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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Challenge: Satanism

This culture is very spiritual.  We see that frequently as people are very god-fearing.  But that's with a small "g".  It stems more from superstition than a genuine respect for God.  Even many people who are or profess to be believers still struggle with belief in superstitious things.

One example of that is the Tokoloshe.  This is a leprechaun-like creature that generally causes all sorts of evil and mischief.  Descriptions range from harmless hairy little men to zombies or corpse-like beings.  They allegedly engage in activities ranging from hiding things from their owners to rape and biting off toes while a person is sleeping.  Often Tokoloshe is attributed to a curse someone will put on you.  They will send their Tokoloshe to cause problems for someone they wish to harm.  One young man we work with told us his mother claimed to have had a Tokoloshe beating her during the night, even waking up in the morning with bruises to prove it.  Once she started attending a certain church, who required her to pay a certain amount of money to remove the Tokoloshe, the beatings stopped.  Now she refuses to leave that church for fear the Tokoloshe will return.  You do the math on that one...

While the Tokoloshe seems like a figment of the imagination there is no doubt that demonic activity is strong here.  The school that we use for church facilities is very well known within the community as a hotbed for spirit-related activity.  We've heard this from several individuals, most recently from a waiter at a local restaurant.  He heard our accent, learned we were from the US and wanted to talk.  We shared our work with him and invited him to church.  When he found out we were meeting at Nanabolela he said "You need to really help with the fight against Satan in our community" - going on to explain the hold that satanism has within many of the local schools.  Of course, we know that we're already in the fight against the powers of wickedness.  "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Eph 6:12

Just yesterday we heard of a horrifying event in our town.  This event didn't happen in the township but right here in the "safety" of town.  Details continue to come forward, but here is a newspaper report of the story:

Couple held for gruesome murder

Welkom - A young couple was arrested for the gruesome murder of a 23-year-old Welkom man, whose body was found with limbs missing, Free State police said on Wednesday.Police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said a 24-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested late on Tuesday and all missing body parts were found.
Thakeng said the police task team, with other experts, made a breakthrough in the investigation.
Michael van Eck, 23, was found murdered and in a shallow grave at the Welkom cemetery on Sunday morning.
"The body didn't have a head, a right arm, or left foot and both legs were amputated at the knees," Thakeng said at the time.
Police contacted Van Eck's parents after finding his car at a Welkom taxi rank on Sunday morning.
They said he had gone on a date on Saturday night and should have been at work on Sunday morning, however, his employer later told the police that he did not arrive for work.
The employer said Van Eck was to have met his date - a girl he met on the social networking site Facebook - at the Welkom cemetery.
There, police found Van Eck's shirt. Police sniffer dogs found the shallow grave.
On Tuesday, information was followed up which led the investigation team to a residential area in Welkom where the man and woman were found.
Possibility of Satanism probed
Thakeng said police searched the property and the missing body parts of Van Eck were found in a fridge, a cupboard, and buried in the garden.
Police said cats apparently also belonging to the young couple were found buried in the garden.
The two were arrested for murder and would appear in the Welkom Magistrate's Court soon.
Thakeng said the possibility that the man and woman were involved in Satanism would be investigated.
Police also arrested a man who was found with Van Eck's vehicle.
The 23-year-old man was arrested for questioning until he was charged for theft of a motor vehicle.
That case has been postponed for a bail application to April 12.
He was apparently not linked with the murder, said police.

Imagine an event like this happing in a town like Ankeny.  It makes you realize once again that humans are a depraved race.  Why would God ever love us, let alone send His Son to die for people who commit such atrocities.  Some reading this might say that Jesus didn't die for those kinds of people.  But Scripture is clear that He did.  And Scripture is also clear that in God's eyes, even the most righteous among us are no better than the two perpetrators of this crime.  Yet God made Him who knew no sin to be made sin on my behalf, so that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  

Never forget the price that was paid for you, and the spiritual battle for the souls of men, women and children around the world.

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