Evangelist Billy Graham has cautioned Christians against buying objects that claim to possess “spiritual healing” powers, as such items — no matter how innocent they seem — are “demonic” and “opposed to God.”
The 99-year-old founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association answered a reader’s question on his website regarding whether or not “lucky charms” actually affect the well being of users.
The reader wrote: “I have bad arthritis, and I saw an ad in one of those supermarket papers for a gold-plated charm that they say will heal me. The ad says it’s been prayed over by a spiritual healer, and has special magical healing powers. Should I send for it? It’s kind of expensive.”
Graham began by urging the reader to refrain from wasting their money on such an item, or anything else that claims to have magical powers.
“Nothing like this has any medical evidence to support its dubious claims, nor should you trust what the sellers say about it,” he said.
The evangelist noted that the Bible tells us to avoid any object that claims to have magical powers or is connected with someone who claims to have magical powers.
“At best, such things will only make us poorer; at worst, they may bring us into contact with spiritual powers that are not from God but are demonic and opposed to God,” he warned. “When the magicians in Ephesus turned to Christ, they immediately repented of their magical practices and destroyed their magical charms (see Acts 19:19).”
Instead of turning to objects that falsely claim to grant spiritual healing, Graham encouraged the reader to put their hope in God who promises that in Heaven, all pain and suffering will be erased.
“Why not turn to Him for the help you need? When we commit our lives to Christ, we know God is with us, even when we experience pain or disability. No, I can’t promise He will take all your pain away — but I can promise He will be with you, to encourage you and guide you to proper medical help.”
According to a 2005 Gallup survey on paranormal beliefs, over half of Americans (55 percent) believe in psychic or spiritual healing or the power of the human mind to heal the body. A separate poll from The Associated Press found that 19 percent of Americans believe in “spells or witchcraft.”
Graham has frequently discussed the dangers of dabbling in witchcraft and occult practices, which he says are “directly opposed to God and His will for our lives.”
The main reason for God’s opposition to occult practices, he previously explained, are because they have their origin in spiritual forces that do not come from God, but from the devil.
“Just as the devil is absolutely opposed to God and His people, so too are his demons,” he said.
The Bible repeatedly warns us against doing anything that might open the door to the influence of demons over us, the Baptist pastor contended.
“One of the ways they gain entrance into our lives is through occult practices-even those that seem amusing or harmless,” he said. “The Bible says, ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).” (Click to Source)
The cool kids on Twitter use the term “ratioed” to describe an event where someone sends a controversial tweet that garners far more replies than it does likes. According to Twitter logic, this is supposed to be an indication that you were wrong about whatever you said. If so many people are making fun of you, and so few have expressed their approval by pressing the little heart icon, surely you must be mistaken in your view.
It will not surprise you to learn that I get ratioed quite a bit. I may well be the most ratioed person on Twitter. Yet I have found that the ratio more often indicates the correctness of a statement than it does incorrectness. That does not always hold, of course, but I think it did this morning when I fell into another ratio because of a tweetabout yoga. Here’s what I said: “It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are many excellent ways to get in shape that do not involve participating in Hindu worship.”
I have been mocked relentlessly for this opinion, especially by Christians who find any criticism of yoga to be not only wrong but hilarious. It is just a given, in their minds, that Christians should feel free to engage in pagan spiritual practices. The matter is not worth discussing.
This is a very odd situation.
As Albert Mohler points out, Christians of any time prior to the mid-20th century would have taken the reverse approach. They would have been shocked that any Christian would even consider attempting to adopt a Hindu spiritual exercise. Today, however, many of us have adopted it to such an extent that we now defend it with the same ferocity that we defend our faith itself. There are some who seem to defend it with even more ferocity. As with most things, if I have to choose between the modern Christian attitude or the traditional Christian attitude here, I will lean very heavily toward the latter.
I’ll explain why.
We know that yoga means “to yoke” or “to unite.” It has its roots as an ancient Hindu practice meant to unite a person with his body and with the universe. The classic mantras that people repeat in yoga to help them meditate — “so’ham,” means “I am the universal self” — are all in service to this mission of “oneness.” It is a pantheistic practice because it derives from the belief that we are all a part of some great flow of cosmic energy, which has no original Author, and which we all are born and then reborn into over and over again. Yoga is supposed to bring us into harmony with this “energy.”
You can find the word yoga and the basic concept in Hindu texts dating back thousands of years. It’s true that the modern western version is not entirely the same as its traditional form, but I do not see that as a mark in its favor. After all, it’s no coincidence that it was exported to the West hand-in-hand with the philosophy of the “universality” of all religions, and it finally began to explode in popularity with the counter-culture movement of the sixties. Hindus had their spiritual purposes for yoga, we have ours. Neither purpose seems at all compatible with Christianity.
So, if we follow the trajectory of yoga, we begin with pagan spiritualism, trace it through the anti-Christian counter-culture revolution, then sprinkle on a bunch of new age gibberish, and here we land with the modern day yoga class. Is it really crazy to think that perhaps this thing — with its combination of ancient paganism and new age mysticism — may not be an advisable hobby for Christians?
Of course, yoga apologists will say that the spiritual aspect and the physical acts can be separated. I think that’s a bad argument for three reasons:
1) In a great many cases, there is not even an attempt to separate them. Many yoga classes feature these same pagan mantras and meditation techniques which seek to put us “in touch with the universe” and so on. For this argument to work, you would need to find a yoga class that leaves all of that out. It seems pretty cut and dried that a Christian should not be performing physical acts of worship to pagan deities while performing meditations meant to bring him into oneness with the energy of the universe or whatever. But what about forms of yoga that do attempt to strip the spiritual aspects of it?
2) The whole point of yoga is that you can’t sever its physicality from its spirituality. That’s literally the definition of yoga. It would seem that a “non-spiritual yoga” is a contradiction in terms. It’s like trying to make G-rated porn. Either its G-rated or its porn. It can’t really be both. Either it’s yoga or its non-spiritual. It can’t really be both.
The physical practices of yoga are expressly designed to open ourselves up to enlightenment (Hindu enlightenment, that is). The intended final stage of yoga is to achieve a state called Samadhi, where the self disappears and you are brought into an unthinking trance. You may perform the moves without consciously seeking the demonic trance they were designed to help you attain, but it would seem you are playing, quite literally, with fire. And then the question is why?
3) I like John Piper’s approach here. He says we are asking the wrong question about yoga. Rather than: “Can I perform yoga while avoiding the many spiritual pitfalls inherit to it?” It should be: “Will this clearly help me in my walk with Christ? Is this an active good?”
It’s very telling that most of the pro-yoga arguments I read from Christians seem to focus on the possibility that a Christian could do yoga while carefully making sure to drown out or skip over all of the pagan stuff. I thought this was a well-written article by a pro-yoga writer named Katie Kimball, but here’s her conclusion: “Yes, practicing yoga could be a sin. Yes, practicing yoga could be a pathway down which one could fall into pagan worship and away from God. However, doing a yoga pose is not an automatic pathway to Hell.”
I, of course, would never call it an automatic pathway to Hell. But if “it’s not an automatic pathway to Hell” is the best justification you can construct for doing something, isn’t it best just to not do that thing? What is the point of trying to re-purpose pagan worship for the sake of getting a nice workout? What’s wrong with just using an elliptical machine? How is the Kingdom advanced, how is an individual’s actual spiritual fulfillment attained, by participating in a pagan ritual? We truly are asking the wrong questions. We’re looking to see how much we can get away with before it becomes explicitly dangerous to our souls. Is this the right strategy? Is this how we “cloak ourselves in the armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11)?
There may be some physical benefits to bowing to Mecca five times a day. I’m sure you could get a nice lower back workout. But, of all the ways to exercise your back, why would you choose to prostrate yourself to Allah? Indeed, I wonder how the Christian yoga apologists would respond to a workout routine based around Muslim prayer? My guess is that they would make every argument against it that I have made against yoga. But they don’t apply it to yoga because yoga is just a “normal” part of their life, and so they don’t question it.
I see a comparison here with something like a Ouija board or a horoscope. Yes, you can mess around with those things relatively innocently, not actually seeking to summon spirits or ascertain your future from the stars, but why? Is this a form of entertainment that Christians should seek out? What’s wrong with just playing Monopoly instead? Why mess around with it?
I don’t think you’ll automatically be possessed if you do yoga. I don’t think all yoga practitioners go to Hell. But neither do I see how a pagan ritual could ever help someone get to Heaven, and maybe that’s reason enough to leave it alone. (Click to Source)
“Haiti is 30 percent Christian, but 100 percent vodou (Haitian voodoo).”
This is a statement I’ve heard several times through my years of working in Haiti. I’ve come to realize just how close to true this actually is. Because Christians in Haiti might not practice vodou, but they are certainly wary of the negative effects it can have on their communities. An example that comes to mind is a memory of my husband disposing of a snake as three (Christian) Haitian women screamed that he had killed a demon.
The negative effects of vodou are particularly visible as we near the Haitian celebration for Mardi Gras, called Kanaval. In Haiti, Kanaval goes for weeks preceding Lent. And while many Haitian Catholics and Protestants do use this time to prepare for the Lenten season, vodou practicers openly worship spirits during the Carnival parade, known as defile. They use it as a time to assert the dominance of vodou priests and priestesses, known as houngans and mambos, on the communities. Many vodou worshippers dress up as the spirits they are worshipping. Some dress as zombies, devils or the dead. The most dedicated vodou worshippers use this time to thank the spirits that they believe helped them gain their independence from France in 1803.
In this atmosphere one might see fights break out, curses cast, even lives lost. In 2015, Kanaval was cancelled after a performer in a parade was shocked by a high-voltage wire, leading to a stampede. Eighteen were killed and 78 more injured in the resulting chaos.
While Carnival or Mardi Gras events in other parts of the world seem like nothing but big, if hedonistic, parties, the darkness evident during Haiti’s celebration of Kanaval is so contrary to the light God gave the world through Jesus. Jesus brought life, not death and destruction. Going into this season of remembering his sacrifice should not be a time to fear, but a time to rejoice and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. And yet Christians across Haiti live in fear of what could happen to them or their families during this turbulent time of the year.
The non-profit I work for in Haiti is called LiveBeyond. We are based in Thomazeau, the self-proclaimed “vodou capital of Haiti.” There are vodou training centers and vodou temples called peristilyo in many of the villages around us. But we know that while Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy, Jesus came to give abundant life (John 10:10). We evangelize in our community daily, preaching about the healing of Jesus and the joy that he brings. We celebrated over 100 baptisms last year, as well as countless weddings and baby dedications. We offer discipleship training to new believers and build up strong spiritual leaders in our area through teleconferencing. Each week we facilitate a call between Haitian pastors and ministers from the United States so that they can share counsel and pray together.
I ask you to join us and the other Christian non-profits across Haiti like But God Ministries and Hope for Haiti’s Children in praying for our Christian brothers and sisters who will face persecution during this turbulent season. With your support we can continue to assist our brothers and sisters in confronting the oppression and darkness of Haitian vodou with the consuming power of the kingdom of light. (Click to Source)
By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die
“The ultimate self-defense mindset demands that you be where everyone else isn’t – here’s a perfect example of where you don’t want to be in person”. -Steve Quayle
With a huge percentage of Americans set to boycott the NFL and their ‘super bowl’ game with US Veterans, bars and even bowling alley’s tuning out, the not-surprising new story from Wall Street 24/7 reports that the NFL is now ranked #3 among America’s most-hated-companies, along with the Weinstein Company, Monsanto, and Facebook among others.
With their ‘big game’ going on in just hours in the area that is well known as ‘Little Mogadishu’ – the ‘Somali capital’ of the US according to the Star Tribune, PJ Media reported on January 29th that a mosque is quite literally within spitting distance of the US Bank Stadiumin Minneapolis where the ‘big game’ is being held tonight.
And while the Daily Mail has just reported that the entire region has been turned into ‘Fortress Minneapolis’ with the largest security operation in history underway in frigid temperatures with the FBI on high alert to potential extremist threats, a very concerning story just came out from the Star Tribune where we learn that the super bowl live security firm who had been doing background checks for the event was just fired with the global mercenary firm G4S brought in as a replacement.
For those who don’t remember, shooters at two recent ‘mass shooting events’ were both tied to G4S. The Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting was carried out by Omar Matteen who had been employed by G4S as well as the 2017 church shooting in Antioch, Tennessee carried out by Emanuel Samson, an immigrant from the Sudan who had an address listed for him that was also an address used by G4S. Might there be ‘a false flag event’ ahead for tonight’s game?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, as we hear in the first video below, Jesus Campos, the security guard of the Las Vegas shooting fame, ALSO had worked for G4S!!!! In this distubring new thread over at Steemit they discuss the possibility of a massive false flag attack at the super bowl as is also echoed in the 2nd video below in which Zack joins Infowars to discuss everything that is now lining up to make this years super bowl be the perfect opportunity for such an event to be carried out.
And now we learn of this sickening story of the Wikipedia pages of numerous Philadelphia Eagle football players, coaches and owners being updated to contain ‘death dates’ of February 4th, today, the day of the super bowl. While Wikipedia can be edited by anybody, why would anybody do such a sickening thing as seen in the screenshot above?
We also recently learned of ‘superb owl’ going viral as reported in this recent CBS Sports story. Reporting that a massive surge in search engine misspellings of the super bowl has led to the phrase ‘superb owl’ spiking soon ahead of the ‘big game’, the sinister looking owl has since found its way into numerous ‘events’ surrounding this years game and as we see in the tweet screenshot above from We Are Q Anon, ‘the owl’ = Moloch.
As has been reported over and over again surrounding past super bowls by the alternative media, the illuminati – occult ties surrounding the game stretches back many years and can be seen in halftime shows as detailed in this Amazon book.
And for those who are unaware of the illuminati symbolism of moloch we get it from a video titled “A Brief History Of The Owl Of Moloch at the Bohemian Grove”:
“The occult ritual is based on the ancient mystery religion ceremonies of the Babylonian Canaanite cult of Moloch fused with ancient Luciferian Druidic rites, mixed with Scottish Rite Freemasonic elements, and it entails burning an effigy of a child at the base of a 40 foot statue of the owl god Ishtar aka Lucifer “
While the Star Tribune reported back in March of 2017 that in Little Mogadishu, “nobody is an outcast”, as Bare Naked Islam reported back in October of 2016, ‘Hillary’s America’ was already there back then with ‘Muslim no-go zones’ already popping up across that region leading us to ask, “nobody is an outcast or just NO Muslims are ‘outcast‘”? And we also remind you that Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison is the representative from that region.
As Steve Quayle just reminded us, this years super bowl is also taking place in the same area that Somali Muslim cop Mohamed Noor shot and killed an innocent and un-armed Australian woman back in July of 2017 after she called police for assistance, a murder that still has yet to be prosecuted. Noor was the first Muslim cop in the region.
If what we have been witnessing over the past several decades has really been an attempt to overthrow the sovereignty of America as even President Trump warned back in this October of 2016 speech, then we’ve long warned that there will likely have to be some kind of ‘final event’ which allows the completion of those many decades of globalist work.
With the ‘deep state’ now in total panic mode as the memo comes out with more coming, the concern of ‘conspiracy theorists’ that they might attempt to pull off ‘the final event’ may soon come to fruition. And with up to or more than 100 million TVs tuning in despite the massive boycott, a tremendous temptation has been presented to the people who orchestrate and carry out such false flags.
And while we’ll pray that this game goes off without a hitch and all of the concerns of ‘an event’ simply overblown warnings, as Steve Quayle warned us in his opening statement seen at the top of this story, “The ultimate self-defense mindset demands that you be where everyone else isn’t – here’s a perfect example of where you don’t want to be in person.”
In the final video below we hear a great explanation of why some believe the super bowl today will be ‘Black Sunday’.
Also of interest though possibly not directly related, according to this May 18th of 2017 story from Judicial Watch, Russia Special Counsel Mueller Worked with Radical Islamist Groups to Purge Anti-Terrorism Training Material Offensive to Muslims.
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy andprofane.
3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny andreject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].
6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.
7 [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.
8Now just as [a]Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned.
9 But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody, as was that of those [magicians mentioned].
10 Now you have closely observed and diligently followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness,
11 Persecutions, sufferings—such as occurred to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand].
13 But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.
14 But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them],
15 And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you andgive you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].
16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),
This World has truly become More Perverted. This is Garbage! It Stinks!
The marketing surrounding Sweet Jesus is based on satanic symbolism combined with children in creepy and questionable situations.
Sweet Jesus is an absurdly popular ice cream chain that’s been around for a few years and is quickly expanding in Canada and the United States. Deemed “Toronto’s Most Overrated Ice Cream” by the Globe and Mail, Sweet Jesus nevertheless attracts huge crowds on a daily basis. The chain has been enjoying lots of media coverage and because its stores are custom-made to be “Instagrammable”, Sweet Jesus is all over social media.
The chain does not only serve ice cream to its customers: The “experience” also involves intense imagery and Biblical references. This peculiarity even prompted a lengthy article on Medium that analyzes the “Christian symbolism” of the shop. While the article is very in-depth and used all kinds of references, it completely missed one point: The symbolism is not Christian, it is satanic. Because satanic symbolism is based on the inversion and the corruption of Christian symbols and Biblical references.
These two symbols are an important part of the imagery of the Church of Satan.
To those who say: “The inverted cross is not satanic, it is actually the Cross of St Peter. I read that on Wikipedia”. Nope. In this context, it is satanic. Satanic Black Masses are all about the inversion of Christian symbols to represent a diametrically inverted philosophy.
The symbol of the lightning bolt is also prevalent in satanism. It most likely originates from the Bible passage where Jesus said: “I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven”.
These two symbols make up the logo of Sweet Jesus.
The marketing of the brand is all about ridiculing Jesus combined with satanic symbolism.
Other ads combine Christianity with thinly veiled sexual innuendos.
Here’s another project by the same graphic designer. Since it is not an ad selling ice cream, it is a little more blatant.
Although none of this would EVER exist if it ridiculed any other religion, one can still dismiss the above as an attempt at being “edgy and clever”. However, there’s more.
Sweet Jesus also created ads involving children. And they’re evil creepy. Not fun creepy. They confirm that this is not simply about being “edgy” … there’s a connection with the darker, more sinister side of the occult elite: Preying on children.
Most of the marketing surrounding Sweet Jesus involves fashion magazine-style photoshoots involving children and ice cream. One might think: “Well, that’s normal enough, right? Children love ice cream.” But these pictures involve children in a creepy way. At best, the pics “adultize” children. At worse, they sexualize them.
In occult circles, holding animal horns or antlers represent drawing power from Baphomet.
Associating the decadence of deserts with the devil is nothing new. However, Sweet Jesus takes thing way further. It is not simply about “edgy images”, it is about an entire culture that is perfectly in line with the occult elite.
As seen in previous articles on this site, a main agenda of the occult elite is the normalization of powerful satanic symbolism, which is based on the corruption and desecration of Christian symbols. But that’s just the surface of it. The marketing of Sweet Jesus also subtly implies the corruption and desecration of children. This is where things stop being “cool and edgy” and the ugly head of pure evil sticks out.
And the high priest asked [Stephen], Are these charges true?
And he answered, Brethren and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before he [went to] live in Haran,
And He said to him, Leave your own country and your relatives and come into the land (region) that I will point out to you.
So then he went forth from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, [God] transferred him to this country in which you are now dwelling.
Yet He gave him no inheritable property in it, [no] not even enough ground to set his foot on; but He promised that He would give it to Him for a [a]permanent possession and to his descendants after him, even though [as yet] he had no child.
And this is [in effect] what God told him: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a land belonging to other people, who would bring them into bondage and ill-treat them 400 years.
But I will judge the nation to whom they will be slaves, said God, and after that they will escape and come forth and worship Me in this [very] place.
And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) [b]of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs.
And the patriarchs [Jacob’s sons], boiling with envy and hatred andanger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him,
And delivered him from all his distressing afflictions and won him goodwill and favor and wisdom and understanding in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
Then there came a famine over all of Egypt and Canaan, with great distress, and our forefathers could find no fodder [for the cattle] orvegetable sustenance [for their households].
But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our forefathers [to go there on their] first trip.
And on their second visit Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh and his origin and race.
And Joseph sent an invitation calling to himself Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all.
And Jacob went down into Egypt, where he himself died, as did [also] our forefathers;
And their [c]bodies [Jacob’s and Joseph’s] were taken back to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of [silver] money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt,
Until [the time when] there arose over Egypt another and a different king who did not know Joseph [neither knowing his history and services nor recognizing his merits].
He dealt treacherously with and defrauded our race; he abused andoppressed our forefathers, forcing them to expose their babies so that they might not be kept alive.
At this juncture Moses was born, and was exceedingly beautiful in God’s sight. For three months he was nurtured in his father’s house;
Then when he was exposed [to perish], the daughter of Pharaoh rescued him and took him and reared him as her own son.
So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was mighty (powerful) in his speech and deeds.
And when he was in his fortieth year, it came into his heart to visit his kinsmen the children of Israel [[d]to help them and to care for them].
And on seeing one of them being unjustly treated, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian and slaying [him].
He expected his brethren to understand that God was granting them deliverance by his hand [taking it for granted that they would accept him]; but they did not understand.
Then on the next day he [e]suddenly appeared to some who were quarreling and fighting among themselves, and he urged them to make peace and become reconciled, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you abuse and wrong one another?
Whereupon the man who was abusing his neighbor pushed [Moses] aside, saying, Who appointed you a ruler (umpire) and a judge over us?
Do you intend to slay me as you slew the Egyptian yesterday?
At that reply Moses sought safety by flight and he was an exile and an alien in the country of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
And when forty years had gone by, there appeared to him in the wilderness (desert) of Mount Sinai an angel, in the flame of a burning bramblebush.
When Moses saw it, he was astonished and marveled at the sight; but when he went close to investigate, there came to him the voice of the Lord, saying,
I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and was so terrified that he did not venture to look.
Then the Lord said to him, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground and worthy of veneration.
Because I have most assuredly seen the abuse and oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their sighing and groaning, I have come down to rescue them. So, now come! I will send you back to Egypt [as My messenger].
It was this very Moses whom they had denied (disowned and rejected), saying, Who made you our ruler (referee) and judge? whom God sent to be a ruler and deliverer and redeemer, by and with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bramblebush.
He it was who led them forth, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and during the forty years in the wilderness (desert).
It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up.
This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us.
39 [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt.
And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt—we have no knowledge of what has happened to him.
And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands.
But God turned [away from them] and delivered them up to worship and serve the host (stars) of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you [really] offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness (desert), O house of Israel?
[No!] You took up the tent (the portable temple) of Moloch and carried it [with you], and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you [yourselves] made that you might worship them; and I will remove you [carrying you away into exile] beyond Babylon.
Our forefathers had the tent (tabernacle) of witness in the wilderness, even as He Who directed Moses to make it had ordered, according to the pattern and model he had seen.
Our forefathers in turn brought it [this tent of witness] in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God drove out before the face of our forefathers. [So it remained here] until the time of David,
Who found grace (favor and spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and prayed that he might be allowed to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.
However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says,
Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest?
Was it not My hand that made all these things?
You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always [f]actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]!
Which of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? And they slew those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you now have betrayed and murdered—
You who received the Law as it was ordained and set in order and delivered by angels, and [yet] you did not obey it!
Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen].
But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand;
And he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand!
But they raised a great shout and put their hands over their ears and rushed together upon him.
Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!
Acts 7:60Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek.
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops [gods of Babylon, whose idols are being carried off]; their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. These things that you carry about are loaded as burdens on the weary beasts.
[The gods] stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save [their own idols], but are themselves going into captivity.
Listen to Me [says the Lord], O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from your birth, carried from the womb:
Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you.
To whom will you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me, that we may be alike?
They lavish gold out of the cup or bag, weigh out silver on the scales, and hire a goldsmith, and he fashions it into a god; [then] they fall down, yes, they worship it!
They bear it upon their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle]; they carry it and set it down in its place, and there it stands. It cannot move from its place. Even if one cries to it for help, yet [the idol] cannot answer or save him out of his distress.
[Earnestly] remember this, be ashamed and own yourselves guilty; bring it again to mind and lay it to heart, O you rebels!
[Earnestly] remember the former things, [which I did] of old; for I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose,
Calling a ravenous bird from the east—the man [Cyrus] who executes My counsel from a far country. Yes, I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, and I will do it.
Listen to Me, you stiff-hearted and you who have lost heart, you who are far from righteousness (from uprightness and right standing with God, and from His righteous deliverance).
In a stressful, data-driven era, many young people find comfort and insight in the zodiac—even if they don’t exactly believe in it.
Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social media, astrologers and astrology meme machines amass tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and categorize “the signs as …” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, types of french fries. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the first moment astrology’s had and it won’t be the last. The practice has been around in various forms for thousands of years. More recently, the New Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac. (Some also refer to the New Age as the “Age of Aquarius”—the 2,000-year period after the Earth is said to move into the Aquarius sign.)
In the decades between the New Age boom and now, while astrology certainly didn’t go away—you could still regularly find horoscopes in the back pages of magazines—it “went back to being a little bit more in the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in Los Angeles. “Then there’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time and place, that it hasn’t had for a good 35 years. Millennials have taken it and run with it.”
Many people I spoke to for this piece said they had a sense that the stigma attached to astrology, while it still exists, had receded as the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, especially for young people.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, very much geared toward a Millennial and young Gen X quotient,” says Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of J. Walter Thompson’s innovation group, which tracks and predicts cultural trends.
Callie Beusman, a senior editor at Broadly, says traffic for the site’s horoscopes “has grown really exponentially.” Stella Bugbee, the president and editor-in-chief of The Cut, says a typical horoscope post on the site got 150 percent more traffic in 2017 than the year before.
In some ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the internet age. There’s a low barrier to entry, and nearly endless depths to plumb if you feel like falling down a Google research hole. The availability of more in-depth information online has given this cultural wave of astrology a certain erudition—more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A quick primer: Astrology is not a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. But the system has its own sort of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning to the placement of the sun, the moon, and the planets within 12 sections of the sky—the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the most famous zodiac sign, even if you’re not an astrology buff. It’s based on where the sun was on your birthday. But the placement of the moon and each of the other planets at the time and location of your birth adds additional shades to the picture of you painted by your “birth chart.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is give you information about what the planets are doing right now, and in the future, and how all that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as a cocktail party,” explains Susan Miller, the popular astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website. “You might have three people talking together, two may be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars may be kissing each other. I have to make sense of those conversations that are happening each month for you.”
“Astrologers are always trying to boil down these giant concepts into digestible pieces of knowledge,” says Nicholas. “The kids these days and their memes are like the perfect context for astrology.”
Astrology expresses complex ideas about personality, life cycles, and relationship patterns through the shorthand of the planets and zodiac symbols. And that shorthand works well online, where symbols and shorthand are often baked into communication.
“Let me state first that I consider astrology a cultural or psychological phenomenon,” not a scientific one, Bertram Malle, a social cognitive scientist at Brown University, told me in an email. But “full-fledged astrology”—that goes beyond newspaper-style sun-sign horoscopes—“provides a powerful vocabulary to capture not only personality and temperament but also life’s challenges and opportunities. To the extent that one simply learns this vocabulary, it may be appealing as a rich way of representing (not explaining or predicting) human experiences and life events, and identifying some possible paths of coping.”
People tend to turn to astrology in times of stress. A small 1982 study by the psychologist Graham Tyson found that “people who consult astrologers” did so in response to stressors in their lives—particularly stress “linked to the individual’s social roles and to his or her relationships,” Tyson wrote. “Under conditions of high stress, the individual is prepared to use astrology as a coping device even though under low-stress conditions he does not believe in it.”
According to American Psychological Association survey data, since 2014, Millennials have been the most stressed generation, and also the generation most likely to say their stress has increased in the past year since 2010. Millennials and Gen Xers have been significantly more stressed than older generations since 2012. And Americans as a whole have seen increased stress because of the political tumult since the 2016 presidential election. The 2017 edition of the APA’s survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they were significantly stressed about their country’s future. Fifty-six percent of people said reading the news stresses them out, and Millennials and Gen Xers were significantly more likely than older people to say so. Lately that news often deals with political infighting, climate change, global crises, and the threat of nuclear war. If stress makes astrology look shinier, it’s not surprising that more seem to be drawn to it now.
Nicholas’s horoscopes are evidence of this. She has around 1 million monthly readers online, and recently snagged a book deal—one of four new mainstream astrology guidebooks sold in a two-month period in summer 2017, according to Publisher’s Marketplace. Anna Paustenbach, Nicholas’s editor at HarperOne, told me in an email that Nicholas is “at the helm of a resurgence of astrology.” She thinks this is partly because Nicholas’s horoscopes are explicitly political. On September 6, the day after the Trump administration announced it was rescinding DACA—the deferred-action protection program for undocumented immigrants—Nicholas sent out her typical newsletter for the upcoming full moon. It read, in part:
The full moon in Pisces … may open the floodgates of our feelings. May help us to empathize with others … May we use this full moon to continue to dream up, and actively work toward, creating a world where white supremacy has been abolished.
Astrology offers those in crisis the comfort of imagining a better future, a tangible reminder of that clichéd truism that is nonetheless hard to remember when you’re in the thick of it: This too shall pass.
In 2013, when Sandhya was 32 years old, she downloaded the Astrology Zone app, looking for a road map. She felt lonely, and unappreciated at her nonprofit job in Washington, D.C., and she was going out drinking four or five times a week. “I was in the cycle of constantly being out, trying to escape,” she says.
She wanted to know when things would get better and Astrology Zone had an answer. Jupiter, “the planet of good fortune,” would move into Sandhya’s zodiac sign, Leo, in one year’s time, and remain there for a year. Sandhya remembers reading that if she cut clutter out of her life now, she’d reap the rewards when Jupiter arrived.
So Sandhya spent the next year making room for Jupiter. (She requested that we not publish her last name because she works as an attorney and doesn’t want her clients to know the details of her personal life.) She started staying home more often, cooking for herself, applying for jobs, and going on more dates. “I definitely distanced myself from two or three friends who I didn’t feel had good energy when I hung around them,” she says. “And that helped significantly.”
Jupiter entered Leo on July 16, 2014. That same July, Sandhya was offered a new job. That December, Sandhya met the man she would go on to marry. “My life changed dramatically,” she says. “Part of it is that a belief in something makes it happen. But I followed what the app was saying. So I credit some of it to this Jupiter belief.”
Humans are narrative creatures, constantly explaining their lives and selves by weaving together the past, present, and future (in the form of goals and expectations). Monisha Pasupathi, a developmental psychologist who studies narrative at the University of Utah, says that while she lends no credence to astrology, it “provides [people] a very clear frame for that explanation.”
It does give one a pleasing orderly sort of feeling, not unlike alphabetizing a library, to take life’s random events and emotions and slot them into helpfully labeled shelves. This guy isn’t texting me back because Mercury retrograde probably kept him from getting the message. I take such a long time to make decisions because my Mars is in Taurus. My boss will finally recognize all my hard work when Jupiter enters my tenth house. A combination of stress and uncertainty about the future is an ailment for which astrology can seem like the perfect balm.
Sandhya says she turns to astrology looking for help in times of despair, “when I’m like ‘Someone tell me the future is gonna be okay.’” Reading her horoscope was like flipping ahead in her own story.
“I’m always a worrier,” she says. “I’m one of those people who, once I start getting into a book, I skip ahead and I read the end. I don’t like cliffhangers, I don’t like suspense. I just need to know what’s gonna happen. I have a story in my head. I was just hoping certain things would happen in my life, and I wanted to see if I am lucky enough for them to happen.”
Now that they have happened, “I haven’t been reading [my horoscope] as much,” she says, “and I think it’s because I’m in a happy place right now.”
For some, astrology’s predictions function like Dumbo’s feather—a comforting magic to hold onto until you realize you could fly on your own all along. But it’s the ineffable mystical sparkle of the feather—gentler and less draining than the glow of a screen—that makes people reach for it in the first place.
People are starting to get sick of a life lived so intensely on the grid. They wish for more anonymity online. They’re experiencing fatigue with ebooks, with dating apps, with social media. They’re craving something else in this era of quantified selves, and tracked locations, and indexed answers to every possible question. Except, perhaps the questions of who you really are, and what life has in store for you.
Ruby Warrington is a lifestyle writer whose New Age guidebook Material Girl, Mystical World came out in May 2017—just ahead of the wave of astrology book sales this summer. She also runs a mystical esoterica website, The Numinous, a word which Merriam-Webster defines as meaning “supernatural or mysterious,” but which Warrington defines on her website as “that which is unknown, or unknowable.”
“I think that almost as a counterbalance to the fact that we live in such a quantifiable and meticulously organized world, there is a desire to connect to and tap into that numinous part of ourselves,” Warrington says. “I see astrology as a language of symbols that describes those parts of the human experience that we don’t necessarily have equations and numbers and explanations for.”
J. Walter Thompson’s intelligence group released a trend report in 2016 called “Unreality” that says much the same thing: “We are increasingly turning to unreality as a form of escape and a way to search for other kinds of freedom, truth and meaning,” it reads. “What emerges is an appreciation for magic and spirituality, the knowingly unreal, and the intangible aspects of our lives that defy big data and the ultra-transparency of the web.” This sort of reactionary cultural 180 has happened before—after the Enlightenment’s emphasis on rationality and the scientific method in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Romantic movement found people turning toward intuition, nature, and the supernatural. It seems we may be at a similar turning point. New York magazine even used the seminal Romantic painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog to illustrate Andrew Sullivan’s recent anti-technology essay, “I Used to Be a Human Being.”
JWT and another trend-forecasting group, WGSN, in its report “Millennials: New Spirituality,” lump astrology in with other New Age mystical trends that have caught on with young people in recent years: healing crystals, sound baths, and tarot, among others.
“I think it’s become generally less acceptable to just arbitrarily shit on things as like ‘that’s not rational, or that’s stupid because that’s not fact,’” says Nicole Leffel, a 28-year-old software engineer who lives in New York.
Bugbee, the editor-in-chief of The Cut, noticed this shift a couple years ago. “I could just tell that people were sick of a certain kind of snarky tone,” she said. Up to that point, the site had been running slightly irreverent horoscopes with gifs meant to encapsulate the week’s mood for each sign. But Bugbee realized “that people wanted sincerity more than anything. So we just kind of went full sincere with [the horoscopes], and that’s when we saw real interest happen.”
But a sincere burgeoning interest in astrology doesn’t mean people are wholesale abandoning rationality for more mystical beliefs. Nicholas Campion, a historian of astrology, points out that the question of whether people “believe” in astrology is both impossible to answer, and not really a useful question to ask. People might say they don’t “believe” in astrology, but still identify with their zodiac sign. They may like to read their horoscope, but don’t change their behavior based on what it says. There is more nuance than this statistic allows for.
Many mainstream examinations of astrology as a trend are deeply concernedwith debunking. They like to trot out the National Science Foundation survey that measures whether people think astrology is scientific, and remind readers that it’s not. Which, it’s not. But that’s not really the point.
While there are surely some people who blindly accept astrology as fact and view it as on par with a discipline like biology, that doesn’t seem to be the case among many of the young adults who are fueling this renaissance of the zodiac. The people I spoke to for this piece often referred to astrology as a tool, or a kind of language—one that, for many, is more metaphorical than literal.
“Astrology is a system that looks at cycles, and we use the language of planets,” says Alec Verkuilen Brogan, a 29-year-old chiropractic student based in the Bay Area who has also studied astrology for 10 years. “It’s not like these planets are literally going around and being like ‘Now, I’m going to do this.’ It’s a language to speak to the seasons of life.”
Michael Stevens, a 27-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, was in the quarter-life crisis season of life around the time of the total solar eclipse in August this year. “Traditionally, I’m a skeptic,” he says. “I’m a hard-core, like Dana Scully from X-Files type of person. And then shit started to happen in life.” Around the time of the eclipse, in the course of his advertising work, he cold-called Susan Miller of Astrology Zone, to ask if she would put some ads on her site.
She was annoyed, he says, that he called her at the end of the month, which is when she writes her famously lengthy horoscopes. But then she asked him for his sign—Sagittarius. “And she’s like, ‘Oh, okay, this new moon’s rough for you.’” They talked about work and relationship troubles. (Miller doesn’t remember having this conversation specifically, but says “I’m always nice to the people who cold-call. It sounds totally like me.”)
Studies have shown that if you write a generic personality description and tell someone it applies to them, they’re likely to perceive it as accurate—whether that’s in the form of a description of their zodiac sign or something else.
Stevens says he could’ve potentially read into his conversation with Miller in this way. “She’s like ‘You’re going through a lot right now,’” he says. “Who isn’t? It’s 2017. ”
Still, he says the conversation made him feel better; it spurred him to take action. In the months between his call with Miller and our conversation in October, Stevens left his advertising job and found a new one in staffing. Shortly before we spoke, he and his girlfriend broke up.
“[I realized] I’m acting like a shitty, non-playable character in a Dungeons and Dragons RPG,” Stevens says, “so I should probably make choices, and pursue some of the good things that could happen if I just [cared] about being a happy person in a real way.”
Stevens’s story exemplifies a prevailing attitude among many of the people I talked to—that it doesn’t matter if astrology is real; it matters if it’s useful.
“We take astrology very seriously, but we also don’t necessarily believe in it,” says Annabel Gat, the staff astrologer at Broadly, “because it’s a tool for self-reflection, it’s not a religion or a science. It’s just a way to look at the world and a way to think about things.”
Beusman, who hired Gat at Broadly, shares her philosophy. “I believe several conflicting things in all areas of my life,” she says. “So for me it’s very easy to hold these two ideas in my head at once. This could not be true at all, and also, I’ll be like ‘Well, I have three planets entering Scorpio next month, so I should make some savvy career decisions.’”
This attitude is exemplified by The Hairpin’s “Astrology Is Fake” column, by Rosa Lyster, with headlines like “Astrology Is Fake But Leos Are Famous,” and “Astrology Is Fake But Taurus Hates Change.”
It might be that Millennials are more comfortable living in the borderlands between skepticism and belief because they’ve spent so much of their lives online, in another space that is real and unreal at the same time. That so many people find astrology meaningful is a reminder that something doesn’t have to be real to feel true. Don’t we find truth in fiction?
In describing her attitude toward astrology, Leffel recalled a line from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in which the main character, Shadow, wonders whether lightning in the sky was from a magical thunderbird, “or just an atmospheric discharge, or whether the two ideas were, on some level, the same thing. And of course they were. That was the point after all.”
If the “astrology is fake but it’s true” stance seems paradoxical, well, perhaps the paradox is what’s attractive. Many people offered me hypotheses to explain astrology’s resurgence. Digital natives are narcissistic, some suggested, and astrology is a navel-gazing obsession. People feel powerless here on Earth, others said, so they’re turning to the stars. Of course, it’s both. Some found it to be an escape from logical “left-brain” thinking; others craved the order and organization the complex system brought to the chaos of life. It’s both. That’s the point, after all.
To understand astrology’s appeal is to get comfortable with paradoxes. It feels simultaneously cosmic and personal; spiritual and logical; ineffable and concrete; real and unreal. It can be a relief, in a time of division, not to have to choose. It can be freeing, in a time that values black and white, ones and zeros, to look for answers in the gray. It can be meaningful to draw lines in the space between moments of time, or the space between pinpricks of light in the night sky, even if you know deep down they’re really light-years apart, and have no connection at all. (Click to Source)
MELBOURNE — An Australian group that identifies itself as “Christalignment” is drawing concerns over practices that have been deemed New Age and occultic, including its use of “expert seers,” who provide “destiny readings,” dream interpretations and “energy impartation”—all in the name of God and evangelism.
Christalignment is run by Ken and Jen Hodge, who are the parents of Ben Fitzgerald, a listed missionary with Bethel Church of Redding, California. According to the Christalignment website, Jen Hodge is characterized as a “seer [who] specializes in healing from negative energies/cleansing.”
“The Christalignment team, based in Melbourne, Australia, are trained spiritual consultants, gifted in various modalities. We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ,” the site reads. “We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation.”
It outlines that its team members are trained in “destiny reading, Presence therapy, trauma recovery, entity cleansing, relationship alignment and physical healing using divine energy,” and also offer dream interpretations and “encounters coming from the third heaven realm.” Other services noted by the group include “prophetic” henna tattoos, deep rest therapy and color therapy, as well as meditation classes, which are held at various times throughout the year.
Christalignment has a booth four days a week at Dandenong Market, and also offers its services at events such as Sexpo, Rainbow Serpent, the Melbourne Queer Expo and Mind, Body, Spirit.
“Our unique destiny cards, which we have developed, are so accurate that even if your life circumstances change dramatically, on your return to do them again years later, you will find the results identical, such is their accuracy,” the group claims. “They are able to give profound insight into relationships, career and spiritual life.”
Some of the cards read “gifts,” “acts of service,” “quality time,” “words of affirmation” and “physical touch,” and include photos of Christ or other drawings. On the back is a saying that addresses struggles or other issues the person has been going through.
Addition to “destiny cards,” the group also uses Psalm cards, animal cards and color cards for its readings. Each card is stated to have a particular prophetic meaning for the person obtaining a reading.
“Psalm readings are similar to tarot in that cards are counted out according to your birth date date & year. Only three cards are used and these will represent your past, present and future,” the site read—that is, until Christalignment altered the wording within the past month after the matter was reported by Christian blog sites, raising deep concern over what appeared to be a similarity to tarot cards.
Christian News Network used the Wayback Machine to compare the two versions of the web page. Click here to see the original wording and click here to see the current wording.
The group claims that it purposefully attends New Age festivals and other events where the lost are present to be an “undercover prophetic evangelism deliverance ministry” with the goal of seeing the unregenerate “saved, healed, and set free.” It denies that it is involved in New Age in any form, but asserts that it is rather seeking to work against the movement by bringing people to Jesus instead of psychics.
“The team is trained not only to be able to release deep encounters with the Spirit of Truth to clients, but to also release words of knowledge and healing. For clients to see Jesus standing before them in an encounter is not uncommon, and many of them get born again,” the Hodges claimed in a recent letter to Bethel’s Kris Vallotton following controversy over the matter.
“The prophetic word given over us four years ago was that we would see hundreds of witches come into the kingdom, thousands of people turn from darkness, and that tarot cards would be disabled,” they wrote. “Praise God this is happening!! As a deliverance ministry, we are able to stop clients ever going to a psychic again and this is our aim.”
Vallotton had previously repudiated the use of “destiny cards,” but soon retracted his words by posting the Hodges’ letter to Facebook, remarking that the couple was being “destroyed by the fake news media.”
While Bethel itself has also officially released a statement advising that it is not “formally affiliated” with Christalignment, and that the only connection is that some members are related to the Hodges, it went on to defend the group as engaging in biblical evangelism and doing its part to reach the lost in difficult places.
“Reaching people where they are with the truth and love of God is our job as believers. Many people will not come to our churches, yet they are in great need of a personal encounter with Jesus. The Hodges feel called to share the Gospel with a people group that most of us would feel unsure of how to approach. We value their efforts to minister to unbelievers in the ways they can more easily receive it and in the places they are going, like New Age festivals,” it wrote.
“This ministry is a way of getting people to stop and engage with fellow humans so that they might encounter the love of the Father and the truth of His Son, Jesus Christ. If one of our sons or daughters was away from the Lord and looking for truth at a festival, we would be praying for them to meet believers like the Hodges who know the love and truth of God,” Bethel continued.
It urged those with concern to go directly to Christalignment themselves to work out any disagreement.
However, not only have Christalignment’s practices raised concern among Christians who believe that the practices are indeed modeled after the New Age—no matter how much the group denies it—but so did Bethel’s statement in defense of the organization.
“[W]hen Pulpit & Pen broke the story, Jen Hodge pulled two of her videos that were clearly letting others see they were practicing what is recognized as legitimate tarot card readings. When people gave links to Kris Vallotton from the Christalignment website where it was explained how destiny cards are similar and used like tarot cards, Jen Hodge altered her website,” notes Church Watch Central.
“Bethel leaders suggest Christians are narrow-minded if they oppose creative means of evangelism. This, of course, assumes that using destiny cards is no problem,” also writes Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error. “… What practices would Bethel be willing to repudiate? For example, if a group put together a Christian version of a Ouija board—but called it a destiny board and said they were using it through the power of the Holy Spirit so that people could have an encounter with God—how would this be any different? Where would Bethel draw the line and why there?”
“How does Bethel teach its people discernment? What guidelines do they provide? What biblical support for them? Is their flock expected to trust all discernment to Bethel leaders? If not, how are they being equipped to exercise mature discernment?” she asked. “Why not simply deny affiliation with Christalignment and leave it at that? This looks like a defense of the practices of Christalignment.”
Jeremiah 14:14 reads, “Then the Lord said unto me, ‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them. They prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.’”
Leviticus 20:23 also states, “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” (Click to Source)
Archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered the remains of a mysterious 2,600-year-old temple and a series of sacred artefacts they believe to be part of a holy complex at the Hill of The Pharaohs.
In their excavations in the north of Egypt, the team said they found signs of the temple structure as well as other ancient objects which they dated to the late period between 664-332 B.C.
The archaeologists at the Tel al-Pharaeen site, also known as the Ancient Buto site in the Kafr al-Sheikh governorate said the temple appeared to have held four furnaces which were likely used to make devotiional offerings.
Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector at Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement that the mud walls recovered in the dig would have formed the architectural axis of the temple.
The archaeologists at the Tel Al-Pharaeen site, also known as the Ancient Buto site in the Kafr al-Sheikh governorate in the Nile Delta, said they also found four furnaces which were likely used to make offerings in the temple. Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
The archaeologists also recovered the bases of two limestone pillars that would have once formed some of the integral structure of the temple.
Experts uncovered other limestone artefacts including a statue of King Psamtik I seated on a throne and partly identifiable by a royal handkerchief he was depicted as holding. The upper part of the statue had become damaged over the centuries.
Another as of yet unidentifiable royal statue was also uncovered. The carved black granite statue has lost its head, its neck and a section just below one knee. However, experts believe this is also likely to Psamtik because of its royal clothing.
Another, as of yet unidentifiable, royal statue has also been uncovered. The carved black granite statue has lost its head, it’s neck and a section just below one knee. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
The dig has uncovered part of the upper section of an ancient Egyptian god carved in quartzite, an inscription relating to the Buto temple and the royal cartouche of Psamtik. The statues and other fragments, including a necklace and symbol of the goddess Hathor recovered from the site, have been stored at the Ministry of Antiquities.
In recent years, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has been working to publicize the ongoing archaeology work in the country in a bid to attract tourism. Following Egypt’s 2011 revolution and the extended period of instability that followed, tourist numbers to the North African nation have dwindled.
Last month archaeologists discovered four intact children’s graves at a quarry that once provided stone for buildings built centuries later. The youngest of the children was between two or three years old at the time of death, according to Live Science.
In November, experts uncovered an ancient sarcophagus containing a startlingly well-preserved mummy wearing an intricately painted gold-and-blue burial mask. (Click to Source)