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Satanism in the News

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A recent spurt of public Satanic activity has attracted the attention of the mainstream media. Whether it involves a Black Mass held in Oklahoma City (which failed in attracting attendees, but succeeded in attracting the media), or attempting to distribute an activity book in Orlando-area public schools, Satanists have been highly effective in using the media to garner attention for their groups.

How should Christians respond to all this activity from Satanists? Should we simply follow the practice (as some commentators assert) of “ignore them, and they’ll go away?”

It is, of course, important to avoid falling into what folklore and occult expert Bill Ellis calls “”Satanic panic,” ascribing greater power and levels of activity to Satanists than they currently employ (you can read more in our interview with Ellis). As we say in our Index of Cults and Religions,

Contemporary expressions of traditional Satanism are rare, and popular elements of it, including the testimonies of alleged former Satanists and Satanic Ritual Abuse have been discredited.

At the same time, however, we have also frequently warned against the danger of Satanists who truly believe in diabolical, occult power. For example, in the same Index definition quoted above we also say:

(Satanism is) represented by two separate groups, secular and traditional Satanists. The secularists do not believe in in a literal, personal, spiritual being called Satan, but rather consider Satan to be an archetype or symbol that represents the ideas of Satanic philosophy. Various satanic ideals include self-interest, indulgence, an anti-herd mentality, and an emphasis upon rational self-interest. Examples of modern Satanism include The Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey and now led by Peter Gilmore as High Priest, Michael Aquino’s Temple of Set, and Lord Egan’s First Church of Satan. Traditional Satanism, which involves the worship of the Satan of the Bible through a perversion and parody of Roman Catholicism, appeared in the fifteenth century coming out of the Inquisition.

You can learn about the best-known Satanic group, the Church of Satan, in our free Profile, which gives this Christian response to Satanism:

It is best to keep in mind when talking to Satanists that they generally are both atheists and hedonists. That being said, it is best to deal with them on both levels…Satanists need to see clearly that any pleasure they derive from sin is ultimately shallow and short-lived. It is sweet at first, but bitter soon afterward, and the philosophy of a Satanist eventually leads to a vacuous and wrecked life.

You can see the full response in our free Profile, and you can equip yourself for the vital ministry of reaching out to people in cults and false religious groups by subscribing to our free newsletter.

If you are a pastor and want the staff of Watchman Fellowship to speak in your church about Satanism or other topics, see our list of programs and feel free to contact us.

Patterns in the Cults Profile Updated

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We’ve updated our popular Patterns in Cults Profile. In this free Profile, James K. Walker looks at the differences between biblical Christianity and false religious systems, focusing on the ways in which pseudo-Christian groups add to the Gospel, subtract from the deity of Christ, divide members’ loyalties, and multiply the requirements for salvation.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Michael Gungor and the Importance of Biblical Authority

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Popular musician Michael Gungor has recently been the focus of a flurry of stories in the Christian media regarding his position on the literal truth of a variety of biblical doctrines. Gungor has stated that he is no more able to believe in the existence of Adam and Eve, or the great flood, than he is able to “believe in Santa Clause or to not believe in gravity.”

Why is this significant—so much so that even one of Gungor’s close friends says “he wouldn’t consider (Gungor) a Christian anymore”? It is important because, as Craig Branch writes in article on our website, “Those who lose faith in the Bible ultimately and naturally lose their other Christian beliefs as well. Having lost the rudder of a trustworthy Bible, they usually drift toward cultic doctrine. This is most tragic in the case of individuals and churches who were once committed to an orthodox course.”

To help Christians to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21), Watchman Fellowship is committed to sharing true biblical Christianity, as well as responding to false and cultic teaching. Below are a list of resources—both free articles from our website, as well as books available for purchase from our store—that will help you better understand and defend Christian doctrine.

Free Articles

Books

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Brian McLaren Profile

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We have just added to our website a Profile of Brian McLaren. McLaren is one of the most popular leaders of “emerging Christianity;” what makes some Christian commentators say his “generous orthodoxy” is neither generous nor orthodox? Jason Barker’s free Profile of McLaren looks at the history and teachings of the teacher, and presents a biblical perspective.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Hebrew Roots Profile

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Has your family or church been shaken by the Hebrew Roots Movement? For years we have been getting reports of families being divided and congregations threatened with church splits over a controversial movement called Hebrew Roots, Nazarene Judaism, or Jewish Roots.

This is not the same as Messianic Judaism and goes way beyond Christians wanting to be more aware of the Old Testament and Jewish background of Christianity. In fact, according to some critics this is a new, hybrid religion that is neither Christian nor Jewish.

  • Why is ‘Hebrew Roots’ so popular?
  • What are the spiritual dangers?
  • Why is it so controversial?

These questions and more are addressed in our latest Watchman Fellowship Profile. To claim your free Profile, just click here.

I hope this 4-page Profile is a helpful addition to your collection. To download the entire Profile Notebook (450+ pages covering all 20 years) in PDF format, click here ($25): Complete Profile Notebook (PDF Digital Edition). This works great on your smartphone, tablet, and computer!

The House of Yahweh in the News

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The House of Yahweh, a Sacred Name group located in a town near Abilene, TX, has repeatedly shown up in recent news. Most significantly, a member of the group has been charged with threatening to kill a judge and group of lawyers. The group also appeared in the news when Malik Obama, half-brother of the President of the United States, spoke at the House’s Peaceful Solution Character Education Program. While all of this is noteworthy, the House of Yahweh tends to be largely unknown outside north-central Texas (despite brief national attention a few years ago). Who is the House of Yahweh, what does the group believe, and what might motivate the actions for which it’s appeared in the news?

You can learn more in Philip Arnn’s in-depth Profile of the House of Yahweh, and you can learn about their Book of Yahweh in this look at the distinctive scriptures of several pseudo-Christian groups.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Easter Resources

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Every year, as the calendar approaches Easter, we see an attack on the faith: major media outlets release documentaries and articles purporting to reveal the “truth” about Christ and Christianity, while other religious groups use the holiday as an opportunity to win converts away from biblical Christianity. What should a Christian do?

This is a great time to learn more about your faith, and how to share it with others. Below are some of our free resources on Christianity and apologetics:

We also have resources available in our store that will help you better understand your faith:

Be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter for the latest news and resources, and remember: He is Risen!

Voodoo in the News

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There have been a notable number of headlining stories in the news about voodoo. As we pointed out in our Twitter and Facebook streams, we’ve recently seen stories about a man who allegedly committed murder in order to use the victim’s head for voodoo practices, as well as conflict among Santería sects. Interest in voodoo seems to be on the upswing.

You can better understand this system of religions by reading our Profile on voodoo. In this free Profile, Robert and Marilyn Stewart look at the history, beliefs and practices of voodoo, and present a Christian response.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

The Church of Wells Profile

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We have added to our website a Profile of The Church of Wells (Texas). In this free Profile, Dylan McCabe looks at the history and doctrine of the controversial group, and presents a Christian response.

Be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

You can also listen below to an episode of Point of View with Kirby Anderson, where James Walker and Dylan McCabe discuss the Church of Wells with Kirby.

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News Articles on Joel Osteen and the LDS Law of Eternal Progression

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On our Twitter and Facebook streams we recently added posts about two notable articles in the news: one about a recent theft of over $600,000 from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, and the other about a new statement by the LDS Church about the Law of Eternal Progression.

To learn more about Joel Osteen, including why he is such a controversial figure among Christians, you can read our free Profile on Osteen.

To learn more about the Mormon Law of Eternal Progression, you can read our free Profile of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you’d like to dig deeper into the subject, as well as learn how to use LDS teachings on eternal progression to witness to Mormons, you can purchase our audio CD and manual set, The Law of Eternal Progression: A Christian Critique of the Mormon Gospel.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.