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Author Topic: A cause for cocern or just silly supersition?  (Read 863 times) Average Rating: 0
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ThatOrthodoxGuy
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« on: June 10, 2013, 10:09:22 PM »

Greetings in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ Is Risen!


I have a very close friend of mine who has fallen into to some weird superstition. He Bought two statues one is called Zhong Kui god Ghost Catcher and the other is a money god. Both are of Chinese origin I believe. He got them both and says he does not believe in them as gods but he says they have brought him luck. More recently he wears a pendent of the money god and will swear that sense he has started wearing the pendent he has become more profitable. I went the other day over to his house to see how he was doing but when I walked in he had candles and incense burning near the small statues and a jar filled with coins and paper money. I was sitting in the living room when I felt a bad oppressive force a feeling inside his house and ive never felt anything like that ever before. Im starting to worry about him he is missing services at church more ( he went twice a week his whole life) and is becoming hard to talk to. Any suggestions? And the priest has tried to talk to him but my friend says its harmless and he does not worship these false gods.
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 10:22:04 PM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

What is his definition of worship?

Yes, I would be worried.
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 10:22:19 PM »

Apparently your friend is in denial over his idolatry. Wearing things dedicated to gods and burning incense to gods, even if one claims one isn't worshipping them, is not spiritually harmless. We wear crosses and burn incense before holy icons, and by so doing, with faith and prayer we attract the grace of the true and only God. Your friend, by separating himself from church and by adopting pagan trappings (such small things--but the martyrs refused to do them and were killed for it), he is driving away the grace of God. This is extremely bad, for without the grace of God, we are prey for demons. He needs to get rid of those things, repent, go to confession, and think seriously.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 11:18:37 PM »

ThatOrthodoxGuy, Indeed He is risen!

These are troubling practices to hear that your friend is going through. It is all too easy for someone to claim one thing and do another. One reason we confess our sins is to become more aware of what we are really doing beyond the lies we tell ourselves and experience. (The "world," between the media, how busy everything is, etc. all can feed into these lies. The sins we commit are known and unknown, but the world can create these lies we tell ourselves.) Shanghaiski has good commentary on this, and is correct that such matters, however "small" or trivial, open us up to evil.

Your friend may think these trinkets are giving him "luck." How is he defining luck? Is he getting more money? It's easy enough to bring something into our lives and believe it has improved it in someway. Think of infomercials and all the promises those products give. The very act of buying one of those things and having it in your possession is enough to feel as if that area of our lives, that the product is targeted at, has improved. I can wear a magnet bracelet all day, but my golf game hasn't gotten any better. So, has he truly seen a definable profit from having these things, minus the cost of acquiring them all, the incense burned for them, etc.? Maybe positing it to him about the validity of his claims will prove their nonsense.

However, the devil still operates in the world, and real effects can happen from it. Love for money can lead to ruin; the devil will see to that. I'm reminded upon reading about your situation of the Sts. Cyprian and Justina. Know that if real results are happening, it's from the true presence of demons that will lead to further damnation. (And you felt this presence at his house.) It cannot be God operating "through" those trinkets, much less for something as the increase of wealth that will put the worship (and yes, he is worshiping) of said trinkets before God.

If your friend really believes he doesn't worship these false gods, then why is he not going to church or responding to the priest? The evil forces do not want him to go because they know it will close the door on them. Yet, currently, he's closing the door on himself to God's presence in his life. All good and true things are gifts from God, and those gifts will make us want to be closer to Him, not separate ourselves through such devices that your friend is using. Is he aware of his separation from church and these reasons why it proves the evil the statues are opening up to him?

He must pray and repent. As his friend, pray for him, and have others pray for him as well. Tell him you're putting him on the prayer list at church and do so. I can't offer any real advice, but he has to return to God, the church, and prayer. I can offer my prayers though, and I pray for your comfort at this time. I also pray for your friend's return to God.
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 11:23:55 PM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

Something about this seems so familiar....Think about that for a second, lol.

Anyhoo, back on topic. I think it is just a bunch of bogus. It's a purely psychological self-fulfilling prophecy thing. The guy believes that he is "luckier" simply because he expects to get "luckier" and thus is noticing everything good that happens to him and taking risks that he normally wouldn't take in order to fulfill his desire for "luck."
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 11:38:34 PM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

Something about this seems so familiar....Think about that for a second, lol.


Are you comparing these idols with icons?

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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 11:39:07 PM »

Is not the god of money also known as Satan?

A long time ago, I purchased a very expensive shoe horn with a carved image on the handle. I thought nothing about this African artifact until one of my Catholic Charismatic friends had a fit when she visited my home. She said it was a house god.

I talked to my priest who advised me that I should burn it. It just happened that my friend had come over to visit me that very same day to insure that I destroyed it.

The long shoe horn was made of very beautiful hard wood, like a mahogany or teak. When we finally succeeded in catching it on fire, the image on the handle really looked like a demon as fire shot from its eyes, nostrils, and ears. After that experience, I no longer have anything that could be seen as an idol in my home.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 11:56:21 PM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

Something about this seems so familiar....Think about that for a second, lol.


Are you comparing these idols with icons?



No. Just the concept of worship and burning incense and lighting candles. Seems similar to the charges that Protestants bring against us for "worshipping" idols because we light candles and burn incense to them. Sure, the statue is probably stupid and dangerous, but idk if he is really "worshipping" it.
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 12:02:53 AM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

Something about this seems so familiar....Think about that for a second, lol.


Are you comparing these idols with icons?



No. Just the concept of worship and burning incense and lighting candles. Seems similar to the charges that Protestants bring against us for "worshipping" idols because we light candles and burn incense to them. Sure, the statue is probably stupid and dangerous, but idk if he is really "worshipping" it.

The fact that his friend felt oppressed when he visited his home is a tell tale sign of demonic oppression.

Venerating false gods by offering incense and lighting candles is sinful.
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 12:04:20 AM »

Is not the god of money also known as Satan?

A long time ago, I purchased a very expensive shoe horn with a carved image on the handle. I thought nothing about this African artifact until one of my Catholic Charismatic friends had a fit when she visited my home. She said it was a house god.

I talked to my priest who advised me that I should burn it. It just happened that my friend had come over to visit me that very same day to insure that I destroyed it.

The long shoe horn was made of very beautiful hard wood, like a mahogany or teak. When we finally succeeded in catching it on fire, the image on the handle really looked like a demon as fire shot from its eyes, nostrils, and ears. After that experience, I no longer have anything that could be seen as an idol in my home.

 Huh

Demons possess shoe horns?

I'm not doubting your story or anything, but that sounds very bizarre and strange...
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 12:10:42 AM »

Is not the god of money also known as Satan?

A long time ago, I purchased a very expensive shoe horn with a carved image on the handle. I thought nothing about this African artifact until one of my Catholic Charismatic friends had a fit when she visited my home. She said it was a house god.

I talked to my priest who advised me that I should burn it. It just happened that my friend had come over to visit me that very same day to insure that I destroyed it.

The long shoe horn was made of very beautiful hard wood, like a mahogany or teak. When we finally succeeded in catching it on fire, the image on the handle really looked like a demon as fire shot from its eyes, nostrils, and ears. After that experience, I no longer have anything that could be seen as an idol in my home.

 Huh

Demons possess shoe horns?

I'm not doubting your story or anything, but that sounds very bizarre and strange...

Yes, it was very bizarre, strange, and quite scary.
My very verbose friend was left speechless.
 
On the other hand, my priest was not surprised at all.
He instructed me to go through the house and toss
all pagan and Mormon books we may have collected.
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 12:23:32 AM »

I wonder if the Indian dream catcher my grandfather has in his car is dangerous...
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 12:28:49 AM »

I wonder if the Indian dream catcher my grandfather has in his car is dangerous...

I wonder about all those American Indian dream catchers that have been sent to me by various Catholic mission charities. I seem to be on so many Catholic mailing lists even though I have not contributed to them in years.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 02:06:48 AM »


If he doesn't worship them, why is he burning incense and lighting candles before them?

What is his definition of worship?

Yes, I would be worried.


Agreed. Be firm with him about this. Tell him that he is tampering with ungodly spirits, even if he doesn't realize it. If he is Orthodox, then you should rebuke him firmly but lovingly and remind him that such practices are highly unorthodox in the truest sense of the word. If he persists in this behavior and ignores your rebuke, then I would distance myself from him until he repents. Tell him you will pray for him but that you can't be around him if he continues to flirt with demons in this manner.

"If you warn a righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself." [Ezekiel 3:21]

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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 02:25:24 AM »

Greetings in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ Is Risen!


I have a very close friend of mine who has fallen into to some weird superstition. He Bought two statues one is called Zhong Kui god Ghost Catcher and the other is a money god. Both are of Chinese origin I believe. He got them both and says he does not believe in them as gods but he says they have brought him luck. More recently he wears a pendent of the money god and will swear that sense he has started wearing the pendent he has become more profitable. I went the other day over to his house to see how he was doing but when I walked in he had candles and incense burning near the small statues and a jar filled with coins and paper money. I was sitting in the living room when I felt a bad oppressive force a feeling inside his house and ive never felt anything like that ever before. Im starting to worry about him he is missing services at church more ( he went twice a week his whole life) and is becoming hard to talk to. Any suggestions? And the priest has tried to talk to him but my friend says its harmless and he does not worship these false gods.
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I don't think that I'm adding much by saying that I think that it's pretty weird that he's lighting incense to Chinese money-god-statue-things, but I think the best way to snap him out of it is just by going up to him and saying, "X, how do you possibly think that a god you don't believe in and a plastic statue are actually manipulating reality into getting you more money? Just think about the words that are coming out of your mouth; you are attributing a statue, one you could easily break if it slipped out of your hand, with monetary success. What you are saying is not physically possible."

I'm going to admit that somewhere on my dresser drawer, I have two faux-jade statuettes of the Chinese laughing buddha and a plaster statuette of Ganesh (two I bought in Chinatown when I was like 10 and I had an obsession with gems and Indiana Jones and the other one a merchant at a  jewelery fair I got dragged to by my Mother when I was about 16 gave me). They collect dust along with the old toy Evzones my Nouná gave me and I've never had a problem remotely supernatural or any problem at all related to them.
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2013, 09:45:07 PM »

Tell him that the lord of wealth on Earth is satan, if he wants true wealth, he needs to look to the  Kingdom of God in heaven.

Matthew 6

Treasures in Heaven
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2013, 10:50:40 PM »

"If you warn a righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself." [Ezekiel 3:21]

"Lord have mercy."

Matthew 6

Treasures in Heaven
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Great quotes! Lord have mercy! Amen!
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »

Greetings Everyone In The Name Of Christ Our God!
Here is a Update!

I have been talking to him and our priest has been talking to him on the issue and it seems like something is sinking in finally. He has stopped with the candles and incense for now but something even more terrifying has come up. Myself and about four other friends were at his house playing cards then about midnight when everyone was packing up to leave, we heard a strange noise coming from the other room. We all walked in there to see what it was. That feeling I mentioned in my first post came back and I was not alone in this. Anyway my friend Jake ( Jake is not the one messing with this stuff) Turned around and looked at me and asked "why did I hit him?"   I told him I didn't and everyone said I was to far back to reach him. Anyway he lifted up his shirt and on his back was three giant scratch marks on his back. I and no one else is planning on heading back till a Priest blesses the place and my friend gets rid of all the idols and pendants. Is this harsh for us to do to him?     
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2013, 01:39:11 PM »

"If you warn a righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself." [Ezekiel 3:21]

"Lord have mercy."

Matthew 6

Treasures in Heaven
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Great quotes! Lord have mercy! Amen!
Lol if those applied to the guy- that I gather is merely going by, financially- I'm surehe would be a church benefactor whom no clergy would dare touch and most would like sitting in the diocesan or parish council.
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »

Well, I got rid of all those movies and books.
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 02:20:33 PM »

Is this harsh for us to do to him?     

No.  You're not required to play with fire just because someone else decided to do so.  Pray for your friend, for yourselves, and for deliverance from the evil one.  Getting rid of the idols and having the place thoroughly blessed is a necessity at this point, IMO. 
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »

Greetings Everyone In The Name Of Christ Our God!
Here is a Update!

I have been talking to him and our priest has been talking to him on the issue and it seems like something is sinking in finally. He has stopped with the candles and incense for now but something even more terrifying has come up. Myself and about four other friends were at his house playing cards then about midnight when everyone was packing up to leave, we heard a strange noise coming from the other room. We all walked in there to see what it was. That feeling I mentioned in my first post came back and I was not alone in this. Anyway my friend Jake ( Jake is not the one messing with this stuff) Turned around and looked at me and asked "why did I hit him?"   I told him I didn't and everyone said I was to far back to reach him. Anyway he lifted up his shirt and on his back was three giant scratch marks on his back. I and no one else is planning on heading back till a Priest blesses the place and my friend gets rid of all the idols and pendants. Is this harsh for us to do to him?     
Not harsh at all, it's actually very sensible.
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2013, 05:32:17 PM »

Greetings Everyone In The Name Of Christ Our God!
Here is a Update!

I have been talking to him and our priest has been talking to him on the issue and it seems like something is sinking in finally. He has stopped with the candles and incense for now but something even more terrifying has come up. Myself and about four other friends were at his house playing cards then about midnight when everyone was packing up to leave, we heard a strange noise coming from the other room. We all walked in there to see what it was. That feeling I mentioned in my first post came back and I was not alone in this. Anyway my friend Jake ( Jake is not the one messing with this stuff) Turned around and looked at me and asked "why did I hit him?"   I told him I didn't and everyone said I was to far back to reach him. Anyway he lifted up his shirt and on his back was three giant scratch marks on his back. I and no one else is planning on heading back till a Priest blesses the place and my friend gets rid of all the idols and pendants. Is this harsh for us to do to him?     

Did your friend who has these idols and pendants see the scratches on Jake's back?
How could your friend sleep in that house with all those weird things going on?

Like I would have been out of there immediately!
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2013, 09:03:41 PM »

I think merely having idols or deviations of idols has been pretty well outlined in the Old Testament.  Even the names of pagan Gods & idols we shouldn't mention (arguably in detest).
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2013, 02:57:15 PM »

With respect to dreamcatchers, I have come across at least one Orthodox believer of partial Native American descent who is convinced that dreamcatchers are actually a form of the Celtic cross whose Christian origins have been forgotten. He believes that St. Brennan made it to the North American mainland and that there was a Christian community here for at least a short while. There have been various odd archeological signs found in West Virginia I think that suggest crude church structures and ogham writing (some dispute these marks are ogham)…but it has to be admitted when read as ogham they sound mighty Christian in Gaelic. The more interesting thing to me is beside what might have been an altar stone was found a grave with bones.  The genetic analysis on the bones which were dated well over 1000 yard old, does not match any of the local N.A. haplotype groups, but does match those of Southern Ireland, and the name scratched into the rock over the bones…if read as Oghams produce a name that matches one of the monastics who accompanied St. Brendan. Indeed, this man's priest at the time was convinced enough that a small sample of the bone was kept and affixed to an icon of St. Brendan and his disciples as a relic, which I've seen myself.  

This friend says that one reason their success wasn't better than it was…why it did not stick beyond infusing some Christian ideas into the local ideological mix was that they brought with them European diseases that burned through local populations.  According to this friend, his N.A. grandmother told him stories of that region which was considered a ghost land/dead zone for a number of area tribes.  

Anyway, it is his and a number of his fellows contention that dream catchers are essentially culturally disconnected artifacts of an ancient failed attempt at bringing the faith to the New World by the ancient Irish.

It's an idea some pooh pooh, but almost exactly the same thing happened in Japan in the 7th century. Nestorian Christians founded Christian communities all along the silk road including Northern China, Japan and Korea.  The community in Japan lasted from the 7th to the 11th century when it died out and a number of its religious ideas filtered into local variations of Buddhism. Indeed the oldest extant Buddhist temple in Kyoto is built upon the site of the last functioning Christian church in Japan until the time of the Portuguese several hundred years later.  At least one of the old timbers still survives  with a Syriac inscription from the NT. There is also a flat stele covered with a portion of the Gospel of St. Matthew (I think) which is a miniature of a larger one still standing in Northern China. 

So, it's not inconceivable, and while no single element of the extant evidence is conclusive, the cohabitation of so many non-conclusive bits of evidence in a single place originating at a single time argues strongly for serious consideration.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 03:07:59 PM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2013, 04:03:41 PM »

With respect to dreamcatchers, I have come across at least one Orthodox believer of partial Native American descent who is convinced that dreamcatchers are actually a form of the Celtic cross whose Christian origins have been forgotten. He believes that St. Brennan made it to the North American mainland and that there was a Christian community here for at least a short while. There have been various odd archeological signs found in West Virginia I think that suggest crude church structures and ogham writing (some dispute these marks are ogham)…but it has to be admitted when read as ogham they sound mighty Christian in Gaelic. The more interesting thing to me is beside what might have been an altar stone was found a grave with bones.  The genetic analysis on the bones which were dated well over 1000 yard old, does not match any of the local N.A. haplotype groups, but does match those of Southern Ireland, and the name scratched into the rock over the bones…if read as Oghams produce a name that matches one of the monastics who accompanied St. Brendan. Indeed, this man's priest at the time was convinced enough that a small sample of the bone was kept and affixed to an icon of St. Brendan and his disciples as a relic, which I've seen myself.  

This friend says that one reason their success wasn't better than it was…why it did not stick beyond infusing some Christian ideas into the local ideological mix was that they brought with them European diseases that burned through local populations.  According to this friend, his N.A. grandmother told him stories of that region which was considered a ghost land/dead zone for a number of area tribes.  

Anyway, it is his and a number of his fellows contention that dream catchers are essentially culturally disconnected artifacts of an ancient failed attempt at bringing the faith to the New World by the ancient Irish.

It's an idea some pooh pooh, but almost exactly the same thing happened in Japan in the 7th century. Nestorian Christians founded Christian communities all along the silk road including Northern China, Japan and Korea.  The community in Japan lasted from the 7th to the 11th century when it died out and a number of its religious ideas filtered into local variations of Buddhism. Indeed the oldest extant Buddhist temple in Kyoto is built upon the site of the last functioning Christian church in Japan until the time of the Portuguese several hundred years later.  At least one of the old timbers still survives  with a Syriac inscription from the NT. There is also a flat stele covered with a portion of the Gospel of St. Matthew (I think) which is a miniature of a larger one still standing in Northern China. 

So, it's not inconceivable, and while no single element of the extant evidence is conclusive, the cohabitation of so many non-conclusive bits of evidence in a single place originating at a single time argues strongly for serious consideration.

Quite interesting. Thanks for sharing this. It makes sense.

I was wondering why Catholic missionaries are distributing Dream Catchers.
I am also part Native American.
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