Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Age Entry #18

This is the last of these posts unless something else comes to mind. With this last post I want to bring us back full circle to the scriptures we began with and give you a few more to encourage you.

In our first post the scriptures we used began with the first of The Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

The New Age says there are many ways to God, but in John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” So whether Oprah or anyone else believes that, as we saw in one of our last posts, Jesus’s words are the final say-so.

In our second post is one of the main scriptures we should all be reading and thinking on now, Matthew 24. Although I didn’t post the whole chapter, we should be reading it in its entirety because Jesus has a lot to say, including: “See to it that no one deceives you,” Matthew 24:4, and in verse 11, “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” He is speaking of the end times as His disciples had questioned Him about that specifically.  If it were not possible for us to be deceived, why would He warn us against it?

Paul laid a foundation for our study in Acts 20:27-31, especially in verse 30 when he said: “and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Notice "from among your own selves.") Our study took off from there as we showed how easy it is to be deceived if we don’t read and study the Bible for ourselves and not just swallow everything that comes down the pike just because someone stands in a pulpit (or on a stage or on TV) and says it.

The book of Jude has only one chapter, but verse 4 there contains a similar warning: “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Notice the phrase, "certain persons have crept in unnoticed." Also, licentiousness has to do with being sensual, disregarding morality.) While I love a lot of the contemporary music, I am seeing some of this in a few of the newer songs. I have also noticed over the last few years how much Christian people are enjoying using the words "passion, passionate, and intimate" when referring to the Lord and their relationship with Him. I understand the point they're trying to make, but I have to wonder if there aren't other terms that could be used that would make the reference more Godly and less worldly.

If you’re reading this, you are a thinking person to whatever degree God has given you the ability to think. Use your own mind and your own Bible (not The Message or The New Century Version, as we saw in earlier posts!) and talk to God. Ask Him to show you all His truth. Do it with an open heart.

I have often had this radical thought: Maybe it’s good to forget everything I was ever taught as a child (and maybe even as an adult!) and read the Bible and study it for myself, letting God tell me what HE wants me to know instead of listening to what others want me to believe.

I hope these posts have blessed and helped you. Thank you to so many of you who have spoken to me about them. It has been very encouraging to me. God bless you all.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

New Age Entry #17

Star Wars. There. I got your attention.
This one is pretty long. Sorry about that. But there’s a lot to chew on here. I hope you’ll try to stay with me.
The Bible says in Mark 12:30, “and you shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your MIND, and with all your strength.” (Emphasis mine.) As we think on this, we can make a list of things that we could do but don’t because they don’t show our love for Him or are not honoring to Him. One of the items on my list would be the kinds of movies I watch. Of course, we all slip up sometimes. Maybe we visit friends and they’re in the middle of a movie when we arrive. We’re sorta stuck in cases like that. (They really should turn off the TV or ask if we want to join them in watching, but I digress.) :)
I’m probably going to lose some of you here, and that will have to be a matter of prayer for you. (I’m almost finished with these posts, though, so hang in there, if you can!) Some of the movies that I would say you should stay away from are…wait for it…any of the Star Wars flicks. Yeah, I know. You’re about to click away from this post.  Please don't.
In light of our New Age conversation, though, let me just throw out some thoughts. I know there are probably those of you (as there are others) who say that “The Force” and “The Dark Side” in those movies represent God and Satan. Um. No, they don’t. Not when you go back and read the very first few of my posts that explain what the New Age is. Remember? Everything is God to the New Agers.
Here is a portion from “The Empire Strikes Back” from a website called ) 
“During an extended scene in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Yoda, the Jedi master, takes Luke as an apprentice and instructs him more fully in the ways of the Force. In true guru fashion, Yoda tells Luke, ‘For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life breeds it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you, here between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes, even between land and ship.’ Talk about the Force takes place in other scenes throughout the Star Wars series, providing a comprehensive initiation into New Age theology.”
Notice that the Force is referred to as “it.” God is not an “it” in any of His three Persons. Here is a bit from this site regarding Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999):
ANAKIN : Master, sir...I've been wondering...what are midi-chlorians?
QUI-GON : Midi-chlorians are a microscopic lifeform that reside within all
living cells and communicates with the Force.
ANAKIN : They live inside of me?
QUI-GON : In your cells. We are symbionts with the midi-chlorians.
ANAKIN : Symbionts?
QUI-GON : Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the
midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the
Force. They continually speak to you, telling you the will of the Force.
ANAKIN : They do??
QUI-GON : When you learn to quiet your mind, you will hear them speaking to
ANAKIN : I don't understand.
QUI-GON : With time and training, will.
Remember that quieting the mind is part of the New Age training. They say you are to empty your mind so that you can hear. Sounds good, but Christians are to meditate ON THE LORD AND HIS WORD, not empty our minds. When you empty your mind and don’t think on the things of the Lord, you have opened yourself up for anything to drop in, including thoughts that Satan throws at you.
How about George Lucas? What kind of ideas do we think he might like to get across in his movies? Let’s find out. From Wikipedia:
Lucas was born and raised in a Methodist family.[7] The religious and mythical themes in Star Wars were inspired by Lucas' interest in the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell,[71] and he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his films, which were a major inspiration for "the Force". Lucas eventually came to state that his religion was "Buddhist Methodist".
(Maybe you don't trust Wikipedia, and that's okay.  You can do a search yourself.)
I won’t use up space here talking about Joseph Campbell. If you do a search for him, you’ll find that he was into all kinds of New Age stuff and apparently a mentor to folks like Lucas.
If you were producing a movie, what ideas would you try to get across? Would you, as a born-again Christian, think it the best thing to try and inspire people in Eastern religions or New Age or would you think God’s best for you…and for your viewers…would be to try to help them understand about Jesus? There are those who say that movies like Star Wars do try to do that, but they are being led down the wrong path. Satan will do ANYTHING to try to derail our faith, including twisting God’s words. Didn’t he do that to Adam and Eve?
I know some of you or your loved ones are very much in love with the Star Wars movies and couldn’t possibly tear yourself away from them. (Or could you?) As I said before, that will just have to be a matter of prayer for you.
Stay tuned! :)

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