Posts tagged ‘evil’

April 30, 2012

Demons

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/2054845812/

This is another topic suggested by some of you when I asked for new blog ideas. What is that old saying? Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Any way, I got it and will try to enlighten. Can anyone sense a chance for controversy or maybe dry humor? The complete suggestion was about demon possession and oppression. Because those words are long and difficult for me to type, I will blog about what I think you need to know about demons.
I guess the first question to answer is do I believe in demons. The answer is yes. I raised three children and each one of them were evil. (Right about now, many are gasping at my cruelty…get over it) I believe in demons like most people do to one degree or another. I think more people believe in evil spirits than a God. Just look at stories through generations of humanity and how there has always been evil spirits in them. Most cultures have evil spirits that are blamed for what goes wrong. Ancient tribes in Africa and the Amazon, native American, and Island tribes all give place to evil spirits. Hollywood has always used evil spirits as plots to movies and today’s television programs are full of supernatural evil beings.
That is not why I believe in them. I believe in them because I believe in Jesus Christ and He believed in them. He did not just believe in them but He conquered them. He warned Christians against an ever-present battle between good and evil. What I find most funny is that when Christians start talking about evil spirits we are wacky but when someone says that they can speak to the dead, good and evil, they are deemed psychic and can even help solve crimes. People criticize Christians for believing in a Bible that claims the existence of good and evil but will flock to the theaters to see a movie about the same.
The Bible speaks clearly about demons being fallen angels and Satan being the leader. It talks about humans being overtaken by these demons and their every action controlled by them. It speaks of those who do not believe in God and Jesus being possessed to the point of their very souls being owned by them. It tells of people who are freed from this control but never totally surrendering to God and therefore being overtaken again. It tells us that Christians can yield their well-being to evil spirits and live in an oppressed state of being.
Possession has been glamorize by Hollywood. The Exorcism is a reminder of how enthralled we can be over such things. But it puts the emphasis on a man called a priest to free the girl from the demon and the emphasis should be on Jesus. Only He can free someone who is controlled by demons. Yes, He has given believers authority to cast out demons, but it is only under His power that we can do so and you don’t have to be a Catholic priest to do so.
Oppression is when a Christian does not yield to the Spirit of God and opens themselves up to control by evil spirits. I personally believe that once you are the child of God you can never be possessed by anyone other than God. But I also believe that God will allow us to be oppressed by evil if we are disobedient. (1 Corinthians 5:5- hand such a person over to Satan to destroy his corrupt nature so that his spiritual nature may be saved on the day of the Lord.) But I believe this oppression can be defeated by something as simple as repentance.
Either way you slice it, demons are not to be taken lightly. If you do not believe in God, they will twist your head around on your body and make you puke green stuff. If you do believe in God they will make you disobedient to God. Most importantly, they want to keep you from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior. They want you to go to Hell. God does not.

December 13, 2011

Omens

by pastortimfowler

By now you must be wondering where in the world do some of these ideas for my blogs come from. It is simple; I have some weird people who go to my church. This morning I get a Facebook tag about omens saying that I should blog about it. I am not sure why, but I thought okay, this could be a sign…get it? Sign? Omen?
As usual, I will start with the definition of the word omen. (noun. anything perceived or happening that is believed to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future; portent)
Let me be the first to say that I thought the movie was stupid. Also, I think the word is a weird word. I don’t even like the way it is spelled. Just by changing one letter it could be AMEN! Maybe that is a good direction to go with this blog.
The common fear of an omen is that it points towards the rest of a bad day staying that way or getting worse. We rarely hear of people talking about good omens. It certainly would not have sold a lot of tickets at the box office. People think that if you burn your toast that it is a sign that you will get fired, wreck your car, or be called to jury duty. I don’t believe that is true. Maybe its is a sign of something good. Let me elaborate.
You get up the morning of an important day and because you have been taught that breakfast is an important meal, you began to fix your toast, which by the way, hardly qualifies as a real breakfast. As you are fixing your coffee, which is an important part of a nutritional breakfast, you smell something burning and turn to see smoke rising from your toaster. The toast is burnt! An omen of a disastrous day to come or could this be the start of something really good?
Because the toast is burnt, you spend a little more time thinking about what makes this day so important. Perhaps it is your day to fix cupcakes for your child’s class party, or you have an interview for a job, or you are going to take your pastor a surprise gift, like money, or a free round of golf. You remember that verse from the Bible that you just read, either because you have been reading the Bible or you have been reading this blog. It says, (Acts 20:35) that it is more blessed to give than to receive, so you not only bake the cupcakes, but you grab some more money to give to your pastor, and head off to have a blessed day. If you had not burned the toast, you may have spent the money that you were going to give your pastor on store-bought cupcakes, and felt even worse than before, thus allowing the burnt toast to become an omen of bad things to come.
Romans 8:28We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. God does not have bad omens for His people. He has only your best interest at heart. Even in the toughest things, God is preparing us for a blessing. Job who lost everything he had, was being prepared to receive double everything that he lost. Peter and the other fishermen were taken out in a terrible storm so that they could see Jesus speak and calm the storm. Onesimus, the runaway slave, was caught and thrown in jail, only to meet the Apostle Paul and find eternal life. Jesus was falsely accused, sentenced to die, and killed for the sins of others, only to rise from the grave and offer eternal life to all who ask.
So…Next time you think that you are getting a negative omen, be creative and change one letter and make it AMEN. With God, all things are possible.

September 28, 2011

Slaves In The Bible

by pastortimfowler

My dear friend has been challenging me to blog about some really tough stuff. So now she asked me to blog about slaves in the Bible. I have been hoping I could do this one for a long time. (Sarcasm noted)
One thing my friend is experiencing is the ignorance of people when it comes to the Bible. Notice I did not say stupidity, although that can be a problem too from time to time, but you can’t fix stupid. Ignorance about the Bible comes from people who are not Christians and people who are Christians. Sadly, Christians form their opinions of the Bible when what they really need is to accept the truth of the Bible. We spend a lot of time picking out one or two things that sound like the point that we want to make and running with it as if it were fact. We take things out of context and the true meaning gets twisted. Any writing taken out of context can be dangerous and any writing that someone sets out to criticize can be condemned by those who want to find fault.
Let me give a brief overview of what the Bible is. It is God’s communication to man in the written form. It is not everything that God knows, but it is what He wants us to know. It is not an old writing that has no relevance for today, but rather a writing that when studied in context, including the context of the culture of the times that it was written, can be applied to any culture and time. Too often people get stuck in what is an event or teaching relevant to only to an era and fail to be able to take the principle of the teaching and apply it to present time. The Bible is the account of God creating the world for humans to occupy, giving them free will to make choices, including wrong choices, and loving us in spite of our flaws. In that love, He gives us a way to restore the flawed humans that He loves so much and gives guidelines for His will in our lives and how to deal with the times when we chose to go against His will and screw things up.
Bad choices have consequences and some of those last throughout generations. Cultures often dictate many of our choices, including ones that God’s people fall in to. Just because God permits something to happen does not mean that He approves of it. We do this with our own children as a teaching tool when they chose not to listen to wisdom, don’t we? In God’s perfect will, we would have no pain, sorrow, or death. Because we have freedom to choose and we chose to go against God, the consequences permeate culture and culture adopts those things that are contrary to God, but seem good to some people, especially those in positions of power.
Slavery was never an idea of God. When we think of slavery, we think of the evil of owning another person and often the mistreatment and abuse of those people. The most common word used in the Bible for slaves is the word servant. There were two types of servants, the person who served you in return for protection, housing, and food, and the other is the person used for forced labor. God gives very specific instructions on how to treat those servants that worked for you in the first capacity. They were to be treated properly and provided for and freed from their obligations to you at the end of seven years, and, even then, they were given the choice of staying with you because this was most similar to a job. God gave harsh penalties for mistreating these servants and never gave the command to own people. Society had made owning people acceptable, not God.
In the case of forced labor, slavery, God is best known for providing their freedom, commonly known as the Exodus, and the movie, The 10 Commandments. God sets people free from all sorts of bondage, especially sin. Sin puts us in the mindset of thinking we are right and God is wrong. Sin causes us to put self before others and is what led to slavery as we think about it in the worst of ways. Sin also makes us slaves to things like drugs, alcohol, sex, and money, to name a few. All of which have good and godly ways of being used, but perverted outside of that, in turn result in bondage. God cares about those who are oppressed and provides a way to set us free. He frees those who are slaves to people who pervert authority and those who are slaves to those who pervert the freedom of our own will.
For who the Son sets free, you are free indeed. Only God can provide true freedom, and because of that, I choose to serve Him.