Halloween Is Demonic and Dangerous to Your Kids’ Health

Tomorrow is Sunday – Sunday night is also All Hallows Eve or, as the world knows this Christian festival, Halloween. Tomorrow – will you be sending your children out saying “trick or treat” (a direct reference to demons and disembodied spirits who do nasty tricks to you if you do not treat them to some goodies) or will you be doing something to help them to understand that believers must not participate with festivals of demons and devils. Will you be showing them that there are certain things we should not do as believers just because “everyone else is doing them?” Will you celebrate the evening (if you do at all) as a Christian or a pagan? Those are really the two options.

Along with the Christian festival of October 31st – All Hallows Eve – we also celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st with a similar though slightly different theme – which I won’t go into because it is not helpful to the topic of this blog.

The original October 31st – November 1st celebration was a Christian festival marking the faithfulness and witness of those who were believers in the past and “kept the faith” in spite of persecution and trials. This biblically is known as the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and we own the continuation of the faith to these departed saints who proclaimed, witnessed, and shared the Gospel throughout the centuries regardless of the cost.

This “cloud of witnesses” is in Heaven and according to the direct teachings of Jesus recorded in the pages of Scripture there is a great gulf fixed between them and us and we cannot communicate with them. Communicating with the dead – Christian or non-Christian, saint or sinner – is strictly forbidden by the teachings of the Bible. If you are a believer in the “Cloud of Witnesses” doctrine currently making the rounds of Charismatic and Spirit-filled circles where you are taught that the dead – like King David – can appear and talk with you – please know that the teaching is heretical and will take you away from the heart of God and into severe and deadly doctrinal error. It matters not that some very well-known Christian leaders are teaching this heresy; heresy is heresy.

If you belong to the Roman Catholic, Anglican (Church of England), or any Orthodox branches of the “Christian” Church you pray to dead saints. In my mind there is no difference between praying to dead saints like Jude and Mary then talking to the dead like King David and Saul the apostle (The Cloud of Witnesses heresy). If they are dead and you are talking (praying) to them you are biblically in error. On this special evening you hold Mass and pray for the souls of the departed along with praying to the dead departed. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Not biblical. Very religious! Very ridiculous! Especially ridiculous if you profess to be a believer as you should know better. Duh! Trying reading your Bible and not simply believing what religious leaders teach you.

So, October 31 – All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and November 1st (All Saints Day) is when we are thankful to God for those who have run the race, fought the good fight of faith, and earnestly contended for the Gospel in their generation. A prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for their witness would be appropriate.

The Point is not the Point

Did Jesus come to deliver us some teachings? Or, did Jesus come to reveal to us the character of God? The point of Christianity is not the point. The point is a person. The point of Christianity is not believing a doctrine but experiencing a reality that transcends all concepts and categories.

Oscar Wilde wrote: “Jesus Christ did not come into the world to teach one anything, but by being brought into His presence one becomes something. And everybody is predestined in His presence. Once at least in his life each person walks with Christ to Emmaus.”

Jesus came to bring us a revelation of the Father. The disciples on the road to Emmaus had a revelation of who this man was that they had just shared the day’s journey with – that He was the Christ, raised from the dead. We need more than a set of teachings or doctrines to base our lives on otherwise we simply have another religion. If we truly have a relationship with God then we need to allow Him to continually reveal Himself to us in everyday life situations and circumstances. After all, that is what keeps a relationship growing, healthy, and dynamic.

So the point of your Bible reading is not to learn more facts from the Bible and to be able to repeat the stories found in the Bible. The point is not the point. The point is a person. And, reading your Bible should be helping you to know the Person better and more intimately each day.

So the point of your worship experience on Sunday is not to feel His presence or even to sense the anointing. The point is not the point. The point is a person. Worship is all about Him and honouring Him together with others through praise and worship.

So the point of your sharing the Gospel and witnessing is not to get people to say the sinner’s prayer or even to build the church – although these are important. The point is not the point. The point is a person. Without a personal relationship to the person of Jesus no one can enter heaven when they die.

So the point of your prayer time is not to let God know what your needs are. The Bible states that He already knows what you have need of … The point of your prayers is not to twist His arm and get Him to do things for you. The point is not the point. The point is a person and prayer is simply your means of building a relationship with Jesus – by listening and talking.

The point is always the person of Jesus. The reason we do everything we do is Jesus. The focus of everything we do should be Jesus. And everything we do should be bringing new and fresh revelations of who Jesus is and how much He loves every individual upon the planet including us. The point of all of this ‘thing’ we call Christianity is Jesus.

The point of this short blog today is to ask you: “How you are doing with Jesus?” Remember, He is the point of all of history – history is simply “His-story.”


Dear Ralph!

I want you to know that your blogs inspire me a lot while I am on mission in the UK trying to bring teens to Christ. I share what iread with my team so what you type is not just words, you really make a difference! It goes from canadian heart through ukrainian heart and flows into british hearts! Isn’t it amazing?!

It’s Not a Paint-by-Number Path

“The work of the Holy Spirit does not create standardization. It unleashes the divine potential in every human being.” Erwin McManus – Mosaic pastor / author

I believe that every human being is unique. And that the walk they have with Jesus as born again believers is also unique. Oh! There are standard things involved in everyone’s walk – prayer, Bible study, Bible reading, meditation, worship, fellowship … but how this is expressed in each individual is certainly unique. Every believer is called to be a minister – but the way they minister, where, and to whom will, of course, differ. I like what Leonard Sweet states, “To follow Jesus is not a paint-by-numbers path. To follow Jesus is to live the adventure and experience the mystery of faith.”

The key then is to find out who you are in Christ (see yesterday’s blog). Secondly, you must find your own unique way to express that identity you have discovered. Thirdly, you need to then become comfortable and secure with who you are “in Christ;”so as not to need the approval of others or their agreement to your ‘expression’ of His life. This is where your uniqueness will really be seen as the expression of “Christ in you” and who you are “in Christ” will always differ from everyone else around you. Fourth, continuing to allow this expression to develop and mature and impact others.

The neat thing is that once you truly discover who you are “in Christ” and what it means to have “Christ in you” it is also as if your identity melts into the God’s presence and personhood within you. You have found the real you within the true Christ within you and you become more and more like Him. Here is where every true believer is like every other believer – becoming one with Jesus and becoming more and more like Him. Mystic Meister Eckhart puts it this way, “Let your own “being you” sink into and flow into God’s “being God.” I would add ‘God’s “being God” WITHIN YOU!’

So all believers are taking on the character and nature of God as found and revealed in Jesus. We are all becoming more loving, accepting, and forgiving. However, the way we live this “God-life” and express who we really are “in Christ” is what is unique and gives variety to the Christian Church. No standardization – just everyone’s potential released and expressed in their own unique way.

Now that would be an exciting and powerful local church to be a vital part of.


Dear Ralph!

Im thankful to you for what you did over the last two days.
With your help God has answered to many of my questions and made me firm in things that I was doubting. I always knew that God lives in my heart and felt His love and power. Lately I started asking God for Him to begin speaking to me so that I would understand him and hear Him. Recently I realized that all my needs and my problems I should trust into His hands and believe that He can deal with it because Hes my Father. So through you I got the confirmation for my prayers. Now I know that Im significant for the Lord and He means so much for me. I know that its time for me dedicate Him my life and my time.

Thank you for your ministry,

The Original Identity Thief

I am working on a teaching on tithing. It is a quiet night and I am away from the office and the study – using the wireless internet connection at a McDonalds’ Restaurant once a day to upload and down load emails and blogs… my wireless system does not work where I am visiting right now here in the United States of America because of the mountains and the fact that I am in a valley.

The Bible says that “those whom the Son has set free are free indeed” and I have been thinking about that for the last two days. I have been set free from sin because Jesus died for me. I was set free from religion and a religious priesthood based on an Old Testament model. I was set free by the Lord from alcoholism and smoking. I was set free from past hurts and wounds as everyone can be who wants to let them go, forgive, and move forward in life. Jesus truly does set people free if they want to be set free.

But, the thought has come to me recently that the Lord also needs to set us free from ourselves. And, if you will think about it long enough you might come to the understanding that when we are free from having to find our own ‘identity’ and discover our ‘being’ in Christ – only then are we ‘free’ to be ourselves. Think about it – then read on.

So, to be myself I need to stop the journey towards self-discovery (trying to find out who I am – my identity) and simply discover who I am in Jesus Christ – only then am I free to be the real me; I mean the real me that God created and is now revealing to me – the me without all the baggage I have accumulated over the years and the damage that life has inflicted upon me or I have managed to inflict upon myself.

How do I discover who I am in Jesus Christ? First, I would say it happens by following Him and not at a distance. I mean walk with Him and become really close to Him in all aspects of the relationship you have with Him. Secondly, make Him Lord and not just Savior – thus inviting Him to have His way in all areas of your life. Thirdly, read God’s Word (Bible) and find out what it says about you – the real you – who you are in Christ (a list is found on my main web site at www.ralphhoweministries.com). Fourth, be in relationship with other believers as “iron sharpens iron” and only in healthy relationships can you fully mature as a believer.

But be careful“the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy” according to the Word of God. And the thing he wants to steal from you is your identity. He is the original “identity theft” culprit. Today we are hearing so much about identity theft being done through the internet and the Devil is the one who was first to do just that – steal our sense of identity and rob us of our understanding of who we are in Christ.

Because of this original identity thief believers are then limited in their understanding of their true self. As well, Christians do not understand what they can become in Christ and certainly are not able to walk by faith and accomplish all that the Lord is calling them to do. They are limited and most of the time they are just not aware that anything is wrong.

And, because we have designed or ‘discovered’ our own identity we continue living for ourselves. Where, if we find out who we are “in Christ” then we will live our lives for the One who died for our sake and was raised to life! Nothing less will satisfy.

Losing Your Mind

“To put on the mind of Christ, you have to lose your mind. But in losing your mind, you come to your senses.” Leonard Sweet

How true. The Bible states we can have the mind of Christ and should ask God for wisdom and not simply function on human wisdom or worldly wisdom. Easier said than done if first we have to lose our mind. You know – deprogram the way we think and live so that the Word of the Lord can reprogram (the Bible calls it being ‘transformed’ – Romans 12:1-2) according to the Bible.

Now this is very basic but very important. The Bible states in Proverbs that “as a man thinks, so he becomes.” In other words, if you want to change your behavior, change the way you think. Change starts on the inside. That, of course, is why New Year’s resolutions most times don’t work. They are simply goals set on paper and not a different way of thinking. As a recovered alcoholic – delivered 31 years ago by the Holy Spirit’s power – I had to change my “stinkin’ thinking” before I could be free of my alcolholic tendencies and thus my drinking. Otherwise I might be rid of the alcohol by sheer will power but I would still have all the “isms” … manipulation, the need to control, anger, striving to please, needing approval, and wrong attitudes….

So, taking on the mind of Christ is very, very important. And, as a believer in Jesus this means you first have to lose your mind. If you truly follow the wisdom of God, as found in the life and teachings of Jesus, others might even accuse you of being out of your mind. Same thing. This person will live not as a sub-culture of the “normal” culture but as a counter-culture to regular society. The values and morals by which they live with actually not fit into or be compatible with the culture (thus a sub-culture within the norm) but will actually oppose the values and beliefs of the dominate culture of the day (read the book of Acts).

I like what Phillips Brooks – the “Pulpit Prince” of many decades ago said, “A man who lives right, and is right, has more power in his silence than another has by his words. Character is like bells which ring out sweet music and which, when touched, accidentially even, resound with sweet music.” This same is true for anyone who has lost their mind and gained the mind of Christ.

So, the call of God in Christ is to lose your mind and be willing to be different than and stand out from those who do not believe in the Lordship of Jesus and the wisdom of God as found between the covers of your Bible. If someone were to look at you and not see any difference between the way you live life and the way others live life – go back to the top of this blog and begin again…

Please Excuse My Repeating Myself

The 18th-century evangelist George Whitefield could not stop preaching on the text, “Ye must be born again.” When people asked Whitefield why he preached so often on this one passage, he replied, “Because, Ye must be born again.”

What message from God’s Word resonates in your soul and spirit? What words spoken by God has been burned by the fire of the Holy Spirit onto your heart? What verse are you unable to let go of and are always thinking about? If you were deep in thought and someone asked you what you were thinking about – your answer would be? Now, don’t rush to read the rest of this blog – answer the question! Think about it.

My normal answer would be that God has given to you the gift of eternal life when you were born again. And that the Bible definition of eternal life is to personally and intimately know God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. That is the brief form of my life message. The mesaage that church goers and believers alike need to hear. However, I am open to it changing and adjusting as the situation and the audience changes.

Recently I spent a number of days days with a group of almost 20 young people who were not church goers and most were not believers. You also could not tell the born again believers in the group from the non-believers just by watching behavior and lifestyles.

This time was a happy time and was spent eating, laughing, working together on a very important project. We started late Thursday night and completed the project successfully on a Sunday evening. It was in four maybe even five different locations and it was a tremendous lot of fun to work with them and to see the project brought to completion and to a very happy ending.

More fun for me than the advice, oversight and involvement in the project that I had was the opportunity to listen to what these young people talked about (ages 23 to 30), how they interacted with each other, how they worked together, what happened when, near the end, everyone was near exhaustion and had short tempers and less patience … the topics of their conversations when working and relaxing, their understanding of life, the way they entertained themselves, how they celebrated the success and end of the project and their lack of any reference to God and His role in life – genernic or specifically their’s.

There are, I am sure, 15 or 20 blogs that could be written as a result of my time with these great young people – singles and married – but on my walk earlier tonight (as the end of my time with them as I was leaving for another country) I was thinking about all that was said, talked about, discussed, the activities, the acceptance of certain behaviors and non-acceptance of others…. and was wondering as I sat on a park bench overlooking a major Canadian city late in the evening – what is my message to this generation (giving consideration to “what does this generation need to hear?”)

I believe that to this generation it would be “I have come that they may have (real) life and have it more abundantly.” Of course, I would emphasize ‘eternal life’ which is where all “real life” comes from … but I would begin by simply talking about daily life and the new meaning and purpose that walking with God gives to every day life. Life is more than personal relationships, friends, food, drinking, dancing, a good car, great holidays and many of them, a specific dress code, your reputation and sex. In so many ways these are surface issues and certainly do not give signifigance or lasting meaning or purpose to one’s life.

Over these four days together much if not all of the focus was temporal, temporary, fleeting pleasures – although healthy, wholesome and relational for the most part. The focus was “a good time” and not “life and life abundant.”

So, my message would be about life – eternal life and the daily grind of life and Who can give this repetative event meaning, purpose, power, and turn the ordinary into a supernatural adventure with eternal purpose and meaning. And, from what I recently witnessed and was deeply and personally involved it – this one message would definitely be my message and I would never tire of repeating it over-and-over again to this age group who is deeply in need of hearing it.

Who are you reaching out to? What group of people are you working on impacting for Jesus? What is your burning message to them?

No More “Indecent” Dress Code or Behavior

The news last night as I drove home late in the evening from a church where I was ministering was rather startling and yet somewhat funny and serious at the same time. It is well into the night as I am driving – it is raining hard and there is a wind blowing. However, because I am tired I look for a talk show or a news station on satellite radio so that I will stay alert on my drive home. I look for some host on a show who is controversial and with whom I can disagree. An announcer that makes me angry. This way I stay wide awake and alert as I interact and yell at the person talking.

One of the first items up was “Italian seaside town planning miniskirt ban.”

Here is the news item straight from BBC News / Europe’s website the next morning…

Mayor Luigi Bobbio said the regulations would help “restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence”.
Offenders would face fines of between 25 ($35) and 500 euros ($696).
‘Right decision’
“Nothing too revealing” is the new policy Mayor Bobbio wants to enforce, says the BBC’s Duncan Kennedy in Rome.
That means a tough new dress code which would effectively outlaw everything from miniskirts to low-cut jeans when people walk around Castellammare di Stabia, our correspondent adds.
Mr Bobbio, from the centre-right People of Freedom party, says he wants to target people who are “rowdy, unruly or simply badly behaved”.
There will also be a ban on sunbathing, playing football in public places, and blasphemy, if the proposals are approved at a council meeting on Monday.
“I think it’s the right decision,” a local parish priest, Don Paulo Cecere, told the Cronache di Napoli newspaper. “It’s also a way of combating the rise in sexual harassment.”
Castellammare di Stabia is latest city to make use of the extra powers handed down by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government to mayors, in the effort to fight crime and confront anti social behaviour.
In other places they have banned sandcastles, kissing in cars, feeding stray cats, wooden clogs and the use of lawn mowers at weekends.

Instantly I have a number of thoughts – this is good and exactly why I listen – because when thinking and reacting I stay wide awake and thus arrive home safely – although I admit it gets a little heated in the car as I interact with the news items and talk back to the news announcer … and the speed of the vehicle as a result often picks up substantially. My thoughts…

1> This man – the major – will probably not get elected for another term as he is trying to impose his standards upon people; standards that may not be shared by those who behavior will have to be modified or they will face stiff fines.

2> How short is “short?” How mini is “mini?” Who determines this and who will enforcce the new laws if and when passed? Define “very skimpy clothes.”

3> What about on the beaches – it is a seaside town – no “sunbathing” in public places? Folks, this is southern Europe … you know, nude beaches and on family beaches the bathing suits leave much to be desired as many do not cover much of anything. And now we will have a ban on sunbathing?

4> What is wrong with “playing football (soccer)” in public places – unless they are concerned that people play football in skimpy bathing attire.

5> How can you lump building sandcastles, feeding stray cats and cutting your grass on weekends in with beach attire and banning mini-skirts?

6> Thank God it is not the Church trying to impose it morality or behavioral expectations upon non-Church people … at least, on the surface it isn’t.

7> How do you police and fine “blasphemy” and what is the current definition of this word in their society? A cultural definition or a church definition?

8> Surely we have better things to do with our time, effort, and money.

This, of course, let me to wonder how much influence the Church is really having on this decision to tighten up the apparent lose moral standards of this town. And, if the Church is involved directly or indirectly, who has given the Church the right to dictate how people are going to live, dress, and behalf. I am reminded of a comment by a North American pastor who said, “You can’t expect them to live like Christians until they are Christians.”

Today is the day that the new laws will be passed by the town council acording to CBSNEWS web site… it will be fun to watch what happens and how these new laws are going to be enforced and upheld. More as it becomes available.

Formed – Reformed – Transformed

“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” E.E. Cummings (Poet)

The Bible states in Romans 12 not to let the world squeeze you into its mould. I always tell young people that they also should not let the Church squeeze you into its mould either. That’s religion. Jesus came to destroy religion as it is man’s attempt to please God. Jesus came to offer us a relationship with God the Father – relationship … not religion. And, withing that relatiosnhip, to introduce us to our real selves formed in His image and wonderful in His sight.

As Christians who have a relationship with God we are being FORMED, REFORMED and TRANSFORMED. We are to follow Jesus and, as we do, we are to take on more and more of His character, attitude, actions, and work. As Christians we are always working towards “spiritual formation”. This is what most of the Christian disciplines (prayer, fasting, Bible reading…) are all about. They are not ends in themselves but a means to an end – the end being – walking closely beside Jesus and becoming just like Him so we can do what He did and still does.

In the Church today there is much too much AUTOMORPHOSIS – self-transformation accomplished by will power, self-help information and goal setting. We need to see a lot more THEOMORPHOSIS or God-transformation of self. Spiritual formation is not “self-transformation” but “Christ-formation.” It is allowing Jesus to change us into His image and not going the “self-help” route that many churches today teach so much about … nicely disguised in Christian terminology.

Paul said, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19). And again, “We proclaim Him…so that we may present everyone perfect [complete] in Christ.” You cannot become ‘perfect’ in God’s eyes using your own will power even if you availed yourself of all the self-help information in the world. You can only become like Jesus who is perfect when you follow Him and let Him transform you. Not AUTOMORPHOSIS but THEOMORPHOSIS.

So, let Christ continue to FORM you … afteralll, He created you
You will be REFORMED, restructured, reorgainzed , altered and generally improved.
He will TRANSFORM you and into His image.

This is part of being a follower or disciple of the Lord Jesus!