Huge spikes in reported demonic activity all over the world. Black masses and blasphemous rituals held in cities around the country. The rise of Satanism as devil worshipers openly organize in what was once a Christian country.

Suddenly, Halloween doesn’t seem so innocent anymore.

Karl Payne, the former chaplain of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and a pastor at Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Washington, has been engaged in the spiritual fight against demons for many years.

Calling demons real, powerful and dangerous, he chronicled his fight against them in his book “Spiritual Warfare.” And he argues the media is encouraging a troubling trend with its sensational and borderline celebratory treatment of a serious issue.

“I believe there is a correlation between the media’s incessant and increasing promotion of these kinds of subjects and an increased workload for those of us who actually work with real demonization and deliverance,” the pastor told WND. “Why should that come as a surprise? The same media industry that restricts the promotion of tobacco products because of the destructive and addictive effects promoted by advertisements on naïve, gullible young minds chooses to bombard those same naïve, gullible young minds with other harmful imagery. Audio and visual presentations of demonic, occultic and Satanic inspired death, destruction, slashing, bashing, blood, gore, murder, rape, terror and mayhem on a nightly basis. And yet they defiantly declare it represents nothing more than harmless entertainment.

“They act like it is a video game, if you don’t like what you see or the score you get, you can just hit reset and try again. But the reality is that demonization is real, and there is not an easy reset button to push once a person is caught in the middle of demonic conflict and desperately wanting out.”

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Payne rejects the idea Americans have always been titillated or entertained by dark subject matter.

“There was a day in our country and culture when glamorizing and glorifying demon possession, witches, curses, vampires, zombies and such would have been viewed as something to reject, as crossing a line that needs to be avoided, not entertained,” he said. “That day is gone. ‘I am free to do what I want, any old time,’ has become an accepted axiom that has replaced the golden rule reminding people to treat people the way you wish to be treated.

“Celebrating the rejection of moral and ethical absolutes in conjunction with the loss of common sense has not created a secular utopia. Instead, we have a country and culture where parents cannot allow children to play unsupervised in their own front yards or walk to the park to play on the swing set. This is progress?

“I do not know anyone who actually works with demonization and deliverance that is surprised that as men and women increasingly open their lives and minds to ‘entertaining’ demons, we have to work harder.”

And with Halloween around the corner, it’s the busy season when it comes to using dark subjects as “entertainment.”

Halloween displays are becoming increasingly gory and over the top. Children around the country are being exposed to bloody displays everywhere from front lawns to supermarket displays. And exorcism and possession are being used as fodder for television shows.

Payne doesn’t think such subjects are suitable for levity.spiritual_warfare

“I do not choose to celebrate Halloween, but then I have worked for more than 30 years with men and women who despair life, question their own sanity and live in constant fear of accusatory voices and demonic bondage on a daily basis,” he said. “I think most of pop culture celebrates Halloween as an excuse to party, drink and collect candy. I do not think most of our culture understands the reality of demonization; everything is a party or game that can be reset the next day. For me demonization can represent life threatening domination and bondage rather than harmless entertainment. I therefore have no interest in playing occultic games, walking on the dark side or encouraging others to do so.

“I receive calls and emails on a daily basis regarding questions about demonic activity. So for me, there is not much difference between one day and another. Halloween might be different in that for some celebrating this holiday, it is an act of rebellion and worship rather than just a time to collect and ingest enough candy to keep dentists busy the rest of the year.”

Payne suggested Christians could explore alternatives if they are uncomfortable with the kinds of demonic imagery and gory aesthetics which characterize Halloween today. He says he typically found an alternative for his own children, though someone at the home would usually hand out candy to anyone who came trick or treating at the door.

Payne cautioned that not only are demons real, but exposure is usually inadvertent. Christians, he said, should be on their guard.

“Most of the people I have worked with over the years did not get involved with demons on purpose,” he told WND. “They opened doors to demonic control through many activities culture would identify as natural or a curiosity. Unfortunately, demons approach their jobs with deadly earnest, while most people, including Christians, think it is a game to be played. If two fighters get into a ring, with one thinking it is a photo shoot, and the other fighting for his life, I can tell you who is going to win that particular fight.”

SPECIAL OFFER – $4.95! If God is real, so are the Devil and his minions. Each one of us is in a spiritual war – and the consequences for defeat are unimaginable. Learn how to fight and win in “Spiritual Warfare” by Dr. Karl Payne, available now in the WND Superstore.

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