superstitions

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by menageriekeeper, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    I was never taught to be superstitious. However my MIL is very superstitious. Some of my personal favorites that she holds to are: no opening umbrellas in the house(someone close will die), no laundry on New Years Day(you will wash someone out of your life) and pull your socks up if a black cat crosses your path(wards off the usual bad luck.

    So how harmful is it to a Christians walk with God for them to be superstitious? Is it simply a lack of faith? Maybe a lack of discipleship(meaning they haven't been taught better)?
     
  2. Marcia

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    I think superstitions are a bondage. A lot of them are based on occult beliefs that objects have power (such as a lucky penny, 4-leaf clover, etc.). This is called a magical worldview. I talk about it in my ministry.

    If your MIL is a believer and is an older woman, there may not be much you can do to change her thinking, but don't let it pass on to your children (if you have any).

    Getting good luck and warding off bad luck comes from beliefs in amulets (worn to protect against the 'evil eye' or bad luck) and charms (worn or used to attrack good luck).

    There should be no belief in luck in a Christian's mind.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    I agree with you, Marcia. I would like to lessen her anxiety over these kinds of things though. Do you have any scriptures that deal with/offer comfort against superstitions?
     
  4. Johnv

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    Many superstitions, believe it or not, have some basic practical origins. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that walking under a ladder is dangerous. And, believe it or not, when I was a child, an uncle of mine injured in the face himself by opening an umbrella in the house. And who among us hasn't knocked on our desks when we've said "this and that hasn't happenned to me yet". Stepping on a crack may not break your mother's back, but it might break yours if you get your shoe stuck in it.

    I'm not superstitious, but I do find myself doing some funny things out of habit. For example, when a family member bought me a very nice pocket knife, I gave that person a penny (the superstition is that if you give a person a cutting object, it will bring bad luck to the relationship, but if you give someone money as a present, brings good luck to the relationship). I never, never, kill a spider in the house (it's supposed to be bad luck); instead, I catch it and release it outside, where it will devour all the other insects that bring me bad luck, or at least, a bad day. Whenever I give a purse or a wallet as a gift, I always put a penny in it (a purse with no money is bad luck, and a purse with money is good luck). Whenever I visit someone's home for the first time, I always try to bring someting living for the house, like a plant or fruit (again, a symbol of good luck).

    The only time this kind of thing would be detrimental to one's spirituality is if one gives them control over one's life and takes them seriously.

    And no, if you send me chain mail, I will not send it to 10 of my friends.
     
  5. Marcia

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    I can't think of any specific passages; I think it's more in the totality of our faith and what that means.

    I would suggest showing her passages that have to do with not being afraid like Rom 8.15, 2 Tim 1.7, Ps 46.1, Prov. 3.25,26, Is. 41.13, and Heb. 13.6.

    I would also suggest, after explaining what I said above, that she write some of these verses out on index cards (or you could write or type them out for her) and place them around the house or carry them with her, and that she looks at them when she feels fearful or is tempted to follow a superstition. This will get her more into God's word and into the Christian frame of mind. If she is willing to do this, I think her fears about these things will fade. [​IMG]
     
  6. Marcia

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    Maybe not detrimental to you, but it might affect your witness with unbelievers who see this, or weaker Christians who take these things seriously. Even if you act jokingly about it, people can think you believe it.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    JohnV, I'll have to ask that you stay far, far away from my MIL. You know more superstitions than she does! :eek: [​IMG]

    Good ideas Marcia. I'll point those out to her the next time it comes up.....probably tomorrow!
     
  8. Thankful

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    JohnV, I thought it was a cricket that one wasn't supposed to kill in the house. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I will kill a spider any day. Have you even been bit by one?

    I have!

    My mother used to tell me not to sing in bed, it was bad luck. I really think she didn't want to hear me singing ;)

    There are so many variations to superstitions.
    It is sad when someone lets them control their lives.
     
  9. Thankful

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    Another thought: It seems that older generations have and pass down superstitions. Perhaps orginally there was a meaning to some, but makes no sense to us today.

    For example, in some old houses, when electricity was installed, the wires were exposed. Opening an umbrella in that house might be dangerous. Also, it is difficult to get out the door with an opened umbrella.

    Some superstitions make have started out as specific family rules for various reasons. Don't place a hat on the bed. Probably meant, put it in the proper place.

    I have heard that what you do on new year's day you will do all year, but usually it is a holiday, isn't it?


    I wish I knew how to help you with your MIL.
     
  10. menageriekeeper

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    Well I'm sure that MIL got most of these from her mother, who went to church all her life but only accepted the peace Christ offers shortly before she passed away.

    GrandMIL had a thing about beds. You did not sit on her beds once they were made up. You found a chair if you needed to sit down. Never found a reason for that.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Paul met the folks in Athens who had an altar to a god they thought they might have missed. They were so superstitious they walked in fear.

    Worse than black cats or broken mirrors.

    What did Paul do to help this superstitious people?

     
  12. Johnv

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    Then you shoukd from hereon out refrain from saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. It's rooted in the superstition that your sould leaves your body when you sneeze. You should also refrain from saying "goodbye". It's a contraction of "God be with ye", rooted in the superstition that when two or more people parted ways, the person departing would be open to attack by evil spirits.
     
  13. Johnv

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    Oh man, NOW you tell me! [​IMG]

    If you've ever heard me sing, well, I can guarantee bad luck.
     
  14. Artimaeus

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    Superstitions are meaningless, unrelated to truth, ignorant, pathetic, unspiritual, unintelligent nonsense, other than that... Although, I once stepped on a crack and, sure enough, 23 years later my mother fell and broke her back. I have apologized profusely ever since. [​IMG]
     
  15. Marcia

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    Then you shoukd from hereon out refrain from saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. It's rooted in the superstition that your sould leaves your body when you sneeze. You should also refrain from saying "goodbye". It's a contraction of "God be with ye", rooted in the superstition that when two or more people parted ways, the person departing would be open to attack by evil spirits. </font>[/QUOTE]I don't say "God bless you" when someone sneezes. I say "Gesundheit."

    I don't think the analogy holds with "goodbye" John. That's just a regular word. I am not saying it because of any superstition, whereas the things you were doing are clearly from superstition, even though you do them lightly.
     

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