25) Tolkienity : a religion in its own right

I need to share this article in full as it is, quite simply, a masterwork of criticism of a writer who has, whether by design or clumsiness created a religion (based on fiction) which both undermines and threatens to usurp Christianity in people’s affections.

For those Christians who insist on promoting and celebrating the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien as a rich tapestry of Christian allegory and symbolism that powerfully informs their faith, some sobering facts need to be seriously considered. The sad truth is, that Tolkien, despite his personal Christian-based sensibilities, allowed his deep love of pagan Norse mythology to blind him to the fatal spiritual consequences of his creative endeavors and the flawed philosophy behind them. This point is not to bring into question the faith and salvation of Tolkien or of his devoted Christian followers, but simply to suggest that in his creative practice, Tolkien, figuratively speaking, “dropped the ball” and brought aid and comfort to the opposition of our faith.

The evidence is shocking: Neo-Pagans, Gnostics and other occult-based religionists absolutely adore Tolkien’s works, but are not turning to Christianity for spiritual understanding. Instead, they are extracting new beliefs out of his writings that support and bolster their own alternative religions. Why?

For starters, Tolkien, despite his abhorrence of the occult and the practice of it, still indiscriminately and carelessly wove many biblically-condemned occult elements throughout his narratives to enhance the pagan mystique and mythic landscape of his stories, without anticipating its immediate appeal to the adherents of Theosophy and Neo-paganism.

Secondly, Tolkien’s extensive cosmology, created outside the bounds of Genesis and other books of the Bible, reflects in many ways the esoteric understanding of Gnosticism, the ancient enemy of biblical Christianity, to the delight and approval of most modern-day gnostics.

And lastly, Tolkien’s published letters and essays reveal his other missteps which do not align with Christianity: 1) the frequent veiled assertions that his myths were not invented, but “recorded” by him as revealed ancient truths, perhaps divinely inspired; and 2) his regressed ancestral memories of Atlantis which hint at a belief in both reincarnation and Plato’s imaginary “island of Atlas.”

These are the grim facts concerning the “religious affordances” of Tolkien’s literary works which have given the growing Neo-Pagan community just as much spiritual insight and guidance for their particular beliefs as it has given Christians in theirs, if not more so. The extensive proof of this dangerous syncretism in Tolkien’s mythology is compelling and overwhelming, as revealed in the groundbreaking analysis by Markus Altena Davidsen in his 2014 doctoral thesis, The Spiritual Tolkien Milieu: A Study of Fiction-based Religion. His findings should at least give every thinking Christian pause.

A Doctoral Study For Your Kind Consideration

Presented below, for your further edification, are some pertinent excerpts from Davidsen’s English summary of his dissertation which should offer enough specific information to prove the need for caution in promoting Tolkien’s works for its religious content. Perhaps it will provide the American Christian community with a much-needed wake-up call to be more diligent in not compromising the pure gospel and our biblical distinctives by yoking ourselves with unbelievers in a common, intemperate pursuit for fantasy and myth that ultimately strays from orthodox Christianity.

I have added subheadings in bold to highlight the particular subjects of concern. While reading, please consider the implications of Christians promoting Tolkien’s work when the evidence clearly shows that many of his readers are not only rejecting Christianity, but using Tolkien’s writings to create stronger spiritual identities as Neo-Pagans, Gnostics, and other types of occult spiritualists.


Excerpts From The Summary of The Spiritual Tolkien Milieu: A Study of Fiction‐based Religion:

This [dissertation] offers a comprehensive analysis of the history, social organisation, and belief dynamics of the spiritual Tolkien milieu, a largely online‐situated network of individuals and groups that draw on J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary mythology for spiritual inspiration. It is the first academic treatment of Tolkien spirituality and one of the first monographs on fiction‐based religion, a type of religion that uses fiction as authoritative texts. Other fiction‐based religions include Jediism (based on George Lucas’ Star Wars) and the Church of All Worlds (inspired by Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land).

Tolkien, Hippies, and LSD

The first religious practices inspired by Tolkien’s narratives appeared in the late 1960s after the publication of a paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings in 1965. Hippies married each other in ceremonies based on the book and read passages during LSD trips in order to amplify the spiritual experience. Some readers wondered whether The Lord of the Rings was in fact a parable about Faery and joined the emerging Neo‐Pagan movement to explore the Celtic and Germanic mythologies from which Tolkien had drawn much of his inspiration. Two significant religious movements, Tolkien religion and the Elven movement, developed out of the post‐paperback fascination with Middle‐earth and consolidated after the posthumous publication of The Silmarillion in 1977.

Tolkien, Neo-Pagans, and Their New Rituals

Tolkien religion focuses on ritual interaction with the supernatural denizens of the Middle‐earth universe. Tolkien religionists either evoke these beings or go on Otherworld journeys to visit them in Middle‐earth. The Valar, Tolkien’s demiurgical pantheon, are the preferred communication partners in these rituals, but Tolkien religionists also work with the Maiar, an order of lesser spiritual beings which includes Gandalf, with the Quendi, the Elves of Tolkien’s world, or with Eru Ilúvatar, Tolkien’s creator God. Tolkien religionists believe that Tolkien’s narratives refer to supernatural places and beings that exist in the real world, and they defend this reading of Tolkien by constructing him as a visionary, an esotericist, or even as an incarnated fey spirit. Most Tolkien religionists are Neo‐Pagans who add Tolkienesque rites to an otherwise standard Pagan practice. In the 21st century, however, increasingly purist Tolkien traditions have developed, aided by the emergence of the Internet and the publication of The History of Middle‐earth (1983‐1996), a twelve‐volume collection of Tolkien’s drafts and writings on Middle‐earth.

Tolkien and the Awakened Elves

The Elven movement emerged in the early 1970s when a group of ceremonial magicians began to playfully self‐identify as Elves, naming themselves the Elf Queen’s Daughters. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Elven movement underwent a profound metamorphosis, as a growing number of ‘awakened Elves’ made increasingly literal claims about their Elven nature, professing to possess Elven genes or an Elven soul. Tolkien’s legacy continues to be felt among the contemporary self‐identified Elves, but their turn to literalism has caused many of them to view Tolkien’s fiction as an dubious or even illegitimate source of inspiration.


Tolkien Provides The Necessary Elements For New Religion

In chapters 7 through 16, I analyse the religious affordances of Tolkien’s literary mythology and carry out a number of case studies of groups within the spiritual Tolkien milieu. Taken together, the ten chapters offer a thick description of the spiritual Tolkien milieu. Chapter 7 is entitled “The Religious Affordances of The Lord of the Rings”. In this chapter, I demonstrate that The Lord of the Rings contains numerous fantastic elements (e.g. superhuman beings, otherworlds, magic, visions) and limited elements of narrative religion (e.g. divine powers and rituals directed at them; morality, cosmology, and eschatology). It also includes a frame narrative that stages the main story as ‘feigned history’ and thus thematises its veracity. While all this was meant by Tolkien to be taken with a grain of salt, The Lord of the Rings certainly contains textual and paratextual elements that make a non‐fictional reading of the text possible.

The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954‐55, but it did not become a bestseller until it appeared in paperback in 1965. This story is told in chapter 8, “An Unexpected Success: Hippies, Neo‐Pagans, and The Lord of the Rings”. I show how hippies adopted the Shire life of the Hobbits as a social model, and demonstrate how Neo‐Pagans were moved by Tolkien’s enchanted world and considered The Lord of the Rings to contain metaphorical references to metaphysical realities. For instance, while Neo‐Pagans generally did not consider Lothlórien to be a real place, some of them saw (and see) the Elven forest kingdom as a metaphorical reference to real otherworldly places very much like it. Indeed, for some readers it was The Lord of the Rings that first made them wonder about the possible reality of otherworlds and magic, this being their first step towards becoming Pagans.

Chapter 9, “The Religious Affordances of The Silmarillion” explores the religious affordances that were added to Tolkien’s literary mythology with the publication of The Silmarillion in 1977. Compared to The Lord of the Rings, the new religious affordances include in particular an elaboration of the narrative religion. In fact, much of The Silmarillion discusses the cosmogony, theology, cosmology, and eschatology according to the lore of the Quendi. This new material allows Tolkien’s works to be cast as a mythology in its own right, and the Elven point of view in The Silmarillion invites readers and Tolkien religionists to identify with the Elves (rather than with Hobbits or humans).

Tolkien Enlightens Changelings and Self-Identified Elves

Chapters 10 through 12 describe three cases of Tolkien spirituality centred on the self‐identification as Elves. Chapter 10, “The Tribunal of the Sidhe: A Case Study of Religious Blending”, introduces the Tribunal of the Sidhe, a Neo‐Pagan group that was founded on the American West Coast in 1984 and probably constitutes the largest Tolkien‐integrating religious movement today. The Tribunal’s members claim to be Changelings, i.e. Elves (or similar beings) from an astral world who have been incarnated in human bodies. They also claim that Tolkien was a Changeling himself and that The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion tell the history of the Changelings in mythic form. I discuss the self‐identification as Changeling as an example of religious blending, analysing how members combine elements from Tolkien’s mythology with various forms of fairy spirituality and revelations of their own to construct and rationalise the notion that they are Changelings.

Chapter 11 is entitled “The Elven Movement: A Case Study of Construction and Maintenance of Plausibility”. In this chapter, I examine the range of semiotic strategies for plausibility construction, i.e. rationalisation, legitimisation, and relativisation, which the Elves use, often in combination, to elaborate upon and justify their core identity claim ‘we are Elves’. Special attention is given to the Elves’ effort to negotiate a balance between fabulousness and plausibility. The awakened Elves identify with the Elves of legend and fantasy fiction because these beings are near‐immortal magicians, but being humans after all, they cannot plausibly claim to possess the same powers as their narrative role models. A balance between fabulousness and plausibility is found, for example, by self‐identified Elves who claim to have lived fabulous past lives (among the stars and on Atlantis), but who maintain that their Elven powers in this life are severely tempered because their souls are trapped in weak human bodies. I also analyse the process of ‘conversion’ (or interpretive drift) which new members of the movement go through to develop their fascination with Elves into the belief and public profession that they really are Elves. Finally, I consider to what extent fiction, Internet communities, and the cultic milieu function as plausibility structures for the Elven community, and I identify the ‘plausibility threats’ facing the community.

The construction of the Elves as a superior race is also the concern of the alternative historians discussed in chapter 12, “Esoteric Historians on the ‘Truth’ Behind Tolkien’s Elves”. The chapter focuses on Laurence Gardner and Nicholas de Vere who use Tolkien’s literary mythology to legitimise their conspiracy theories about a royal, Elven bloodline which includes Christ and Charlemagne. While they do not directly integrate elements from Tolkien’s narratives into their religious beliefs and practices, they seek out similarities between Tolkien’s texts and bloodline lore and use these similarities to suggest that Tolkien possessed esoteric knowledge which he hinted at in his books. In this way, the alternative historians construct Tolkien as a fellow esotericist and attempt to rub his prestige as a mythologist and philologist off onto their own speculations.

Tolkien Inspires Occultists and Their Magic

Chapter 13, “Summoning the Valar, Divining with Elves: Tolkien and Western Magic”, is devoted to two cases of integration of Tolkien’s literary mythology into the Western magic tradition. I first analyse an interesting example of ritual blending, namely the High Elvish Working created in 1993 by the Fifth Way Mystery School. The structure of the ritual was taken from the so‐called Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The content, including the evocation of the Valar and certain phrases in Elvish, were drawn from Tolkien’s literary mythology. The High Elvish Working, which was circulated among Neo‐Pagans and published on the group’s homepage, has been a major source of inspiration for later groups in the spiritual Tolkien milieu. The second case is Terry Donaldson’s Lord of the Rings Tarot deck, published in 1997. Especially the accompanying book is interesting, for here Donaldson connects Tolkien’s mythology to the elaborate system of correspondences established by the Golden Dawn. He furthermore provides guidelines for visualisation rituals based on the card illustrations and introduces new Tolkien‐inspired spreads. It goes for most of the Tolkien‐integrating religionists treated in chapters 10 through 13 that they are at pains to decide for themselves whether Tolkien’s literary mythology is merely fiction (albeit spiritually advanced and religiously enlightening fiction) or whether it constitutes a real mythology (albeit a relatively inferior or derived one).


Tolkien’s Works Presented As Inspired Gnostic Revelation

Chapter 15, “The Religious Affordances of The History of Middle‐earth and of Tolkien’s Letters and Essays”, covers the religious affordances of the vast corpus of Middle-earth texts that lie beyond the three well‐known books, The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. In terms of religious affordances, the twelve volumes that make up The History of Middle‐earth are interesting for three reasons. First, they include the earliest versions of the stories that would evolve into The Silmarillion, versions which Tolkien religionists argue are the closest we get to Tolkien’s original revelation. Second, The History of Middle‐earthincludes much detailed information about the Valar which can be used to construct for Valar‐directed rituals. Finally, The History of Middle‐earth includes two unfinished ‘time travel’ stories which are highly autobiographical in character and suggest that Tolkien believed in the possibility of ancestral memory regression. This theme returns in Tolkien’s letters in which he describes an uncanny and recurring dream of a Great Green Wave. Tolkien’s son Michael had the same dream, and that made Tolkien speculate that they both accessed an ancestral memory of the destruction of Atlantis. Tolkien’s letters also add to the religious affordances of his mythology in other ways, as Tolkien often muses on the relationship between his narratives and the historical record and even expresses a feeling of inspiration. Indeed, Tolkien frequently states that he did not invent his stories, but that he rather “recorded” or “reported” what was already there.

Chapter 16, “Legendarium Reconstructionism: A Case Study of Tolkien‐based Religion”, examines two closely cooperating groups, Tië eldaliéva (The Elven Path) and Ilsaluntë Valion (The Silver Ship of the Valar). Like Middle‐earth Paganism, Tië eldaliéva and Ilsaluntë Valion emerged online after the movies, but the two latter groups draw most extensively on The Silmarillion and The History of Middle‐earth. They are interesting because they go the furthest in creating a Tolkien‐based spiritual tradition. For example, drawing on Tolkien’s narratives, supplemented with their own inventions and revelations, members of Tië eldaliéva have created a complete lunisolar calendar. Drawing on ritual formats from ceremonial magic and Wicca, they have developed elaborate rituals for each moon phase and solar festival. Since physical co‐presence has been unattainable, the group carried out its rituals over the phone or on Skype. Ilsaluntë Valion, which broke off from Tië eldaliéva in 2007, has further refined the ritual calendar and gradually purged the ceremonial magical elements from the group’s rituals. Supplementing the collective rituals, Ilsaluntë Valion has furthermore developed a freer and more individual ritual approach. In the group’s own terms, members do gnostic research using Tolkien’s narratives as a means of transportation to the Imaginal Realm or Faery. Based on extensive virtual ethnography of the two groups, the chapter sketches the history of Tië eldaliéva and Ilsaluntë Valion, analyses the modes of religious blending in the groups, and discusses how members embed their Tolkien‐based ritual practices within a sophisticated world‐view and religious philosophy.


The Rise of The New Tolkien Religionists

I assert that a given narrative’s usability as an authoritative text for religion depends on the amount and types of religious affordances it possesses. This means two things. First, only texts that include at least some religious affordances can become the foundational texts of religion at all. The spiritual Tolkien milieu could only emerge because Tolkien’s Middle‐earth narratives include some measure of religious affordances. Second, based on the religious affordances of a given text it is possible to predict how religion based on it will look. Within the spiritual Tolkien milieu, we can observe that groups based on The Lord of the RingsThe Silmarillion, or Jackson’s movies differ in ways that reflect the religious affordances of their authoritative narratives. Indeed, groups in the spiritual Tolkien milieu consistently (a) identify with (the race of) the narrator of their main authoritative Tolkien text; (b) direct rituals towards those beings who are divine or at least extraordinary from the perspective of the narrator; and (c) adopt a reading mode that reflects their main text’s thematisation of its own veracity. For example, groups based on The Lord of the Rings identify as humans or Hobbits, venerate the Elves, and interpret Tolkien’s world as connected to the prehistory of the actual world. By contrast, groups based on The Silmarillion identify as Elves, venerate the Valar, and consider Middle‐earth a spiritual world situated in another dimension.

A comparison of the different cases of Tolkien religion also reveals which kinds of religious affordances are necessary for religion to emerge and which are merely facultative. The very existence of movie-based Middle‐earth Paganism demonstrates that religious practices can emerge from a narrative that includes only fantastic elements, but no narrative religion, and which does not thematise its own veracity. It is telling, however, that Middle‐earth Paganism was not successful as a movement and collapsed almost instantly, while Tolkien traditions based on more substantial narratives endure. Only groups based on The Silmarillion or The History of Middle‐earth have evolved into stable communities with sophisticated traditions. And only The Silmarillion and The History of Middle‐earth include substantial narrative religion – The Lord of the Rings includes some traces of narrative religion, but mostly in the appendices or in the form of hints that only become apprehensible in the light of The Silmarillion. This demonstrates that only texts that include narrative religion can become the anchor point of stable fiction‐based religions. As far as the spiritual Tolkien milieu goes, it is not necessary that the main fictional text thematises its own veracity. (The History of Middle‐earth does so, but The Silmarillion does not).

Tolkien’s Building Blocks for Wiccans and Neo-Pagans

All groups in the spiritual Tolkien milieu engage in religious blending, and this process is patterned. Whenever their main authoritative Tolkien text lacks certain religious affordances, Tolkien religionists adopt building‐blocks from other traditions. Concretely, all groups within the spiritual Tolkien milieu borrow ritual elements and rationalisation strategies from established religious traditions. Unsurprisingly, Tolkien religionists draw these building‐blocks from traditions with which they are already familiar. For example, many Tolkien religionists are Neo‐Pagans and naturally draw on Wiccan circle casting to create Tolkienesque rituals directed at the Elves and the Valar. Besides Neo‐Paganism, Tolkien religionists draw on the Western magic tradition, theosophy, and Christianity, in roughly that order of importance.

In their actual practice, all Tolkien groups engage in religious blending, but the groups’ normative stance on ‘syncretism’ differs dramatically. Some groups do not give the issue much thought, while others articulate an ‘anti‐syncretic’ ideal of Tolkien exclusivism. In the latter case, there is thus a striking discrepancy between what members do (they blend) and what they claim to do (not to blend). This has far‐reaching implications for the study of religion in general. It demonstrates that the study of people’s consciously professed attitudes towards syncretism (or indeed the study of religious discourse in general) can tell us little about actual processes of religious blending (or indeed about religious practice in general). The conclusion to be drawn from this is that we must prioritise the study of religious practice (i.e. what religious people do) over the study of religious discourse (i.e. what religious people say that they do).

Tolkien religion normally develops in three steps. As a first step, individuals who are typically both fans of Tolkien’s works and practising Pagans or magicians craft experimental and playful Tolkien‐focused rituals and/or playfully identify as Elves, for example in the context of rituals or role‐playing games. Many individuals never go beyond this point, but some gradually drift towards belief. This second step is marked by the development of what can be termed ‘elemental Tolkien religion’, i.e. serious ritual interaction with (or self‐identification as) the supernatural agents from Tolkien’s narratives and the implied belief that the Valar, Maiar, and Elves are real. The third and final step is the construction of rationalised Tolkien religion in the form of belief elaborations, ontology assessments, and justifications. For example, some Tolkien religionists assert that ritual interaction with the Valar is possible because the Valar are not merely fictional entities, but real beings (affirmative ontology assessment), and that one can visit them on the astral plane and gain access to their spiritual knowledge (belief elaboration). More rarely, Tolkien religionists interpret visions of the Valar as contacts with Jungian archetypes. Most Tolkien religionists justify their beliefs by making an appeal to subjective experience. It differs, however, whether they consider their experiences to be proof of the objective existence of the Valar (legitimisation) or whether they bracket the question of ontology and stress instead that the Valar are real for them or real in some non‐objective way (relativisation).

Tolkien’s Works: The Gateway to Replace Christianity

All Tolkien traditions, both those focused on Elven identity and those focused on ritual interaction with beings from Tolkien’s narrative world, have an onion‐shaped belief system. At the centre of the belief system are a few core beliefs which are very stable. These are the beliefs which are expressed, implicitly or explicitly, in elemental practice. In the Elven movement, the most fundamental core belief is the identity claim ‘we are Elves’. The core belief of Tolkien religion is that ‘Tolkien’s literary mythology refers to real supernatural beings, namely the Valar, the Maiar, and the Quendi, who dwell in a world that is different from the physical world, but can be accessed in ritual’. Around these stable core beliefs exists the multitude of rationalisations and justifications that make up rationalised Tolkien religion. Compared to the core of elemental religion, these rationalisations and justifications are strikingly flexible and unstable. It is common for individuals to change their mind about rationalisations and justifications, exchanging, for example, a literal conception of the divine for a depersonalised conception, while holding on to the same core beliefs, elemental practice, and religious identity. It is also common for individuals to hold several, in principle mutually exclusive, rationalisations and justifications to be true at the same time, and to activate the one or the other according to context. For example, many Tolkien religionists will both talk about the Valar as discrete persons and argue that the Valar are personal expressions of non‐personal archetypes; they will sometimes argue that their experiences prove the objective existence of the Valar, but at other times say that the Valar feel subjectively real for them and that their possible objective existence is irrelevant. Finally, it is relatively unproblematic for a group to include individuals with conflicting rationalisations and justifications as long as they share core beliefs and elemental practice. All this shows that the function of rationalised Tolkien religion is not to construct a sophisticated doctrine to supplant or trump elemental religious practice, but rather to supply a repertoire of ideas and narratives that together add meaningfulness and plausibility to the elemental religious core.


Christians Unequally Yoked With Tolkien’s Spiritual Children

The spiritual Tolkien milieu is tiny, but fiction‐inspired religion is quite common. This is certainly the case if one counts both members of organised fiction‐based religions, such as Jediism, and the many religious bricoleurs who find inspiration in books, such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and films, such as James Cameron’s Avatar. Martin Ramstedt has argued that the increasing religious use of fiction reflects a more general process in contemporary religion, namely a ‘metaphorical turn’ from literal to metaphorical belief and from ritual to play. Against this background, it is interesting to observe that Tolkien religionists hold strikingly literal beliefs and insist on being categorically different from fans (who play). As a rule, they adopt a mytho‐cosmological reading mode, approaching Tolkien’s stories as imaginary stories about real supernatural entities. That is to say, they insist that the Valar and the Elves are real spiritual beings who can contact humans on Earth, but whose home world is situated on another plane, in outer space, or in another time. Granted, Tolkien religionists usually do not read Tolkien’s narratives as history, but they typically do hold historical beliefs about Atlantis and the peaceful coexistence of Elves and humans in the past. In short, the decline of institutional religion in the West allows for an increasing religious use of fiction, but if Tolkien religion is anything to go by, the rise of fiction‐based religion does not indicate that a metaphorical turn is taking place in contemporary religion.

To read the complete summary available in PDF, go HERE.

To read the complete text of his dissertation available in PDF, go HERE.


Tolkien promoted witchcraft

As a part of my expose of C S Lewis, it also needs to be addressed that Tolkien was heavily involved in the occult and like Lewis and J K Rowling promotes the idea of “white magic(k)” to impressionable children. I have quoted Lewis in my earlier posts but I am wiser now that he was not all he claimed to be.

These will not be popular posts for many as Lewis and Tolkien are somewhat idolised by Christians without the usual Berean standard placed upon these men. We should judge people by their fruit. If the tree promotes witchcraft then it bears rotten fruit.

Here are some interesting links to why Christians shouldn’t waste their time on Tolkien.

The Sad Truth Of Tolkien Spirituality







Lupus Occultus: The Paganised Christianity of C.S. Lewis

Revolution for Jesus

by Jeremy James


C S Lewis is well known among born-again Christians as a ‘Christian’ writer, someone whose inclusive religious viewpoint is of particular relevance to the world we live in today. I would hope to show that this perception of Lewis is not only gravely mistaken but that it arose through deliberate misdirection on the part of Lewis himself.

In 2008, after 33 years as an active participant in the New Age movement, I finally came to Christ. As I found my feet and met with other born-again Christians, I discovered that many Evangelicals, as well as Christians the world over, were keen readers of C S Lewis. They revered him as a great Christian author and apologist for true, Bible-believing Christianity. Frankly, this was a great surprise to me because, as a longtime practitioner of the New Age, I knew what C S Lewis was ‘really’ teaching.


View original post 8,865 more words


23) Wages of sin


My family have this little ritual that every time some household name passes on they always cycle through the same sentences, the same responses.

There is the initial shock and then the disappointment. Then the words “sadly missed” and “R.I.P.” are usually used as well as a brief commentary on their lives and their worldly successes and then that’s it! The conversation ends. No one ever says “I wonder where they are now?” No one ever says this ever even though most of my family are Roman Catholic, the rest are lukewarm to the point of apostasy.

I guess if I joined in the little obituary game that everyone likes to participate in and added my little question at the end people may be shocked and think it in bad taste. If I suddenly added the line to the game. “So what do you think? Heaven or Hell?” I can only imagine the horrified responses.

“That’s in poor taste”. “What a time to say that after a person has died!”

The thing is, when CAN we talk about this? When can we talk about where we are all going? During our busy day to day lives, when we are busily in the throes and the joys of life and living itself, when does anyone ever give pause to think of death?

People only usually ponder death when it is literally shoved in their face and there is no escaping it. It’s usually at a funeral or by the side of a hospital bed and the time is running out. In these situations where it is so important and right in front of you, tact must be employed. Experiencing loss yourself is a million miles away from hearing about the death of a newsreader, a sportsman, a female politician. I don’t suggest you play the “Obituary” game then and ask “Heaven or hell” in that situation.

But then again… I remember reading somewhere that pastors/priests have been scolded for mentioning sin or heaven or hell at a funeral. Have you noticed that the words “sin”, “heaven” and “hell” are pretty much forbidden words these days? When are you allowed to use these words? When are you allowed to say that the “wages of sin is death”?

You cannot say these things when everyone is enjoying their life for fear of ruining their happiness. You cannot say it when people are faced with death. You cannot even mention it when people are facing their own death!

Notice how the atheistic and materialist world view has gagged Christians who are convicted of sin and know that the wages of sin is death? That people’s unbelief in any of it will not effect God’s existence one iota or prevent them from experiencing their fate?

How do YOU reach unbelievers who think when you die, that’s it?

How do YOU tell people about heaven and hell and that the wages of sin is death?

It’s always good to start with the Gospel. The Gos-pel is the “good news”, that we are saved from hell by the blood of Jesus Christ! That anyone who believes in Him shall not perish!

Even when people are not convinced of sin, they are convinced enough that we all die. Most people would prefer to evade death and prolong their lives here. It is this self preserving instinct that would be the most interested in hearing the Good News of our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Until then, continue to plant seeds and maybe once in a while, when someone looks up from the obituary column with a shocked face and says “You’ll never guess who’s just died?!” Once the usual niceties and solemnities have been said maybe then ask “So where do you think they are now?”

Heaven or Hell?


Why a “change of heart”?




During the last few years I have experienced what could be described as a mammoth sea change. Without so much as a word, I left behind the flat I was living in, I walked away from a sizeable community of friends, I abandoned all hopes I had of living in a busy capital city, turned my back on career plans, moved a couple of hundred miles North to live near my family with my new partner.

There was an actual physical catalyst for all this change but underneath, this had all been “a long time coming”.

It will be this sea change that I will discuss here, this period of great personal change and transformation.

During this change I have really and truly found God and am working on my relationship with him, through his son Yeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

I will be sharing with you my experiences, my thoughts, my conflicts and my resolutions through my living and growing personal faith.

I will be more than happy to answer questions either on the site or via personal message and I encourage others to share their accounts of their journey with their Christian faith.

The title of this journal “Change Of Heart” was inspired in part by Anny Donewald’s testimony of leaving her job in the sex industry for a life honouring God. She now has her own bible ministry and explained that many of the women who still work in the industry who hear the word of God through her ministry cannot go back to their work any more. This is because hearing God’s word caused their hearts to change and so they couldn’t continue doing what they were doing. They had a change of heart.

I too have had a change of heart and it has brought me here, sharing with you the good news of this change for the better.

Jeremiah 24:7 (KJV) And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Ezekiel 11:19 (KJV) And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:


1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


Psalm 51:10 (KJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

24) On wrestling with atheists



Insanitybytes has written an excellent article here

I am guilty of wrestling with atheists in the mud of the internet, kind of an inversion of Jacob wrestling with the angel.

George Bernard Shaw said “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
And yet I’ve found myself back there again, mud all over the place. Pearls before swine.

Now that I am a little less of a baby Christian, I am learning to leave “discussions” early with a graceful “agree to disagree” and sometimes with a blessing. But then I realised that they hate to be blessed, prayed for or loved at all.

It does reveal itself to be a position full of hatred including a self hatred. Whether you thought the apologetic film “God’s not dead” corny or just a little too pat, I did like the part when the atheist professor, when cornered admitted “Yes I hate God for taking my mother away from me as a child”.
I often wonder if many of these unreasonably bitter God haters have a similar story. Why do they hate God so much? That is really the crux of it, hatred of God.

They say pessimists are often failed optimists. It’s quite true that many atheists are nihilists. Maybe nihilists are failed theists.

What is shocking is how speedily they suck the life out of things with both their scepticism and cynicism. In the interchanges I have had, very quickly it descends into profanity and bile. They appear eerily bloodless at times. I fall into sin when I think them like insects but at times they do seem to have a cold blooded nature. It’s sad that they don’t want to step into the light and feel the terrific warmth of God’s love that is readily available for all, at the asking.

Yesterday I saw they had descended in droves onto a Youtube video about a very premature baby. Many of the comments were from pro-lifers and so that got them rankled. They couldn’t even allow people to say “God bless the child!” or even “Thank God the baby survived”. All these comments were met with an eerily uniform hive mind of cold responses of “there is no God” or “thank science and the doctors instead.” It is as though the feelings of the parents of the child did not matter, only gaining ground mattered.

My boyfriend looks at me anxiously if I’ve lurked on Youtube for too long. “Are you behaving yourself?” He says.

He keeps reminding me that the internet price of admission is free. I am also reminded that the price of salvation is free also. Price paid in full on our behalf, we just have to ask.

The Gospel of Entertainment and the Exodus of the Next Generation

What happened to be in the world not of it? When you try to create Christian entertainment it fails massively. Why? Guess what? As Christians we are not here to be entertained or to entertain ourselves. Trying to win people over by using the enemies tools will never be the way. It becomes dominionist and Seven Mountains doctrine which is in error. We are meant to be different and outside it all.

I’ve completely stopped watching secular entertainment because it’s not what we are supposed to be doing. At the same time I’ve realised that entertainment is not what we are supposed to be doing full stop. It’s being idle and indulgent and not what we’re supposed to be about.
Give them what they WON’T get anywhere else! They won’t get Jesus anywhere else and there will be a real hunger and thirst for Jesus and the Word of God.
I hunger and thirst for these things and I would love there to be a church of some sort that would provide sound doctrine, fellowship and building up fellow Christians in their walk and sanctification. Guess what, in the whole of the British Isles I have YET to find a place. They are either heavy on rite, ritual and superstition (like the pagans) or flashing lights and loud music (like the entertainment industry) – no one gives you the truth of the Holy Scriptures!
In the Bible it describes the end times thus, that people will be starved of the Word of God! We are entering this time now! Preachers are being arrested in the UK for reading the Gospel on the streets! Just as Paul did!
You need to be concentrating on giving people real and unapologetically spiritual food by not erring from sound doctrine. We are losing people to “other” belief systems! The fastest growing “religion” in America now is witchcraft. Ponder that for a moment.

Help Me Believe

You’ve seen the statistics. Something like 70% of the next generation of Christians walks away from their faith once they leave their home and head to college. The specifics of the numbers and the reasons can be debated, but who can deny that the church has an “exodus” problem when it comes to the next generation?

I’m not a sociologist, or any kind of professional for that matter, but today I write as one of those 70% who walked away and, by the grace of God, came back.

Good Intentions

The truth is that there are far too many variables that have caused this statistic for us to say that this one is the main cause. We could turn to the rise of skepticism, the liberalization of our institutions, the nominalism of parents, and on and on.

Today, I want to discuss a cause that I have contributed too.


View original post 567 more words

22) In New York women can now abort up to BIRTH!

Gov.Cuomo just pushed legislature through ostensibly to “protect women’s rights” and their “rights to choose” while simultaneously making it possible for women to legally abort UP TO THE AGE OF BIRTH and by persons who are not licensed medical practitioners.

To “celebrate” this move Cuomo lit up the WTC needle in pink so it resembled a giant hypodermic syringe dripping blood.

Very depressing and sad state of affairs, we need to pray about these shocking changes happening in the world today.