The Dangers of Santeria
Santeria is a religion that originated in Cuba. At first glance, it may seem just like any other religion, but serious risks come with practicing and being involved in Santeria.
What is It?
In a 1993 Supreme Court case, Justice Kennedy explained Santeria as a faith that believes each individual has a destiny from God, which is fulfilled with the aid of powerful spirits known as orishas. He explains that this religion believes in nurturing a personal relationship with these spirits, which primarily involves animal sacrifices. According to Santeria teachings, while orishas are potent, they are not immortal and depend on sacrifices for their survival.
Santeria, translated as ‘the way of the saints,’ is a unique blend of African and Catholic beliefs and practices. This religion was formed as a response by enslaved Africans in the Western world. Santeria allowed them to subtly maintain their original spiritual customs under the mask of Catholicism, which was enforced.
Unlike many other religions, Santeria has no central creed or holy book like the Bible. Instead, it is founded on rituals, and ceremonies passed down through oral traditions. These religious practices primarily take place in temples.
A key belief in Santeria is the worship of orishas. These spirits, connected with Catholic saints, are considered powerful but not eternal. They depend on humans for their survival. Meaning that human worship and animal sacrifices (particularly chickens) keep the orishas alive, who, in return, bring good fortune and forgiveness of sins to their followers.
Yet, Santeria deviates significantly from fundamental biblical truths. Its reliance on animal sacrifices and the desire to please the deities sharply contrasts with Christian reliance on the sacrifice of Christ and the saving grace of God.
The Christian Perspective
It’s crucial to examine this practice from a Christian standpoint. I have encountered many Catholic individuals who require deliverance due to their involvement with Santeria. The intertwining of Catholic elements with Santeria can be misleading for some Christians, leading them to believe that the occult practices of Santeria are acceptable.
In Luke Chapter 4:6-8, Satan tempts Jesus with power and glory in return for His worship. Jesus firmly rebuffs this offer, stating, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” This Scripture reiterates the truth of Scripture–God alone is worthy of worship.
Unlike the orishas of Santeria, who require human worship for survival, our God is self-existent, requiring no worship or sacrifice for Him to survive. He does not need our worship to be God;
In conclusion, it is crucial to be discerning. If you have practiced Santeria, repent, renounce it, and give your life to Jesus Christ. If you have Santeria items in your house, dispose of them. We should all remember that there are no shortcuts in spirituality. While the devil may offer temptations, they always lead to great spiritual harm.
Our journey should be one of righteousness and sanctification, aligning our will with God’s, knowing that He is the One that can truly bless, prosper, and meet our needs.
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