The Gospel Coalition website posted a story about a recent survey. It found that a slight majority of people actually do believe that Satan is real and that demons can possess people. If you’re a Southern, born-again, Republican black woman in her 50’s with a post-graduate degree, you’re especially likely to believe that. Good. If we don’t think Satan exists, we aren’t looking for his influence in our lives. We aren’t wary of being manipulated by him. And we won’t pray against him. Those who know he’s out there will be stronger Christians for it. Just like those amazing Southern, born-again, black women.
So, I guess Catholics like their sports. Did you know that there are entire lines of rosaries devoted to sports? There are rosaries with tiny footballs for beads, as in the one above, so that you can count your Hail Marys while simultaneously praying for a hail Mary on the field. And there are rosaries with tennis balls for beads so that you can ask our Father for His love while watching the players score love. How about that? Here’s a link to purchase them.
- The Venerable Beads (beadswithfaith.wordpress.com)
I’ve been meditating on some verses in Matthew. Jesus is setting up Peter as the head of His new church. It’s a huge moment. He gives Peter, and by extension the members of His entire church, the keys to the kingdom.
‘And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’
Keys represent authority and Jesus made a point of transferring that authority before He left earth. We’ve already seen the apostles casting out demons in Jesus’ name and by His authority (Acts 8:7). Now Jesus mentions Hell, and He tells Peter that the demons there cannot win against the church. So what is being bound and what is being loosed here? I think that Jesus, in this passage, gave us authority to bind demons and loose angels.
This same phrase comes up again in Matthew 18:18 where Jesus is talking to all the disciples. He brings it up in the midst of a discussion about forgiveness of fellow Christians. So He is definitely referring to binding sins on earth that have already been bound in heaven and forgiving sins on earth that have already been forgiven in heaven. But I think we can also apply this verse to binding demons and loosing angels. Demons are often manifestations of sin. And angels are often manifestations of grace.
There are other biblical references to binding that are tied up with sin and demons.
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
Wickedness (including sin and evil spirits) can bind us and hold us in bondage for years, if not a lifetime. But Jesus sets us free from that.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has annointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
In Acts 12:7-11, God sends an angel to free Peter from prison. So angels can be freeing agents while demons can bind us. But Jesus gave us authority to bind those demons and loose the freeing angels into our lives. So let’s use it. The next time you’re feeling angry or oppressed, try calling on Jesus’ authority to bind the demons that are disturbing you. Bind them and send them to hell. Then try calling forth God’s grace by asking for angels to be loosed into your presence. Surround yourself with the manifestations of God’s love and protection. He gave us the keys to the kingdom. Let’s use them.
- Loosed on Earth also Loosed in Heaven… What? (studyinthewordblog.wordpress.com)
Bilogos conducted a fascinating and uplifting interview with astrobiologist Stephen Freeland. It’s definitely worth reading. He speaks about how his faith is bolstered by his scientific discoveries. Here’s an excerpt:
Candida Moss wrote a really nice piece for the Daily Beast about the supposed angel priest who showed up at the site of a car wreck. (I wrote about the angel priest here.)
Moss’ story goes on to talk about the modern cultural perception of friendly, pretty angels who are at our beckon. She explains that angels can be terribly frightening when encountered by humans. And she reminds us that they are part of God’s army with the power to destroy people, demons, and cities. You can read her article here.
When I see questions on Ask.com and Yahoo answers about how people can become angels, I give my forehead a smack. I’m tired of smacking my forehead. It hurts. So let me just say that people cannot become angels and angels cannot become people. I know, it would make a sweet movie, but that’s just not how God designed things. Jesus says in
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Here is wonderful infographic on how we know the earth is old, brought to you by the folks at Biologos. The original article is here. I love it when people can take technical, scientific info and make it understandable to a 7-year-old (which is where I’m at mentally, sometimes).
The graphic, titled “How Do We Know the Earth is Old?” uses data from the National Center for Science Education, Tufts University, Tulane University, and numerous other sources, and was compiled and summarized by Dr. Gregg Davidson, Professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi.