It’s the most awesome thing to sit and watch biblical prophecies coming true in our generation in the most incredible ways. Worldwide, the Church is in turmoil as one after the other falls to apostasy without even realising it. I’m sure if you asked the worst offenders if they knew they were part of this aspect of prophecy, they’d fervently deny it, stating that they seek only to love everyone and not upset anyone yet therein lies the very root of the apostasy currently sweeping the world.
I watched a programme on ITV (UK) today which focused on the lives of vicar’s wives primarily in the Church of England and it made for interesting viewing. This particular programme showed the vicar and his wife both not just spectators but active participants in their city’s yearly Sikh religious festival. The wife spoke about how it was “wonderful” to be granted the opportunity to be so heavily involved and “accepted” by this (pagan!) faith. She marveled at many of the aspects of the Sikh faith stating that they had a lot of things in common with that belief system and it was good to be able to learn about them. The festival involved a lot of rites and rituals including wrapping the vicar up in a traditional turban and bringing them on board a float which hosted the “sacred book” which to the Sikh’s was a “person” – the wife spoke specifically about how this holy book would be cremated at the end of its life and she found that endearing!! The couple openly participated in “prayers” initiated by the Sikhs to their god with the vicar turbanned yet still wearing his collar!
I sat with my mouth open and my brain racing with a wealth of scriptures condemning the actions of those who Christians who would partake in such events. First off, God condemned the Israelites continually for having anything to do with any other faiths, and even commanded they kill many of the pagan groups in their midst at times mainly because they practiced some abominable forms of idolatry. And the Jews were further commanded to keep themselves pure as a race as they were set apart for God as His “chosen” people.
In the NT, Paul spent much of his time in Corinth where idolatry was rife at the time and many of the people were actually worshipping anything and everything in their zest for a new god to worship. He spoke often about how those who Christians who lived there should stand firm and be separated from the pagans they lived amongst:
2Cor 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does light have with darkness?
2Cor 6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?
2Cor 6:16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
2Cor 6:17 Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you.
“Paganism is at odds with the gospel. One cannot believe in paganism and believe the Christian gospel. The theology and ethics of the two are in complete opposition with each another. Where paganism is polytheistic, Christianity is monotheistic. Where paganism is sensual, Christianity is temperate. Where paganism is materialistic, Christianity rejects materialism. Reading Justin Martyr, one realizes how seriously the early church fathers understood this conflict and how antipagan they were. Paganism cannot be converted. One cannot have Christian paganism any more than one can breed a dog-cat. Polytheism is not Christianity. The gospel cannot transform paganism. It rejects paganism. ” (source – Worldwide Church of God)
However, while there may be a difference in our current world between pagans on one hand and false religions on the other, but the end result is the same – they are cultures and belief systems we, as Christians, are told to steer clear of and not “join with.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving those who are in such faiths and having dialogue with them, but it has to be with a view to providing them with the knowledge of the truth of the Gospel message and that Jesus is the ONLY way to get to the One True God of Israel. To instead join into their celebrations and culture you are then accepting that their way is just as good as your way which is at the root of the whole wind of apostasy whirling around Christianity currently. You just can’t have it both ways otherwise you are certainly going to be denying Jesus as the Son of God (as most other false religions do), or at the very least putting yourself under a tough judgement from God if you wish to declare you’re a Christian but then openly defy the very essence of what that title means. Of course, if your use of that title is purely as an identity and nothing more, you have a bigger problem than purely misinterpreting what the title is all about. You may instead end up being one of those Jesus prophesied about when He stated that:
Mat 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. “
And thus if you desire to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you would do well to discover exactly what the Will of the Father is and He has been gracious enough to lay it out in His Word – and if you insist on decrying His Word as errant or not trustworthy, then I can only plead with you to stop listening to the world and start searching for yourself to see if that view is truly a safe one to stand on – do you reckon when you stand before God in judgement He will accept that as your excuse for not obeying Him, when He has absolutely made sure that His Word will stand firm through ALL ages. Do some research and discover how the KJV and even the Douay Rheims bibles are as close to the original manuscripts as can possibly be found or if you can’t accept that, then go back to the Jewish bibles and use those for your study. Otherwise you will be calling Jesus a liar for John stated that Jesus was the Word, and Jesus Himself said that His Word would stand firm FOREVER!!!
For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle [a tiny mark like a comma or exclamation mark in the Hebrew written language] shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Matt 5:18
And Isaiah had previously said:
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:
So be very cautious how you determine you will “walk with the world” and remember the admonishment of Paul to be “in the world, not of it!”