Halloween (Part 2): the Paranormal

Much of Halloween is focused on what some might call the “paranormal,” or supernatural themes, objects, activities, and beings.  So what is the paranormal? Should I be scared? Is it real, or is it all fake and pretend?

Some paranormal “occurrences” are nothing but fraudulent hoaxes.  Yet some paranormal activities are very real and spiritually significant.

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (ESV)

Are ghosts real? Can my dead relatives come back to talk to me? What about familiar spirits and spirit guides? Can a place be haunted? Is it wrong to talk to or hunt ghosts? Is it wrong to go to haunted houses?

Any real “ghost” sightings or hauntings are actually disguised demons trying to gain your attention and affection.  They either want you to 1) be afraid of their powers, 2) be self-confident in your abilities, or 3) be distracted from God by being absorbed into whatever experience they are presenting.  Avoid the temptations of these experiences and flee from their evil.

2 Corinthians 11:14 “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”

What’s the one sure-fire thing I can do to survive paranormal attacks? (FYI: Don’t miss this!)

Real “paranormal” activities and beings are clearly demonic when they fail to accurately point to Jesus and His biblical truth, love, and righteousness.  The only way to survive such paranormal attacks is by repenting of sin and being born again with saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Christians, if you ever come under paranormal/demonic attack, there is only one strategy for success.  Don’t try to fight these spiritual battles in your own power, seek Jesus and His truth. Repent from sin.  Walk in righteousness.  Renew your mind with His truth (Romans 12:1-3) and “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

James 4:7–8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

"Study Satan’s tricks, and acquaint yourself with his tactics." William Gurnall

What is evil? What is good? How can I know what is true and what is false? Which is the best book on this topic? Who is the best person to talk to on this topic?

There is a spiritual battle raging around us between the followers of Christ against the unseen spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12).  Although many authors and books seek to describe this warfare, the best place to start and finish is in the Bible.  If you are a Christian, the Bible is your weapon as a “sword of the Spirit” who is within you.  Don’t go unarmed into battle, cite the Scripture with your lips and with your life.

Ephesians 6:16–17 “In all circumstances take up…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

"Do not pretend you want to be led into truth if you will not bother to study the whole Word of God." William Gurnall

What about Ouija boards? Voodoo dolls? Horoscopes? Palm reading? Séances? Mediums? Mystics? Incense? Crystals? New age medicine? Tarot cards? Psychics? Fortune Tellers? Witchcraft? Eastern religious practices (therapies/massages, yoga, reiki)? Trances? Dowsing (water witching or divining)? Hypnosis? Trances?

These are real religious objects and activities that do not honor God.  There is no neutral territory in this universe.  God is actively and patiently showing you His love and truth through the Bible and genuine Christians.  Satan is actively seeking to keep you away from a sincere devotion to God and uses many “new age” and “paranormal” routes to gain your trust, attention, and worship.  Listen to God’s many biblical warnings on these idolatrous and demonic practices.

1 Corinthians 10:21–22 "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”

"Every ignorant soul is the willing slave of Satan." William Gurnall

Is it ok to watch paranormal movies and TV shows? Read books and blogs? Is there any harm in Zombies? Pokémon? Cartoon witches? Avatars? Vampires? Werewolves? Should Christians “celebrate” Halloween?

Sometimes we face complicated decisions that are best left up to Christian conscious.  We should study God’s Word, evaluate our motivations, consider the potential impact on our Christian obedience and witness, and prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  

If a Christian finds peace about participating in Halloween activities, they must use wisdom.  Many faithful Christians have a clear conscience about participating in certain Halloween activities by taking with precautions about their destinations, costumes, and behaviors.  Some believers see Halloween as a wonderful witnessing opportunity in which their neighbors and strangers will visit their homes or community outreach events (Galatians 5:13 and 1 Peter 2:16).

1 Corinthians 10:23–24 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”

What if I am just a “normal Christian”? Does this subject really affect me? Am I safe from all of this paranormal and demonic stuff?  How can I prepare for future...Spiritual Attacks? Mental Attacks? Physical Attacks? Marriage Attacks? Parenting Attacks? Workplace Attacks? Church Attacks? How can I live with ongoing struggles and suffering? What if Satan doesn’t leave me alone?

The lessons of Halloween carry over throughout the year.  Everyday we all face spiritual battles where “we do not wrestle with flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:10-20).  We must daily prepare as we go into spiritual battle.  As we mature in our faith, our perspective and passions may change or grow regarding the details of Halloween.  May we seek to use our Christian freedom in ways that honor Jesus and share His light with a dark and dying world.  May we live with joy in our salvation and move forward with bold courage against Satan and his demons!

Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’”

Want a free resource about spiritual warfare in the early church?  To find summaries of some of Neil Anderson’s most important works? To pick up a Bible reading plan for 2023? Then please visit www.spiritualwarfare.blog/free-books for some of my free e-books and writings.

Halloween (Part 1): The Silly and The Serious

What goes through your mind when you think of Halloween? Costumes, tricks, treats, haunted houses, decorations, parties, or movies?

Halloween is full of all sorts of activities that many people enjoy and celebrate.  It has become a highly commercialized holiday that is given a lot of attention and resources.  The practices surrounding Halloween should cause Christians to ask important spiritual questions.

Here are some frequently asked questions we should consider…

Is demonic possession real? What can a demon do to me? Can the devil or a demon make me do something I don’t want to do? 

Yes, demonic possession is real.  Demons can tempt, attack, and live within humans.  Satan already controls everyone who is not born again with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  While not every unbeliever is possessed by a demon, demonically-possessed humans sometimes evidence (manifest) the presence of demons in supernaturally scary ways.

2 Corinthians 4:4 “the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers”

Can a Christian be possessed by a demon? “Demonized”? “Have” a Demon? 

No. If someone truly repents from sin, treasures Jesus more than anyone or anything, and trusts in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, then they are saved and in-dwelt by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-11, 1 Corinthians 3:16).  A genuine believer cannot be possessed or controlled by a demon since Jesus is in them through the Holy Spirit.  Believers can be tempted and deceived by demonic spirits and influences. Christians have personal responsibility for their actions, inactions, and beliefs and accordingly must “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

Can a Christian be harassed by a demon? Oppressed? Attacked?

Yes. As one example, we know that the apostle Paul was attacked and harassed by a demon.  We do not always know the specifics of why demons attack true believers. We do know that if we dependently seek God in these seasons of attack, He will strengthen and grow us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 John 4:4).

2 Corinthians 12:7 “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger [angel] of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.”

Can someone be a Christian and their life not demonstrate real change? 

No.  True believers always evidence a changed life through the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit (Matthew 13:19-23, Galatians 5:16-24, 1 John).  Genuine Christians are not perfect but will manifest a decreasing pattern of sin and an increasing pattern of righteousness.  May you be able to look backwards and see God’s progressive work on your life and look forward to how He will continue to mature you as you seek Him in spirit and truth.

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

As you see scary or silly Halloween costumes, decorations, and advertisements may you be reminded that this is not simply a pretend subject.  Our spiritual state matters.  Satan and his demons are on the prowl, seeking to deceive and destroy us.  If you are not yet a Christian, why would you wait another day to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? 

If you are a Christian, have confidence that God is with you and in you.  Do not fear.  Put on the full armor of God daily and be like Paul, seeking to “boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel” everywhere you go. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

1 John 4:4 “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Want a free resource about spiritual warfare in the early church?  To find summaries of some of Neil Anderson’s most important works? To pick up a Bible reading plan for 2023? Then please visit www.spiritualwarfare.blog/free-books for some of my free e-books and writings.

How Can Marriages Be Annulled? What Does the Bible Say about Catholic Divorce and Remarriage?



The Catholic Blog - Helping people find answers to the most common questions about Catholicism with answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. (www.catholic.blog )

“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “The Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.  In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.” (CCC 1629)
  • “A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection” (1633)
  • “In the case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage. (1635)
  • “the remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ.  They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion.” (CCC 1665)
  • [Encouragement to divorce if your wife does not obey you] Sirach 25:35-36 “If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies. 36 Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.”

“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • Mark 10:7–9 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, [8] and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. [9] What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (ESV)
  • Romans 7:2–3 “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. [3] Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 7:39 “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (ESV)
  • SEE: “What Does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?” www.trustworthyword.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-divorce-and-remarriage

“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Is the concept of “annulment” (that a “marriage never existed”) a biblical concept? If so, where?
  • How does that differ with Romans 7:2 and 1 Corinthians 7:39 saying that only death ends a marriage?
  • Does the Bible ever distinguish between marriages inside or outside the church?
  • Is it right to provide an avenue of allow marriage to a non-believer when the Bible prohibits it clearly (1 Corinthians 7:39)?
  • Is not withholding Eucharistic communion withholding forgiveness? 
  • Why would Sirach 25:35-36 encourage divorce in such a sweeping manner?  Does the Bible encourage it or permit it on rare occasions?

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