Saying the things polite Christians don't.

Archive for August, 2013

Spiritualism; A Pleasant Ride to Hell

I wrote this piece a few years ago, published it on the Internet with the title, Spiritualism, the Highway to Hell, and promptly forgot about it. Since then it has been smashed and bashed under the hammering of 40 hits. Just how many of these were ACDC fans I don’t know.

I decided to republish for a number of reasons, not the least being that no one was reading it, and I do feel that this is one of my posts that needs to be read. Secondly, things have changed. I’m a better writer now and I’ve had time to distance myself from the work. Therefore, I figured it could also do with a rewrite.

This is an honest, perhaps slightly satirical look at the spiritualist church and it’s challenge to Christianity.

Before I start slashing and tearing at the Spiritualist Church I would like to point out that I speak from personal experience. A few years ago, during a period of loneliness and vulnerability, I attended one of these churches (can’t remember the name but they are all pretty similar; Church of the White Light, The Shining Star etc. All names meant to convey something uplifting, healing and mystical). I went back more than once, simply because I have always lived by the philosophy of a fair go.

At the time I was living a long way from Christianity.

My initial impression was that here was a decent, friendly and accepting bunch of people. They were definitely not mainstream society. I shared a coffee and a chat before the service commenced.

These folk were the proverbial square pegs. I am not being judgmental that’s just the truth. I have spent my life as something of an almost square peg, hexagonal perhaps, and have overcome many of the obstacles I faced, so I know one when I see one. Just imagine any fringe society group and then imagine a sub-group who wouldn’t even fit in there. They were accepted here.

They were friendly and they welcomed me and that is what I needed most at the time.

A bunch of New Age magazines were on a table and in a quiet moment I leafed through these.

Wow! Accepting was an understatement. Everything was okay by these guys. It didn’t matter if you were Hindu, Buddhist, into Mind Control, Meditation, chakras, you name it. Anything but Christianity.

Why the bias against Christianity? I soon learned.

The service started pleasantly. Everyone sat on chairs in a circle, someone put on a cassette and we sang a few songs. Innocent enough. The songs were all selected to validate this atmosphere of brotherly love.

The service consisted of a meditation session (which I found enjoyable), a visit from a clairvoyant (which I am too cynical to be bothered with), and a talk by one of the elders.

Here it was. You have never sinned so why feel guilty? Everything is okay. You are loved. Love. You can be whatever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, live however you want to live. You can justify this knowing that if it makes you happy it must be God’s will; because God loves you and wants you to be happy.

Okay, I thought I had heard reason for their grudge against Christianity; everything they taught was opposing the basic Christian tenets. For instance…

To be told you have never sinned is very appealing. Especially if one has spent their life feeling guilty over their behaviour. With this snippet a world of religious guilt can fall off one’s shoulders. Shame it isn’t true. The Bible tells us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

But if you can’t buy that, and the concept of sin is too much for you, consider this; guilt is a human emotion that tells us when we have done the wrong thing. We don’t always pay for our mistakes and guilt is there to clip us around the heart when there is no-one to clip us around the ear. Appropriate guilt is one of the fundamental tools of spiritual growth. When guilt gets excessive or misplaced it should be dealt with by professionals and not some spiritual airhead.

Lifestyle. Live how you want to live. This isn’t true either. Many lifestyles are condemned by the Bible and it is easy to see why some people would rather embrace a church which condones anything, than make difficult and painful changes. Any religion, however, which does not require a person to change, to turn away from inappropriate lifestyles (those lifestyles which cause you guilt), isn’t a religion at all but a social club.

It is possible to live free of guilt. This is accomplished by asking Jesus for forgiveness and turning away from practices that make a person feel guilty. The process is called repentance.

Here was a church that lets you worship whatever you want, Buddha, Mother Earth, Krishnamurti, you name it. How can this be?

I can’t accept that we were thrown together on an assembly line with a multitude of creators. The argument that there can be more than one Supreme Being does not stand up to logic. How can there be more than one tallest mountain, fastest animal, hottest day? This all embracing attitude looks very attractive but it falls apart under even casual scrutiny.

Someone told me that they had had a wonderful morning observing a spiritual sunrise. Huh? Get with it! There is nothing spiritual about a sunrise. Spirituality is a measure of the Godliness in a person, or a measure of that thirst, that desire for Godliness. Sorry, a sunrise, a walk on the beach, dolphins dancing in the rain, these don’t fit. But apparently it is okay to believe this.

What then, if anything goes, is the problem with Christianity? My question was not answered until I read the book Dark Secrets of the New Age by Texe Marrs.

When I first encountered this book it was awfully difficult to get my head around Texe’s concept of a new world order with Satan at its head. But the more I thought about it, the more I looked around, the more I realized that it is the only explanation that fits.

All these spiritualist movements, new age nuthouses, crystal gazing idiots, aroma sniffers, are united in their common goal; to stamp out Christianity. This is the Great Evil; living under the crushing weight of sin. And Christianity is the culprit.

Yet the really big con is that few of the participants even know it. Most sincerely think that their bumper sticker Practice Random Acts of Kindness, or I Believe in Angels, is somehow a force for good in an otherwise crappy world. This is the saddest part.

Walk into any bookstore and see how many New Age titles are on display. Now compare this with the number of Christian titles on display.

Open any Women’s magazine (I haven’t worked out why this rarely occurs in men’s magazines) and see how many ads there are for psychics and clairvoyants. Many even have columns dedicated to these twits. Now see if you can find an article by a priest or pastor in the same magazine.

All this stuff is designed to get people to look anywhere rather than to God for the answers to their problems.

That’s it in a nutshell. The Spiritualist movement, or the New-Age movement is a satanic distraction. It has no worth whatsoever but actually has a negative value in that it keeps seekers away from Christ.

These were seekers that I met during that lonely period. Other people who, like me, were drifting along life’s highway, trying to find something better.

My search eventually led me back to the cross. I became a Christian at 16 but got sidetracked. Churches should have some responsibility towards newly converted Christians. (Another post coming up I think :-)). It took nearly 30 years before I returned to Christ, battered, beaten and thoroughly broken. In this condition I was ripe for an easy path.

The whole purpose of the spiritualist church is to keep you away from Jesus Christ. It accomplishes this by offering a wide road with a broad gate. Ironically there are no spiritual disciplines required, nothing to believe, nothing to practise, no one to worship.

They don’t worship Satan. They don’t worship Christ; and that’s okay with Satan.

But Jesus told us to enter by the narrow gate, Matt 7:13. He told us that the road to destruction is wide and easy. Most people take it.

I had a narrow escape. God had His hand on me and He led me home.

The message I have regarding the Spiritualist church is this. Don’t go there. Don’t even put foot in the door.

HARRY K.

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Brian Cox – Know all

I really didn’t want to take on the atheists. Not because I’m afraid of them, or even threatened by them, I’m just tired of the battle. On Utube I seem to get embroiled in these 35 word squabbles that go nowhere and solve nothing. In fact whenever I engage an atheist I find the discussion goes nowhere.

I am a Christian. Therefore I am a Creationist. But I am undecided on the young earth theory. I’m not rejecting it mind, so don’t get upset if you are a young earther. I could simply swing either way given a convincing enough argument. On the question of creation on the other hand, I am closed to debate. God created the universe and everything in it by the Power of His Word.

The atheist discussions go nowhere because invariably, at some point, I will be abused or treated with derision or hostility. I once asked an atheist why he and his kind were so hostile towards Christians and he said, “It’s not hostility, it’s contempt.” He went on to explain that he finds our beliefs so ridiculous that to hold them fervently, is contemptible.

In other words the atheist’s hold us as we hold them. The difference is that they respond with contempt, while we get frustrated.

Personally, I believe that frustrated with their inability to answer the big question, the atheists respond with bluster.

I guess where I get lost is in the idealism of a non-belief. I’m not talking about those who hold the belief – that nothing exploded and made everything – but the militant atheist who just doesn’t believe in God and is passionate about it.
It’s kind of like writing an essay about not playing the piano.

At the end of the day, I’ve lost the zest for the battle. The idea of butting heads with a dogged atheist just makes me tired.

But when I saw Brian Cox, the rock star physicist, last night on Sixty Minutes, I sat up in my chair, gripped the armrests, held my breath, and realised I could still fire a salvo or two.

I didn’t comment or guffaw while Cox blathered on about what went on on the earth 60 billion years ago, as if he were there. (That’s 60 billion years: a six with ten zeros). My wife was watching me expectantly however. He talked about how scientists deserved the acclaim lauded on footballers (hard to argue against that). Then, about ten minutes into the interview, he dropped the bombshell.

The interviewer asked him how he coped with the opposition from the creationists, the young earthers. Cox’s flippant reply, “Rubbish! It’s really utter nonsense.” He said dismissively. He laughed.

The way he said it was the cruncher. I’ve been told creation is nonsense by the Big Bangers a thousand times. Well, not a thousand, but often enough that this, or a variant of it, is expected. Cox said it as if it was a proven certainty. With an undertone of contempt at the very suggestion, he dismissed the idea. And Sixty Minutes, fawning at his feet, let it go unchallenged.

Brian Cox is a clever man. He is a particle physicist, a professor, and a member of a lot of wacky-doo fellowships. He has spent many, many years cracking the spines of textbooks. Probably wrote a few. Very smart indeed. It fascinates me that such a brilliant mind can believe in a creation sans Creator. He has been led by the nose by his masters before him who, not surprisingly, were evolutionists.

In the other corner is your’s truly, Harry K, a Christian, a writer, a jazz musician, a man of normal intelligence, self educated (I left school at 14, grade 9), and in no doubt of the power of God and that I am His finest creation.

Okay, the lines are drawn, but here I must disappoint. You’ve heard the arguments all before. Thousands of Christian men and women have written and spoken on the myriad of topics supporting creation. The science also supports creation. Do a Google search of the science supporting creation. You will be amazed at the volume of work.

Creationist Kent Hovind has offered, since 2002, a reward of $250,000 for scientific proof of evolution. So far it has gone unclaimed. Surely some clever Big-Banger could put their hand up for this money? No?

I know they say I mustn’t confuse the Big Bang with evolution, but isn’t the process supposed to be: Big Bang – Primordial ooze – life starts in that ooze? It seems that the two are inexorably connected.

God could have created the world with a Big Bang and then placed man, fully developed, on it. Would Cox and his cohorts give this due consideration? Cox’s derisive snorting leads me to suspect otherwise.

Cox worked for a while at the Large Hadron Collider, that $9 billion essential on the French/Swiss border designed among other things, to prove the Big Bang.

A great proportion of scientific disciplines are public funded and accordingly we should be entitled to a say on how that money is spent. Some studies are a must, the fight against AIDS, a better antibiotic for example, while others are selective, the benefits, if any, more obscure. The latter would include space exploration, weapons research, and the Large Hadron Collider. For that matter we could include the entire study of Particle Physics.
How does it help us? Can it feed us? At the very least such projects should be shelved while we sort out world hunger.

I confess; I am an idealist. Such things are not going to happen while man is in control. Meanwhile, if the LHC must exist they could at least conduct their experiments without bias. Trying to replicate the Big Bang is a preconception. They commenced the study with the assumption that the Big Bang did happen and the universe started with that.

We can conclude, quite reasonably, that Cox is a leader in the unnecessary field of Particle Physics. There is nothing wrong with working in a non essential industry. Most of us do. All we really need to support our bodies is food, shelter, and clothing. The difference is that the non essential jobs that most of us do add something to our lives; the work of Brian Cox and the LHC does not. It is an expensive drain on society.

All that money to recreate the Big Bang. Not to prove it, that it happened is a given, but to recreate it. Needless to say they couldn’t do it. They got some pictures that could have been created with a child’s kaleidoscope as accelerated particles crashed into one another.
No planets, no atmosphere, no oceans, lakes, not even a microscopic germ sized life form. Nothing was created. Things were moved about, made to perform in a certain way, but zero creation.

Still they mock the Creationist. The Bible has something to say about that.
Jude 1:18 They said to you, ” In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”
John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.

Or a word from Herbert Spencer, philosopher, ardent evolutionist:

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation.

I might suggest that Brian Cox has not read these words, written by a man who history will remember, was his better.

Men like Brian Cox make the world a little more difficult to live in just by opening their mouths. He is over educated ( I have heard the intellectual described as: Someone who has been educated beyond their capacity ), but lacking in wisdom, wordy, but lacking in tact, discretion. He has enough brains to talk but not enough to shut up.

What really worries me is the hordes of folk who hear Brian Cox and assume because of his education, his celebrity, that he must be right. In a few words he rubbished the faith of millions and plenty are ready to believe him.

It should be remembered that Brian Cox’s opinions on spiritual matters are like the opinions of empty headed movie stars who try to convince us to vote a certain way.

I have to pray for Brian Cox. And for myself, for my own very evident anger and resentment. I’ll pray that God will open his eyes and show him the Truth.

He did if for Saul on the road to Damascus. Why not Brian Cox?

Turning Away the Gay

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The marina and main beach

I live in a major country town on the East coast of Australia, called Coffs Harbour. The town is on the Pacific Highway about midway between Brisbane and Sydney. Nestled between the rich green hills and hinterland to the west, and the ocean to the east, with an almost perfect climate, it is, simply beautiful.

Coffs Harbour has a seasonal population of between 40 and 65,000

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The area abounds with spots like this

Somehow, up to now, we have escaped the major development frenzy that has turned Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast into a concrete jungle. Coffs has plenty of unspoilt beaches and the sunshine to go with them. There are no shadows of skyscrapers on the dunes.

Clocks run a little slower in Coffs.

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The marina

Needless to say, tourism is a major industry here. The business is very seasonal and many business owners would tell you that without the busy tourist seasons, they couldn’t hold on. Unlike the Gold Coast which is within an easy drive of Brisbane, Coffs has no nearby major population centres. It’s about 4 hours drive to Brisbane. A bit too far for a day trip. Consequently, people who come here make an effort to do so. They tend to stay, at least overnight.

And so our secular City Council, charged with the task of bringing the tourists to town, reasoned that we needed a homosexual shot in the arm.

Yes, that’s right. Did I mention that included in our population is the national proportion of children? Maybe more than the average; the area is popular with families and young people.

Of all the demographics to entice our councillors decided to go for the 2%. They said they wanted to make Coffs Harbour the premier gay destination in Australia.

I can see the billboards now… (should I write it? I can take it out later… This is a Christian blog)

Heavenly Homo Holidays!

I mean, Come on!… we’ve already got the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras to our national shame. I think its full title is the Sydney Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Mardi Gras. That cesspool of filth is so well known now it’s simply known as the Sydney Mardi Gras. They dropped the gay and lesbian part safe in the knowledge that deviant communities the world over know what it is.

Celebrating their sins

Celebrating their sins

And they wanted to do this to Coffs Harbour. The promotion would not be the salvation of local tourism, but the end of it. Straight away it offended the Christian community and they are a considerably larger demographic than the LGBTs. (Sounds like a car, doesn’t it? LGBTs, five speed, fully optioned. LGBT, straight to Hell).

The promotion kicked off in time with the first annual (We’ll see about that) Coastout festival.

The next thing would be homosexual marriage packages. Homo Honeymoons. Sorry, couldn’t resist it.

To many of us who live here, Coffs Harbour is as good as it gets. For me it’s an earthly sample of heaven. If you could see where I came from, when I was living for myself, you would understand why I feel this way.

So, we fought back. The Christian churches, well, some of them at least, objected to council. They telephoned, held meetings, prayed.

And…it went away! Well seemingly. I wouldn’t expect the LGBT community in Coffs to go skulking back to their closets quietly, but they appear to have done just this.

Never doubt the power of prayer! A search of the local paper, The Coffs Coast Advocate, of Coastout revealed nothing more recent than 2011. Of course this could be that the paper lost interest; gays harp on about their sexuality so much that one might wonder if they have anything else to offer.

When I set out to write this my intention was not to attack the LGBT community but rather the elected officials whose job it is to service and enrich the entire community. I found it difficult to draw a line between the two.

The Town Council is answerable to the community who reply with their votes. It is easy to understand, though not condone, why they kowtow to the LGBT.

Most importantly is that both groups, and everyone else, are answerable to God.
The LGBT people around the globe are getting louder and stronger. It’s worth remembering though that it is the Mouse That Roared. No matter how noisy they get, they represent only 2 – 2.5% of the population. A group this small can only have this big influence because we permit it.

I also believe I will be held accountable for my silences.

The problem is on the back burner in Coffs. It is going to get worse. The Bible tells us this, and as long as we have spineless politicians who have never read it, there will be more for me to write on the topic.

I ask you to join me in prayer that the Holy Spirit will sweep through the LGBT community in Coffs Harbour, for only He has the power, and create the only real, permanent change.

Should We Witness to Catholics?

I think most Christians would agree that we ought to be witnessing to anyone who isn’t a Christian. That’s practically a given. So then, our first task must be to qualify our audience. Are Catholics Christian?

They look like Christians. They have a Bible on the lectern, a crucifix on the wall. But sadly, that’s where the similarity ends.

Christians don’t pray to Mary. Nor do they pray to the saints. We hold Mary in high esteem, she is mother of our Lord Jesus, but that’s where it ends. Catholics turn to Mary in prayer, hold her in adoration. Catholics call this idolatry veneration, but the practise goes far beyond this. Statues of Mary adorn Catholic churches and there are prayer cards in the millions printed to the Blessed Virgin.

Among the names given to Mary perhaps the most damning are The Queen of Heaven and Mary as Co-Redemptrix.

Co-Redemptrix! Just pause here and think about that. Mary, as co-equal with our Lord Jesus as the Author of Our Salvation. Now, when you have swallowed that, ask yourself if Catholics are Christians.

A Christian depends on Christ for his or her salvation. Christ alone. Even if Mary could influence her Son (she can’t), Christians would not turn to her because Christians depend on Jesus alone for salvation.

Mary can do nothing. She cannot hear prayers, she cannot answer prayers, the Bible is quite clear on that. Ecclesiastes 9:5. All Catholics succeed in doing when they pray to Mary is breaking the 2nd Commandment.

Then we have prayers to the Saints. I remember a tv news segment about the Australian woman, Mary MacKillop, who was canonised in 2010. The interviewer was talking to a teenager in hospital. The teenager was delighted that Mary, formerly a nurse, was sainted. She (the teen), believed that her prayers to Mary MacKillop would make her well. This really tore at my heart. Inside I was shouting, ‘Pray to Jesus!’ And I was wishing the interviewer would say something. But of course, she didn’t.

Prayers to saints are like prayers to the Virgin Mary; useless and a breaking of the 2nd commandment. A person might as well pray to an old bed-sock. Yet the Catholic prayers to dead saints must far outweigh their prayers to Our Father, who, ironically, is the one who can answer prayers.

The next damning practise of Catholics is the teaching and belief of purgatory.

The idea of purgatory was kicked around as early as the 5th century but it wasn’t until the 11th century that it began to take shape as we know it today. Finally in 1254 at the Council of Lyon it was given its definition as a place where those without mortal sin may be cleansed after death.

Purgatory has been a real money spinner for the Catholic Church as they sell indulgences and hold Masses, for a price, for the dead. Who wouldn’t pay a few bucks to have the blowtorch removed from their loved one’s feet? But even this is not the real evil of Purgatory.

You see the concept of Purgatory assumes that when a person dies they still have unresolved sin. They go to Purgatory to be punished for this sin. The time they are in Purgatory can be shortened by purchasing indulgences or having a mass said for them. There are rules about who goes to purgatory but the short version is that it is just about everyone.

The real evil is the assumption that what Jesus did on the cross was not enough. When a person dies they still have sin to be dealt with. This is about as Unchristian as it gets. If any one thing disqualifies a Catholic from Christianity it is the belief in Purgatory.

As every Christian knows, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9

We are rendered lily white when we become Christians. JESUS DID IT ALL. There is nothing remaining to be punished for in this man made Purgatory. Jesus forgives us every single infinitesimal sin. He leaves nothing. And if you believe otherwise, well, you are probably not a Christian. You see, believing in Jesus, which means more than simply believing He walked among us, but means believing in who He is and what He does. It just doesn’t add up that a person can believe that Christ doesn’t completely forgive, that He leaves something for purgatory, and still be a Christian.

Okay, so what if I’m a Catholic who doesn’t believe in Purgatory? Suppose I have a priest who has never spoken about it.

You don’t call this guy, Father, do you? Matthew 23:9 has something to say about that. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Have you heard of the concept of Papal infallibility? This is a dogma that says that the Pope is free from the possibility of error. He can’t be wrong. Forgive my ignorance but I thought there was only One to whom perfection could be attributed.

What about transubstantiation? This is the concept that the bread and wine used to represent the Blood and Body of Jesus in the Holy Communion actually becomes His Flesh and Blood. Read that again. It’s a very weird belief.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I am nitpicking.

Naturally all we can do is look at the behaviour and practises of Catholics. Only God can see the heart. I’m sure there are some Catholics that for whom Jesus is first, front and centre, every time. Unfortunately these are few and far between.

Should we witness to Catholics? Yes. There are just too many points of difference between a Christian and a Catholic. I have by no means made an exhaustive account of them.

I would mention that we ought to be gentle in our approach to Catholics; most are sincere in their faith, and practising Catholics are, for the better part, fairly decent people. Catholics breed Catholics. There is often a long family history with the church and we shouldn’t start our witnessing with the artillery. This can only cause resentment.

As always proceed with prayer. Lifelong held beliefs are tough to break and you will be rejected. But nothing is impossible with God.

But Christians Say Their’s is the Only Way…

And so do the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses ad infinitum. In fact just about all the major religions make the same claim. About the only ones who don’t are the Baha’i faith. Their’s is a message that there is no such thing as an only way and that they are the only way with this message.

Islam is so convinced that they are the only way that they will kill you to prove the point.

Closer to home, Catholics so believe that theirs is the only way that some churches won’t even marry a couple unless both parties are Catholic.
(For more on why I did not include Catholics with Christianity watch this space).

Jehovah’s Witnesses are likewise convinced that they have the only card. Ditto the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists.

Getting the idea? This is an identical concept right across the religious board.

So why are Christians singled out and given a shellacking for making this common claim? The only explanation is that we present a threat; because we present the truth.

Hold on, isn’t that the statement that got us here in the first place? Yes it is, but with all the objectivity I can muster I can’t see any other reason to shoot us down whilst letting the other religions slide.

Except that we have the truth. They will shoot us down for that.

And here I go, stating the truth, as truth, again.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. He is the Son of God and was crucified to pay for man’s sins. After being dead three days God rose Him back to life.