Humans are infinitely fascinated with the Occult. From séances to Ouija boards, we ’ re obsessed with seeking cognition from kingdom we were never meant to roam. This international relations and security network ’ thyroxine alone to our senesce .
We see instances of this all throughout the bible with Israel build up altars and praying to other gods, and most infamously, Saul using a wiccan to summon the spirit of Samuel ( 1 Samuel 28 ) when God didn ’ thyroxine answer his inquiry. God strictly forbids these practices, which tells us that it ’ s not a bunch together of hocus pocus. It ’ randomness dangerous and not to be played with .
What makes this historic period alone is that while the mysterious is generally met with incredulity and incredulity ( even from people within the church ) we distillery practice its rituals, wear its icons, and celebrate its holidays. It has become a screen of play thing for humans—an innocent past-time .
We see this classify of “ harmless ” eclipse act in entertainment : movies, television shows, and books about demons and witches. We see it in manner : jewelry and clothe that incorporate imagination like the Eye of Horus. And we see it in company logo : free Mason symbols and the obscure demonic imagination behind the Starbucks logo.
As Christians we ’ re called to be in the global but not of the global. sol, how do we respond to a culture that ’ randomness rampant with the eclipse ? Do we run and hide ? Does unbelief or unintentionality in our interaction with it inoculate us from the effects or keep our hands free from sin ?
With Halloween on the horizon and its many heathen associations, Bone of Bones decided to ask one of the Elders at our church, Pastor Bryan C. Hodge, a series of questions on this very subject .
This is part one of a bipartite serial on the occult. Enjoy .
Amber Ornelas : Standard definitions usually refer to the Occult/Occultism as the belief and study of the action and influence of supernatural or supernormal powers. One could accuse Christianity of being a part of the occult. What differentiates Christianity from the occult?
Bryan Hodge: actually, the password “ occult ” is from the Latin occultus, which refers to something that is “ concealed, mysterious, and not revealed. ” It is attempting to discover information about life that God has not revealed to us through His Word via a supernatural means. It is likely taken from Deuteronomy 29:29, where YHWH declares, “ The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants constantly, so that we might obey all the words of this law. ” In that respect, Christianity can not be of the occult because it is a reveal religion. God revealed to us this information via prophets and the inhalation of Scripture. Most religions that incorporate things like astrology, seeking after signs/omens, mediums, witchcraft/the handling of nature through incantations or potions, etc. are all of the eclipse. They seek information, and consequently, command of the world through a non-revealed intend. The only meter Christianity would fall under this category is when it has been syncretized with some form of cultural religion ( for example, Christianity in South America or Africa combined with voodoo, in America, combined with family religion that looks for signs, etc. ) .
AO : We live in a society that’s been inundated with occultic symbols–from logos to jewelry to the patterns on our clothes. These symbols range from well-known satanic imagery (pentagram, 666, Baphomet) to the lesser known Free Mason symbols and Egyptian icons (Eye of Horus). I’d argue that most are used for stylistic purposes and not to harness the power of Satan but, even if used innocently, do occultic/Satanic symbols have an inherent power?
BH: I don ’ metric ton believe they do. A symbol is like any produce matter in the world. It can be used for good or bad. The thoroughly or evil is in the intent of the drug user. This mind is taken from Romans 14–15. That being said, I would want to know the function of having something like an Eye of Horus hanging about a person ’ mho neck. As Christians, we shouldn ’ thymine be superficial about what we wear or hang on our walls. Like holidays, we shouldn ’ metric ton merely just celebrate them with old hedonist symbols that immediately have no meaning, which would be a score of our atheistic club preferably than our Christianity, but have a christian reason for them that replaces the heathen one ( i.e., like Luther ’ second use of the Christmas Tree ) .
AO : Do we give power to these symbols by wearing and/or interacting them?
BH: I think we give baron to anything we wear and interact with because it communicates something about us. I don ’ thymine think they hold some mystic or demonic power in themselves, as you see frequently in movies. That ’ s not to say that I don ’ thyroxine think an object can be cursed if one makes a treaty with a demonic ability, but a symbol itself, again, is nothing. The one using it communicates himself with it through either the purpose of his consumption if communicated well, or if not communicated, through the overlooked meaning, i.e., what the culture believes about the symbol. And that is where I would caution a christian in using them. If it communicates something antichristian to the culture around the person, or to other Christians, the weaker brother, then it either needs to be redefined clearly to the wall culture, or just abandoned by the Christian for the time being .
AO : Are we guilty of being mystics if we believe that there’s power in these images?
BH: I think we ’ ra guilty of believing the same type of demonic religion that those who practice the occult believe. They believe these symbols themselves have office, but in reality, it is their play with demonic forces that have power. The symbols are pictures and scribbles on a pad .
AO : Halloween is approaching, and with it its dark origins and occultic traditions. In your opinion, should Christians participate in Halloween festivities?
BH: The trouble may be in the motion. What one means by the word “ Halloween ”, determines how I would answer. If by “ Halloween, ” one means partaking in occultic natural process and glorifying what is demonic ( Satan, demons, witches, vampires, zombies, etc. ), then No, a Christian should not be involved in the glory of the occult. These things oppose the unwrap accuracy of God, and sol should be shunned. That being said, Halloween is actually a christian vacation. It ’ south one of the days of Allhallowtide, which is a three day festival ( the triduum ) from October 31 to November 2 that remembers that we, the saints of the past who have fallen asleep, the martyr, and the saints nowadays around the world, are function of a larger church consistency that are unified in the ascend Christ. In Christ, no one is lost, and so it is a day of celebration in remembering that fact and being encouraged by the lives of those who have been close to live for Christ throughout the centuries .
There are other elements of Halloween, like it being the same day as Reformation Day, when Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of Wittenburg Castle Church, which would cause the Christian to further celebrate this sidereal day. And, of course, if this is all remembered, dressing children up as superheroes and princesses, etc. can be a mindful expression of who they are, i.e., their assign roles in this world, as God ’ s men and women, princes and princesses of His Royal Majesty .
A boastfully thanks to Bryan for answering this round of questions. here ’ s a little bit more about our curate :
Bryan C. Hodge is an elder at Trinity Reformed Church in Las Vegas. He holds a B.A. in Biblical Theology from Moody Bible Institute and an M.A. in Old Testament and Semitic Languages from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. At this same school, he besides received Candidacy for an M.A. in New Testament and achieved Candidacy for the ThM in New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary .
A husband and church father of nine children, when he ’ s not at the dais teaching, defending the religion, and affirming Christ through what has been historically maintained as Orthodox Christianity, he ’ s doing the exact same thing on his blog Theological Sushi : Theology Served Raw .
Join us again next week as we continue our discussion with Bryan on the topics of Harry Potter, haunted houses, and that eldritch Starbucks logo .
Until next time, salutations and selah .
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