Archive for the ‘Luck’ Category

      Considered today are cults, the benefits of wearing religious items on ones person, and the spiritual issues of owning manufactured tools and technology. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “foxy_R” (Level 1 with 210 points, member since June 24, 2006) posted the following:

When does religion become a cult ?

I know this question will anger some, I am really sorry it’s not ment to. My little sister has joined a religious group through school and in the last 6 months has started to spiral out of controll. We were brought up religious, church on Sundays, ect. Now she is throwing all her things out, she said she is not suppose to have worldly possessions. She broke up with her BF of almost 2 yrs,and has stopped being friends with 90% of her friends because they are “non believers” (even if they are religious) she has to read and write bible verses every day. singing and dancing are sins. I just want my fun loving sister back but the more we try to steer her from this group the more she considers us the enemy. Any suggestions?????

THE BATTLE AXE: On Religious Items (08/29/2012)—Men and women take comfort from many objects used to reinforce awareness of doctrines and teachings of various belief systems. Included are depictions of angels, medals, rosaries, mezuzahs, phylacteries, and prayer rugs. Amulets, good luck charms, and talismans are associated with magic and witchcraft, and not with Christian belief. As such, these are objects that reinforce the superstitious idea that a person is endowed with a unique quality (i.e., luck) that enables them to influence the outcome of events, and that maneuvers every result to their benefit and favor. As an instance of power that is not derived through the Spirit of GOD, luck is to be classed with charms, deceits, enchantments, and spells promoted by demons and devils. In the same way money is an idol in the lives of many, drugs, guns, sex, and other people (for example, celebrities, ones children, ones spouse, ones employer) become idols, because fear and desire distort their true usefulness and value making them appear “all powerful,” controlling, and sovereign over life and death. Those who exaggerate the importance of body parts (breasts, buttocks, penis, etc.) also practice a form of idolatry no different than worship of the lingam, phallic worship, and worship of the yoni. Consecrated items (e.g., the rod of GOD used by Moses; the flesh hooks, ladles, gold and silver vessels, and other utensils used in service at the altar of sacrifice; the holy ground of Tabernacle and Temple) at first were common, and became holy only in the sense that they were to function strictly in divine service. Similarly, a man or woman is holy only to the extent they are filled with the imparted, indwelling spirit from GOD, function fulfilling sacred purposes, and make the Divine Person present and visible. Christians are correct to respect manufactured tools, and to carefully clean, estimate their value, store, and use them as needed. Included are automobiles, cell phones, computers, firearms, recording devices and televisions. Christians may occasionally wear festive clothing and jewelry; however, women are specially cautioned to never be without the adornment of a spirit that is quiet, and ready to receive instruction from GOD (1st Peter 3: 1-6, King James Version).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10: 24-28, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Mixing Islam and Christianity (03/26/2012); Girdle 3: Through The Fire (11/18/2011); Dispatch 44: Just A Closer Walk (09/23/2011); To Do His Will? (01/31/2011); Chewing Gum? (01/30/2011)

      While cults may be characterized by dietary laws, dress codes and strict social discipline, the elements that actually mark a group as a cult are its (1) departures from, and exaggerated focus upon selected doctrines and teachings of established belief systems; (2) dependence upon the human characteristics and personality of its leaders–as distinct from their spiritual anointing or divine endowment–who are typically aggressive, combative and defensive; (3) isolation and “quarantine” of its believers in communes, gated communities and “secure” facilities; (4) imbalance between recruitment programs and outreach or service programs for the larger community; (5) efforts to manufacture experiences of divine presence; and (6) that members are not entitled to leave the group.

      Generally, cults do not come under organized campaigns of attack by “mainstream” religious groups. Churches, synagogues and others dismiss their members who drop out to join cults as being apostates, heretics or simply immature and irresponsible persons. The cult is held to be a temporary phenomenon that cannot prosper, or be self-sustaining. Nevertheless, because they are seen as attacks upon civil law, “common sense” practice, customs, and tradition, cults quickly come under the condemnation of communities where they spring up.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, to the extent a cult maintains rules of secrecy they will be characterized as endorsing occult practices, superstition and unbelief. Also, while members of cults may be required to participate in fund raising activity, information regarding income, expenses, and the distribution of money are not routinely shared with donors, members, or government tax authorities.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.