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Hostage to the Devil, by Malachi Martin

July 28, 2008 § 4 Comments

I’m curious, I know many of you have an eclectic and varied taste in reading and I was wondering if anyone else out there besides myself had read Malachi Martin’s Hostage to the Devil. This little bit of non-fiction has always presented a bit of a paradox to me. I find it invaluable reading for anyone interested in demonology, spiritual warfare, or the paranormal, yet it is such a … difficult read.

Difficult in that it is most profoundly disturbing. Basically the book chronicles 5 real life case studies of demonization (better known as “demon possession” but I take issue with the term, since that is not an accurate translation of what Scripture says.) The writer, Malachi Martin, is (was?) a former Jesuit priest who meticulously studied these occurances based on the very precise records kept by the Roman Catholic church for the exorcisms they perform. Apparently, they keep immaculate records of personal histories, including notes and written records, and also are in the habit of taping the actual exorcisms themselves with audio and video. So the “vignettes” Martin gives of each of these is very detailed.

The problem I have in recommending the book for anyone who might be interested is that the descriptions of the exorcisms themselves are so… brutal, and defiling.

I came away from this book at once admiring the RC church for at least having the integrity and courage to continue an invaluable ministry that was ordained by Christ Himself, and yet also feeling such repugnance and anger with them for how very badly they have gone about it. In one of the final case studies, the priest performing the exorcism was so brutally scarred– emotionally, psychologically and PHYSICALLY– that he immediately went into early retirement.

It just makes me question… I mean, spiritual warfare is real. Very real. Demons are out there, and they want to kill you. But the Church (as they are on so many issues) is mixed up, torn, and in many cases, in egregious error. Either they go to the extreme of ignoring this important ministry outright, or the pendulum swings the other way and people end up getting unnecessarily hurt or even killed.

It’s just one more ministry I would like to see properly restored from the proper perspective; with wisdom, discernment and love, with a healthy understanding of the Power and Authority in which it works.

Goodbye Farewell, Larry Norman…

March 1, 2008 § 3 Comments

This morning, Matt told me about Larry Norman’s passing last week. For those of you who don’t know who this incredible man was, Larry Norman was a pioneer of Christian music in the 20th Century. He brought “religious music” out of the old-timey hymns and saccharine sweet New Christie era into an era of rock and roll and made faith accessible to a generation that couldn’t relate to, and rejected anything offered by, anyone over 30.

Called a rebel and scoffed at by the Establishment, he along with such groups and musicians as Keith Green, the Resurrection Band, Phil Keaggy, and many many more helped cement the Jesus Movement of the 70’s. Songs like “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music” and “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” awakened and inspired a generation of young people hungry for righteousness and something good and new.

The Gen Xer’s out there, and the subsequent generations owe a debt of gratitude to Larry and his generation for bringing our music out if the dark ages, and into a form of art that is at once inspirational, informative, convicting, fun, worshipful and prophetic.

God bless you, Brother Larry, and we hope to see you soon along with Keith, and Rich and all our brothers and sisters on the other side. Welcome home.

FYI, not all of the artists featured in this video have passed on, just so you know. 😉

An invitation

July 16, 2007 § 6 Comments

Hello folks! I have created a community for those individuals interested in Church history, and how it impacts us today. It is called earlychurch. I want to invite all of you to join, and if you do, to also post this invite into your own journal to your Christian filter (should you have such a thing!)

The focus of this group is to study the writings of our earliest brethren from the first couple of centuries– the pre-Nicene writings of such as Tertullian, Justin, Irenaeus, Clement and the like. The purpose of our discussions is to explore how their writings might inform our understanding of Scripture. It is important that they not supersede Scripture, but be used as a tool to better understand how those of the first two or three centuries lived the faith that was handed down to them by the Apostles, and see how (and if) we measure up in our faith today.

Some sites to visit for more information of what the earliest believers actually believed and practiced are Scroll Publishing, which also has links to local churches that are attempting to get back to this primitive faith and practice; The Guide to Early Church Documents; The Works of Tertullian; Earlychurch.com; and a link to the first 10 volumes of the Ante-Nicene Writings.

Some other sites of interest are: Blueprint for a Revolution by Reed Merino, Nonresistance.org which has writings from Christians and non-Christians about the peace witness. Tread carefully, many of the writings are still wed to the world.

I do not expect that everyone will agree with what they will find in the early writings, nor are all of the writings in perfect accord with Scripture. But overwhelmingly, the farther back one goes in examining them, the closer to a literal understanding of Christ’s words, and those of His Apostles, one finds. It is my hope that a dialogue may be opened to explore where we are today, how we got here, whether we could be in a better place, and how that might be accomplished. I’m praying for open hearts and open minds.

My desire is to promote unity in the Body of Christ, and my hope is that we may grow in ever greater surrender to our Lord and Master through a deeper understanding of what His expectations of us may be, that our love for Him and one another may grow and that our joy may be made full.

Please join me for discussion!

God’s peace,

DT

Popes and Polls

July 10, 2007 § 9 Comments

Today in one of my yahoo groups, earlychristianstoday, someone posted a poll asking where Christians should worship, in homes or in churches?

I objected to there being only two options with the following:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Mennonites and CoC

January 3, 2007 § 8 Comments

I just read a letter someone from one of my Yahoo groups wrote to his Church of Christ brethren, exhorting them to look at some of the practices of the Mennonites. It was quite interesting.

Matthew 23

September 20, 2006 § 1 Comment

The Ultimate religous rant.

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