The Episcopal Church continues to decline both in baptized members and average weekly worship attendance, according to recently released statistics for 2012.
Parochial Reports gathered by The General Convention of TEC show that according to the 2012 report, among its nine provinces, TEC has 2,066,710 baptized members, with 1,894,181 in the United States dioceses and 172,529 in dioceses abroad.
The parent's e-mail to me had an urgent tone. "When our daughter and some of her Wiccan friends first began meeting in our living room, there were more giggles and gossip than talk about casting spells and gaining power. But what they are talking about now has us very disturbed…"
In working with teens for over 15 years, this was certainly not the first time I had heard from a parent upset about their child's fascination with the occult. Increasingly, teens themselves will voice concern over peers who are getting involved in Wicca and pagan activities. When the aspiring sorcerers were overheard talking about making a Halloween sacrifice, "…What about some small animal? No - how about maybe a hamster?" this troubled mother's tolerance ran out. "Alex, they are taking this stuff way too seriously. Please respond ASAP, or at least recommend a good resource."
People long for spiritual experiences-scholars call this transcendence-and have a natural interest in things supernatural. But one must use caution and exercise discernment when seeking spiritual reality, meaning, and truth. Studies indicate that interest in the paranormal is increasing, especially so among young people. Parents should know that their teens have almost certainly been exposed to the occult, at least at some level. more >>
Editor's Note: Part of S. A. Tower's Christian testimony includes the fact that she is a former initiated witch, practicing for more than a decade. Her powerful testimony and insightful revelations in the spiritual realm can be read in her book, "Taken From The Night - A Witch's Encounter With God." Below is the final part of a three-part series on her observations about Halloween. Part One can be read by clicking here. Part Two can be read by clicking here.
Tonight's Halloween and there's still quite a stir between those who celebrate and those who don't. We can debate its origins and practices and still come up with an empty kettle. But before we get ready to call down fire on those who will go out into the darkness or laugh off those who will remain in the confines of their home, let's take a step back and forget Halloween for a moment.
As Christians, we are called to bring the good news of the gospel to all tribes and nations. Our churches and their ministries send missionaries all around the globe to evangelize many who have never heard the Gospel and even to those who worship other gods. We send our missionaries to the mountains of Peru and through the villages of Haiti; they walk for miles through the dangerous forests of New Guinea passing by witch doctors, voodoo ceremonies and those practicing black magic. Though our missionary brothers live in areas plagued with extreme darkness they don't celebrate it, rather they rejoice in the light of Jesus and the many lives that have been saved. We hear their inspirational stories on how they connected with the hardened hearts they encountered when they return to share with the church how our tithes and offerings made it all possible. We rejoice with them and rightly so. more >>
The largest Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation in Texas has voted to leave the mainline denomination over theological differences.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, which has approximately 4,000 members, overwhelmingly approved a resolution recently that would involve the congregation terminating its voluntary affiliation with the PC (USA).
Eighty-nine percent of the members present at the Congregational and Corporate Meeting held at the church voted in favor of leaving PC (USA). more >>
Editor's Note: Part of S. A. Tower's Christian testimony includes the fact that she is a former initiated witch, practicing for more than a decade. Her powerful testimony and insightful revelations in the spiritual realm can be read in her book, "Taken From The Night - A Witch's Encounter With God." Below is the second of a three-part series on her observations about Halloween. Part One can be read by clicking here. Part Three is tomorrow.
It's Halloween night; she rushes home, chooses to park the car in the garage and makes sure to turn off the porch light. Across the street the entire front of the neighbor's house is entwined with neon spider webs with a ghost-lined driveway, while hers has subtle accents of the fall season.
Once inside, she retreats to the family room in the rear of her home, and waits it out. It will be several hours before the sound of scampering feet, little voices announcing trick or treat and the sound of the campy Halloween CD playing from across the street will disappear into the night. more >>
Halloween is a holiday known for its haunted houses, costume parties, kids trick-or-treating, and various scary imagery on screens big and small. The final day of October is also a time associated with darker ideas, like the Occult, witchcraft, and other unexplained phenomenon.
Many of these images dominate movies and television programs during late October, showcasing to mainstream America spiritual notions known as the "paranormal." According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, when something is paranormal it is "very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world." The term involves a fairly diverse group of activities and entities, including the Occult, psychics, spirits, and other supernatural phenomenon.
So, should Christians believe in paranormal activity? more >>