Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Scribe Of Salem "No holds barred story of faith"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 1, 2023

The Scribe Of Salem didn't fit in with what many people wanted to read as a "Christian" book. That was fine with me since I didn't write it for that audience. I wrote it so that people would see the beauty and spiritual power in scriptures they would never hear in church. The following reviewer called it Christian fiction. I'm ok with that because the reviewer got the rest of the message loud and clear.
Book Review
Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Scribe of Salem: Ministers Of The Mystery by Kathie Costos is a Christian fiction novel that revolves around Chris Papadopoulos, a former war reporter. In Salem, Massachusetts, Chris reunites with his friend Bill Gibson and learns of the death of Bill's sister Brenda. Chris joins his military comrades to honor their fallen comrade, discovering an intriguing woman named Mandy. Chris embarks on a transformative journey, seeking help from Mandy to regain control of his life. Inspired by their encounters and encouraged by friends, Chris finds the strength to write a book that becomes a bestseller, offering solace during the trying times of a pandemic. Chris finds unexpected fame in a series of events that catapult him into public recognition, but when Chris faces a harrowing blackmail attempt, both how strong his faith in God is and how solid his group of friends is are tested to their fullest.

The parallels between the persecution of witches and the persecution of open Christians set the foundational theme in The Scribe of Salem by Kathy Costos. The novel is a no-holds-barred story of faith and will resonate well with readers who enjoy Christian fiction in a way where scripture and conversational sermons run through almost every scene, as opposed to the more nuanced approach that is found in most fiction within the same genre. Costos' style might not be as elegant, but it certainly does get the message across. I liked the contemporary setting and the way the characters are confronted with incidents surrounding COVID-19 protocols. As an observer, these feel really authentic and do well in exploring the group's unique contributions in the fight against chaos and darkness, to which the pandemic adds an additional layer, and realizing the profound impact of their connections and gifts. The full circle that the ending brings is satisfying in that there is closure; a relief given the possibility of a book in a series ending with a cliffhanger. Recommended.
"No holds barred story of faith," and that is what many people with #PTSD need more than ever. Most of the people I helped over the last 40 years, felt the "church" had no place for them. They believed that God wanted nothing to do with them, and even worse, God caused their suffering.

What I found most troubling was well-intentioned people saying, "God only gives us what we can handle." As if that would help them turn to God for help to heal after surviving! Seriously, how would anyone find comfort in that? The truth is, He gives us what we need to get through everything and wasn't the one causing the harm done to us. The other guy did that.

No wonder almost all of them said they were spiritual but not religious. They were offended by what they saw in the world committed by the same people going to church on Sunday, hearing sermons about what Jesus actually taught about how to treat others, and then spending the rest of the time condemning and judging others. Right now there is another thing going on that reminded me of the Salem Witchcraft Trials when one group of Christians, the Puritans, decided to use the power of their faith to attack people they hated.
"Many people in Puritanical Salem Massachusetts died because they were different, and the Puritans were afraid they could not control them easily. Many people in Puritanical Salem did not conform to the societal beliefs and ended up losing their lives as a result. There were many rules and if citizens did not follow all of those rules, they were cast out. The religion of the Puritans was very strict and “the Puritan community rewarded conformity-you were expected to fit in and do what everybody else did” (Mills 15). The Puritans desire for conformity was so strong that they wanted to get rid of anyone that was different. The trials were an excuse for the people of Salem to expunge of all those people who were different. Witches were thought to be able to harm people and therefore were feared greatly." (The Salem Witch Trials)
For the rest of us, all too often, we feel as if we're out here all alone. We hear that we need mental health therapy to heal from surviving whatever caused PTSD. All is well and good when we can get an appointment to see one. Then we hear that we need to add spiritual healing since the part of our brain occupied by the PTSD demon wants to claim more territory within the emotional part of it. Many believe that is where your soul lives.

So how do you figure out what or who can help you heal spiritually? Forget about what you think you know about the need to fit in with everyone else who chooses to go to a church or any other religious building. God doesn't live there and if you know anything about Jesus, He taught the people to pray directly to God, The Father in spirit.

While you can be a religious person and also spiritual, you can be a spiritual person without religion. Just ask anyone recovering from addiction to alcohol and finding spiritual support from A.A. where no one is required to believe in God or hold a certain faith, and are fully allowed to reach out to a higher power.
A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a set of spiritual principles. When practiced as a way of life, they can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to recover from alcoholism.

The Twelve Traditions apply to A.A. as a whole. They outline how A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world around it.

The book Alcoholics Anonymous describes the A.A. program of recovery. It also contains stories written by the co-founders and stories from a wide range of members who have found recovery in A.A.
It works because it reminds people they are not alone and they can find hope by hearing how others, not only recovered but dedicated their time helping others recover too. 

There are battles going on right now with many people trying to enforce what they believe to rule over others. Just as it happened during the Witchcraft Trials. If you're different, they want to make sure you have no power over your own life. It is even worse if you happen to be a Christian and are also a witch. The word "witch" has different meanings to different people. They want to help other people but are condemned for "practicing witchcraft" even though that is exactly what happened throughout the Bible.

Can you be a spiritual person connected to Christianity and still be a witch? According to many, the answer is no. Ironically, the point is, being religious is not required to believe or to act as moral mortals. Using spiritual gifts you were born with does not make you evil, as some "religious" people claim. As a matter of fact, the Disciples and Apostles, and even Jesus, were accused of using sorcery. Jesus was accused of being in league with Satan.
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, except by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.”
Why? Because the religion He was born into feared Him and wanted Him dead. After all, He healed people and did not ask them to pay money, repent their sins, or do anything other than believe He could because God sent Him. He didn't ask them to convert and renounce their gods. That was apparent when He healed the servant of the Roman Centurion. All He asked was first they believed it could be done and a few times He told them to go and sin no more.

The Pharisees were charging money for everything they did. They made the rules and said the rules were from God. An easy thing to claim since no one could prove they heard the exact words from God. Many Christians point to scripture condemning witchcraft, yet ignore how those doing harm were the ones worthy of condemnation but those doing good were miracle workers. This is from a Christian site Crosswalk
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
While this word may have different meanings in different cultures, at its core witchcraft is the attempt to manipulate the environment, circumstances, or situations through mystical or spiritual means. In Bible times this was done using what was often called mediums or spiritists. Within this definition, there are two words I want you to focus on regarding witchcraft. Manipulation – This is all about influence, usually in an unfair manner.

Spiritual means – When you call on assistance that steps outside of your realm of ability. In the case of spiritists and mediums, this is demonic assistance.

And yet when you consider those delivering miracles, using the gifts of the spirit, were accused of being among those they condemn.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2 You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. 3 So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit, no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.”

4 There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.

7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others, the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others, he gives the ability to prophesy. To others, he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
It is man-made rules that attempt to overrule God or your Higher Power. It is from the minds of men that the gifts of your spirit, the gifts you were born to use are being subjected to judgment. It would be worse to say no to God so you can fit in with the same people sharing the mentality of the Puritans and the really rotten thing is, it is worse for the world because you're not sharing your gifts to help them. Live your life as if you can be part of a miracle to others and feed the power within you to live happier.

You are needed more than ever because what happened to innocent people during the witchcraft trials is beginning to be repeated.

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