October 30, 2017

Ep.993: Should We Be Worried About Witchcraft?

Understanding and dealing with witchcraft in a Christian way

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:52]
How dedicated are Wiccans to their cause?


[00:37:09]
Does accessing spiritual power need guidelines?


[00:54:12]
What about black witchcraft?


[01:12:10]
What are Wiccan examples of spiritual power?


Theme Scripture: 1 Peter 1:14

So, if you are a little kid it’s time for the excitement of “trick or treat” – costumes and candy. If you are older it’s time for parties, horror movies that look and feel so real they make your skin crawl, the undead, dark spells and generally unfettered behavior. Yup, we are talking about Halloween and all of the trimmings that come with it. Here is the thing – no matter what age you are, when Halloween comes it is also time for a strong and convincing dose of witchcraft. That’s right – no matter what age you are, witchcraft is not only entirely mainstream, it is enticingly mainstream and very much within reach. So, is this something to be worried about? Are we dealing with some big, dark and deceiving practice or is it all just harmless home-brewed storytelling?

Continue Reading

Let me begin by telling you my conclusions on the matter, and then I will give you a sense of why those conclusions exist.  I firmly believe that no matter what type of witchcraft is being practiced, be it Wicca – white witchcraft - or  black witchcraft or any combination of the two is inherently dangerous and absolutely inappropriate.  Now, that is a blanket statement intended to unequivocally classify all forms and facets of this pagan practice as bad.  I realize there is no political correctness in this approach.  I realize this approach will subject me to being called a "hater "and all of those other wonderful names that go with it.  All I ask is that you hear me out for a moment…

First, I want to stress that my personal stand on this matter does not judge the PEOPLE involved in witchcraft, but it does pass judgment the PRACTICE of witchcraft.  I personally know some witches who practice Wicca, and I will tell you that they are among the most kind, caring and upstanding people I know.  So as we continue, let me be clear that my perception of danger is focused on the practice, not the people.

What is so bad about the practice?  It’s all about power.  Spiritual power.  Any witchcraft practice involves gathering in ethereal powers, be it through nature, through spirit entities or through “the universe.”  These powers by definition are mystical and undefined and the assumption is that these powers, when summoned, will do what you would have them do.  My biggest issue with all of this is that assumption. My issue is based on two things.  First, it is based on you having the say over these powers, which according to witchcraft is realizing your potential as god or goddess.  I see this as an idolatrous and ego-based approach to power that we do not even understand.  Second, those power sources that we do not understand are assumed to be for good and somewhat controllable.  Why anyone would assume that powers far greater than yourself are inherently good and controllable by you is beyond me!  I truly believe that all of this brings disaster and spiritual manipulation, masked as goodness and light.

Check out our October 30, 2017 podcast, “Should WE be Worried About Witchcraft?” to find out more.  Many things that may seem good, wholesome and harmless are not and you have a right to know why!

 

 

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October 30, 2017

VIDEO: Should We Be Worried About Witchcraft?

Is witchcraft all that bad? Listen to our 2-minute vlog for our short answer and then listen to the full podcast.

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October 23, 2017

Ep.992: Are We SURE Sin is Really Sinful?

Learning to handle "situation ethics" in light of biblical principles

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:51]
Has situation ethics been world-changing?


[00:37:44]
Can we break a law for a higher purpose?


[00:55:00]
What might cause us to inadvertently walk down the situation ethics path?


[01:12:16]
How do we walk down the path of godly ethics?


Theme Scripture: Romans 1:28

What has happened to us? We live in an age where ego and emotion are more important than virtue and values. An age where personal preference outweighs personal worth and “I want it now” trumps integrity. We live in an age where absolutes aren’t (unless we decide they fit into our personal plan) and standards are only something to customize and remodel to our personal satisfaction. Ours is an age where the ancient principles of sin and objective morality are being relegated to the trash heap of history. So, what are we supposed to do? Should we go along with the flow of thoughts and emotions that are reshaping our social structure? Should we abandon what is considered to be the old and worn out moral thinking of the past and embrace the new and vibrant personally-based principles of the present?

Continue Reading

For me, most decisions start out in a very black and white fashion. Something is either right or it is wrong, so figure out which it is and get on with it. Now I realize that life is not made up of such clear-cut and easy-to-navigate roads. No, life is made up of roads that curve – they make you adjust your thinking - and roads that have hairpin turns making you go in the opposite direction you started from. Then there are the roads that become gravel and filled with pot holes, making you navigate far more slowly and carefully. Finally, there are roads that end in the weeds, that make you stop and reconsider everything because it looks like you are lost.

There are two very basic ways to figure these roads out. The first I mentioned already is using a well-defined approach and trying to apply it to whatever the road might be. The second way is to use what is called “situation ethics.” This is a theory founded by Joseph Fletcher in the 1960’s and explained in his book Situation Ethics: The New Morality.

Basically, Fletcher says to take a nuanced approach to the experiences of life, weighing the circumstances of each experience against the best possible outcome for that experience. His criteria for this process is to have noble and benevolent love for those involved so the outcome is in everyone’s very best interest. An impressive approach, thoughtful and engaging – but is it the right way to go?

Actually as I see it, I don’t think so. By very definition, situation ethics implies that what is fundamentally right must be subject to being wrong when one deems it necessary. Some have said that Jesus himself used a situation ethics approach, as he mixed with those considered undesirable and he taught things that the spiritual leaders of his day saw as direct contradictions to the Jewish Law. So, what about that? Did he? Check out our October 23, 2017 podcast, "Are we SURE Sin is Really Sinful?" and find out. Follow along with us as we reason through examples, circumstances and principles to find footing in our decision making. It just might help!

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October 16, 2017

Ep.991: How Do I Overcome Peer Pressure?

Recognizing, addressing and overcoming the power of peer pressure

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:57]
How easy is it to become an unknowing victim of peer pressure?


[00:36:37]
What's a practical example?


[00:55:01]
What about when there are life and death consequences?


[01:12:33]
What one thing can shift peer pressure's influence to a godly end?


Theme Scripture: Exodus 23:2

Peer pressure. When we say those words we typically think about teenagers, school and bad decisions and those thoughts are accurate. Young people face inordinate amounts of social pressure on a regular basis and its effects can be devastating! Here’s the thing – adults are also subject to peer pressure and its place in our lives and its effect on our lives is far greater than we might anticipate.  So, for the sake of not only our young people but for our own sake as well, what do we do about it? How do we recognize address and deal with the pressures of life that press us into compromised circumstances and bad decisions? Even more importantly, how do we reverse the process and create an environment in which positive, righteous and loving peer pressure is the order of the day?

Continue Reading

For me, one of the most startling things about peer pressure is how old and powerful it is. Because we think of peer pressure in the context of teenagers, we get the general feeling that it is a newer concept that has blossomed within the last 40 or 50 years. On the contrary, God warned Israel about falling into the clutches of peer pressure way back in the book of Exodus when He was establishing their national system of law. In Exodus 23, God told them not to follow the masses in doing evil and not to “testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice.” God was emphatically telling His people - both young and old - the dangers of following the crowd and the dangers of participating in anything not based in fair and just thinking or action. If God was so emphatic to the ancient nation of Israel about this challenge, then peer pressure should certainly be firmly within our cautionary sights.

Why is peer pressure so dangerous?

Its power lies in its ability to do two things:

  1.  Peer pressure has the power to get us to override our own personal ability to make a sound judgment in favor of an already-established viewpoint of a group.  In adopting this “group think” we can easily undermine our own personal thoughts and beliefs.
  2. Peer pressure can press us into acting based on group action, which again can easily undermine our personal integrity. So, community sentiment can essentially make us think and do things that are out of harmony and even opposite to what we really stand for. If we let this sink in for a moment, we begin to realize that when peer pressure takes us, we have been taken down a road that is not our road of choice.

Having laid out some of the disadvantages, let me also state that all peer pressure is not bad. The flip side of being taken down an undesirable road is the ability for it to be exerted by those of principle, integrity, and righteousness. Such pressure is welcome and valuable as it helps us to stand ever more firmly for that which is right. How do we tell the difference and how do we better stand against the pressure of the crowd towards darkness? Check out our October 16, 2017 podcast, “How Do I Overcome Peer Pressure?” and gather up what you need to stand! Try it! No pressure!

 

Watch Our Episode Preview


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October 09, 2017

Ep.990: Are Natural Disasters Sending Us a Message?

How God uses and does not use natural disasters

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:17:52]
How did God use rain to make His point?


[00:37:06]
Does God use earth-related events to prove His sovereignty?


[00:54:16]
What about His use of the wind?


[01:11:46]
What about His use of fire from heaven?


Theme Scripture: Jeremiah 23:19

As time goes on, many of us will look back at 2017 and remember it as a year of storms. We have had storms of political division and unrest, storms of tragic events ranging from terrorism to the senseless taking of innocent lives. We have also had literal storms - specifically three major hurricanes that came back to back-to-back and left a wake of devastation, homelessness loss and death. It is the hurricanes, the natural disasters we will focus on today. Are these events a coded message from God? Is God punishing us for our blatant sin or is He telling us to mend our foolish ways? If you don’t believe in God, could these natural disasters be a coded message from “Mother Earth”? Have we have messed with her precious and vital ecosystem for too long? Are there lessons here for us to learn?

Continue Reading

Are these events messages from God?

After witnessing the destruction of our present hurricane season, one of the inevitable conclusions drawn by many well-meaning and sincere Christians is that these things are messages. They say God IS, by way of magnitude and location of storms, warning us to back off of and away from sinful ways. These sincere and well-meaning Christians will look at current events from specific locations and essentially say that it was no accident that they were hit by such destructive power. My question to these well meaning ones is simple – how do you KNOW that?  How do you know for sure?

Just how would you go about deciphering any messages from God sent by way of storms or earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? What would constitute a message and what would constitute a mere event? Is there a pattern that God would use to do such things? The answer is yes. In the Bible, we can see where God did use natural events for specific purposes. The logical thing to do would be to observe when He used these natural events, who He used them with and why He used them.  Finding the answers to these qualifying factors would give us a reasonable basis to look for a identifying a continued pattern from God with His messages.

What did Jesus say?

One Bible message regarding weather that is loud and clear was spoken by Jesus himself. While teaching us about loving our enemies in Matthew 5, Jesus said that God brings rain down upon the just and the unjust. So, our first message is one of equity – God does not arbitrarily “shut off the faucet” when it comes to those who are out of harmony with Him. Having said that, we also know that he DID one time withhold rain for 3 1/2 years. He did use an earthquake to destroy some evil people. He did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with “fire from heaven.” How and why did these specific things happen?

They all happened in conjunction with God’s established patterns for using natural events. What was that pattern? Check out our October 9, 2017 podcast, “Are Natural Disasters Sending Us a Message?” and find out. Follow along with us as we identify the whys and the wherefores of God and His use of natural elements in the Bible.  Knowing why He did things then can really help to answer questions about what He is or is not doing now.

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October 09, 2017

VIDEO: Are Natural Disasters Sending Us a Message?

Are hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes all coded messages from God? Is He punishing us for our blatant sins or telling us to mend our foolish ways?  We don’t believe so, but there definitely are lessons  for us to learn. Listen to our 2 minute vlog for a short answer and then listen to the full podcast of the same name, Episode 990.

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