Posted by Christine Pack
Effective immediately, the Sola Sisters blog will be on hiatus for an indefinite period of time due to family concerns.
Blessings to all the saints out there.
"Brides and grooms across the UK are staging a romantic rush to tie the knot on the most memorable date of the year.....10-10-10. All around the world, the attraction of saying 'I do' on an unforgettable date has sparked a massive rush by couples to organise their big day for the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year of the century. Bride to be Alice Huo said: 'A good beginning is half the success of a marriage. We believe that a good date will allow us a good beginning.' Brides magazine says that last year, 9-9-9 was particularly desirable, especially with the Chinese, as in their culture, every single digit number has a meaning, and for them, 9 stands for longevity. Also, three digit numbers are preferred over two or four digits, because three is a yang number and it stands for liveliness in Cantonese. "(Daily Mail UK/online source)One website attempts to imbue this date with significance by claiming a link to the paranormal, metaphysics, chaos theory, destiny, fractals, etc.
Hinduism/Buddhism - yoga, meditation, fasting
Catholicism - sacraments, baptism, good works
Islam - mecca, prayers, Jihad
Wicca - meditation, energy work, spells
Native American Indians - drumming, peyote, rains dances
Militant Environmentalism - sustainable living, vegetarianism, wearing hemp clothes
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority." (Col 2:8-10)
"Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Col 2:18-23)
"And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." (Gal 2:4-5)
"[T]hat we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—" (Eph 4:14-15)So what does paganism in the modern American churches look like? It's all of the above practices, strategies, doctrines, including yoga, mantra meditation, binding demons and breaking so-called demonic spells, asceticism, dream interpretation and a fascination with numbers and dates. But, it can also be more subtle, as in a Christian form of "works righteousness," with never-ending "how to" lists, tips, 5-point plans, and do's and don'ts.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Gal 5:1-6)And then Jesus himself spoke to us these words:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)If you are a Christian, and you have become ensnared by any worldly teachings, works righteousness or superstitions - even perhaps while sitting under very popular or well-liked pastors or teachers - I urge you not to put your hope in pagan superstitions or your own work, and turn back to the purity of the gospel. Repent, and run to Christ, where you can receive forgiveness and be freed from the bondage of "futile thinking" and "vain imaginations." (2 Cor. 10:5, Rom 1:21-22).
"(T)oday evangelism is losing its way in the maze of the social agenda as more and more time and resources are being poured into alleviating physical suffering rather than uprooting the cause through the gospel."Pastor Gilley's entire review can be read here.
What does the Bible teach about various forms of the occult like magic and spells? The bestselling 10 Q & A on Magic, Spells & Divination pamphlet explains the attraction of the occult in today's society and addresses 10 popular questions with the truth of God's Word. Full color and glossy, the 14-panel resource covers a breadth of topics such as white magick, casting spells, witches, psychics, and much more. 10 Q & A on Magic, Spells & Divination pamphlet is an excellent teaching tool for youth and adult Bible study groups seeking biblical answers about the occult.
The 10 Q & A on Magic, Spells & Divination pamphlet explains the contemporary rise of occult elements in the media and in games, and the lure of the occult. Written by a former astrologer who is now a Christian, the pamphlet answers these questions:
■ Is white magick OK since it is using powers for good?
■ Does casting spells really work?
■ Are witches also Satanists? What's the difference?
■ Does astrology work?
■ Is it OK to read your horoscope just for fun?
■ What's the difference between a psychic and a biblical prophet, since both foretell the future?
■ Is it OK to contact the dead?
■ Are there such things as ghosts and haunted houses?
■ What about the Ouija boards®--isn't it just a game?
■ Can we use crystals as a source of spiritual power?
10 Q & A on Magic, Spells & Divination provides answers to 10 of the most important questions regarding the occult. Here are a few interesting facts revealed in the pamphlet:
■ Witchcraft and Wicca are modern religions and are a subset of Neopaganism
■ A growing number of Goths follow Wicca and call themselves "Goth –Wiccans"
■ Astrologers are often guided by spirit beings like demons who give them information
■ God forbids any effort to communicate with the dead or other spirits
■ Ouija® board was designed as a tool to contact the dead
This 10 Q & A on Magic, Spells & Divination includes a "Glossary of Definitions." The glossary explains the following terms and many others—
■ Ankh: From Egyptian paganism, a cross topped by a loop. Used in occultism to signify immortality or eternal life; also represents the union of male and female.
■ Pantheism: The belief that God and creation are essentially one, and that the universe and its inhabitants share in God's divine nature.
The resource also offers a listing of additional resources for learning more about magic, the occult, Wicca, and New Age beliefs, as well as "You Should Also Know" sections with additional insights and information that improve understanding and equip people for outreach.
"Talking Tips" provides some do's and don'ts for witnessing to people involved in the occult:
■ Do remember that people in the occult have a different worldview and may have had negative experiences with churches or Christians.
■ Don't be fearful. God "has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7 NASB).
■ Do keep the main focus on what the person believes about God and Jesus.
“The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:22-25)As you may recall, Luke is giving an account of Paul’s second missionary journey and recent entrance into Philippi of Macedonia. Paul and Silas have just seen the conversion of Lydia, and shortly thereafter are met by a demon-possessed slave girl who has chosen to follow them in an effort to discredit their ministry…namely, by incessantly barking a feigned expression of the gospel. Paul, in exasperation, finally orders the demon to evacuate the young girl, much to the disappointment of the girl’s masters who were profiting from her demon-possessed antics. Being none too happy about Paul’s vindication of their human side-show, they apprehended Paul and Silas and literally drag them to the marketplace to stand before the chief magistrates where they begin issuing accusations against Paul and Silas, even suggesting that they have somehow brought the entire city to a point of chaos (v20) in their proclamation of the gospel. By this time a frenzied mob begins to form with an insatiable appetite for injustice, it would seem.