Sheep Skins

Sheep Skins

Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one.
Drew
Drew
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Forgive me, if this essay is offensive to anyone or even too disturbing of a subject. It has been put on my heart to write about evil and demonic influences. I pray that the message does not stir up trouble in the mind of you, the readers. I pray it makes you aware of the dangers ahead, especially for us Christians.

*******

Tell me, does a lion wait for its prey in plain sight? Does the lion lie down in the open? No, of course not. If the lion wants to catch and kill its prey, it must do so by a surprise attack. Evil, or its father, creeps into our lives with a similar predatory tactic. Evil perhaps is a more dangerous predator than a lion. If I may be so bold to claim, evil is the greatest predator of all. We, as ignorant as we are, are sometimes not even aware of previous scars or bite marks. Perhaps humans are the greatest prey of all.

Perhaps I should give a clearer definition of what evil is to me. Evil is the vague noun to describe demonic influence or the damned faction of the spiritual warfare. When I earlier said its father, I was describing the Devil himself. So, when I say that evil wants to conceal itself for the surprise attack, I am stating all demonic powers hide themselves so they may have influence without our awareness and the devil is the greatest in his ambushes. C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, a book of spiritual warfare from the perspective of a demon, addresses how evil wants to stay hidden: “Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course, this has not always been so.”

Evil desires to come in the form of many things we are comfortable or even enjoy. Again, in Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis explains evil’s reasoning in its subtly: “There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least – sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us.” The more the prey thinks it is safe, the less chance the predator will miss its strike.

I am sure there are things you, the reader, may already start to think of for examples as daily practices that might be perverted easily: social media, T.V., and even eating (over indulgence). Even in the distractions, especially for us Christians, we may be susceptible to leaving Our Father. In the morning, we wake up incredibly tired and slowly get out of our comfy beds. We then race off to work or school because of the procrastination of our morning routine. During work, of course, we have no time sit still. After coming home from a long day of work and learning, we must absolutely see that show. After all, don’t we deserve a little distraction from that busy life? After our little me time, we are exhausted and need our sleep. In that whole day, where was the time with God, we Christians so desperately need? The less time we spend with The Father, the more susceptible we to demonic influence, especially in our daily practices. Our morning could turn into cursing the day before it has begun. Our work could be filled with frustration and ill temper. Our me time, when we get home, could become in need of such high standards of self-satisfaction and pleasure that we become addicted to those daily practices. Once, we are addicted to anything but God’s Word—it is a dangerous road. Thus, the alcoholic, drug addict, and porn addict are born.

But what about annual practices? What about those holidays we deem so sacred by the seal of tradition? Yes, I am referring to Halloween—and dare I say, Christmas and Easter. Do not misunderstand me. When I refer to Easter and Christmas holiday, I am not belittling the importance of Jesus’ birth or resurrection. I am condemning the practices of gift giving and Easter egg hunting for the sake of materialism—not generosity. These two holidays in themselves are not evil;it is what we humans do to pervert them that make them evil—yes, evil.

You know as well as I do, we get lost in that busyness of the holidays and the effect is often stress. Tell me, fellow Christians, who is it that wants us to be anxious and full of stress? So, answer me this question, can the devil truly use holiday rushes, such as Christmas and Easter to trouble our lives?

Now why have I not addressed Halloween? I have my own personal opinions on this holiday, but again, I want you, the reader, to think of the day, October 31st, and explain why we, as the Western Culture, celebrate it to such extents? Tell me, could the devil possibly use the day of Halloween to influence to such drastic evils? Be careful.

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,...Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Cover Image Credit: kameronbayneimages.com

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5 Things To Do When Your Professors Challenge Your Beliefs As A Christian

As long as you know God is FOR you, it doesn't matter who is AGAINST you.

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Being a Christian in our world today is very, very challenging. There are many misconceptions about our beliefs and our morals, as well as people who believe we don't practice what we preach.

As a college student, I've come across many professors who enjoy challenging my beliefs due to the "lack of evidence" or the "impossibility" of the circumstances. While it frustrates me to no end, I've had to learn that arguing and debating with people who don't believe in God is pointless. They aren't going to change their mind and there's no way a college student is going to change that.

Arguing will get you nowhere, people are going to believe what they want to believe and we can't change that. Instead of trying to debate with your professors, do these five things instead. I assure you, you'll get much more out of them than an argument.

1. Pray

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Pray to God to help you and your belief remain strong, but also pray that the Holy Spirit finds them and touches their heart. A heart that isn't filled with God is an awfully sad one.

2. Acknowledge that people don't always agree with your beliefs

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If someone tried to convince you that God isn't real, you're not going to listen to their points or anything else that they have to say. Acknowledge that people think differently and sometimes you can't change that. Only God can.

3. Drop the class

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This is really a last resort, but it's also understandable. I would hate to have to sit in a class where I felt personally attacked for over an hour each day. If you find yourself in this position, get OUT.

4. When things get too difficult-- bathroom break

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Sometimes all you really need is a breather. When the lecture gets too tough, ask to go to the bathroom, get some water, and say a prayer.

5. Read your Bible

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This is the most important one. Your bible has all of the answers, no matter the circumstance. If you find yourself unable to cope with the challenges the professor presents to you, open the bible and start reading. God will fill your heart and put your mind at ease.

It's hard enough feeling out of place in today's society, just because of your beliefs. Then to have someone constantly challenging everything you base your life off of? That's even more difficult!

But instead of arguing, choose one of these five things to do. It will be a much better use of your time and you'll feel much better about it than you would by arguing with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day God will touch their heart and things will be different. God's pretty powerful and can change things in an instant. Trust him.

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Dear Christians, Think Twice Before You Invite A Non-Christian To Your Church

It's important to be sensitive to the many faiths people around you adhere to.

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Christians,

I understand you sharing verses from the Bible comes from good intentions.

I understand you explaining to me the teachings of Jesus comes from good intentions.

I understand you inviting me to your church comes from good intentions.

The issue is that not everybody is as tolerant of your evangelical mission. In fact, many may see it as outright offensive.

"How dare you try to push your religious beliefs on me?"

"I don't appreciate your attempts to convert me."

"I'm satisfied with my own religion, thanks."

The above are just some responses you might unfortunately get, but it is important to understand why that's the case.

Christianity is, by all means, the most popular religion on the planet with followers from all corners of the globe.

With your faith having such a large following, people may see your mission to spread God's word as rather selfish — an attack, even, to not consider their faith.

Receiving this kind of response from someone when you meant only the best for them can occur with even the simplest actions — you can try inviting someone to your church and still end up making them uncomfortable.

I can admit there was one point in time I was in such a situation where my neighbor asked me to attend her church for Easter when she knew I was a Hindu. I was taken aback by her invitation. Religion was not something I considered to be a "show and tell" where you share it with others without them asking. I am glad to educate people about Hinduism, but only if they ask and are genuinely interested, otherwise I don't try and bring it up and teach it to others in case they become uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, Hinduism is one of the most liberal and tolerant religions out there. Hindus are allowed to visit other houses of worship, accept beliefs from other religions, and accept the fact that there are multiple supreme beings; there is no limit to how Hindus reach salvation.

I wasn't offended by her Christianity, but rather her disregard of how someone from a different faith may interpret her invitation.

I politely declined her invitation because at the time it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't understand her intentions. I have had moments in my life where I was encouraged to convert to Christianity, even offered money, which made me wary of the intentions of Christians around me who were very open about their religion.

Today, as a Hindu attending a private Christian university, I have had the opportunity to interact with Christians and understand why they like to promote their faith. It took quite some time and experience to educate myself about this, and I better understand where Christians come from when they talk about religion, but not everybody is so accommodating.

It is very important to understand that your beliefs are just that — beliefs. Beliefs are subjective and not everybody is going to agree with them or respect them.

You may have been taught to "go make disciples of all the nations," and you don't get to pick and choose which teachings of Jesus to follow, but understand that you assuming you're helping someone follow "the right path" may actually be pushing them away.

We appreciate your genuine care for us and your good intentions behind promoting your faith, but please be sensitive to how you talk about religion — even if it is inviting someone to your church.

Sincerely,

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, and other non-Christian belief systems.

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