Halloween means the evening before All Hallows or All Saint’s Day, which is observed November 1st by Catholics, Lutherans and Episcopalians, to remember all the saints who have died, known and unknown.
There is little agreement as to the “true” origin of Halloween. There is so much folklore, myths, wives’ tales and tradition involved, that this yields multiple accountings of proclaimed “true origins” to this festival. Some things are known to be true about it, while other items reported often as “facts” have no supporting evidence, as we shall see. Even many encyclopedias repeat the myths without supporting evidence or consulting more recent studies.
Continue reading » Halloween Traditions
A tree is known by its fruits, and in this passage (Galatians 5:19-23) Paul lists the works of the flesh contrasted to the fruits of the Spirit. Paul here lists sins of sensuality, idolatry and of personal relations. Of the later, he names eight sins, of which our word “jealousy” or “emulation” (KJV) is a part.
Jealousy is from the Greek word zelos, which literally means “to boil.” It should be noted that each of the works of the flesh has a proper and improper usage in the Christian life. So it is with our word. One can be jealous in a legitimate way or illegitimate way. The word has good uses as in Exodus 20:5 (God is a jealous God), and 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, while negative uses such as in our passage, and in 2 Corinthians 12:20, “For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and [that] I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest [there] [be] contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults.” Notice that this is a listing of sins similar to that of Galatians 5. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Jealousies (Emulations)
The Negative Side of All Positive Preaching
The PreliminariesIn recent years, I have attended many gospel meetings in which a verse was read at the beginning of the lesson … followed by 20 minutes of after dinner stories, and one final verse at the invitation. Now, they may not have preached any error,… but brethren is it enough to just not preach error? Sometimes my children are disappointed when they are told they cannot watch a TV show. They ask “what’s wrong with it?” We tell them that is not the question. Iinstead we should ask, what is right about it? Is it wholesome enough to watch? John said “If anyone comes to you and does NOT BRING this doctrine…” (1 John 10). John did not say if they don’t preach error … but rather if they fail to preach the truth! There can be a difference in preaching truth, and preaching THE truth. So many sermons offered today contain truth … but they also contain nothing that a good denominational fellow would disagree with. Some churches have asked preachers to work with them who held unscriptural positions, after being assured, “But I won’t preach it!” First of all, no preacher has the right to refuse to teach any Bible subject. Second, no church has the right to tell a preacher he cannot preach what he believes. He should be allowed to preach it, and if it is error, then it must be exposed and dealt with. Third, and this is where so many seem to misunderstand, it is not enough that he does not preach error, he must preach truth … all of it. Certainly no one can preach all the truth in a meeting, but over a course of time one must. Paul said he did not fail to teach all that was needed to the Ephesian church, Acts 20:20, nor did he fail to declare the whole counsel of God, vs 27. Continue reading » We Need Watchmen Because of the PMA Approach to Preaching