(This article was originally posted back in April of 2013. But I think there is truth here that deserves to be revisited. I hope you find this inspiring and helpful in your spiritual walk. – Victor)
I remember a number of years ago when we were still living in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania. Sue (my wife) had an appointment down in Uniontown, at the bottom of the mountain. I drove her to town, dropped her off and then went for a drive. After running a couple of errands, I thought I would find somewhere to relax and spend some time in much needed prayer and meditation. Having decided this, I drove onto the grounds of a monastery and retreat center that is located in town.
Before this, I had never explored those grounds. They are truly beautiful. This land had once been the estate of one of the local coal barons who prospered in the area decades ago. There is a stately, almost majestic quality to the landscape. Ancient trees overhang neatly trimmed lawns and dot the ridges of rolling hillocks. Scattered among these lovely old trees are a number of shrines and statues of various saints. There are also park benches placed at various spots, inviting you to stop and meditate. I took advantage of one such spot. Continue reading →
You don’t have to do an in-depth study of popular culture to see how prevalent the occult is today. From Vampire Diaries and Goosebumps to newspaper horoscopes and Ouija boards, magic and sorcery are all around us. Usually presentations of the occult in TV, movies, comic books, novels and the like are presented as simple, innocent entertainment. The dangers inherent in the genre are dismissed and denied. However, the danger is still there. One of the greatest concerns, often unrecognized, is that when a person views a horror movie or a TV show with a paranormal theme, reads a supernatural thriller, or plays at having a séance, that person exposes himself to an entire worldview. There is an occult paradigm present, whether recognized or not. This is true because the world of the occult does indeed embody a particular belief system, a specific perspective on reality. To give but one example, the worldview of the occult is monistic in its view of ultimate existence. Let us take a moment and examine this. Continue reading →
Our questions like “Who is God?,” “Does He exist?,” “What is He like?,” and “Where did He come from?” are important. For knowing about God, and who He is of primary importance.
Why is it important what we believe about God? First, it is important because our salvation depends on it! Jesus said that to know the true God means eternal life (John 17:3). Note, Jesus says here, “This is eternal life.” He defines eternal life as knowing the one true God. Second, it is important because if we are to live right we have to know God! Judges 2:10 – 12 tells that because the people did not know God that they stopped following Him and served other gods. In Jeremiah 22:16 we see that to know God means that we will act in a manner that is consistent with his nature. Continue reading →
In Exodus 32 we see a very sad story. In the many, many sad stories of the idolatrous and wayward history of the people of Israel this is surely one of the most tragic. Here we see Israel just six weeks after the awesome display of God’s power in delivering them from Egypt. With that dramatic memory still burning within them, they begin to question Moses and God. In Exodus 32:1 they express wonder that Moses, who is on Mt. Sinai receiving the tables of the Law, has been gone so long. They also have seen God just recently manifest His glory and presence in the fire, smoke, thunder and quaking of the mountain. Yet, despite all this they are questioning not just Moses, but God Himself. And so they demand of Aaron, “make us a god who will go before us!”
So what did poor, foolish Aaron do? He bowed to the will of crowd. He made them an idol, a golden calf. And when they saw it, they declared “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Wait a minute… THIS is your god? Yes. They said that this golden calf, this idol made by men’s hands, is nothing less than Jehovah God Himself. They declared that this image was the Lord God, their Deliverer and Savior. Continue reading →
This book by Dr. Eben Alexander relates the account of his near death experience, and his vision of the afterlife. While popular, even among some Christians, this book presents perspectives on God, spiritual truth, and the hereafter that are problematic for Bible-believing Christians. You can read an in-depth critique of this book here. Proof of Heaven