Summary: New Age philosophy is alive and pervasive. Movies are a particularly potent media for this new/old heresy.
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
A fellowship of faith, family and friendships.
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?
for the living to the dead? Isaiah 8.19
We have been exposing the "New Age" agenda of Hollywood in this series of messages. Last week we saw the reasons for this agenda in "Gump’s Gospel" -- a movie about a mildly retarded young man with a naive, pure outlook on life. Hollywood’s message was that humanistic purity of purpose is enough to conquer any circumstance.
Why, in light of revealed propositional truth (God’s Word), does Hollywood ask us to swallow such trash? Three answers:
* Deception -- There are those who deceive knowingly.
* Delusion -- There are those who are themselves deluded.
* Dollars -- With nearly 100 million at stake at the box office every weekend, the lure of money is too strong for some people to stick with truth. Some people will do anything for money.
A magician found out that there was an agent in the audience, so he decided to perform all of his best tricks. He began pulling 200 scarves out of a hat, then he produced 150 playing cards from the air, one at a time. Finally, he threw a blanket over himself and disappeared.
The next morning, he called the agent and asked, "What do you think?"
"I’d only make one change," said the agent, "That trick where you vanish. You should do that first."
This morning we turn to the "ghost story." Part of the New Age resurgence involves spiritualism, or contacting the dead. The Bible calls it "wizardry." From a New Age study: "In a recent 11 year period, the proportion of adults who say they have been in touch with the dead has risen from 27 percent to 42 percent."
"The End Times" magazine reported that there are "...over 200,000 registered witches in the U.S. and many more are not registered. In fact, the famous witch, Sybil Leek, who now resides in Melbourne Beach, FL said in the New York Times that there are over 8 million witches in the world today." Some time ago the Salvation Army was sued, claiming they violated a woman’s Constitutional rights when they fired her for being a witch. The employee had used the agency’s copy machine to reproduce satanic rituals. She sued for, and was awarded by a federal judge, $1.25 million compensation for embarrassment, humiliation, pain and suffering.
The movie "Ghost" is no less offensive in its’ gross misrepresentation of spiritual matters. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are billed as the leading cast. However, it is Whoopi Goldberg that Hollywood seems to want to highlight. Goldberg plays a medium (wizard) who brings former live-in lovers Swayze and Moore back together after Swayze’s death at the hands of a murder plot.
Exploding the myths of the "ghost story"
After some comedy relief events (e.g., Swayze’s confusion and frustration over finding himself in the spirit --dead, stuck between two worlds), he wanders into a rip-off parlor run by Whoopi Goldberg. She is a fake who discovers in her encounter with real ghost, Swayze, that she has the "real gift" of contacting dead spirits.
Myth # 1 -- It is O.K. to contact the dead
Some would say, "Contact the dead? Excuse me?" Time for a reality check -- It is possible! Not everything spoofed in the movies is false. There is a very real spirit world, and contact between the world of the living and the deceased is entirely possible. The problem is not one of ability, but rather permissibility.
God forbids contact with the dead.
Under the direction of God, there was a revival among His people during the time of King Josiah. One of his first actions, after reading the Word of God, was to forbid spiritualism.
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. -- 2 Kings 23:24
The name "Jezebel" has a special place in history. No parent would ever dream of naming a daughter by this infamous title. She was the enemy of God...and a witch.
And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? -- 2 Kings 9:22