It’s praised in secular and religious circles alike. Sung at weddings and funerals. It’s a song on the movie Shrek’s soundtrack.

shrek halle

Catholic Cardinals tweet out lines from this song. Protestants sing it in sanctuaries.

It was even used as an emotional tribute on Saturday Night Live to Hilary Clinton after her presidential candidacy loss.


The original song was written and performed by Leonard Cohen on the album “Various Positions” over thirty years ago. Since its inception, there are multiple versions and recordings of Hallelujah available today. Some Christian artists even swap the lyrics for “worship” purposes.


Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. He was ordained as a Buddhist Zen monk, but continued to consider himself Jewish. An article in the Vancouver Sun describes Cohen as a “mischievous spiritual pragmatist, drawn to whatever enlivened him.” Cohen once said, “Anything, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, LSD, I’m for anything that works.” Cohen died at the age of 82 in 2016.

Hallelujah was first released in 1984 with limited success. It gained popularity in the 1990’s cover by John Cale, and later Jeff Buckley. Hallelujah has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages. It is the subject of the book “The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah’, written by Alan Light.

holy and broken

Cohen wrote 80 draft verses for this song where at one writing session “he was reduced to sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor.” The song was praised in a New York Times review by critic Janet Maslin: “Cohen spent years struggling with his song Hallelujah which became one of the most oft-performed songs in American musical history.”

Like so many, I was wooed by this beautiful musical composition. Captivated by the Hallelujah chorus, I barely paid any attention to the lyrics. Sure, I picked up a word here or there: “David, pleased the Lord, faith was strong, God above”. But what fascinated me most was the popularity of a song praising God in secular culture. After all, doesn’t Hallelujah mean “God be praised”?

The question of why this song appealed to such contrasting demographics made me pay attention to the lyrics.

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen:

“Now, I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah


Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah


I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah


A Rolling Stone article titled “How Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah Brilliantly Mingled Sex, Religion” explains how Cohen’s career had reached a low point when he wrote this song. After Bob Dylan, John Cale, and Jeff Buckley’s renditions, “created a huge cult around this song, it’s since been covered by everybody from Bono to Bon Jovi.”

Cohen is quoted in this article regarding the religious element of the song: “It had references to the Bible in it, although these references became more and more remote as the song went from the beginning to the end. Finally, I understood that it was not necessary to refer to the Bible anymore. And I rewrote this song; this is the ‘secular’ Hallelujah.”

Rolling Stone’s description of the song’s “signature prayer-like incantation,” explains its alluring spell on most listeners.

The Biblical imagery is powerful, first referring to David’s musical gifts and spiritual power in 1 Samuel 16:23 (KJV): “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”

david saul

But on the next line, Cohen, reminds his listener that “you don’t really care for music, do you?”

“Your faith was strong but you needed proof.” David’s lust for Bathsheba found in 2 Samuel 11:2 comes up next, “And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: And from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.”

Sexual imagery climaxes when Cohen changes to the story of Samson and Delilah: “She tied you to a kitchen chair; she broke your throne, she cut your hair; and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah!”


“You say I took the Name in vain; I don’t even know the name. But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?” This line gave me pause. Is Cohen talking to God here? “I did my best; it wasn’t much; I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.”

During Cohen’s acceptance speech into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he said, “I wanted to push the Hallelujah deep into the secular world, into the ordinary world. The Hallelujah, the David’s Hallelujah, was still a religious song. So, I wanted to indicate that Hallelujah can come out of things that have nothing to do with religion.”

Cohen once said, “But there are moments when we can transcend the dualistic system and reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by Hallelujah. The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in the moment when you embrace it all and you say, ‘Look, I don’t understand a [expletive] thing at all—Hallelujah!’ That’s the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.”

In a “Think Christian” article, “The Generic Genius of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah”, John J. Thompson discusses Alan Light’s book “The Holy or the Broken”.

Alan Light, describes in his book this “most influential and misunderstood secular hymn”. Light explains that Cohen, “Explores the juxtaposition of Biblical images (David, Saul, Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah) with shockingly crude sexual references sliding between those universally sing-able choruses.”

Thompson excellently summarizes Hallelujah’s conflicting message in his article: “We sure seem to love songs and stories that can tickle our spiritual longings without demanding anything of us. Hallelujah doesn’t ask us to believe anything or to respond in any particular way. We can sing the tune, feel something emotional and then move along our own path as if there is no God and no instructions for living and loving in His world. That may not be what Cohen intended, but if Bon Jovi is singing a song about sex and loneliness at a memorial service, that’s what’s happening. On one hand, I’m encouraged that maybe the popularity and universality of a song like Hallelujah points to humanity’s continued hunger for God. However, that that hunger seems to be placated by a song so disconnected from the Gospel is frustrating. No doubt the universality of the song is part of its genius, but I’m not sure that it’s actually praising the Lord if by “praise” we simply mean “sing” and by “Lord” we really mean “something comforting that may or may not really be there.”


Cohen is right, “there’s a blaze of light in every word”. Does it matter than which we hear, “the holy or the broken hallelujah”? It doesn’t as far as Cohen is concerned.

broken holyBut as Christians, we must ask for God’s discernment in our walk even when listening to beautiful sounding songs.


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)


Douglas Todd: Leonard Cohen: Jewish, Buddhist and Christian, too


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Laura Maxwell’s article on Wicca in Premier: UK’s Top Christian Magazine.

There’s been an explosion of interest in Witchcraft. But here’s what the media aren’t telling you. Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the world today.

Former spiritualist, now Christian, Laura Maxwell responds to recent media stories about occult practices.


About Laura Maxwell, BA (Hons). laura
Speaker-Author-Radio Host (Ex New Age Spiritualist). Laura educates people on the dangers of the New Age, Occult, New World Order, etc. She graduated from Strathclyde University with a BA Honours degree. She is the founder of ministry A Spiritual Quest, based in Scotland. See her TV and radio shows, blog, publications, etc, on

Read Laura’s Article on Wicca in Premier Here



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When I shared my testimony on social media about being an ex-Umbanda medium who channeled an Orixá (Orisha) goddess, many had never heard of this occult religion before.

My Testimony

Below is the definition of Umbanda and its beliefs from

“What is Umbanda?
Umbanda is a religion of Brazil that combines influences of indigenous Brazilian religion, African religions, Catholicism, and Spiritism. Umbanda is related to the Brazilian religion Candomblé, but it is not identical.

Umbanda Beliefs:
There isn’t uniformity of belief among all followers of the Umbanda religion, yet there are certain beliefs that are widely held. These beliefs include faith in a supreme deity called Olorum (or Zambi), who has various representations.

Many followers of Umbanda also believe that various Catholic saints emit divine energies and forces called Orixás. It is also common for adherents to seek interaction with the spirits of the deceased. The ideas of karma and reincarnation are also centrals tenets of the religion.

Historians and sociologists believe that the Umbanda religion got its beliefs about a supreme deity and the reverence of saints from Catholicism; from Spiritism, the Umbanda religion got beliefs in communicating with the dead in its various forms, including psychics and mediums; from indigenous Brazilian religions, Umbanda adopted the deification of Orixás.

Subdivisions of the Orixás:
1. Oxalá is the chief intermediary. His celestial body is the sun. His ritual day is Sunday. His sacred color is white.
2. Yemanjá represents femininity in the Umbanda religion. Her celestial body is the ocean. Her ritual day is Saturday. Her sacred color is bright blue.
3. Xangô is the intermediary of justice. His ritual day is Wednesday. His sacred color is red.
4. Oxum is the goddess of love, money, and waterways. Her ritual day is Saturday. Her sacred color is yellow.
5. Ogun is a defender of soldiers. His ritual day is Tuesday. His sacred color is green.
6. Oxossi is a hunter and protector. His ritual day is Thursday. His sacred color is green.
7. Ibeji are associated with the spirits of children. Their ritual day is Sunday. Their sacred colors are blue and pink.
8. Omolu is intermediary of death, disease, health, and healing. His ritual day is Monday. His colors are black and white or red and black.

(I would like to add to this list: Iansã goddess of winds and lightning, Nanã ruler of rivers, marshes and lagoons, Oxumaré serpent god of the Rainbow, and Exu divine messenger/ door opener/ divine trickster or the devil.)

The Religious Practices of Umbanda:
Umbanda temples are led by psychics who interact with various spirits on behalf of the living. Leaders of Umbanda temples are often referred to as priests or priestesses. The temples are called Terreiro (meaning “backyard” because they once used to be located in people’s homes) or Tenda (meaning “tent” because they once used to be located in tents.

Today Terreiros can be built likes homes or Catholic churches. Gatherings in temples occur often and depending on the particular Terreiro or branch of Umbanda, ceremonies may include chanting, offering food and other items to spirits, dancing, as well as eating and drinking. If visitors manifest a spirit during the gathering they may be asked to become members of the group.”

Like Umbanda, the Candomblé and Quimbanda sects that are also practiced in Brazil, worship the same deities. The difference between the three however, is that animal sacrifices are not used in Umbanda.

Throughout the slave trade history, many other countries came to practice very similar religions worshiping the same Yoruba (Congo/ Angola) deities in Santeria or Voodoo (i.e. Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, and other South and Latin American countries).

All this sounds so foreign and far removed from American culture doesn’t it?

But would it be surprising to know that many celebrities and Hollywood elite are not only familiar with these particular occult beliefs, but actually practice it?

Would it be alarming to learn that during the 2017 Grammy Awards, Beyonce who was raised in the Christian faith paid homage to the goddess Oxum (Oshum)?

Pregnant with twins, wearing a golden gown, Oshum’s sacred color, Beyonce channeled the goddess of “love, money, and waterways” or goddess of water and fertility as some headlines claimed.





In an interview with Daily Mail , Dr. Jacob Olupona, a Nigerian professor of African Religious Traditions at the Harvard Divinity School stated, “She is speaking to the world, she is speaking to America. Beyonce is educating the masses on Oshun. She is seeing how indigenous spirituality can be a powerful tool for changing the world.”

Apparently, according to a BuzzFeed community post, Beyonce’s latest album “Lemonade” references not only Oshun, but six African deities.

A quick internet search will show multiple “how to’s” on channeling your inner Oshun goddess like Beyonce.

Blanche Brown, wife of former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, began her dance career studies in New York with a Haitian teacher. She also participated in Haitian ceremonies in “the middle of Manhattan”.

“It really showed me how culturally African dance began, what it was for,” she explains. “In that community, they were dancing for spirits. It could have been a celebration of a spirit, it could have been for somebody who needed to have that spirit come down and talk to them. But it was for something.”

This experience led Brown to the Yoruba tradition and she was initiated as a priestess of Oshun.


“I do feel that spirits help me do what I’m supposed to do,” she continues, “and definitely at my age, the fact that I can still dance means that it has to be something more than just physical. When you see me walk, you’d never think that I’d be able to get out on the dance floor, but it’s just something that takes over. It’s so cleansing.”

In other words, Blanche Brown like Beyonce, channeled the Yoruba spirits through her performing arts.

Iyanla Vanzant a lawyer, talk show host, and best-selling author is a Yoruba Ifa priestess initiated at Ola Olu by the Ifa Foundation of North America, Inc.  She was a regular featured speaker on the Oprah Winfrey show and hosted a talk show on ABC.

Vanzant was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans, Vibe magazine called her one of “100 Leaders of the New Millennium” and Newsweek featured her as one of the “Women of the New Century.”

She is Founder and Director of Inner Visions Institute of Spiritual Development where she shares her knowledge of Universal Principle and Law, Eastern and Western spiritual teachings and religions.


Her mission is to educate others to create a better life by discovering the “kingdom of God within”.

Umbanda, Candomblé, Santeria, or Voodoo—the worship of the African deities called Orixás (Orishas)—is fast becoming part of the American mainstream culture.

It is glamorized by celebrities as a powerful and seductive spiritual movement.

Sadly, soon enough the channeling of Orixás will not sound so foreign and far removed from American culture after all.


“Umbanda.” 28 Oct. 2016. Web. Accessed 9 May. 2018. <>


Many thanks for taking time to read or even share the above post. For similar posts and more about myself and friends, please see the below links! God bless you! Ivani Greppi.


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Sozo Inner Healing, In Light of Scripture

Xposing the Enemy

It is with my truest intentions,  and with the utmost humility and love for others, that I explain in this blog and video, why “Sozo Inner Healing” is not of God. It is not biblical, and it actually leads people deeper into bondage than they already were into, before they sought help.

One might ask, “How do you know”? I personally went to this inner healing counseling with someone close to me. We both went through it. Did it bring freedom? No.

This technique called “Sozo Inner Healing” Emphasizes heavily on Experience, and De-Emphasizes on Doctrine. This is an extra biblical teaching, which is not found in the Bible, anywhere. The bible is our final authority and rule on all things, faith and practice, and the judge of all we do or say.

Many claim that this concept of gaining freedom is through creative visualization techniques.

This technique includes visits…

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Robert Randall with Laura Maxwell on Conspiracy Bereans Radio


“Laura came out of the new age and spiritualism. An author, radio show host, and public speaker she helps people understand the dangers of the New Age and how Messiah can set people free from satan’s clutches. When you understand the history of secret societies in the lens of the bible, you understand the history of the world. I have interviewed many various authors and speakers. We study Bible prophecy, the bizarre news and events the media won’t cover, interview authors and ministers who have had experience in deliverance from the occult and various false religions.” Robert Randall of Conspiracy Bereans Radio.

Listen to Laura’s Interview Here


Many thanks for taking time to read or even share the above post. For similar posts and more about myself and friends, please see the below links! God bless you! Ivani Greppi.


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Medium Seeks Control In Life of Chaos and Confusion

Watch Maura Cruz Lanz’ powerful testimony and deliverance from the occult.  For generations, her family practiced Santería.  Like Umbanda, Candomblé, and Quimbanda in Brazil, Santeria is a pantheistic religion brought to South American, Caribbean, and Latin countries by African slaves syncretizing their beliefs with the Catholic religion.


Listen to Maura’s Testimony Here


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Residual Energy And Residual Haunts by Exorcist Mark Hunnemann.

Mark Hunnemann, Deliverance Minister and frequent Radio Guest provides analysis of a very common, but mostly unexamined, speculative theory in the paranormal community: The Theory of Residual Haunts and Residual Energies.

Mark Hunnemann Energies 1

If you are not familiar with this concept, then I gently encourage you to become aware of it. This notion is misleading and harming millions, and causing folks to mis-identify demonic activity as merely natural energy doing ‘weird’ things.

cursed haunted defiled occult EVP Ouija energies

In the below video series, Mark Hunnemann, provides reasons for why residual energy should be seen as demonic.

“For years I have observed how internationally popular the notion of residual energy/haunts has become. However, to my knowledge, there has been no sustained response to it. I am convinced that it is unscientific, and is causing immense damage. So, I have begun a series in which this theory will be comprehensively scrutinized. Everybody, especially Christians, needs to be aware of this issue because it has enormous, practical ramifications. (It is also an expression of the New Age worldview). Most recently, it was shown to be contrary to Thermodynamics,” Mark Hunnemann.

Please See Mark’s Video PlayList Below:

Mark has a heart for this type of ministry, where he sheds a light on the deceptions of the enemy concerning the paranormal. He is the author of “Seeing Ghosts Through God’s Eyes”, where he shows the deception behind theories such as earthbound spirits, in light of scripture.

Please also listen to two radio series where Laura Maxwell interviewed Mark on such topics: PlayList One and PlayList Two.


You can watch Mark’s videos on his YouTube channel:

His Blog:

Plus, a blog he shares with other writers:

Mark Hunnemann


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A Verdade: Uma reflexão por Francisco Martucci


A Verdade não vem em forma de resposta pronta, é necessário quere-la, busca-la, ansiar por algo novo por não se sentir satisfeito com o velho, não é simplesmente aceitar ou não aceitar. Para que tenhamos algo novo, é necessário descontruir antigos alicerces, conceitos antigos e emaranhados por séculos de tradições, e nem todos estão dispostos a abrir mão do conforto da mentira, ou medo do que poderá encontrar. É desvestir-se do velho eu e por um momento e experimentar uma nova roupagem que poderá surpreender. Quando eu nego o novo, afirmo quem eu sou, quando aceito o novo, nego quem eu era, daí entra a máxima do Cristo em Lucas 9:23 “Jesus dizia a todos: Se alguém quiser acompanhar-me, negue-se a si mesmo, tome diariamente a sua cruz e siga-me”.  Experimente negar-se por um momento, pense, reflita, pondere, pese, pergunte a si mesmo, nú, diante da Verdade:

·         Deus é onisciente/ onipresente?

·         Ele é Todo-Poderoso?

·         Deus é imutável?

·         Ele precisa de algum ritual para ser alcançado, ou temos livre acesso através de uma humilde oração?

·         Ele castiga?

·         Ele precisa de secretários ou intercessores ou enviou Jesus conf Tm 2,5 onde fala que Jesus é o único mediador entre Deus e os homens?

Existem ainda um milhão de perguntas, e um milhão de respostas, todas elas estão contidas na Bíblia, basta lê-la, negando suas crenças, sua achologia, sua estrutura, e buscar a Verdade com destemor em quebrar paradigmas e velhas tradições. Quebrante-se perante Deus e não perante homens.

Jeremias 29:11-13 Porque eu bem sei os pensamentos que tenho a vosso respeito, diz o Senhor; pensamentos de paz, e não de mal, para vos dar o fim que esperais.
Então me invocareis, e ireis, e orareis a mim, e eu vos ouvirei.
E buscar-me-eis, e me achareis, quando me buscardes com todo o vosso coração.

Jeremias 29:11-13


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Ex-Médium Umbandista: Ivani Greppi – Meu Testemunho.

I was very honored to share my testimony on radio in Portuguese. I grew up in Brazil and had serious problems with evil spirits and Umbanda Spiritism.  Discover how I was set free from demons that tormented me most of my life.

Many thanks to the radio host Michael Adams, of ‘Old Religion Dystopia – Knowing v’s Belief’.

Addendum to video has additional thanks to my loved ones:

Radio host: Michael Adams, Old Religion Dystopia – Knowing v’s Belief.

To read my Portuguese written article, please see my post:


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