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Excerpts Quotes

Worship of a False God or God Falsely

Sin has made men worship either (1) a false God, which is idolatry; or (2) God falsely, which is superstition. Man has become such a fool that his worship, till enlightened and converted, is either a breach of the First or Second Commandment. He fails as to the object or the manner of worship, and both speak man’s folly, that his religion is either idolatry or superstition.

—Ralph Venning,
The Sinfulness of Sin, 55.

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Quotes Special Observances

Superstitious Fear

Superstitious fear opposes the fear of God

There is a superstitious fear in reference to casual things some are transported with every trifling contingency; if the salt falls towards them, or if a hare crosseth them in the way, presently they grow pale or red upon it, as if there were some evil that must ensue; this is the quintessence of folly.

—William Bates
Adapted from The Whole Works of the Rev. William Bates, 226-228.

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Special Observances

Superstition

Superstition is described as “unreasoning awe or fear of something unknown, mysterious, or imaginary, especially in connexion with religion.”[1] It is fanciful explanations of unexplained phenomena that are often dressed in the garb of religion. Let it be clearly noted here that biblical Christianity is emphatically opposed to superstition.

Superstition in Scripture is linked to idolatry, sorcery, and false religion. The human inclination to superstition is plainly evident throughout Scripture and is flatly condemned. Examples abound in historical narratives. One source defines superstition as “misplaced credulity concerning the supernatural, which leads to irrational fear, misdirected reverence, false religion and magic, and which brings God’s judgment. Scripture warns against and condemns such things.”[2]

It is worth noting that although the Bible commands Christians to be people of faith in the true God, being characterized as possessors of truth, the “Christian faith also constantly risks being supplanted, distorted, and concealed by unbelief and superstition.”[3]

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
—Philippians 4:5-8

 


[1] Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “Superstition.”

[2] Martin H. Manser, Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), s.v. “Superstition.”

[3] Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley, vol. 2, The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans; Brill, 1999-2003), 265.

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