Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans

For Pippa Jay, who is Vampire-obsessed since childhood and Dark Shadows reruns, it may look normal to look into the Vampire stories and traditions. We can imagine she with many others looks forward to All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve (now better known these days as Halloween) the yearly celebration she thinks is dedicated to remembering the dead. As you could see in the previous posting it has much more to do than remembering the dead.

Every year people may find their Halloween heroes and heroines back in the old adventures but also in all new adventures. In Autumn time the storms raging around the house gets many people loving to be kept on the edge of their seat all throughout the books they are reading or all through the horror-films reaching our living room by the little screen which has become quit big by the years.

Arleigh wants to remind us that

One cannot think of horror and not bring up Richard Donner’s The Omen. A film made during the turbulent late 1970’s when the world was literally on the brink of ripping itself apart. The Omen was a film that told the tale of the birth of the Anti-Christ which would herald the coming of the Apocalypse. Outside of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist there wasn’t a film during this era which put the fear of God’s Judgment on the faithful than The Omen. {Horror Song of the Day: Ave Satani (by Jerry Goldsmith)}

Español: Christian Coma de Black Veil Brides

Christian Coma de Black Veil Brides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In that film like in some others we can see that one of the most holy rituals in Roman Catholicism was taken and inverted in to praising Satan instead of the Virgin Mary. It was a fellow choir-master in London, close to the source you would say, who made effective use of the Gregorian chant in the “Ave Satani”. That ‘black masses’ are back in the running may proof the record industry which brings groups like Black Veil Brides whose album ‘Black Veil Brides IV’  is scheduled to be released later this month. Between now and the 12th of December Black Veil Brides is on the ‘black mass tour’, along with Falling In Reverse around the rest of Europe and America.

In Oklahoma City may be the Head Quarters of ‘The Dakhma of Angra Mainyu‘ of the legally filed church in the State of Oklahoma, their curch with Mobeds (ordained masters of their branch) may try to reach the world by internet. {OU Student’s Interview & Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, Dastur Adam’s Pre-Exorcism Speech.} Such group may follow old European Celtic traditions and have formations of the Coven of the Seraphim aiming to get more followers of Satan or Traditional Satanic Coven aka Devil Worshippers. In such groups can be found Jesus Apostates From Christendom.

Traditional Ahrimanism has birthed from Zoroastrianism, Zurvanism, Vedic Hinduism, and Yezidism. The reason is because Zoroastrianism is the center of duality that influences all major world religions particularly in the west. Do note, that Zoroaster was a fugitive from India which is why he demonized the Vedic Hindu Deva into Zoroastrianism Daeva. Zoroaster brings the first antithesis, the Devil, into existence. {OU Student’s Interview}

What the old student tells is very familiar to the impression we may get when we look at the many Halloween participants in Flanders. They love to decorate the trees and the whole surroundings where they live, giving a sign to the others about their love of the dark and unknown powers. It looks like they want to give the community a very clear statement that they do not want to do anything with the traditional church. When questioned they also say they do not want to talk about ‘belief‘ and do not belief in ‘God‘. For many of them the purpose of the Halloween events and the Black Mass is to help relieve themselves and their ‘beloved’ Halloween participants of the burden of the cross. for most of them it is clearly a rejection of Christianity.

Depending on the person, will depend on how many its done to deprogram and reject Christianity from their subconscious mind. It is a blasphemy ritual and is a tool to help with the conversion of religion. Though the ritual is crude and out right silly, it does have its place as a serious tool to free people’s minds. {OU Student’s Interview}

With many others, such groups like to get people far away from Christendom and for sure would not like to have people finding Christianity. Peter Turner, who does not believe in the literal existence of God, and many others have their blog to lure others away from the Divine Creator. He writes:

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the Christian-atheist blog that’s on the reading list of students doing the ‘Socialist Theory’ course in the Politics dept of NYU. It’s also read by discriminating nuns and Christian radicals in the UK. If you want to have a say in the direction this polemic should take – get in touch!” {Satanic Panic!}

He wrote a non-theist creed encapsulating many of the points that might be supported by a “christian atheist” (see wikipedia and wikiquote), a “jesuist” (Wikipedia’s term), “Jesusist” (Anarchopedia’s term) or “Jesusite” (Philip Pullman’s term). {The Thinking Behind The Zing Creed} for him and many others Jehovah himself was no more a historical reality than Zeus or Thor were. {Throwing the baby with the bathwater}

For him and many others it is good news that in the groves of academe various dedicated men and women (of all faiths and none) ‘have been merrily winnowing away for the last 200 years’ and they are perhaps very happy to see that lots of people are finding more amusement in folkloric activities. The people enjoying the Halloween fun, are they than not grown up kids? Or why do they prefer to spend their time in making costumes and in preparations for the Halloween events?

Of many groups their language declares a lot, using f words for everything that has to do with Christendom. Titles as ‘Satanic Black Mass of Oklahoma F..k Your Eucharist‘ say enough, we would think.

Gay people may find the gimmick-free piece of theatre with something to say, and not afraid to say it with gusto for the ‘Black Mass’ by Edward Bond at the London Theatre in New Cross. {Two Shedstheatre}

English: Black Veil Brides performing at Extre...

Black Veil Brides performing at Extreme Thing in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For certain Catholics the Satanic masses and Satanic events are not liked at all. They have taken seriously the dark and dangerous spirits being invited into their community.How they are afraid of getting bad spirits in their centres is indicated by the reaction of Roman Catholic Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and a priest who performed “prayers of exorcism” to rid the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City, of evil spirits that may have lingered there after a satanic “black mass” on Sunday, Septembre 21, by members of the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate, a Satanic sect led by Adam Daniels. {Exorcism after Black Mass at the Civic Center Music Hall, Mysterious heartland}

A. Edwards wrote

Despite the cloudy Sunday evening, Hundreds of people stood in front of the Civic Center, 201 N Walker, Oklahoma City. The black mass leader said that the purpose of the black mass was to mock the Catholic Church so that people would not be afraid of it. Many different religious groups came together in protest. Including the well known Westboro Baptist Church. WBC came to protest the protesters. One of WBC members shouted from a megaphone, that Catholic Church were idols worshippers and that they were child molesters. Which the Vatican tries to conceal. The Hebrew Israelites Marched in stomping and yelling. They read from the Kings bible and tried convince the African Americans and the Latinos that they were the true Israelites. Many Caucasians didn’t take to kind to that message. One Caucasian lady tried to put her hands on on one of the Israelites head. The woman had a look on here face like how dare you tell her that her Jesus is black.{Black mass draws crowd of protesters}

After their leader Johnathan Phelps died, the extremely ideological church, known for their very fundamental outlook with their leader and as the “God Hates Fags” church showed it is still going strong. They find a just view of afflicting incidents is necessary to Christian behaviour and exercise under them; and that view is to be obtained only by faith, not by sense.

When we do not properly look at the crooks in our lots, as to what they are, why they are there, and what we should therefore do, we get into worlds of  trouble. And a mixture of right thinking and fleshly analysis will simply trick us.

All those actions show many are tricked. The Roman archbishop said about the Black Mass being performed in the centre:

We anticipated this would be a concern for those visiting the Civic Center, and we’ve received many questions about the safety of the building following the satanic ritual. To address those concerns, we visited the venue the next morning to pray prayers of exorcism over the place and to pray the prayers for cleansing.

This clearly shows that that church sincerely believes, like the other parties involved, that demons are active spirits endangering this world. For the Catholic Church and some others Satan is the Prince of Darkness which laughs at the Holy Father’s efforts to drive him away and to keep his flock away from him. According to the Catholic church the casting out of demons and the healing of the sick and the lame were two of the great facets of the apostolic commission that Jesus gave to his followers, but the practice of performing an exorcism on candidates for baptism was first recorded by the church father Hippolytus (c. 170–c. 235) in third-century Rome. The priest or layman instructing those who would join the church was instructed to lay his hands upon the heads of the catechumens and pray. It was then supposed that it would be impossible for a demonic entity to remain quiet and unnoticed at this time, thereby betraying its presence and presenting the unfortunate human host for the process of exorcism. {Exorcism, Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Several churches also tell their flock it is dangerous to look at pictures of demons or ghosts or to read stories about such creatures.

This year the television may brake the tradition by not screening so many ghost and horror films. On the menu this year are the 1939 classic Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton as Quasimodo. The forth Bourne film ‘The Bourne Legacy’ shall not captivate many viewers, whilst the remake of the cultfilm Fright Night of 1985 was not a must, the 2011 movie may be for many hilarious. Further on the screen on October 31 are ‘Inception’ (SF-actionfil 2010), ‘the Pelican Brief’ (Thriller 1993), ‘a l’Origine’ (French Drama 2009), ‘True blood’,  and further the weekly series plus the so called romantic comedy for Woody Alan fans ‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011), ‘My Fake Fiance’ (2009) and family drama’s like ‘A Family divided'(1995), ‘The Wrong Woman’ (2013), ‘Das Traumhotel Marokko’ (2014) and the war-drama ‘Akte Grïninger/Grüningers Fall’ (2013). It looks like we are not treated with a few days of monsters, blood and violence. (What a good change.)

According the Westboro Baptist Church

There is a certain train of providential events that falls to each of us in this world. . And that is our lot, being allotted to us by the sovereign God, our Creator and Governor, in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways. This train of events is widely different to different persons, according to the will and pleasure of God, who orders men’s condition in the world in a great variety.
In that train of events, some fall out, cross to us, and against the grain; and these make the crook in our lot. While we are here, there will be cross events, as well as agreeable ones, in our lot and condition. Sometimes things are agreeably gliding on; but, by and by, there is some incident which alters that course, grates us, and pains us, as, when we have made a wrong step we begin to limp.
Some men’s crooks have not been made aware to them yet. Some men’s crooks, by volume or by intensity, are greater than other men’s
– this is providence. But the crook, or crooks, in a man’s life cannot, to our minds, measure the volume or grievousness of any man’s sin. This is folly. Think Lazarus or John the Baptist.

For the WBC it is clear that ‘God Hates Belgium‘ because Belgium was the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage thereby proving that her people are wicked sinners before God exceedingly ala ancient Sodom and it is a place without God where prostitution is legal and

the fag-enabling violence towards God parallels the antediluvian world, and will bring full and final, fiery destruction to this present world.  {God hates Belgium}

The usually naked female “altar” was having lingerie; and vinegar was being substituted for urine

They too believe in Satan and consider that

a Satanic lie tricks the vile sinner into believing that there is no Day of Judgment and that mankind can live any way they want, with no accountability, and that everyone goes to Heaven. It is the same lie that he told to Eve at the Garden of Eden – if you violate the express direction of a sovereign God and eat of the fruit (see Genesis 3:4) “ye shall not surely die” – you can violate all the commandments of God, and don’t worry “ye shall not surely die” everyone goes to heaven anyway.

For the WBC the reason God blessed the United States at its foundation is because the Puritans lived and breathed the Commandments, the Bible, and the fear of God.

The Puritans are gone, except a few of us who still love these doctrines, because they are the doctrines of the Old and New Testament.
they say.
But at the same time they like to bring fear over many people and preach damnation.
They are aware that
The saints of God are told to be sober minded. However, the children of the flesh have no such direction. God says woe unto them. He says that they have erred through their wine and strong drink and have gone out of he way.
The New Testament says that the sins and the works of the flesh include such things as excess of wine, reveling and banqueting and that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The New Testament says that people are to walk circumspectly and not as fools and that they are to be filled with the Spirit not drunk with wine.
The night of the 31st of October unto the 1st of November is also used to have special parties where all sorts of alcoholic drinks and drugs can be used in abundance. This naturally makes that church annoyed, but also should us have to react that such actions can not be taken by people who claim to be Christian.
Perhaps there is good reason in them calling the Roman Catholic clergy weak priests and saying that the preachers and churches of their country are afraid to run off members and donors are afraid to address the issue, so the drunkenness continues and they love to have it so. For them America and even Belgium Holland, the United Kingdom and many Western countries may be doomed for her drunkenness, drugs, reveling and blatant hedonism.
The playing around ghosts, spirits and devils the last few years became again popular. Halloween is considered the high-day for connecting with those spirits, demons and devils and ideal for casting spells on others.
Satanic activity tends to come and go in waves, with mostly hereditary Satanists carrying the tradition forward in secret during quieter times. With each new surge they seem to get more sophisticated but also become more blatantly obvious about what they are doing. This time the various covens and lodges are organizing. They are combining forces on a level not seen in generations and if we don’t act fast, they may be here to stay. If these are truly the End Times, as many of us believe, the mainstream tolerance of Luciferianism is the final stage that allows for the rise of the Antichrist.
Some people are lured into these groups by the thought of participating in a cause but damn their souls in the process. It may seem like fun and games to some but to those at the top it is very serious. Keep in mind that some people joining these groups are well meaning people. Others will simply be acting out rebellion. It is important that we understand this when we witness to them.
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Preceding articles:

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

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Further reading:

  1. Antichrist and The Most Hated Family in America in crisis
  2. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. Casual Christians
  5. Halloween custom of the nations
  6. The Soul not a ghost
  7. Satan or the devil
  8. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

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Find also additional reading:

  1. The Phantom Spectre Hunter
  2. Mysterious Monsters of Illinois Coming to Kankakee, Oct 23
  3. Exorcism: What the Devil Is Going on? Fueled by Books, Movies, and a Therapeutic Culture, Exorcism Is Alive and Well in America. but Are We Dealing with Demons or Diversions?
  4. Exorcism and Its Texts: Subjectivity in Early Modern Literature of England…
  5. In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism among Early Christians
  6. The Devil in Pictures; the Vatican Is Steadfast in Its Defense of Exorcism
  7. Are They Demons or Just Delusions? Popular Culture Continues to Debate…
  8. A Fresh Look at a Remarkable Document: Exorcism: The Report of a Commission…
  9. Man’s Reaction to Pope’s Prayer Fuels Exorcism Talk
  10. Exorcism Lives!
  11. Francis Credited with an Exorcism
  12. Satanic Black Mass
  13. DIR News: Satanists to Hold Controversial Black Mass in Oklahoma
  14. What you can do to sponsor a prayerful protest; Help Stop the Black Mass in Oklahoma City!
  15. Prayers for the Triumph Of The Cross offered to stop the Black Mass on September 21st in Oklahoma
  16. Picture taken inside the Satanic Mass !!!
  17. Bryan Fischer Links Oklahoma Beheading To Satanic ‘Black Mass’
  18. Spiritual warfare in Oklahoma City and another battle yet in Rome?
  19. Satanists’ “Black Mass” spawns protests in Oklahoma
  20. Hundreds of protestors confront ‘Black Mass’ in Oklahoma
  21. Catholics crusade to protest ‘Black Mass’ in Oklahoma City
  22. Exorcists Warn of Danger from Oklahoma City Black Mass
  23. Oklahoma Christians in Final Push Against Satanic Black Mass; Archbishop Warns Demonic Activity, Evil Forces Are ‘Very Real’
  24. The Alarming Rise of Satanic Spiritual Warfare Against Families
  25. Archbishop Coakley comments on Black Mass- “The Hour has Come!”
  26. Lilith’s Mass
  27. Is Angra Mainyu (Abbadon/Apollyon) Rising?
  28. Satanism and Black Masses Are Only a Symptom of the Infiltration of Evil Into Our Society
  29. Consecrated Host Returned!
  30. The Satanist and The Communion Wafer
  31. Black Mass of Oklahoma Cracker Lawsuit

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  • Halloween in Italy (lifeinitaly.com)

    These days, many have the feeling that Halloween has become more popular, especially among the younger generations, than Italy’s very own Carnevale, those two weeks right before Lent when Italians get crazy about dressing up and playing tricks on their friends. Sounds familiar? Yes, it does remind a lot of what Americans do on Halloween. Carnevale has plenty in common with Halloween and not only because it’s a holiday with a penchant for tricks and costumes: there is special food  only cooked this time of the year, too and, of course, the Carri di Carnevale, some of them (think of Venice and Viareggio) known all over the world.

    In Italy, however, Halloween has been making amazing progress over the past few years. And according to research, the search term “Halloween” comes up more often on Italian online searches than “Carnevale”. Are Italians all becoming Halloween fanatics?

  • 25 Creepy Details From Your Favorite Horror Films You May Not Know (list25.com)
    Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the cameras when the lights turn off, especially in films that scare us and freak us out? Do the actors of such films take their roles as seriously as they appear to onscreen? What about all those little, spicy details that most of us usually never hear about? Do the horror film crews party and have fun while shooting a film with such gruesome effects? Find out with these 25 creepy details from your favorite horror films you may not know.
  • Here Are 12 Scary-Ass Halloween Movies To Totally Ruin Your Shit (theconcourse.deadspin.com)

    I have always suspected that there is a reason why all of our best holidays come in the fall and winter. Days get shorter, and it’s cold and wet out, and all the animals go to bed, and all the trees, like, die or whatever. Winter is a hard, shitty time of year.

    And so, whoever schedules this kind of thing had the bright idea of livening things up with a series of genuinely excellent holidays, so that just when you’re sinking into the swamp of seasonal affective disorder, someone shows up with a casserole full of yams covered in marshmallows and buys you another few weeks of relative happiness.
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    What follows is a list of 13 great Halloween movies to watch as we approach Halloween. No, these are not the 13 best or greatest or even scariest horror movies (although some of them certainly are among the best and greatest and scariest). But I figure a horror movie needs a few things to be truly Halloween-appropriate:

  • Things To Do In London: Halloween 2014 (londonist.com)
    a.o.: a post-apocalypse-themed party, macabre party, circus-themed Halloween party, follow the blood trail, avoid the zombies, find the monsters and hear some spooky stories, Celebrate the scariest night of the year within the Gothic surroundings …
  • Top 10 Halloween Symbols and What They Mean (toptenz.net)
    The significance of corn husks and stalks of wheat is pretty straightforward.  Halloween comes in the autumn, the traditional festival of Samhain celebrated the end of summer and the end of the harvest, so these images are meant to represent the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.
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    the Celtic festival of Samhain marked the transition between “light” days and “dark” days – so the black likely represents those dark days of winter when there are fewer daylight hours to attend to the fields and crops.  Of course, the modern secular Halloween retailers have certainly pushed the orange-and-black as official colors of Halloween, so such an explanation seems weak, but it’s true.
  • 17 New Horror Movies to See Before Halloween (movieweb.com)
    this weekend begins a month long barrage of horror movies set to invade our local cineplex. Some of these movies will even be available on VOD in the weeks leading up to Halloween! We’re seeing more original thrillers this year, as new titles hurry to occupy the slots vacated by holiday perennials Saw and Paranormal Activity. We have plenty to choose from, with creature features and slasher flicks galore, all spanning the gamut between pitch black comedy to blood red terror. There are spin-offs, reboots, and even an old favorite making its return for a much-deserved 10th anniversary celebration.
  • Timing Is Everything: The Unfortunate Case Of Halloween III (badassdigest.com)
    Halloween made a bundle, and was for 20 years the most profitable independent film of all time. Small wonder, then, that by 1981 the low-budget film industry was lousy with filmmakers planting flags (and pitchforks and machetes) on every holiday on the calendar, lining up for some of that easy slasher money.
  • 17 New Horror Movies to See Before Halloween (cinvox.com)
    New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller Annabelle begins before the evil was unleashed. John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia, a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now… Annabelle!
  • Satanism in Not a Benign Belief
    Satanism is growing because the mainstream culture, education system, and government is promoting it! All of this can be proven in an ebook called Ten News Stories Showing Satanism is a Real Problem in America.
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    Satanists- La Vey or otherwise, have no good intentions toward humanity as a whole. Even people who are atheistic and examine their overall teachings see that they are not beneficial to people. If you follow Satanism you will freely violate what are considered the basic human rights of others.

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

According to a response on “Focus on outward appearances” some people might be confusing religiousness and spirituality with “having good faith in God“, with that God being the Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

spirituality shelf

spirituality shelf (Photo credit: professor megan)

Spirituality, which has not at all its origins in Christianity, is as old as the street, is a striking aspect of our contemporary times and stands in stark contrast to the decline in traditional religious belonging in the West.  Spirituality is about the quality of being spiritual and comes from the Old French “espiritualte, espirituaute”, variants of “spiritualite”, from Late Latin “spiritualitatem” (see spirituality). It was the church in the late 14th century  early 15th century made it to something which only could belong to “the clergy“. For the clergyman it was impossible that an other person than a qualified priest could know something about the spirit, the spiritual or spiritual life. for them spirituality became “ecclesiastical property; things pertaining to the Church“. The seldom-used sense of “fact or condition of being a spirit” is from 1680s.

The spirituality could mean or concern the immaterial, immaterialityincorporeality, otherworldliness, unearthliness. Spirituality can be the condition or quality of being spiritual but also the state or quality of being dedicated to a god or to the God, religion, or spiritual things or values, especially as contrasted with material or temporal ones. It is the involvement in an inner exploration of the meaning of the existence and the relation to the universe. To quote Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed., 1997), spiritualism is an

“attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action,”

Spiritualism in philosophy is a characteristic of any system of thought that affirms the existence of immaterial reality imperceptible to the senses.

English: University library of Nijmegen: Encyc...

At the University library of Nijmegen a world of knowledge is available to the visitors. With the Encyclopædia Britannica people can start their quest in Spirituality and mind awareness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

So defined, spiritualism embraces a vast array of highly diversified philosophical views. Most patently, it applies to any philosophy accepting the notion of an infinite, personal God, the immortality of the soul, or the immateriality of the intellect and will. Less obviously, it includes belief in such ideas as finite cosmic forces or a universal mind, provided that they transcend the limits of gross Materialistic interpretation. Spiritualism as such says nothing about matter, the nature of a supreme being or a universal force, or the precise nature of spiritual reality itself. {Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia  Vol IX, p429, 15th edition,1974, 1980}

We may accept that it is the willingness of a person to take the attitude in his or her mind to have a broad sweep in thought, feeling, and practice, all pointing to the inner, subjective world of the spiritual being, the essence of live and the relationship of the human being with its environment, cosmos, plants, animals and different organisms.

It would be totally wrong to base it on an a priori theological standpoint, because it is rooted in the human search, in experimentation, questioning and exploring which existed already long before the theologians where born.

In the very old religions there was already long before Christ interest in the “dharma” meaning the “cosmic law and order” our relation in nature and to each other. The word Dharm means the “path of righteousness”. It is a path many people in the world have sought for through the many ages and it is the path the Creator wants His creation to find. Millions of people wanted to get deeper into their mind and did a quest for finding their own spirit. Spiritualism may be all about that, finding your spirit.

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians wi...

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians with witchcraft. This United States 1865 broadsheet also blamed Spiritualism for causing the Civil War. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion Spiritualism, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living is something totally different. In the 19th century tension between the fanciful and the logical was made explicit, though journals denounced spiritualist beliefs in the supernatural, including “the whole business of mediums and seances”. People wanted to see how far they could go in the extremes of human folly, and if it would be possible to come in contact with people who lived previously. At the end of the previous century more Western people came in contact with Buddhism where there is the believe that we reincarnate after we die. such idea makes the people afraid of their present attitude because they know in case they are not behaving well they will reincarnate in a lower being to have a horrible life.

By the years people got convinced they could not escape the same inevitable destiny, of loosing our life. Death is something nobody can escape. We shall all die one day and many do want to know what happens when we die. They want to know if there is an afterlife and how it looks like.

By the end of the 20th Century, many had become dissatisfied with the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholics, and had found they had many dogmatic teachings which were not in accordance with what was written in their Holy books, the Bible. Because this life did not seem to be able to bring the reasonable answers for the future, and not making them to come to full happiness, the hope to have more opportunities to grow until full happiness could be reached, looked the solution.  Believing in an afterlife for many meant believing in something which makes our lives more meaningful. With the years more people started believing again, like the ancestors in the early times in life after death and renowned spiritual mediums also talk about reincarnation and the existence of spirit world.

Also the branch of Spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec Spiritism, today found mostly in continental Europe and Latin America, especially Brazil, emphasising reincarnation is something totally different than Spirituality where people search for “the sacred“. That special thing which is “set-apart”, “holy” or “sacred” can be broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration,

“a transcendent dimension within human experience…discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context.” {Saucier 2007.}

Religion may be considered as

“the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

like the American psychologist William James (1842–1910) distinguished this personal, experiential element ”spirituality” within religion from the

“theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations [that] may secondarily grow up” around the experience ([1902] 1985, p. 31).

Viewing religion broadly as a transcendent and often transforming experience, he left open the form of the experience itself and the devotional object at the centre of that experience. Being religious is being considered to adhere a form of religion. This is not only restricted to the Christian belief like so many think. Shamanists, Hindus, and Muslims may be even more religious than many Christians are. 20th  and 21st century surveys prove many Christians are less religious than people from other religions. Buddhists, Sophrologists, Confucians and other eastern philosophical religions are more religious and much more spiritual than the sec Christian counterparts. For many Christians there is not at all a reason to go deeper in the mind of the self For many Christians spirituality is certainly not the primary and motivating quality of their religion.

Whether the religion in question, is organized or of movement status or mostly individual; and whether it involves God, Allah, the Supreme High Being, the God of gods, Jehovah, Yahweh, other gods or other-than-human guides and spirits, or the centre of the Self, or an almighty Nature or the Almighty Most High, or an Ideal held to be worth living or dying for, it often concerns looking for a special situation of the self, a Nirvana, Cosmic Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, the Void and a spiritual inner, experiential aspect of being not bounded by a specific Christian religion. It is a general region of awareness within which people of all sorts of denominations or religion may experience, not just think about, a higher power, the absolute, with whatever title or name they may be willing to give to that higher substance, or whatever label is used for that which is not an object but which instead forms the undivided ground of all being (Huxley). Spirituality can also refer to actions arising from such spiritual experiences, the human being looking into the matter of the immaterial.

The spirituality is the willingness to come to think about the matters of the universe and to engage one self in practices that heighten the possibility of spiritual experiences. In addition, those who experience spiritual levels of consciousness often feel called to serve, and spiritually rooted service takes many forms.

Spiritual experience can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, and transcendent. Spirituality is a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. The essence of spirituality is an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe.

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To be continued with: Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

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Read also:

  1. Living in faith
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. Religion and spirituality
  4. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  5. Childish or reasonable ways
  6. Words to push and pull
  7. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Making church
  10. Church sent into the world
  11. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  12. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  13. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  14. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  15. Happiness is like manna
  16. Happiness an inner state

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Additional reading:

  1. Is spirituality a passing trend? by Philip Sheldrake
  2. Spiritualism in The Saturday Review and The Princess and The Goblin
  3. Dealing with the inevitable
  4. Possibility of reincarnation?

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  • Research For Spirituality (f1mediaconcepts.wordpress.com)
    We asked a range of students what spirituality meant to them. The most popular responses included these phrases: 

    • Rest for your mind
    • Time to think things through.
    • Values and morals.
    • Inner self
    • Mind and soul
    • Sense of freedom and expression.
    • Religious beliefs and having faith in something
    • Ghosts
    • Afterlife

    +
    Another character we look to include is a religious one. We aim to show the religious aspects of spirituality through the means of this character. There are many angles that can be taken on this, but we have chosen to focus on the Christian lifestyle. We feel that this will be the easiest to convey and understand due to the fact that the majority of people in Coventry are of Christian faith  (53.7%) http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/uploaded/documents/Census 2011 Briefing – Religion.pdf (2011 consensus). By applying core values and beliefs of Christian spirituality we will develop the character and a narrative about how they react to outside stimulus. This reaction will also contribute to how we create generic conventions of the Structured reality genre. This is due to the fact that these types of documentaries are structured around drama and conflict. These conflicts will exist between the outside stimulus, other’s values and this character’s values.

  • Spirituality is a way of life (aaaglass.wordpress.com)
    Spirituality is not about a religion. Neither is it about gods and rituals. Spirituality is the ability to see  the spirit of the creator in everything around us , be it a flower or a stone. And then to act and behave accordingly. We come to this earth to live our lives, fulfill the purpose of life as we evolve, learn and teach others through our existence and then move on to another from of life as we go back to our creator. May I am not spiritual as I would like to be. But one thing is certain – I am not a religious. For me Spirituality is a principled way of life; it’s an attitude. There are a dozen attributes to life, to building a positive attitude, embedded in the very word ‘Spirituality’. Let me walk you through each letter of the word ‘spirituality’ (As mentioned in one of  the article of Rajashree Birla published in TOI).
  • Immaterial (lifeontheapex.wordpress.com)
    Just as theism contains a huge number of organized belief systems (and a potentially infinite number of unorganized belief systems), atheism, while not a belief system in itself, includes in its definition a wide variety of beliefs systems as well. A simple lack of belief does not define a philosophy, but once one has rejected theistic systems many secular options become available, including, but not limited to Rationalism, Materialism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Humanism, and secular varieties of Eastern religion such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism.
    +
    Some argue that ‘atheism’ shouldn’t just indicate disbelief in gods and other spiritual entities, but a complete rejection of all things immaterial.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “By this age, the ego strength necessary for self-examination may have reached a level where it can reflect upon itself, critique itself, and risk altering choices, and thereby values as well.”
    +
    “Only what is experientally true is worthy of a mature spirituality… A mature spirituality will seldom provide us with answers,  and necessarily so, but will instead ask ever-larger questions of us. Larger questions will lead to larger life.”
  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Wealth and Spiritual / Religious paths rarely mixes due to the fact wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path.
    +
    the choice is yours alone so I can not tell you which to follow nor fault you on which you choose. It is a God given gift of freewill that gives you the ability and right to choose your own path.
  • Consumerism vs Spirituality (theiamvibration.wordpress.com)
    Consumerism is a general term with different contexts and therefore slightly different meanings. In this context however, it refers to the materialistic lifestyle, concerned with the acquisition of material things through the process purchasing. In other words it is the culture of buying goods and services.
    Spirituality, likewise does not have a single set definition, because it is a culture so universal that it has a translation in every prominent lifestyle. It is the search of a greater purpose, better and healthier living, in faith of ascension to divinity. The pursuits of spirituality are immaterial in objective.
    The two are based essentially on two opposite premise, one material and one immaterial.
  • Spirituality and the Rat Race: can you maintain a spiritual focus in the 9-to-5 world? (findingtheinnerway.com)
    Can a working professional in a high-stress job maintain a consistent spiritual focus—or are the stresses of work incompatible with the contemplative life?
    +
    Everything in modern city life is calculated to keep man from entering into himself and thinking about spiritual things. Even with the best of intentions a spiritual man finds himself exhausted and deadened and debased by the constant noise of machines and loudspeakers, the dead air and the glaring lights of offices and shops.
    +
    There are some people who are perfectly capable of tasting true spiritual peace in an active life but who would go crazy if they had to keep themselves still in absolute solitude and silence for any length of time…what a hopeless thing the spiritual life would be if it could only be lived under ideal conditions.
    +
    Like all things in life, I suppose it’s about balance, about finding the happy medium between the working life and the contemplative life. It’s a fluid situation, with the demands of work ebbing and flowing—but then isn’t finding and defining our purpose in life fluid as well, a constantly moving target?
  • Paul Lenda ~ 9 Ways To Spot A Fake Guru Or Spiritual Teacher (shiftfrequency.com)
    The old paradigm of life-controlling and mind-manipulating belief systems has left many to finally realize they have been living in an artificial reality created by egotistical people on power trips. This has led to a situation where many are wandering, trying to find their own way in a world without many true leaders, and as a result of this, a new market has developed which attempts to showcase answers to those people who have become disillusioned with the old dogmatic systems.
    +
    There’s an influx of ‘enlightened masters of the universe’ pervading the spiritual sphere these days. Gurus and spiritual teachers are popping up left and right. Many of them seem to provide an easy way out of the voids many people feel they have within their lives, and as a result these gurus and teachers make a ridiculously massive amount of money… even earning social ranks akin to being glamorous superstars.
    +
    genuine spiritual teachers and self-growth coaches are often disregarded as being ‘false gurus’ giving out spiritual-sounding nonsense that lacks substance and is unhelpful for a person’s spiritual growth.
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    Our greatest joys and deepest sorrows are most often experienced within the context of family.
    +
    It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
    +
    Lack of spirituality in the home contributes in a different way, but nonetheless contributes, to children’s spiritual development. For many, they believe or don’t because their parents did or didn’t. Yet for others, as they mature they begin to recognize the spiritual void felt in their home and they seek out answers. Many children or young adults are introduced to religious matters through school, media, or friends. The lack of spirituality in their home perhaps causes them to desire it more.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    For many there is an additional more personal piece. You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
    for me it has been and is the walking that is important, not any place that I might arrive at or achievement I might accomplish.  I think that I have discovered  a lot since I started, but do not consider myself “enlightened”,  just aware of who  I am.  For me this primary truth, a recognition that there was/is something  more to me (my soul)  than my physical body, is what allowed me and still allows me, to find meaning and purpose in life.
    +
    there is nothing you need outside of yourself.  Everything you need to know about yourself you already know.  Pursuing or walking a spiritual path is the way in which you will re-discover or access the truth about yourself.
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    “The Art of Conscious Living,” challenges the traditional view of spiritual enlightenment through abstract paintings each coupled with poetic verse.
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
    +
    The Same Thought …
    no saint can say anything different from other saints, because the God all saints revere is the same, except that Prophets down the ages have said things in different ways according to the social circumstances of the times.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com) + But is it my religion?
    I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.

    I really don’t think the Dharma of the Buddha is a religion—at least not as I practice it.
    +
    we’ve all heard people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” I’ve always thought that was a little weird, but it’s probably relatively accurate.
    +
    I believe in spiritual awakening. If I have a religion, maybe spiritual awakening is what it should be called.
    +

    So I’m Told God Isn’t a Buddhist!
    In the East, there was a more pragmatic approach in dealing with reality as it presented itself. Taoism and Buddhism in particular face the real illusions of the mind with philosophies rooted in the nature of man—always geared towards finding harmony.
    +

    To define Buddhahood or Buddha as God is an impossibility as Buddhism teaches self-reliance and that every being is given the opportunity to awaken. Yet, since Buddhahood exists in all things, it really depends on how you define God. God has so many definitions, understandings and misunderstandings. And, tellingly, the gods of Buddhism must ultimately die.

    The core of religious belief is the understanding of a spiritual way to inhabit the world. Whether one uses terms such as God, Buddha, Jesus Christ or Krishna, does not change the intent. The tree is still the tree. The bird is still the bird. If you jump into a lake, you will still get wet!

  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Thankfulness is a practice that acknowledges that we really cannot possibly control everything that happens to us. It is therefore an expression of humility, one of the most important spiritual virtues.
    +
    Daily Teaching for Wednesday, December 4th
    Every generation believes that their children’s generation is something of a lost cause. The difference is that this time my generation just might be right.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    Renunciation of unskilful attitudes and behaviours is therefore a prerequisite for entry onto the spiritual path. Many people believe that spiritual renunciation means forgetting about the world and everything we know. However, this represents a mistaken understanding because rather than forgetting about or turning one’s back on the world, true spiritual renunciation means completely surrendering oneself to, and becoming fully immersed in, the world. In order to surrender ourselves to the world we have to let go of all our attachments and all our aversions. We have to let go of hope and fear. If we harbour hopes then we leave ourselves exposed to suffering. Hope means that we are not content with the present moment and that we wish to try and change it. However, the only way to really change the present moment is to immerse ourselves fully in it – hope stops us from doing this. If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    We all spend a great deal of time learning techniques.
    +
    Our techniques are a utility to learning how to interact with the current situation with unified body, speech and mind. Without a deep exploration beyond the shapes, the forms and techniques are fundamentally worthless for the purpose of the art – realization and manifestation of truth.

Holidays, holy days and traditions

, who was nominated as one of America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts of 2012 and was named as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders, does find that we as leaders, role models, and parents, we must strive to utilize every opportunity available to us to reinforce the values and beliefs that we hold dear. In such an instance we do have to have some values to which we ourselves do keep. The traditions to which we do hold on should than have a meaning.

“Many holidays are becoming so commercialized that our proud traditions are in danger of becoming trivialized.”

Sonneberg says.

Today, we’re so profit-motivated that we expect retail employees to abandon their family dinners to return to their store in time for the sale. Or worse yet, their employers force them to supervise “midnight madness” sales extravaganzas, featuring over-caffeinated shoppers seeking that “dream buy.”

Many of us can’t even remember the true meaning of the holidays. Memorial Day has morphed from remembering our fallen soldiers to the unofficial beginning of summer. Labour Day’s role in recognizing the achievements of organized labour now just marks the end of summer and a return to school. Veterans Day is honoured as a day off from work.

Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

That is the strange thing about it all, many do find they should have the day free of work, but do not know what the holiday is all about. They sometimes have a vague idea or do know what certain people do believe in but they themselves do not want to know about it. For example they know that certain Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, but they do not believe that person ever existed and they also do not believe in the God of Jesus or any god. though they would not want to loose the heathen celebration of the goddess of fertility Estra (hence Easter) or at the end of the year the pagan celebration Christmas, which is on the holy day of the goddess of light. Lots of Christians do want to keep onto that heathen celebration day, though they know it is not really the birth day of Jesus Christ (who was born on the 17th of October 4BCE) For them tradition is what counts, so all the figures which have nothing to do with the time Jesus was born and even which are an abomination in the eyes of the Divine Creator God, they do not want to loose. For them the Santa Claus is holy sacred. Do you know what Father Christmas, the Christmas tree and all the garlands have to do with the birth of the Messiah?

Halloween!!

Halloween!! (Photo credit: cafeconlecheporfavor)

Traditions have become a part of our live we would not like to change easily. Around Halloween I spoke with an English brother who did not mind all the celebrations around Halloween. For him it was just pure fun. It does not mean people are actually believing in supernatural spirits or ghosts. Lots of people like him, might simply view taking part in Halloween and similar celebrations as a way to have fun and teach their children to explore their imagination, creating all sorts of monsters. But why do they have to create ugly things, and not nice things? Why do they not want to see that many celebrations like Halloween have pagan origins and are deeply rooted in ancestor worship, but area also celebration which are of religious importance to several nature worshippers. A few streets further than mine lives a witch which still uses such days to worship the dead and to have contact with supposed spirits of the dead. (According to the Bible when a person comes to his or her end of his or her life, life goes out of that person and he or she can not do anything any-more because he or she will be dead and become dust like any other being, plant or animal.)

Belgium and England are not the only countries where the Wiccans keep to the ancient Celtic rituals, still call Halloween by the ancient name Samhain and consider it to be the most sacred night of the year.

“Christians ‘don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it,’”

stated the newspaper USA Today when quoting a professed witch.

You may call it strange that Christians also do not mind ‘playing’ around and want to celebrate such days like Halloween which are in conflict with Bible teachings. The Bible warns:

“There must never be anyone among you who . . . practices divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11The Jerusalem Bible)

I do agree there are no  sons or daughters sacrificed in the fire, but the fires still symbolises such actions. I also do find the reactions very strange when the people burn the puppets ‘full of joy’. What is than the meaning of that action? Does it not show something which is hidden more inside them? Does it not present some hidden feelings or frustrations?

When God tells not to practice divination, sorcery, fortune-telling, witchery, casting spells, holding séances, or channeling with the dead, or having contact with such people doing so, why do those who call themselves Christian do not mind still doing that? Many do not mind to  dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums ‘just for fun”. But is it not hat of which the Bible warns us not to pollute our souls? (Leviticus 19:31)

““ ‘do not turn to spirit-mediums or sorcerers; don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am ADONAI your god.” (Leviticus 19:31 CJB)

Lots of people do not mind intermingling with those people who keep on those heathen traditions and want to celebrate those original pagan celebrations. Is it then not  obvious what kind of life they prefer above the Godly life? Do they not want to get their own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on like the apostle Paul could go on. More than once he warned the people who wanted to be followers of Jesus, that the master rabbi demanded purity of the soul, allegiance to the Most High and loyalty to the man who did not want to do his own will but only the Will of his Father. So why do those Christians also not want to do the Will of the father of Jesus? Do they also forget that Jesus spoke many times about ‘being of this world’ or choosing for God, loving God, and what it really means? Though from the many parables we do know that is we want to use our freedom this way, we will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 “19 and it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. it expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; 20 involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue 21 and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the kingdom of god!” (Galatians 5:19-21 CJB)

These celebrations we have around the end of the year may not look harmful and may represent a critical piece of our culture. For many they may help form the structure and foundation of their families and their society.

Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.

says Sonnenberg who considers that those celebrations remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past,

shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity.

But we also should know that

Tradition provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life.

So we should question “What does really matter”.

Tradition may serve as an avenue for creating lasting memories for our families and friends, but when you look at certain celebrations, the memory or reason why those holidays were created for is all gone.

St. Martin’s Day celebration with lampoons

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet – Saint Nicholas and Black Peter

Many minimise the lies been told about Saint Maarten (St. Martin’s Day), Saint Nicholas and Saint Claus, they bringing presents to the children, one on his black horse in the streets, the other with his white gray (or grey) running over the rooftops, his black servant going through the chimneys, and than the most magical with his reindeer flying from the North-pole through the sky, having his midgets going through the walls putting the many presents under the Christmas tree. How can a child trust its parents when they tell lies for the fun and to trick their children? Why do not tell them it is their present for this or that occasion?

Some of the stories people told their children, making them afraid of the ghosts or telling them when they would not behave they were going to be put in the sack of ‘Zwarte piet’ or ‘Black Peter’ did give them an experience which was not so much fun. Naturally the presents where much like as well as all the mysticism around those days.

It is also very easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the season of Christmas and the joy people should experience at such an occasion is often obscured by the stress they do experience. The Bible does encourage all of us to remember Jesus Christ, how he gave his life for many. It also encourages us to share the same love as Christ and to be liberal in giving, to help the needy, and to spend time with our families. It also teaches us how to be peaceable.

McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states:

The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.

The Encyclopedia Americana says:

Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that

all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spa...

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spain. Olentzaro, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and elf. Photographer: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela Date: January 6, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Western Europe in the Winter we do have very dark days and could do with some extra lighting. It is also a period of some cold weather conditions where the wind and rain are not a nice thing to go for a walk. So it can be made much cosier with some extra light and fire in the house. Nothing against that. As such the decorations in the house and bringing a nice smelling spruce in the living room made it possible to have some extra colour and a nice smell in the room which had not so much ventilation as in Summer. But we know also that in the past Europeans decorated their homes with lights and evergreens of all kinds to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits. {The Encyclopedia of Religion,}

Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.” {Encyclopædia Britannica}.

It is totally wrong to believe that those Christians who do not like to celebrate Christmas would not believe in Christ Jesus. They may not forget the early Christians never celebrated the birthday of Jesus. The only feast we should remember concerning Christ, is the day when he took the bread and wine as symbols of the instalment of  the New Covenant, on the 14th of Nisan,or celebrating Passover with a Memorial Meal (Memorial Day for many Christians worldwide.).

To think only then on the 25th of December to be generous or about peace on earth and goodwill toward men, would limit the message Christ had given to his followers. Because every day they should be messengers of peace.

“the person who blesses others will prosper; he who satisfies others will be satisfied himself.” (Proverbs 11:25 CJB)

“if possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people.” (Romans 12:18 CJB)

Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.

“19 also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “this is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20 he did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “this cup is the new covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20 CJB)

That action of Jesus, preparing himself for giving himself to the world, only willing to do the Will of his Father, should make us to form the right attitude, also willing to do the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God.

““father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done.”” (Luke 22:42 CJB)

We should take time this holiday season to think about that and to meditate what we want to do, following human traditions and doing the same thing what people would love most, or following the Biblical instructions about how to behave, whom and what to associate with, either being part of the world or part of Christ.

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Please do find ‘s article: Tradition: The True Meaning of Holidays

Preceding articles:

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

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English: A Christmas Tree at Home

English: A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Find also to read:

  1. A season of gifts
  2. God’s Special Gift
  3. What Jesus sang
  4. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  7. The nativity story
  8. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  9. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  10. Speedy Christmas!
  11. Christmas trees
  12. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  13. What do you want for Christmas
  14. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  15. Sancta Claus is not God
  16. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  17. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  18. Timely Growth
  19. Idolatry or idol worship
  20. Halloween custom of the nations
  21. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  22. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  23. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  24. 1 -15 Nisan
  25. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  26. Day of remembrance coming near
  27. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  32. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  33. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  34. Seven days of Passover
  35. Jesus memorial
  36. Bread and Wine
  37. Ransom for all
  38. High Holidays not only for Israel
  39. Observance of a day to Remember
  40. Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend
  41. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  42. Casual Christians
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  45. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

Additional reading:

  1. From a midwinter celebration to a Christian feast
  2. Is Christmas Christian?
  3. The Christ – Mass Lie
  4. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor
  5. Appropriate the Pagan Festival of Saturnalia to Celebrate the Birth of Christ? Matt Salusbury Weighs the Evidence
  6. The Life Mag: 12 Days of Christmas – Secret Code along the Roman Road
  7. The Real Story of Christmas
  8. What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?
  9. Have nothing to do with Godless Myths and old wives’ tales
  10. Christmas Customs–Are They Christian? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  11. Has Christmas Lost Christ? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  12. The Christmas Spirit All Year Round? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  13. Take Your Stand for True Worship – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  14. Christmas is a lie
  15. We are Christians and are not celebrating Christmas
  16. The Un-Christmas Club
  17. The Plain truth about Christmas

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http://belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com/tag/Easter/

  • Origins of Holidays (xntricproductions.wordpress.com)
    Holidays originally Holy days are celebrated to pay honor to a certain time of the year, a certain day or days that are Holy or important and have meaning to the people celebrating.
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    With this mixing of cultures we also have, in many cases, mixing of religions, beliefs, customs and traditions. This has been happening for centuries all over the world. As people travel from place to place and settle in new areas sometimes by choice, sometimes by force or out of necessity, our traditions, customs, beliefs are brought with us. We introduce what is ours to the new place where we settle and we are introduced to what is customary to others. So even customs, traditions and religions can become intermingled. Only the very devout remember and continue to teach what is theirs and theirs alone.
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    In the Bible God warns his people numerous times throughout the Bible to remain separate from the people of the lands they would inhabit. God warns all of his people not to adopt the traditions of pagan people and not to honor him the way that pagans honor their gods.In other religions people worship and honor their gods and holy times of the year according to their beliefs and practices. Pagans do not worship God or include Christ in their celebrations however their celebrations are nearly identical to ours.
    In fact pagan religions as celebrated by pagans today have remained pretty much the same since they started thousands of years ago. Some pagans do put their own twist on it or start their own new family traditions just as Christians do but the foundation of their beliefs remain intact. So why do so many non- Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter?
  • About Christmas (myrarsenriquez.wordpress.com)
    Christmastime, as it is often called, is in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere, at a time when there were already ancient festivals. Some of the traditions that are used for Christmas are older than Christmas, or come from other non-Christian traditions such as Yule. Modern traditions of Christmas often focus on the giving of gifts. The season for retail stores to sell gifts, food, greeting cards, Christmas trees, and decorations begins the day about a month before Christmas Day.
  • Christmas is a Pagan Holiday (bblessedtoday.net)
    Don’t get upset and defensive with your excuses and arguments on how Christmas is about Jesus and the reason for the season and saying that I am just a party pooper that is putting a dent in your family traditions. Do some research on your own and see for yourself where Christmas came from and what are its real origins. Sometimes the only way we really change ourselves is to see things from our own eyes, to read things on our own, to observe with new information to see if it is truly wrong to celebrate Christmas.
  • Christians and Halloween (fredfies.wordpress.com)
    Consider What Halloween Celebrates (can we celebrate that?)  I am amazed that earlier and earlier superstores are geared up for October 31.  As soon as the last school supply is sold, the Halloween decorations appear.  In August? Really?  But here they come…skeletons, tombs, witches, death and gore fill the aisles of the store.  Of course, you can dress as something as harmless as an M&M, but it is clear that the celebration is of the “dark elements” of this world.  Consider what the Bible says,
  • How Holy are the Holidays? (mypentecostalreformation.wordpress.com)
    Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years day, are all days we consider as part of “the holidays”. As a kid I would count the days ’till thanksgiving. Waking up early and smelling the turkey and all the seasonings along with it.
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    Christmas was the next holiday to be enjoyed. This day had a major count down, to when Santa came to bring me gifts. I had gotten honor roll all school year-long, and I wanted my rewards. As the days drew near to the big day, presents appeared under our Faux Christmas tree.
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    The purpose of these gatherings were to be around family while we wait for the new year. New Year’s Eve represents survival, new starts, clean slates, perseverance, and gym memberships.
  • Why Christmas? (mymindyourplan.wordpress.com)
    Every year we set up our Christmas trees, decorate them and our houses, get a day or two off work, spend half our year’s wages on presents and spend the days we have free with our families. Kids are excited for Santa Claus, adults are excited….for their time off work. Why is it we do this?
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    Sol Invictus was a Roman sun god that was worshiped during the festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” which was celebrated on the 25th December.
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    The truth about Christmas is that there is no real Biblical reason for us to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. I say this, the Bible gives us no command to do so but, rather, to celebrate His death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation. So why is it we celebrate it, and in some ways more so than His death at Easter?
  • Traditions (polandec.wordpress.com)
    Some of Polish traditions are firmly rooted in Catholicism, a predominant religion in Poland, while others spring from various pagan rites. Nowadays, any pagan elements still present in the culture take the form of fun festivals and shows.
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    Christmas Eve (Wigilia), an evening preceding Christmas Day, is traditionally celebrated with a festive Christmas supper. It’s a very special occasion, when families prepare 12 types of meatless dishes – one for each of the 12 apostles. On this day Christmas tree is also decorated so that Santa Claus can bring Christmas gifts.
  • Stolen Holidays and Entitled Pagans (mapletreedruidry.wordpress.com)
    ontrary to popular Neo-Pagan believe (yes, I have been guilty of holding onto this in the past), the Celtic conversion was rather peaceful, despite the objection of the priestly Druid class.  This was a culture tired of the centuries of Blood Wars, and were quite happy to accept peace and love at first.  The Norse accepted Jesus as another war god.  New Holidays were adopted.  Old holidays were blended.  I’m not saying it was seamless, or without any conflict.  But it was much more of a sharing of culture than a stealing of holidays.  Yesterday was the first day of Hannukah.  I made latkes for dinner.  Does this mean that I “stole” it from the Jews?  Of course not!  I was celebrating in solidarity.
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    No one owns the copyright on having a god with a birthday on December 25th.  As fun as it is to “keep Saturn in Saturnalia” and “keep Han in Hannukah”, there are dozens of gods with birthdays this time of year. Mithra, Dionysus, Saturn, and possibly even Aengus, Lugh and Taliesin
  • Pagans, Sinterklass, and Jesus (parttimeyp.wordpress.com)
    Mid-winter celebrations had a long history even before Jesus walked on the Earth. People celebrated around the solstice because the days were starting to grow longer. Scandinavians burnt a Yule log believing that each sparks represented a new pig or calf that would be born. Many Europeans would slaughter most of their cattle so they wouldn’t have to feed them, which lead to large feasts. The Germans had a celebration honoring Odin, many people choose to stay inside during this time because it was believed that Odin made nighttime flights observing people and deciding who would prosper and who would die in the coming year. (That sounds strangely familiar doesn’t it?)
  • Halloween is Satanist Christmas (govtslaves.info)
    The Satanic Bible ranks Halloween as one of the two most important festivals on its calendar, which may explain why it’s now being promoted as a ‘fun’ festival
    Behind the playful facade, Halloween celebrates perversion, which is the real meaning of the occult. It is a ”religious indoctrination into Druid paganism, witchcraft, and Satanism.”
  • Halloween, should Christians stay away or is it ok to celebrate?
    When we consider the history of Halloween (a Christian perspective), it may seem as if the modern holiday has gotten out of hand. After all, doesn’t Halloween glorify evil? Is it right to send our children out as devils and vampires? Should we emphasize the saints, whose nearly forgotten feast day is the reason for Halloween? Hallow is the same word for “holy” that we find in the Lord’s Prayer, and e’en is a contraction of “evening.” The word Halloween itself is a shortened form of “All Hallows Eve,” the day before All Saints Day. This holiday, properly understood and celebrated with all of its fun trappings, can be a way for us to deepen our understanding of faith.