Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I just read an excellent essay on the history and meaning of Halloween and the history of the belief that it is associated with Satanism, posted on Exultate Justi by Jared Keller, who used to believe the latter but no longer does. The essay is partly autobiographical and fun to read despite being chock full of references because they are all worked into the text - and because most of the writers referred to are interesting in themselves, in good and bad ways.

The author still has a perspective far from mine (and probably most of the readers who may happen on this post) as you'll see from two of the final paragraphs quoted below, but having observed the quality of his thinking, I can only wonder - if some of his beliefs are wrong, which of mine are?

Part of my frustration with Warnke, and with the entire Bob Larson school of demonology, is that it detracts from the real and present threat that Satan poses to believers and non-believers alike. Scripture is very clear in pointing out that we have a very real enemy who works actively for our destruction. Angels are real...demons are real, and they do, indeed, battle. There are two sides to the spiritual (on a side note, don't ever assume that merely because something is described as "spiritual", it's inherently good) - and they are engaged in a fight.

In turning the matter of spiritual warfare into a gimmick for revenue generation and cheap sideshow displays, and in the use of spiritual gifts (tongues, prophecy, etc.) as "special effects" for these displays, too many Christians make it easy for more rational folk to dismiss the existence of Satan - and of a spiritual realm, in general - out-of-hand. There is likely nothing Satan likes better than for a Bob Larson or a Benny Hinn to go on and on making baseless claims involving casting out demons of "poverty", or claims that thousands of people are killed every year by satanic covens. Such distractions offer Satan cover under which he may operate undetected, and unopposed.

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