Gary: This week’s item is from Day One Magazine, under the headline, “Church Pub Opens in Bradford—Britain’s first-ever church-operated public house is now open in Bradford. The Cock and Bottle is one of the city’s most historic pubs, whose new tenants are Enterprise Inns. Not surprisingly, the pub scheme is causing some controversy with churches already condemning the project.
The bar, which will be staffed by churchgoers, will serve the usual range of alcoholic drinks, and the premises will be open seven days a week. Before the pub opened, a consortium held an exorcism to give the building a clean start after its checkered history. The team, led by Reverend Robin Campbell, visited every room with a candle and sprinkled holy water, claiming it for God. The Bishop of Bradford was expected to be present when the premises were opened.”
Tom: Now, Dave, sometimes you wonder why we use these sort of way-out examples, but our concern here is that the media picks up on articles with regard to the church, and immediately that’s identified with Christianity, and either it’s outrageous or it’s sort of demonstrating that “see how Christianity is in the world.”
Dave: Well, they’re certainly in the world, selling alcoholic drinks and encouraging people in this, getting in the pub business. Pubs have notoriously been recognized in England as ungodly gathering places. So now we’re going to sort of Christianize it. We’re trying to do that with a number of things.
I’m even perhaps…well, I shouldn't say “more,” certainly equally concerned about their methodology in supposedly “cleansing” this of demonic entities. What do candles and so-called holy water have to do? I think the demons laugh at that sort of thing. Furthermore, it’s not that there are these entities floating about that are ready to zap us. It’s the ideas that we develop. They have lies, and Satan came to Eve with lies in the Garden of Eden. And these same lies are being promulgated today.
So, doctrine, as we’ve been trying to emphasize in this program, is very important. What we believe. “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe it.” And you don’t get delivered from hell by candles and holy water. And you don’t get delivered from demons. And so, while you can be going around…do the demons have some kind of a hold in rooms of…some people are always “pleading the blood” in their home—over the kitchen, over the bedroom, over the living room. They keep doing this over and over and over. It’s not that demons have some hold in some physical object in a room somewhere. They get a hold in our minds! And just the idea that they have a hold in physical objects can deceive us in our minds. That in itself can cause you to come under the power of demons, because you’re always trying to exorcise them.
So that’s a great concern in this news item as well.
Tom: Right. Well, again, it’s the world in the church and the church in the world. I mean, we have a superficiality here. On the one hand, they want to placate the world; on the other hand, they want to hold back with very religious rituals that people buy into. Somebody reading this article in their local newspaper, who has no foundation in Christianity, would say, “Oh, well, that’s what Christians do. That’s what they believe.”
Dave: Well, it relates to what we were talking about earlier on psychology and occultism, and let me see if I can give you another quote here, if I can find it without rustling the pages too much and making too much noise over the radio—listen to this. This is Charles Tart, University of California professor of psychology. He says, “The exciting thing about transpersonal psychology is you don’t have to believe some religious tract written hundreds or thousands of years ago [you know, like the Bible]. Techniques can be developed, whether they be meditation techniques or psychotherapeutic techniques or whatever that lead people back to the experiential basis that gave rise to religion in the first place.”
He says, “Look, there are experiences that people have had that led them into a religious belief in the first place, and you can replicate these by certain techniques,” and that’s what these people are involved in. They’ve got a technique now. A technique with candles, a technique with so-called holy water—how the water became holy, and why it has any power, that we don’t know. But these are techniques, and when you get involved in techniques, you have moved in the direction of the occult. A Ouija board is a technique, a divination technique. A crystal ball—anything of this nature. And so, holy water, sprinkling holy water, candles, incense, and so forth, these are occult techniques. These are divination devices. Not to get—in this case—not to get in touch with the spirits, but to drive them out.
Tom: Right. Because they have to obey the laws of…
Dave: Right. So we’re getting entirely false ideas of the spirit world, of spirituality, of God, and how He works, and so forth, and that is tragic.