This may seem outrageous, but nonetheless is true.

Another red flag? Little or No Bible.

Another red flag? Churches that exalt prophesy above all. In many churches, bibles which represent God's leading and direction, are passed over in favor of prophesying and prophetic utterances. This is wrong and churches that allow this are in strong error.

Another Flag? The overwhelming preoccupation and emphasis on Prosperity Teachings. I have seen many churches and movements that would not mention Jesus's name, yet "prosperity" was key in all of their meetings. This is placing man's desires of achieving "wealth" above all. Anyone who would suggest otherwise has already been deceived and it will be very hard to reach them no matter what you say.

What to Do?

I have said repeatedly that if you attend a church in which the BIBLE is not held as the final authoritative word on all matters of life, GET OUT OF IT! LEAVE IT NOW!. I have had to do this. I know what I am talking about. It is essential that you leave that place soon because the lack of truth quickly breeds chaos, confusion and all manner of dark deceptive works. It is far better to stay home on a Sabbath day than to walk into a church that doesn't defend and uphold the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've heard it said that we can never hope for a "perfect church" because there are none. But what I'm speaking of is a church that does NOT adhere to the teachings and commands given to us in the HOLY BIBLE. There are no perfect churches, but EVERY church that is known as a "Christian Church" must not compromise the truth of the Gospel, if it does it is a fraud, it is darkness portraying itself as light. It is error calling itself truth.

My prayer for you

My prayer for you is that you flee such a place as if you're escaping a burning house! And consider yourself extremely blessed of God in that you have enough truth and discernment in you to recognize it for what it is and to leave it quickly! You have no idea how many people are living in deep deception to this day because they had none of God's truth to alert them of churches overtaken with deception. These people had man's truth but none of God's truth, therefore they were deceived and led astray very easily. We have to be bold in our faith in these last days. Lies, deceit and deception is rampant and seems to be engulfing many like never before. However, there is still a remnant that will have the ability to know Jesus's voice, and a stranger, this remnant will NOT follow after. They will respond only to the voice of that great shepherd of the sheep - JESUS CHRIST- and his infallible truth, The Word of God.

Ecclesiastes 7;29

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

September 17, 2004

The Message

In comparing the King James version of the new testament with the new testament book of "The Message" by Eugene H. Patterson, it is difficult to discern which verses are which since they are not numbered, but it can be done. I've took some time in distinguishing these verses, but it wasn't easy.
I have never seen the adding to and taking away from scripture that I've witnessed since studying ,"The Message". I have underlined at some points, the differences and omitted areas and where original scripture has been added to.
I bought "The Message" out of curiosity after I had heard a pastor read from it, knowing that I would need it to start this page with. If one opens up "The Message", they will immediately notice vast differences. No need to take a lot of time in finding the error.

Contents, (Quotes) on the back cover of "The Message" Bible:
"It is commonly assumed that a book dealing with a Holy God should sound elevated, stately, and ceremonial. If this is how you've always viewed the New Testament, you're about to make a surprising discovery.
One of the most striking features of the New Testament is that it was written in the street language of the day. The idiom of the playground and marketplace---- not the formal lofty language of government decrees and historical documents. Written in the rhythms and idiom of contemporary language---the way you'd talk with friends, write a letter, or discuss politics--- The Message brings out the expressive, earthly flavor of the New Testament. Which means that, whether you've been reading the Bible for years or are exploring it for the first time, The Message will startle and surprise you, And it will allow you to experience firsthand the same power and directness that motivated it's original readers to change the course of history many centuries ago." (End of Quote)

I do know that some if not many in evangelical circles have touted The Message lately.

On Jesus, The Light of the World: John Chapter 1 verse 4&5
The Message:
4: What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.
King James:
4: In Him was Life; and the life was the light of men.
The Message:
5: the Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out.
King James:
5: And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

On Faith and Power to Become the Sons of God: John Chapter 1 Verse 12
The Message:
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
King James:
But as many a received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
*Note- This one stumped me as their "child of God selves" seems strange rather than stated plainly, "sons of God" in the King James...

On Jesus Christ's Revelation to John in Chapter 1 Verse 8 of Revelation:

The Message:
The Master declares, "I'm A to Z. I'm the God who is, the God who was, and the God about to arrive. I'm the Sovereign-Strong."
King James:
I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Paul addressing women speaking in the church, etc:
1 Corinthians;14:36-40
Verse 36:
The Message:
Do You--Both women and men--imagine that you're a sacred oracle determining what's right and wrong? Do you think everything revolves around you?
King James:
What? Came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

Verse 37-39:
The Message:
37: If any one of you thinks God has something for you to say or has inspired you to do something, pay close attention to what I have written. This is the way the Master wants it. If you won't play by these rules, God can't use you. Sorry.
King James:
Verse 37: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Note *
Notice the passage in verse 37 of "The Message", "God can't use you. Sorry". Nothing like this is stated in that verse in the King James, Paul is simply reminding the church that if they think themselves to be spiritual and if they are spiritual at all, they will know that what he states is the commandments of the Lord

Verse 38:
The Message:
38-40: Three things then, to sum this up: When you speak forth God's truth, speak your heart out. Don't tell people how they should or shouldn't pray when they're praying in tongues that you don't understand. 40: Be courteous and considerate in everything.
King James:
38: But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39: Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40: Let all things be done decently and in order.

Paul addressing God's faithfulness and nature: 2 Timothy 2:12&13
The Message:
12:If we stick it out with him, we'll rule with him. If we turn our backs on him, he'll turn his back on us.
King James:
12: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. if we deny him, he also will deny us:
The Message:
13: If we give up on him, he does not give up--for there is no way he can be false to himself.
King James:
13: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

On Food sacrificed to idols and consideration of other's beliefs:
1 Corinthians 10:33:
The Message:
I try my best to be considerate of everyone's feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.
King James:
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

All those that know the truth and love the truth: 2 John 1: Verse 1
The Message:
My dear congregation, I your pastor, love you in very truth. And I'm not alone--everyone who knows the truth that has taken up permanent residence in us loves us.
King James:
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth: and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth:

Confirmation of the prophetic word : 2 Peter 1 Verse 19:
The Message:
We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard--God's glory, God's voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You'll do well to keep focusing on it. Its the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts.
King James:
We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Morning star in The message, and day star in the King James version...

On Loving Your Enemies: Matthew 5; 42
The Message:
No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
King James:
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away.

Loving your enemies, praying for your enemies: Matthew 5: 44&45
The Message:
*I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time,respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.
King James:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you. do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despite fully use you, and persecute you:
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.


Apostles and Prophets and the Mystery of the Ages: Ephesians 3: 5
The Message:
None of our Ancestors understood this, Only in our time has it been made clear by God's spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order.
King James:
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Faith and Healing: Matthew 9;29
The Message:
He touched their eyes and said, "Become what you believe."
King James:
Then he touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Some may believe these to be trivial additions to the Word of God and shouldn't be addressed. I believe otherwise. I take it to heart when our Lord says in Revelation 22, verse 18&19:

18) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Updated on September 17, 2004

Decided to do a little search to see how many times certain (and very important) keywords were omitted from "The Message" version


The results so far are as follows:

Search for exact word: "Gospel"


KJV- 91

Search for exact word: "Doctrine"


KJV- 40

Search for exact word: "Holy Spirit"


KJV- 4

Search for exact word: "Sprit"


KJV- 287

Search for exact word: "Truth"


KJV- 182

Search for exact word: "Abide"


KJV- 45

Search for exact word: "Comforter"


KJV- 4

Search for exact word: "Sex"


KJV- 0

Search for exact word: "Pride"


KJV- 46

I will leave you with this. This is a direct warning from God and as it appears KJV in the 21st chapter of Revelation

KJV: 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Read more in depth about The Message from Watch Unto Prayer

September 16, 2004

Halloween and the Christian Part 1

Started on Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Completed on September 16, 2004

I know that in writing this article, it will no doubt stir things up a bit.
You can disagree if you please, that's your right, I just ask that you
read this in its entirety and don't skip over any of it. I have included
my biography as it relates to the topic of this article.

Over the years since I've owned my Christian web site and during
the autumn months, I have scoured random sites dealing with the subject
of whether Christians should "celebrate" or take part in some of the
festivities of Halloween. I have come to a conclusion about those
who are so dead set against trick-or-treating because they feel it is evil.

I believe that they are
outwardly religious and have hang ups of their own that have
nothing to do with Halloween.

In writing this article, I had to determine where I could go to get
a correct answer to my Halloween history questions. I had
already decided I would NOT inquire of any of the undocumented
Christian sites on the web. I have noted my sources of information
thoroughly at the end of each page with links attached.
I have included links at the end of this article to other
Halloween sites on the Web that would be beneficial to some.

With that said, let's delve a little deeper inside the cauldron shall we?
1. Halloween has its roots from the Celtic Druid worshipers of long ago?

ANSWERS: The following is taken verbatim from :
Wilkpedia, Encyclopedia Entry for
Halloween: Celtic observation of Samhain

I went to several other sources and believe
the following to be the overall conclusion
drawn of most notable sources on the history of Halloween:

"Its earliest roots are found in the Druidic holiday of death which took

place each year on October 31, in the season of Samhain.

After the crops were harvested, Druids in Ireland and Britain

would light fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As

they danced around the fires, the season of the sun passed and

the season of darkness would begin. When the morning of November

1 arrived, the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family

who would then take them home to start new cooking fires.

These fires were believed to keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits, as it was considered a time of year when the veils were thin between worlds. A three-day festival called (pronounced "sow-inn") followed. In Ireland it was believed to be the night on which the invisible "gates" between this world and the Other World were opened and free movement between both worlds was possible. In the Other World lived the immortal "Sidhe" (pronounced "shee"), the female members of whom were called beán sidhe or anshees".1

My Reply:

Because Druids in Ireland would light fires and offer up sacrifices of crops and animals for their successful crops on October 31 or any other day, does NOT mean ANYTHING to me personally. What possible bearing does this knowledge, even if it is ALL true, what does this have to do with ME, a CHRISTIAN, in 2004? Christians, or anyone else for that matter, please do me the favor of NOT holding me responsible for what some Druids believed or ACTED ON at one time in past history. I am Scottish in heritage, but I care nothing about my Scottish history in particular. I am who God made me to be, nothing more, nothing less. I read in my bible that we are not to give heed to fables, wouldn't that include superstitions as well? I suppose some Christians just glossed right over what Paul said to Timothy about this...

1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Invisible "gates" into the spirit world and fending off evil spirits:

What the above piece of historical data proves to me is that the Druids were a bunch of superstitious people who were not clued into the truth and therefore due to their apparent lack of knowledge, they were duped into following the leading of their own imaginations with regard to the spirit world, nothing more, nothing less.

2. The Celtics carried out rituals. Among them was the tradition of Trick or Treating.

Such Rituals that require BEGGING for food, bizarre beliefs as to why trick or treating was done in ancient times... What were they? The following from Chick: Halloween: A Little Door to a Big Temptation:

"The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment". 2

"They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes".2

My Reply

Much of this has been seized upon and embellished by radicals, many of them in the Christian church. Not denying that the above is true, but I know that some CHICK publications are way off base. Where is the entire research for the Halloween tracts that they produce? Some history is precise, some history is not. I would rather believe better of others when I do not have CONCRETE and valid information than think the worst. Trick or treating as I know it now, and have ALWAYS known it is:

dressing the kids up in silly costumes, driving them around to the houses of those you know, most preferably, and allowing them to knock on the door and receive "treats" from those who live there! I might also add here that it brings GREAT JOY to many who anxiously await those trick-or-treaters because many times they do not get to see children, let alone see them dressed up in such outrageous garb.

But suppose we were to find out that EVERYTHING that we've read from CHICK
and others proved to be 100% accurate?
You would have to tell me what possible bearing that would have on MY life and MY decision to allow MY children to trick or treat simply because the two have nothing to do with one another and here's the reason why: I am NOT observing the Druids customs - this is an issue of the HEART and NOT one of judgmental letter of the law APPEARANCES!

Here is a scripture to ponder:

Romans 14 : 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind

To those who would still take issue with a CHRISTIAN allowing their child to trick or treat on Halloween, I have only one question for you: Do you use a CHRISTMAS TREE ?

Origins of the Christmas Tree:

"The first decorating of an evergreen tree began with the heathen Greeks and their worship of their god Adonia, who allegedly was brought back to life by the serpent Aessulapius after having been slain".3

"European Druids decorated oaks and pines with apples, candles, and cakes in the form of various animals and birds as a thank offering to their gods of fertility, agriculture, and light. Greeks and Romans decorated the trees sacred to their gods and goddesses with garlands of flowers and cloth. In Finland, Lapps filled little boats with bits of food and placed them in a pine tree marked with sacred symbols. Then they killed a reindeer and placed its internal organs in another tree which they smeared with the animal's blood".4

"The Christmas tree tradition dates back to Western Germany in the 16th century. They were called "Paradeisbaum" (paradise trees) and were brought into homes to celebrate the annual Feast of Adam and Eve on DEC-24".5

Questions Abound

Do you care of the origins of the Christmas tree? What does the Christmas tree mean to you? When you decorate your tree every December, are you celebrating the festival of Adam and Eve? Of course not, because that is NOT what the Christmas tree means to us personally! To me, a Christmas tree symbolizes the Christmas season. When I look at it, I think of Christ being born into this world, living a sinless life and then being crucified for this lost world. It symbolized something else entirely to the pagans who originated the use of it, but it does not symbolize that to us as Christians. The following is excerpt from
Jack Chick : his web page states that:

"We cannot separate Halloween from its origin with the Druids".

My reply:

This is untrue. Christians have quite successfully separated Christmas from its Pagan origins in the winter solstice. Many, perhaps most, Christian seasonal days of celebration have Pagan roots which are unknown to most people. Many dozens of Christian saints were originally Pagan gods and goddesses; yet few realize this today".6

3. Halloween is steeped in SYMBOLISM that is wicked or twisted.

This is what I hear and I believe that to SOME PEOPLE, the Halloween holiday WAS and STILL is steeped in twisted and wicked symbolism. But I repeat, what does that have to do with judging ME EVIL for allowing MY child to trick or treat? What does that have to do with ME carving a pumpkin, setting a candle in it and lighting it? Do you believe that because I do these things that I am observing some evil twisted symbolism of long ago? I am NOT. Perhaps some have an agenda or motive that is EVIL and not pure in heart when they carve up their pumpkin, I will leave that judgment to God and God alone though and won't take on the heavy burden of making such judgments that is not my right to do anyway.

Jack O lantern is the symbol of WHAT? A damned soul?

The Jack O Lantern PERHAPS was a symbol of a damned soul to some of long ago but I repeat what I said at the beginning, these people were superstitious and misguided and because of their apparent lack of spiritual knowledge, they were open to all forms of twisted and perverted spiritual beliefs. It was the equivalent of running away from someone when nobody is chasing you!


God made the Bat, God made the Turnip, as well as the CAT

Some Druids, Celts, or other people of long ago thought that cats, bats, turnips and other things held special meaning or symbolism to them in spiritual ways. I refuse to see what that has to do with me. When I see the cat, bat and turnip that GOD MADE, simply for us to enjoy and to thank him for, the symbolism these things held for Druids of long ago is never thought of by me. What was a good "omen" or whatever to these people of these times in history is nothing more than a Gift from God as far as I am concerned. At least that is the way I see it.

1. Wilkpedia, Encyclopedia Entry for Halloween: Celtic observation of Samhain

2. Halloween: A Little Door to a Big Temptation

3. Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

4. Christ Story Christmas Symbols

5 What is a Tree?

Halloween and the Christian Part 2

You think Harvest Festivals are an alternative? Here's some information for you.

Romans 14 : 5 tells us that everyone esteems *recognizes* a day differently:

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Now this tells me that what one day represents *Oct 31* in this scenario, is NOT going to mean the same to everyone. Just because some druids of yesteryear esteemed a certain day on their calendar with outrageous and superstitious views, doesn't mean I observe it the same way they did! Nor does it mean that I observe October 31 as the witches of today might. I observe it in my own fashion, and the BIBLE backs this view up. To some, Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are days like any other because they do NOT celebrate them for their own personal reasons. We are to be fully persuaded in our own minds according to the above scripture and if we have no doubt in our hearts as Christians that we are NOT sinning in allowing trick or treating or any other form of decorating for the Autumn Halloween season, then that is enough.

5 Should Christians allow their children to participate in trick or treating?

Everyone must make their own decision on this. I can only put out what the Bible says about the subject of attributing more or less esteem to particular days, fables, conscience, sin, and such.

Again, I would refer you to this scripture: Romans 14: 5-9 (New Testament) KJV

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Another Halloween Perspective

I can offer this scenario. Take a person that had been partaking in pagan beliefs in their past and had later received Christ as their Savior and rejected Satan and all his works. Now their conscience would in all likelihood NOT allow them to celebrate or partake in ANY aspect of the Halloween holiday because they denote Halloween with their previous pagan beliefs that God had brought them out of.. The reason why is because it would have held special meaning to them in their past that they no longer wish to have anything to do with now that they are saved.

Take me for example:

If Halloween had at any time in my life held personal significance to me in regards of my having celebrated it in an EVIL way, I would NOT want to even acknowledge it, nor observe it now. The fact is that it NEVER held any special meaning or was representative of anything "Evil or Sinister" to me.

This shows us that a person's past has much bearing on what he may or may not choose to do in his present.

Idol Worshiping Accusations?

As I've scoured the web looking for views and perspectives from Christians on this issue, I found this:

"As much as people say that they are not worshiping anything on it-when you strip away all the mask, all the veneer of fun, the feasting-it is really a type of idolatry. God never told us to do it. He adds right at the end-Don't do anything that I haven't told you to do. Don't add to it. Don't take away from it. I've told you the way that I want to be worshiped, and it is not the way that the heathen have chosen".7

Does this mean that our children are practicing pagans if they dress up in a clown suit and carry a bag, bumming treats door to door? NO THEY ARE NOT

Here we have someone who is calling children getting dressed up and collecting candy IDOL WORSHIPERS! He adds that God never told us to "do it". The fact is for me at least, the veneer of fun hides NOTHING! All it IS about is fun. Here is the reality of what we were told as gentiles to observe and not to observe according to the BIBLE:

Paul thought that there should be concise instructions for the Gentiles to follow simply because at that time, there was a question about whether or not the Gentile believers had to be circumcised and/or observe and do other rules and take on any burdens/yokes in order to be saved. Some Jewish believers were going around saying that the Gentiles must be circumcised among other things. Paul wanted to set it straight that this was not true and that is why the following was written...

Acts 15:19

9 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: (talking about us who come to God that are not Jews=Gentiles)

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollution of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

And again another scripture: Acts 21;25

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

The above mention of keeping themselves from things offered to idols is in regard to FOOD being sacrificed to idols. See :

1 Corinthians 8;4

4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

8 But meat (food) commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

Let's touch on the above verse 7 where the Apostle Paul says "However, there is not in EVERY man that knowledge. For some with CONSCIENCE of the idol unto THIS HOUR eat it AS a thing OFFERED unto an IDOL: And THEIR conscience being weak is defiled".

To those who EAT something that is offered to an IDOL AS A THING offered unto an idol, their conscience being weak will be defiled because*to them it is sin*

How do we view Halloween in regards to allowing our children to trick or treat? AS A THING of EVIL and to be avoided, or a THING of INNOCENCE and with a pure conscience?

Only YOU can answer this...


Take witches for example, I see Halloween differently than THEY do and I will be judged according to my CONSCIENCE and not according to another's THEIRS! I am not to be preoccupied with what they CHOOSE to do, they are responsible for their own actions, I am only responsible for mine!

I did trick or treat when I was a child. As a matter of fact, my trick or treating as a child lasted longer than usual. I think the last time I went trick or treating was at the age of 12.

I was born in the 60's. Back then, everyone including the pastor's children trick or treated and there was no sense of sinfulness involved with Halloween. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find anyone around who harbored ill feelings toward Halloween in any way. In High School we had much fun while throwing a Halloween Carnival at school.

It seemed to me that in the early 1990'S things changed though. I first noticed this as it was announced at our Church we were attending at that time that there would be a "Harvest Festival" to give the kiddies something to do on Halloween. I thought to myself, "Gee, don't they figure on us parents taking our kids out trick or treating as we always do"? I had nothing against them holding the festival, I wondered if they had something against me not going?

From there, Halloween bashing really got worse every year. To me as a child and after I was an adult, Halloween was all about trick or treating and carving a pumpkin up *although I didn't do a great job of that most times* Now my children are too old to go trick or treating, yet I remember the times that I did take them, nothing sinister involved with it.

Christian's Perspectives on Halloween

As I said before, when I was growing up there was not a stigma attached to Halloween as it is now. The holiday was not demonized whatsoever. In any church you would attend, there was nothing mentioned of Halloween except to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

I truly feel as though many Christians do not mean to be as judgmental as they sound toward others concerning the holiday. I believe that some honestly DO feel threatened as if Satan will get them if they do not do as they have heard from some televangelist type who is way off base. This all springs of one not being fully persuaded in his or her own mind about their actions. When we know who we are in Christ, we have no fear of Halloween, there are no monsters, and a Satanist is only one of many who has not come to the Lord yet. What are you afraid of Christian? Are you afraid that you will be perceived as going with the world's flow or marching to their drumbeat? If you are, let me assure you that God knows your heart, just as he knows mine. I am not afraid of God in the sense that you are. I know that he is NOT displeased with me for taking my children trick or treating, or decorating on Halloween. I can assure you of that.

Harvest Festival instead of Halloween?

But what of the replacement we hear so much about? The alternative to taking the kids trick or treating or observing Halloween in any fashion? It's called the "Harvest Festival" the following excerpt is taken from:

Talk It Out: Creative Alternatives for Celebrating Halloween

"An alternative suggestion could be a harvest festival/party - but to do it

for thanksgiving instead of Halloween. This way it's not associated with

that holiday"."8

This comment got me to do a little research on "Harvest Festivals". Here is what I found out: I think you will find it quite shocking. The following was taken from:

Harvest Festivals in Ancient Cultures:

Throughout the course of mankind's history, the Earth's bountiful harvest has been celebrated with ceremonies of giving thanks. Prior to the establishment of formal religions, many ancient tillers of the ground believed that their crops contained spirits...spirits which caused the crops to grow and to die. The belief was also strong that these spirits would be released when the crops were harvested. Therefore, they had to be destroyed or they would wreak revenge upon the harvesting farmers. Some of these ancient rituals celebrated the defeat of such spirits. As time went by the perspective shifted from rituals to defeat spirits to the realization that the fall harvest must take an agricultural society through winter, and thus is vitally important for survival.9

A similar festival was held in Ancient Greece, in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn't exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November. 9

The Roman celebration of Cerelia, a harvest festival, was dedicated to the honor of Ceres (Demeter). Daughter of Saturn and Ops, and the wife of Jupiter, she was their goddess of corn (from which the word cereal comes). The same Greek mythology of Proserpina (Prosphene) her daughter's abduction by Pluto (Hades) is also found in the Roman beliefs and forms the basis of Cerelia. It was also an autumnal festival held each year on October 4th but some put the date at April 12th and 14th, and hence coinciding with the arrival of spring with the return of Prosphene back to her mother Ceres. Whatever be the date offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and pigs were made to Ceres. The celebration included music, parades, games and sports and a thanksgiving feast. 9



9. Harvest Festivals in Ancient Cultures:

Halloween and the Christian Part 3

We know that there is ONE God, and his son, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord.
We cannot be worrying about what another person's belief is about a particular holiday and merging THEIR beliefs toward that holiday with our own. One esteems one day above another and that's the way it always will be. God is concerned with what OUR heart is like, what WE believe. Why must we spend so much energy and exhaust ourselves over what so many are doing or believing when it doesn't change our minds, it holds NO bearing on what WE believe. We will all be judged by God according to what we have done in our lives and according to what we were to do but didn't. Remember the parable of the talents?

I know that Satan exists, but it's not because of a Holiday named Halloween, it's because God said it and I believe it. There is much wickedness in this world. Do you believe it is any less wicked to take a Holiday that we observe as Jesus Christ's birthday and allow it to be misused and MERCHANDISED by one and all including CHRISTIANS? You may say that CHRISTIANS are not merchandising the Holiday of CHRISTMAS, I beg to differ, they are making big bucks by selling holiday books,albums, tapes and other various jewels that all contribute to their bank accounts. Many of these Christians do this year round...

What bothers me more than Halloween?

It bothers me MUCH more when I see the tremendous MERCHANDISING of CHRISTMAS and EASTER than the thought of Halloween does! I get bothered more over seeing the tremendous MERCHANDISING that many in the CHRISTIAN CHURCHES have fallen prey to period, yet many are strangely silent on issues like this while they bash those who view Halloween as only evil and throw their beliefs off on others and expect them to act accordingly. What this amounts to is hypocrisy. I can see it, other Christians can see it, even if it's seldom spoken of, and you can bet that the world sees the hypocrisy very clearly.

In Conclusion

I only want to leave you with the following found in the Bible. There are no other scriptures that are more adequate and proper that I've found that would address the Halloween question more than Romans 14 5-23. Please read all verses, they are ALL relevant. I hope you see what I mean. Please pay particular attention to verses 10, 20 and 22.

God Bless

Romans 14:

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Below are links in which you can gain more understanding and varying viewpoints on Halloween.

History of Halloween : Myths, Monsters and Devils:

Halloween and Its Christian Roots

Halloween origin, folklore and trivia


The History of Halloween -- It's Probably Not What You Think

The history of the Jack o lantern
Harvest Festivals in Ancient Culture

September 10, 2004

Identifying our culture of self

Ours is a culture of self . Money is the "means" to acquire what the heart desires.

These are only 5 characteristics that identify our current culture of self:

1. Image

We are mainly concerned over the contents of our wardrobe, the type of car we drive, the home we live in. Image is not everything to many in our generation, it's the only thing. Will our children get accepted to the most reputed school? Will our husband "land" that corporate managerial position? Were we able to obtain those tickets for the show or football game that we just know will be sold out? We are willing to go into bankruptcy rather than drive a reliable yet older model car or pick-up truck. We must "look" the part. We must polish our "Image" even if it is a FALSE facade or image, one that does not represent the truth about us..

2. Perverted Sexual Desires (Those that are NOT what God intends for us)

Perverted sexuality is the hallmark of a failing and faltering society. Our uncontrolled sexual desires will cause us great pain and heartache in the end, yet at the time we are feeding them, we mistakenly say to ourselves, "If it feels good, do it". Sexual Addiction is rampant in our society today. Sex is as much of an addiction as drugs, yet many reject this truth. Many that are sex addicts are repulsed by drug addicts, yet they have their own drug of choice - SEX. When we turn away from God and his truth, what his will is for our lives, we will ALWAYS turn to something else and be open and fair targets for addictions. In our culture we have the ability (If we pay for it) to receive X Rated programs into our own living room. We see and hear back to back commercials for "Male Sexual Enhancements" and now even "Female Sexual Enhancements". There are condom commercials in which young couples are portrayed. When I see these things, I want to turn away. I remember about what we read in the Bible about Lot before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed:

6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample (example) unto those that after should live ungodly;

7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

3. Sports

Those who do have their sexual desires in check and under control and would never consider themselves "addicts" have the Sports Idol raging out of control in their lives. Who would dream that a dozen guys, a fifty yard line, and a pigskin could create such a frenzy of followers? Some may say that sports ALWAYS was as it is today. I beg to differ with them. I can remember many years ago and what it was like. Today is totally different. Sports of any kind was not all about profits and six figure salaries for the players. Yes, profiteering from Sports was always there, but not to the extent it is today. Sports was never such a monster of merchandising as it is now. The fans were not like savages and the games were not as picked apart and scrutinized by commentators as they are today. Today, sports is MUCH more important to many men and women than their family is. There is always enough time to catch a game of your preferred sport, yet time is short for so many other more important matters. Sports will prove to be a MAJOR addiction in the lives of many as time goes on. I like sports but I do not place it above God or my family. When you give more time to it than you do God and family, something is wrong. It has become an addiction to you.

4. Food

Isn't it something that an obviously obese preacher would blast drug addicts, sex addicts, sports addicts and numerous others while he cannot gain control over his addiction to food? Yes, it's something, but I've seen it happen over and over again. These people must keep their spiritual and physical eyes closed when it comes to examining their own selves. We in America have an abundance of everything and manage to lack nothing if we have the money to get it, this includes food. Now I'm not knocking obese people, the truth is, it took a long time to get overweight and it will not be shed overnight. This is what people who do not struggle with obesity do not understand. Anyone who is looking to lose weight and sticks with it, being disciplined will manage it and come out stronger, healthier and happier in the end. But the bible calls food addiction what it truly is, Gluttony. I've heard statistics that a high percentage of Americans are obese. The fast food restaurants we have to choose from do not help the problem, yet if we have a food addiction, we should STAY AWAY from them. The fast food restaurant to an overweight person is the absolute equivalent of a bar for the alcoholic or a crack house to a drug addict..

Overeating, is an addiction - it is a Food addiction.

5. Drugs

What can we say of the destructive scourge that drugs have created in our society? I have seen friends of mine and family members almost lose EVERYTHING because of their addiction to drugs. One time I asked someone I know if it ever crossed their mind that the next time they did their drug it would kill them? I didn't have a motive when asking it other than my own curiosity which had got the better of me. Guess what they said? They told me that at the time they crave it, they never gave death a second thought. They were helpless against their addiction to drugs. Our drug rehabs are filled to overflowing here in America. Filled with those who cannot manage a destructive addiction that has them in it's grasp. Today we have 10 year old children experimenting with drugs. We have addicted parents who are not feeding their children because the money must go to feed their addiction. Today "casual drug use" is considered the norm and acceptable by most. But there is no such things as "casual" use when it comes to drugs. It certainly can start out that way, yet soon it is found out that drugs will take us farther than we were willing to go and cost us far more than we would ever have dreamed or imagined. And I might add here, we've all seen the commercial "Just Say No" to drugs? Well, if you ever have to help a drug addict to get clean, try telling them that.

Or better yet, when your child is tempted to try drugs and is under peer pressure to use, try telling them, "Just say no". A much better approach would be to tell them that they would be destroying the life that GOD gave them and don't just leave the discussion there. That would only be the starting point. But remember, children must know that they are loved, appreciated and cherished, and in our society there is not much time given to our children. So, children will not respect, let alone listen to a parent who will not take the time to BE a parent. This is the major reason why children are in rebellion and will not listen when we DO talk to them. They see our neglect of them. Our major fault as parents in this current generation is not spending enough quality time with our kids. We parents are much too preoccupied with ourselves which is both sad and tragic.

Our current generation is one that caters to self-gratification. Yet we are not beyond help. It is, as it always has been as far as God is concerned, his hand is stretched out still. God is still here for us, God still loves us. Jesus gave all for us and suffered to do it because of his great love for us. He seeks to free us from self. He wants our eyes focused on him and the result of this will be our concern for the welfare of others and less concern for ourselves. Jesus was all about others. His compassion was for others, not himself. We must strive to put down addictions and strive to be free of self-gratification. First and foremost, we must ADMIT that we are addicted in certain areas of our lives. There is no changing of our ways and deliverance in denial. Our denial of the truth about ourselves is prolonging our own suffering. And recognize that there is not one person better than you, we have ALL struggled with addictions in our lives no matter how free we are right now. We must remember where we came from in order not to go back there again.

So first, admit that you are unable to free yourself from whatever has you in it's grasp. Admit it to God and admit it to yourself. This is humbleness at it's best.

It is only through God's help, God's truth and God's Love that we will be able to escape the bondage of self gratification and go on to enjoy the freedom in Christ that we so need in this current "culture of self" so many have fallen prey to and are trapped in.