Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

Procter & Gamble and urban legends

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

procter-and-gamble-logo

Proctor and Gamble’s logos…

As I get older, I often think of urban legends and how often even Christians are fooled.

This first example isn’t one of those, but it makes me chuckle.

Recess time in sixth grade at Maddera-Flournoy Elementary School in Beeville, Texas, in 1985 was a great place where all kinds of crazy urban legends were cultivated. Except, in our days of innocence, we didn’t know they were fake, what the term “urban legend” meant, or even what the term “innocence” meant. If asked, I’d say “innocence” is what a person pleaded when they didn’t commit a crime.

In the group I hung out with, one kid came up to us with this crazy story. All the “family” members of Texas Chainsaw Massacre were captured, tried, convicted, and executed. Executioners lined them up and then fired M-60 machine guns at them, killing them all.

“And when the grandpa’s head spun away after it was shot off the body, he kept mouthing the words, “Revenge…REVENGE!!!” the kid said.

Of course, it was all fake. Dad had told me that TCM occurred somewhere near Poth, Texas, but I later learned he was joking. The movie actually was filmed outside of Austin and the story itself based not on a group of Texas cannibals who liked to barbecue the innocent, but loosely on Wisconsin murderer/body snatcher Ed Gein. He never was executed for his crimes: Gein died in 1984 after having been declared mentally insane and ordered placed in a mental hospital.

And then, sometime around high school, another the second example. This one riled many Christians.

“Don’t buy Procter and Gamble products!” someone said. “I heard the president of Proctor and Gamble was on The Phil Donahue Show. He confirmed that he’s a Satanist and that 10 percent of his profits go to the Satanist church.”

Some of us even saw the bearded, starred, sinister-looking P&G logo and it confirmed for us the rumor.

Of course, the rumor took on a life of its own. Before long, the P&G president was on the Donahue show wearing all black, along with goth lipstick, black fingernails and black hair, and placing a curse on any professing Christians as he said, “Yesssss…I AM a Satanisssst…25 percent of my earnings to my masssster, Sssssatan himself! Hail Satan!!!”

Churches soon started boycotting P&G with some even placing on the bulletin board a list of P&G products. Some wondered, after the boycott, what would they have in the way of cleaning and laundry products?

And then, reality hit.

P&G, which later changed its logo, denied any connections to Satanism. Phil Donahue released a statement saying nobody from P&G had ever been on his show and even listed what had been on his show on the day suggested.

Through my own research I later learned that while it has different branches with varying beliefs, overall Satanism is actually an atheistic faith. Some on this planet do worship Satan. However, Satanists (according to the FAQ on their official website) don’t believe in Satan, nor do they believe in God or in an afterlife. If there’s a deity they do believe in, it’s themselves.

As a Christian, I do believe in God and in the existence of Satan. I often think Satan laughs himself silly over how incredibly gullible humans can be, particularly Christians. The rumor, according to old news stories, apparently started out of products distributor Amway, ostensibly out of an effort to weaken P&G’s brand name so it could complete against the Cincinnati-based conglomerate. P&G even sued four Amway distributors and won a settlement. Apparently when Proctor and Gamble heard of churches showing lists of the company’s products to boycott as to avoid rendering unto Satan what belongs to Satan, they decided it was enough.

If only Christians would do as much research as they are commanded to diligently search out truth in the Scriptures.

The 2020 presidential election will soon be upon us. As an independent conservative, I know whom I’m voting for. However, I’ve seen new rumors on the internet. One states that—gasp!—Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s real surname is Herring and not Warren. It also says that fellow candidate Pete Buttgieg’s real surname is Montgomery.

Just a little research shows that Warren’s maiden name is Herring and the maiden name of Buttgieg’s mother is Montgomery. Nothing to see here, folks.

If you’re going to be passionate about a viewpoint, make sure it’s factually correct.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for almost 38 years. He’s not as dumb or naïve as he used to be, but he feels he still has much to learn. Post comments here or email them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com

Job never knew

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

The Book of Job begins with God bragging about Job to Satan and assuring Satan that Job can withstand what is thrown at him. God first allows Satan to take away all of Job’s possessions and then to adversely affect his health. Even Job’s wife tells him to forsake God, which he refuses to do. He then talks to several friends, who tell him he’s obviously in sin. Job insists he isn’t.

The book ends with God asking Job why he (Job) would question God’s ways. God’s message to Job: I am God. I know what I am doing. I want you to trust me.

Job’s life was restored to him.

Interesting, isn’t it, that Job never knew during his time on earth why this happened? I suspect God felt that if Job knew, his ego would get inflated.

When I look at the many trials Christians go through, I suspect something similar happens. God tells Satan that one of us are wonderful servants and Satan insists we’d curse God if our circumstances became harsh. So, some get tested with bad health, others with financial loss, others with the end of a marriage and others with the death of a loved one.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Listening to your instincts

November 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in today? I thought as I lay in bed, thinking of how nice it would be to get more sleep. I’d slept about eight hours and enjoyed catching up on sleep. Recently, I’d been working two jobs, taking care of my sons and rehearsing for a play. I averaged about five hours of sleep a day. I seldom took naps just because there was too much to do.

But then an instinct gently reminded me that I needed to take advantage of a Sunday morning off (I work today from 2:30-11 p.m. at the gas station) and that I’d regret not getting my boys into church. So, I got up and asked them how they were doing. Fine, they said.

We live only about a mile from church, so getting there isn’t the problem. If my car isn’t working, big deal: we can always walk.

So, we went and I heard great, encouraging messages in both Sunday School and in church. I wrote down Bible verses on encouragement, spiritual intimacy with God and comfort from God. I also signed my sons and I up for the church’s Thanksgiving dinner (we’re taking mashed potatoes and gravy). My sons had a good time.

None of that would’ve happened if I’d allowed the devil to have his way.

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

When the devil tickles our ears, it’s that warm instinct that encourages you to sleep more, or tells you that you’re too poor to tithe. For the lost, it’s that instinct that tells them the salvation message is a simple solution for a complex problem, that there are countless religions, how could Christianity be the true one, or that there’s always next Sunday to make a decision.

Next Sunday, of course, never comes as lifelong procrastination sets in.

Today I also reminded myself the importance of daily Bible reading and will work on reading the Minor Prophets until the end of the year and then take another try in 2013 at reading The Word chronologically.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Reading the Bible, finishing Job, Psalms and Proverbs thoughts

January 18, 2012 1 comment

To paraphrase the famous Wolf Brand Chili commercial: How long has it been since I’ve updated this blog…[brief pause that’s not long enough for anyone to respond]…well, that’s too long.

2011 saw me do something I hadn’t done probably since graduating from Pensacola Christian College in 1995: I read the Bible completely through. About 66 percent of the time I read daily and the other 33 percent I either didn’t read or had to catch up and read several days’ worth.

It obviously is better to read every day so you can focus on quality rather than quantity.

I’ve read of some Christians who read 20 chapters a day and others who read the Bible cover to cover in a month. Perhaps someday I’ll try that, but at this stage, the more I read, the far less I retain and comprehend. After all, the Bible’s not a Archie comic book. When you read in Romans about faith and salvation, each chapter seems like it should broken down over a week’s time…

Today, I finished reading the Book of Job as, in 2012, I’m reading the Bible chronologically. Fascinating book. Job was a godly man who lost everything, wrestled with the question “Why?” while his friends accused him of having unconfessed sin and pride. After all, God never punishes the righteous, does He?

Wrong.

I think of one godly friend, Terry, who while in his early 30s died of cancer. He left behind a wife and young daughter. I don’t know why and won’t know until eternity. Maybe this planet simply didn’t deserve him.

Job learns two things from a discussion with God: 1) Job isn’t not God and 2) Job is going to have to trust God. While the first two chapters indicate why Job went through what he did, nothing at the book’s end indicates Job knew why. It’s possible he did, but it’s also possible Job had to wait until heaven to find have his “Why?” question answered: Because God simply wanted to prove to Satan that humans serve God out of love for God and a desire to know Him rather than how much money and possessions He gives them…

A friend suggested I read Psalm 5 recently. It reminds me of that advice from PCC given to us from Pastor Jim Schettler about reading through a Psalm or Proverb every day. I figure through diligence you can read through both books twice in a single year. Granted, the Psalm 119 is long, but there are several Psalms that are shorter than I am (for the record, I’m about 5’8″).

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer who feels it’s best to be a Christian first and a writer second. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Remember Job? His story probably isn’t that unique

I remember once during prayer group at PCC that my suitemate, Tony Ferguson, gave a devotion for that session. Tony spoke on the Book of Job.

For those who don’t remember Sunday School or who aren’t familiar with the Bible, let me summarize: Job is probably the oldest book in the Old Testament. He was a righteous man who feared God and sacrificed regularly. Satan was convinced that Job’s allegiance to God was because God did nothing but bless Job. God allowed Satan first to kill Job’s children and then to strike Job with physical infirmities. In spite of all the heartache and fierce persecution, Job refused to renounce God and wondered aloud why he was going through such torment. His friends were convinced he had unconfessed sin in his life. God finally tells Job’s friends they were wrong in their assessment, and He tells Job that He (God) is in control and it’s not up to Job to question God’s ways.

While God allows Job to heal and become more prosperous than before (in both material possessions and children), one thing I found odd about this story: God never tells Job of the conversation that took place between Satan and God. It’s safe to assume Job knows by now, since he has been in heaven for about 4,500 years, he probably knows by now.

“Job must have been a remarkable guy if God saw fit to brag about him to Satan,” Tony said.

Tony didn’t know it at the time, but over the next few days he gave me a lot to think about.

God placed Job to the challenge because God knew Job would prevail.

It makes me think that such exchanges and challenges between God and Satan occur regularly. Perhaps Satan might say these things:

“Let me move this man’s wife to fall in love with someone else and ask for a divorce, and he will curse you!”

“Allow me to take away this man’s millions, and he will curse you!”

“Allow me to ruin this man’s career through false accusations, and he will curse you!”

And perhaps the toughest of all:

“Allow me to let this man to be falsely sent to prison, and for him to be brutalized and raped, and he will curse you!”

Whenever we go through trials in our life, whether it’s the ending of a marriage, the losing of wealth, reputation, the endurance of a mountain of physical and emotional pain, maybe it all happened because God bragged about us to Satan and is putting us through a trial to show Satan His sovereignty.

Yes, it’s unpleasant, but as the Book of Job dictates, God puts us through nothing we can’t handle. To backslide and quit the Christian walk is foolish. To commit suicide is even more foolish. Both only will result in one sad accomplishment: a life wasted that could’ve been spent being an enormous blessing of evangelization and encouragement.

If you feel like you are enduring what Job went through, don’t quit.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Another successful day of reading the Bible

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Got up this morning, took a shower and then returned back to my bedroom and read passages from Isaiah and Hebrews.

Wouldn’t it be great to make a habit out of this? I thought.

Indeed, it would. To start off each day reading the Bible is a wondrous accomplishment. Still, I expect many battles along the way. Satan hates Christians and wants to throw as many obstacles as possible into their paths. A person said if you are having an easy time living as a Christian, then Satan must not be too worried about you. No ego intended, but I think that’s a good statement.

So now, as I read and am caught up, I relax and focus on reading what God’s Word says and thinking of how I can apply it to my life each and every day.

As I read now, there is so much that is difficult to process since it has, sadly, been years since I’ve read through the entire Bible. I trust that in future readings the passages won’t seem as daunting.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for 29 years. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Caught up on my Bible reading! Zowie!

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Thankfully, my parents are not offended by my taking our surname in vain. It’s catchy, so no worries. I wish I hadn’t been so shy about that two decades ago when I absolutely insisted–with no success-that my classmates call me Richard and not Zowie. I might as well have asked them to throw away their Van Halen 1984 albums.

So, back to the ranch…

This morning, while doubling my reading in Isaiah and Hebrews, I got caught up on my Bible reading. No more having to read four to six Old Testament chapters a day and no more reading two chapters in the New Testament. I can now focus on quality and not quantity.

I briefly considered keeping my pace so I could read the Bible through twice this year but decided against it and felt it was yet another desperate obstacle of Satan’s to discourage me from reading God’s Word. I take it that The Adversary Formerly Known as Lucifer must not like it when people read in Revelation about his being cast into the lake of fire and how, for the first time ever, he will feel something he won’t like–physical pain. This kind has no morphine to look forward to: it’ll be eternal, excruciating and unspeakably terrible.

So now, I sigh, take a breath and get back into a normal routine. A brochure from the Roloff Homes in Corpus Christi, Texas states the homes had this very strict rule for all its staff and those in its homes: each morning, you begin with devotions. No Bible, no breakfast. No exceptions. Perhaps that is a rule I should modify and implement for myself: No Bible, no internet/facebook/blogging.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Coming soon: my potential adventures serving my church’s library ministry and an interview with an outstanding Christian blogger (no, I won’t be interviewing myself–far from it).

Richard Zowie still has a long way to go as a Christian, but he is getting there. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

My small victory today

March 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday was not a good day for Bible reading as having to get up early, having lots on my mind at work and in my personal life, sadly and pathetically, got the best of me.

Today seemed headed in that direction. I had to take a look at my finances, had to wake up at 7:30 a.m. to get some things taken care of, and now I have to put in some hours at the newspaper before going to work at the gas station.

You don’t have time, Richard, one voice seemed to tell me.

I am tired of not making the time, I decided as I sat on my bed after a shower and read passages of Isaiah and Titus.

If things are slow tonight, I will continue reading more to catch up what I did not read yesterday. And then with tomorrow’s double reading I will be back on schedule.

When I feel Satan trying to discourage me from reading, I often feel like telling him (and have on a few occasions), “Hey, Satan…don’t you have an eternity in the lake of fire to prepare for?”

Some say it is best not to engage Satan in direct conversation. By doing so we are sending a clear message that he is beneath us and not worthy of our attention. Not to mention it is probably dangerous: many–if not most–Christians grossly underestimate Satan’s intellect and capabilities.

Richard Zowie is reading through the Bible for the first time in far too long. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

A puzzling question about Isaiah 14…Satan or Nebuchadnezzar?

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been reading through Isaiah and came across Isaiah 14. It reminds me of a discussion I had with one guy who told me two things about the “Lucifer” passage:

One: Lucifer refers literally to the planet Venus.

Two: Lucifer is actually a reference to King Nebuchadnezzar and not to Satan.

For years in the Baptist churches I attended, it was accepted that Isaiah 14 referred to the fall of Satan and what led him to rebel against God. And now, this gentleman (whose intellect I respect highly) proposed it was simply about Nebuchadnezzar and the judgment against his kingdom and how he would eventually be humbled.

As I read the passage today, I wondered if perhaps this guy was right. Or, perhaps the judgments against Babylon, Egypt and other nations could be in the distant future. In Revelation, we lean that Babylon will be destroyed and that Satan, possessing the body of the anti-christ, is the head of Babylon. Satan, we learn, will eventually suffer the humiliation of humiliations.

Is this what the passage is referring to or is it indeed simply about Nebuchadnezzar?

I will say that if the passage is simply about King Neb, his ego and arrogance mirror what Satan had when he chose to rebel against God.

What are your thoughts, reader?

Post comments here or e-mail Richard at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Are Christians oblivious towards Satan and what he wants to do?

August 21, 2010 3 comments

He hates Christians and wants to destroy their testimonies, their lives and their careers.

Yes, I know some will roll their eyes and think of this as John Madden-style analysis, but I often wonder if Christians are really aware of this as much as they should be.

At Pensacola Christian College, I remember once casually asking Mr. Bob Greiner (who has since gone home to be with the Lord) about the rumor that Daryl Hall of the pop music duo Hall and Oates had once attended Mr. Greiner’s alma mater, Bob Jones University.

Mr. Greiner thought a moment.

“I don’t know, but anything’s possible,” he said. “I knew one guy at BJU who was studying for the ministry but is now a member of the Hare Krishna movement.”

Today, I am reminded of some people I know that if you looked at them and read about them, you’d hardly believe they once attended a very conservative Christian college and seemed like people who really loved the Lord.

There have also been the countless stories I’ve heard of or even know of directly of pastors, evangelists and missionaries who left the ministry.

I wonder how many Christians truly grasp that a) Satan hates our guts with all his heart, soul, mind and might and b) He wants to destroy us so that c) He can take with him as many damned souls into the eternal lake of fire as possible.

I knew one guy at PCC who wanted nothing more than to be an evangelist. He is now divorced and while living for the Lord and still attending church, is out of the ministry. Every day I wonder if perhaps that might have changed had I made it a habit of praying for him and being a far better encourager towards him when I roomed with him.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Can demons repent?

July 10, 2009 2 comments

Theology teaches us that God created Lucifer and all the other angels and that sometime later, Lucifer decided he wanted to be God. So, he recruited a third of the angels to join him. God prevailed and they were removed from heaven. Lucifer became Satan and his angels became demons.

How many demons does Satan have? Hard to say. If God created a billion angels, then there are more than 333 million who serve Satan. If God created a trillion, then 333 billion serve him.

Last night I had a dream about this and wonder: can demons repent?

Some say yes while others say no.

Personally, I think it’s more an issue that they don’t want to. They’ve been at it for at least 6,000 years and are probably convinced that they will indeed someday reign alongside Satan. Or, it’s possible they simply believe at this point that suffering in torment for all eternity is far more preferable to humbling themselves before God.

Is it possible that some have had second thoughts about joining Satan in his ill-fated rebellion?

It’s possible. Whether God would take them back is difficult to say.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

'Contradictions' in the Bible

I don’t remember the title, but I encountered an old book at the local library that deals with “contradictions” in the Bible. I perused through it, my stomach churning, wondering if I’d still have my faith.

Actually, it was pretty funny. Many of the “contradictions” were easily refutable, such as a passage where Jesus declares He’s God and then another where he all but says he’s not God. Of course, the latter deals with Jesus’ early ministry when he was keeping a low profile and the former later on when he’s closer to crucifixion.

Another “contradiction” deals with the census in Israel and how 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. Have conflicting numbers on the same census. How quickly people forget that the ancient world didn’t have access to the same technology we use for counting, never mind that the Israelites, I understand, weren’t know for mathematics.

Some also point out that one version says Satan moved David to do the census while the other account says God. It is entirely possible that Israel had sinned against God, and the census was part of His plan for bringing across judgment. If it was his plan to allow it, then He in turn allowed Satan to move to do the census.

I find that virtually all of the “contradictions” in the Bible come from a poor understanding of the context and a hurried attempt at research.

One of these days on this blog, I’ll start doing a series about “contradictions” and how they can be easily explained. There are those who attribute some “contradictions” to “copyist errors”, which opens the proverbial Pandora’s Box: if the Bible has a copyist error in one section, where else are they?

How does God view what we'd call "time"?

I understand that time does not exist to God the way it does for us, the analogy given in the Bible of a thousand years being as a day to God and a day being a thousand years.

Still, while I’m eons from understanding God’s mind, I wonder how He sees the events that transpire on earth…

We look at a timeline of the past, present and future. Is it possible that God sees our world and, in his “timeline”, everything is happening at once?

Right now, I type at my computer in May 2009; perhaps as God sees me typing he’s also seeing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, David fighting Goliath, Jeremiah begging King Zedekiah to heed common sense and obey King Nebuchadnezzar, Malachi penning the last of the Old Testament, Jesus being born, working miracles, crucified, risen, Paul writing the New Testament, Christians being eaten by lions, Martin Luther hammering his 95 Theses at Wittenberg, and so forth?

In God’s economy of “time”, is human history all happening at the same time?

Sometimes I picture God viewing a giant matrix of images with the very first one being the creation of the world and the very last one being Satan’s defeat at the end of the millennial reign.

I could be wrong, but it’s always a pleasure to take a break from life and use the mind God gave me to imagine.