Saturday, March 1, 2008

Idols, False Prophets and lies, oh my.

Zec 13:2And it shall come to pass in that day,
saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will
cut off the names of the idols out of the
land, and they shall no more be remembered:
and also I will cause the prophets and the
unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

The Old Testament has many lessons for us,
and in the last of the Hebrew prophets before
Christ, Zechariah was one of the voices that
summarized the ethics of the covenant.

Apart from individual sins, murder, lust,
greed, intemperance and personal weaknesses,
the most egregious sin of the nation as a whole
was always idolatry.

God establishes his covenant, the same way
as a marriage contract. He expresses his
love for Israel as a husband towards a wife.
He reacts to unfaithfulness in jealousy and
punitive penalties.

Even before Moses had delivered the LAW
to the Israelites, while he was communing
with the Angel of the LORD, himself, the
preincarnate Christ, the people down
below had compelled their High Priest
Aaron to make them a golden calf, to
represent their affinity for the worship
of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian
deities of Isis/Osiris/etc.

This image of jealousy is constantly
repeated in different ways, but, it is
really no different than our own attraction
to idols of our culture.

The fact that Christian ministers, in
so-called Christian churches, can encourage
a pagan holiday like Christmas, with
absurd pageantry, is analogous to this
kind of mixed faith and attraction to
Osiris/Isis/Mystery Religion. It's
in fact, the same religion, although
we give it Christian names and markers.
It was no different for the original
Hebrew people.

They recognized the awesome presence
of God, YHWH, seeing his pillar of
fire which led them at night, and his
pillar of cloud during the day. In their
minds, they were worshiping him by
making an idol depiction of the carnal
symbol for God that they learned in

That's why our world is called, "Spiritual
Egypt" and why we are still committing
idolatry without recognizing the penalty.

Any time we put another element into
the LAW, especially another pagan culture,
we lapse into that void, where blindness
prevents rational discernment.

I've known countless good and pious
Christians, who are completely fundamentalists
in every other way, yet they permit bedecked
and gaudy trees and other pagan symbols in
their home. They know the way of piety,
which is temperance, modesty, spiritual
edification and the crucifixion of carnality,
yet they blatantly indoctrinate their own
children into ways of excess, greed, carnal
pleasure and indulgences which are always
contrary to the humble and simple Gospel

Are Christians who celebrate Christmas
damned? I can't even say that this is
forgivable since it's so idolatrous to me,
yet, I know that God is forgiving and
merciful towards us. Yet, we have to
meet him half way and see the error
of our ways.

In Zech 13, this message of grace, suggests
that he is willing to overlook the past
sins of the House of David, even their
history of preferring idols to Christ.
If he first offers them redemption, in spite
of their spiritual darkness, then there is
hope for the hapless Christian, led to
commit idolatry yearly, even by their
own families and pastors.

It's our responsibility to walk the walk,
but, God also opens our eyes to see the

What can be considered idolatry in our
era, besides Christmas and the way
Easter is celebrated? Our material
possessions and prosperity theology
is another form of idolatry and of
false prophets misleading their flocks.

I've heard too many pastors exhort their
congregations that if they tithe, pray,
and do good, they will be blessed in
the pocket book. That is a false message.

God doesn't compromise. When he warns
us to heed him, he doesn't need a buffer
to soften the totality of his doctrine.
When he says to take up our cross, to
love each other, to have patience in
suffering, he doesn't need an apologist
to explain that God doesn't want us
to suffer or sacrifice the things that
we hold dear in our carnal and material

There are certainly wealthy people of God,
and there are also poor people of poor
spiritual fabric. It's the state of our
hearts, minds and souls which determines
our fate, not the superficial. We all are
tempted with possessions, pleasures,
even the feel good music and ceremonies
of sinful idolatrous things like Christmas,
but, to really be right with God, we need
to get honest, and to attempt not to
deny the hold of this world, it's possessions,
and carnal desires, but face them.

I love things. I love jewelry, clothing, and
cool electronics. There's nothing wrong
with these things, unless they take an
inordinate role in shaping our lives. Even
though I love these things, I know that
unless I temper myself, they will take
over my life. It's not easy, and I'm not
even winning this fight, but, I know I
am wrong to spend as much of my
life caring about these things over
God, who I want above all material

We are living in an age where there has
never been more false prophets. From
every pulpit, ministers read from scripts
prepared in the format of liturgical
doctorate programs in world schools
of religion. The emphasis on most of
these seminaries is not the adoration
of Christ, but, the service to people.
This is not necessarily bad, but, through
the 20th Century, the direction became
bent, and the Ecumenical movement
swallowed up most seminaries. What
that means for most pastors and ministers
is that they are restrained from preaching
from their belly. They know what sermons
work to keep the engine going, those
which entice donations and fear of God
for not tithing and supporting missions.

The goal of money-raising is actually more
important in the real world, than saving
souls, no matter what the pretense of
sending out missionaries means to these
churches. I've been to so many denominations
and found no home in the church.

There are millions like me, detached from
the vine which has become corrupted by
false prophets and idolatry, no matter
what name they call themselves.

I'll look deeper into this, but, it's the biggest
disappointment for me to realize there
is a desperate situation of idolatry and
apostasy within the church, rooted in
false idols and prophets and in otherwise
and seemingly innocuous rituals as seem
pious and normal in Christmas and Easter.

This is what Zechariah is referring to
when he tells the House of Israel that
they will be cleansed from their impurities,
sin and adultery. This is what they are
saved from: Idol worship in pagan
services like our Christmas and pagan
trees and false prophets who call them
by God's HOLY NAME.

No comments: