Sunday, October 30, 2016

Can Souls "Cross Over" on Halloween?

Can Souls "Cross Over" on Halloween?

Tomorrow night on Christian Questions:
http://christianquestions.com/social/942-can-souls-cross-halloween/

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?

We are not told to celebrate birthdays in the Bible. Christians, however, are free to observe or not observe any day as long as it done as to God. (Romans 14:5,6) Nevertheless, this does not give us liberty to bring idolatrous or occult spiritistic practices into our worship. Any scriptural principles concerning celebration of birthdays would have to do with idolatry and occultism, and whether our actions might lead others into thinking their idolatry or occult practices are okay, not specifically with celebrating birthdays as such. -- Romans 8:1-13; 10:14-32.
However, many are not aware that some of the customs usually involved in birthday celebrations are actually rooted in idolatry and occultism. Birthday cakes and making prayer-wishes to candles comes from idolatrous occult worship, derived from offering candles and cakes to Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. The scriptures tell us of cakes made for the worship of "queen of heaven". (Jeremiah 44:17-19) It is still the practice today amongst neo-pagan groups that use the birthday cake and candles as a ritual in idolatrous occult "magick".

For instance, on one site (link below) we read concerning birthday cakes: "Blowing out candles on our birthday cakes, we employ an essentially magical technique for wish fulfillment." The article continues to say: "Employing few props of magic, one's intent is directed subconsciously, in the same way that a Tibetan prayer wheel works: Initial petition and subsequent subconscious repetition. It relies upon concentration, statement of intent, non-emotional attachment to the goal, and visualization of the end result."

Another neo-pagan site gives instructions concerning using candles and birthdays cakes in occult prayer ritual: "Candles are always used, on birthday cakes they are even used, this is like a miniature ritual too. The size and shape of the candles you use is unimportant, you can decorate them yourself in different ways, make your own candles, it doesn't matter. Very highly decorative candles or weird shaped candles can take your focus away in certain situations, so in highly focused exercises it's best to use plain candles."

A quote from the site below tells us: "Candles on birthday cakes come from 'moon cakes'; round, white cakes with many candles on them to celebrate Artemis: Greek goddess of the moon."

It should be apparent that the cake and candles are based on a representation of an occult prayer-offering to idols, or false gods. Making wishes to candles and a cake is based on idolatry, derived from occult heathen prayer ritual, which ritual is still practiced as such by many of our neighbors. Our wishes should be made known to the Heavenly Father, not to a cake and candles, for we are told to "let your requests be made known to God," (Philippians 4:6) and to the new creature, John says: "if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us." (1 John 5:14) Also, the apostle tells us: "The things that the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not wish you to have fellowship with demons." -- 1 Corinthians 10:20-21

It has also been observed that birthday celebrations have their origin in astrology. This has been carried over into our day especially, with the great increase of the neo-pagan "new age" religions. TV shows often have characters who are obsessed with astrological meanings of a person's birth sign. This has had a great effect even on those who claim to be Christian, for even many professed Christians have joined in this "What is your sign?" occult obsession.

Birthday Celebrations Recorded in the Bible

We find that there are birthday celebrations mentioned in the Bible. The first account is Genesis 40:1-23. Here we read of the Pharaoh's birthday which resulted in the baker's death. Another time a birthday is mentioned is Herod's birthday (Matthew 14:3-11) which resulted in the death of John the Baptist.
Another account is also related by many as birthday celebrations, and this is in Job 1:1-19, where Job's sons celebrated their "day". Job showed his disdain of these celebrations, for the scripture says that Job "rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, 'It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts.' Thus did Job continually." (Job 1:5) Evidently, Job sensed something idolatrous, or at least something that could be sinful, in the manner of the celebrations of his sons. It also appears that it was during a birthday celebration, that Satan, by Yahweh's permission, killed all ten of Job’s children by means of a great wind. (Job 1:6-13, 18-19). Thus these scriptural references to birthday celebrations do not present such celebrations in a very good light in the Bible.
But many might respond: "Didn't you forget the most important birthday of all, that of the Lord Jesus, when the magi brought presents to him?" The Bible does record the birth of Jesus, but the exact day is not given. The magi brought the gifts to Jesus, not on his birthday as often depicted in nativity scenes and storybooks, but to a house about two years after his birth. Nothing is said about the presents being presented to Jesus in celebration of a birthday, but rather presents were given because he was to be the King of the Jews. (Matthew 2:1-16) We do not find any examples in the New Testament writings of the disciples or anyone else celebrating his birthday. Yet the scriptures do tell us the exact day of the Jewish year and time when Jesus died. (Exodus 12; Leviticus 23:4-5; Numbers 9:1-5; Matthew 26:1-2; John 18:28; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus did leave instructions for us to observe his death, but he left no instructions at all for us to observe his birth. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). There is nothing in the scriptural record that sets a standard of giving presents to anyone on their birthday. One might, however, consider Jesus' words recorded at Luke 14:12-14.

In the Bible, the day of one's death is considered more important than the day of one's birth. "A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth." (Ecclesiastes 7:1) The reason for this is that this world is subjected to vanity, to futility. (Ecclesiastes 1:2; Romans 8:20) To finally be able to rest in the sleep of death was considered better than the day of coming to this world full of trouble. -- Job 14:1.
We have seen several things about birthdays: the manner in which that they are usually celebrated is based on occult idolatrous practices, and no worshiper of God is reported as celebrating birthdays in the Bible, and those birthday celebrations that are recorded in the Bible are accompanied with evil disasters. Of these three things, is there anything in any of them that tell us that a worshiper of Yahweh should not celebrate birthdays? No; the real question is, however, if a Christian should celebrate birthdays, should a Christian mimic heathen occult prayer rituals in their celebration?
We know that there is no direct scripture forbidding the celebrating of birthdays, thus the Christian must decide for himself whether to celebrate or not celebrate. But there are Biblical commands or principles of love for God or neighbor that would apply to observance of any day.

See our studies:

The following links have some related material, although we may not agree with all conclusions given by the authors: