Tagged: idolatry Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • John T. Polk II 11:01 pm on 2016-04-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , holy city, idolatry   

    3-31-2016 Who Is God #4 

    Comparative Religion” courses, or television programs, treat all religions the same, when they are not! Idolatry is based upon a physical “god” worshiped in a physical place: the Muslims Hajj around the Ka’aba in Mecca; Jews have their “wailing wall” in Jerusalem; Roman Catholics have Peter’s Basilica on Vatican Hill in Vatican City. Christianity, however, follows Jesus’ teaching Who answered the Samaritan woman, and said: “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father’” (John 4:20-21 NKJV). There is NO “holy city” for Christians, so how can that be “compared” to the other religions? “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • John T. Polk II 10:33 pm on 2014-04-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , idolatry, pagans,   

    Calendar Apostasy 

    God sent His people, Israel, into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, but with these “statutes and judgments” in Moses’ final declaration to them:

    “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks” (Deuteronomy 12:1-6). The people in that land were pagans and idolaters who worshiped the Creation rather than the Creator. They worshiped the various “gods” which supposedly represented the powers involved in life on Earth. God did not allow His people to simply adopt, nor adapt, the Canaanites’ religious practices as worship to Him. All of: “the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods,” “their altars,” “their sacred pillars,” “their wooden images,” “the carved images,” were to be “utterly” destroyed so they would have no influence among the Israelites, whatsoever. Only the specified worship in the manner God described would be acceptable to God. The Israelites were not to be allied to the worship proscribed by the seasons, but that which was determined by God.

    After the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the kingdom of Christ was established on earth, the Gospel of Christ was to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). While in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man (Acts 14:8-10), but then the idolaters sought to worship both Paul and Barnabas:

    “Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14:11-18). God’s inspired Apostle Paul stopped any idolatrous practice from being used as an explanation for, or an application to, Christianity. There is nothing in idolatrous teachings or practices which should be admitted or accepted by Christians.

    Catholicism, whether Roman or Greek, has incorporated idolatrous practices and seasonal calendars into what they call “Christian,” when all they have done is find some Scripture or event in Christ’s life with which to “tag” what would otherwise be a rejected practice. The disciples were called “Christians” by God first in Antioch (Acts 11:26), but Catholicism has spread the term, like an umbrella, over practices of paganism and idolatry. No Christian in the New Testament ever celebrated an “Easter,” “Christmas,” “Lent,” “Seder,” or any of the 40 days of mishmash found on today’s religious calendars, which are mistakenly termed a “Christian Calendar.”

    No denomination is “Protestant” that follows Catholicism’s religious calendar. “Seder” is simply a re-creation of the Jewish Passover, which Jesus died to remove (Colossians 2:14-16); “Yule” is from witches, “Eoster/Ishtar” is from idolaters, and “Fertility rites” demonstrated by rabbits and eggs, are the very things forbidden by Paul (Galatians 4:8-11); and “Lent” is hypocritical display of a misunderstanding of “fasting” condemned by Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18). The Lord’s death, represented in the Lord’s Supper, must be kept free from the impurities of falsehood (1 Corinthians 10:15-22). Everyone who keeps special days on a religious calendar did “not so learn Christ” (Ephesians 4:20).

    To be a disciple of Christ, one must believe the historical and factual evidence of His life found in the New Testament (John 20:30-31; 21:25) and obey His command to be baptized  “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The only events in Christ’s life to be memorialized are: (1) His death, burial, and resurrection first, when a sinner repents and is baptized into death, Romans 6:1-6, then raised “in newness of life”; and secondly, when Christians observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26); and (2) the day of His resurrection remembered each week when Christians assemble (“the first day of the week,” Luke 24:1-9; Acts 20:7). There are no other special or seasonal days for Christians, according to the New Testament. “The churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) never observed a religious calendar that would lead them into apostasy (1 Timothy 4:1-3), because those who follow such stand contrary to inspired truth (2 Timothy 4:1-5). “The churches of Christ salute you” but we salute Jesus Christ above all.

    —–John T. Polk II

     
    • Joseph Richardson 12:08 am on 2014-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, whoa, slow down, man. Let’s think this through.

      The first Christians, I’m sure you realize, were Jews. They continued to celebrate the Passover (Pascha) and the Sabbath for at least the first century after Christ. Christ didn’t die to “remove” these things: He came to fulfill them (cf. Matthew 5:17). Paul says in Colossians 2:16 “let no one pass judgment on you” with regard to practices of Jewish festivals or traditions. This is essentially his message in Romans and Galatians — in which he does not condemn circumcision per se, or condemn any Jewish Christian who had received circumcision (for he himself had, as did Timothy, Acts 16:3), or declare that Jewish believers should no longer practice the traditions of their heritage. What he taught (in opposition to the Judaizers) was that no Christian was justified by the works of the law (cf. Romans 3:20), but rather by faith (Romans 3:20-26). Did God no longer justify believers who had been circumcised? Did Jesus “remove” the covenant of Abraham or of Moses? Can God go back on His promises, or nullify the covenants He has made? No, of course not. He justifies the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by faith (Romans 3:30); and by faith in Christ, even the Gentiles become children of Abraham and heirs to God’s promises through him (Galatians 3:29).

      So to the idea that observing religious festivals is tantamount to idolatry: The first, Jewish Christians did, and their Gentile brethren followed suit; so this is a practice as old as the Christian Church. Jesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) — so should Christians no longer care about the Passover? Are we not heirs to God’s promises then, too? Jesus presented Himself as the fulfillment of that sacrifice, even instructing us to keep a remembrance of it, in the very language of the Passover celebration (Exodus 12:24; 24:8, Luke 22:19). Paul, in reference to this, instructs us to “celebrate the festival” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

      For what it’s worth: The Resurrection of our Lord has only ever been called “Easter” in England and English-speaking countries (in both Greek and Latin, it was called “Pascha,” Passover, since the first century); and the Christmas season has only ever been referred to as “Yule” among Germanic peoples. So you may thank our Anglo-Saxon forebears for that “idolatry,” not the early Christians. The practice of fasting before celebrating our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection is by all appearances apostolic, in emulation of our Lord’s own fasting (Matthew 4:1-11), and He did not at all condemn fasting (in the very verse you cite, Matthew 6:16, he instructs us regarding “when [we] fast”).

      As for all your other charges of “idolatrous practices” and “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1) — you should be prepared to back that up before lobbing such accusations at fellow believers. No one in the early Church read or applied these Scriptures the way you are applying them. There is nothing in Scripture that forbids remembering and celebrating the great events of the history of salvation — in fact, it’s an essential part of the faith and covenant we have inherited from our Jewish Lord. No, these things do not contribute to our salvation in themselves, and no one believes they do; but the calendar is, as it was for the Jews, an ancient model and pattern and custom for worshipping God, for setting our minds and our hearts on Him and on His promises — especially now, in the Christian caledndar, on Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection.

      I respect your position, brother, but I think you’re mistaken. If the Christian calendar so leads a believer away from Christ — why is every bit of it focused on Christ’s work of salvation in our lives? God bless you, and His peace be with you!

  • Joshua Gulley 11:10 am on 2014-01-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , book of Exodus, , , , idolatry, , , ,   

    in the presence of God 

    Exodus 32 chronicles the building of the golden calf made by Aaron when the Israelites began to miss Moses. Their leader seemed to have disappeared, and his second-in-command either did not know the law or did not have the spine to stand up to the people in their error. He made the idol, and according to verse 6, the people “sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

    Fast forward to chapter 33. The people have been rebuked for their sin, and many were executed. God has withdrawn His presence from the people because He does not want to destroy them. A tradition begins of Moses meeting with God in his tent outside the camp.

    And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. (verses 8-10)

    Here is an interesting contrast: in the presence of the idol, the people ate, drank, and rose to play. In the presence of Jehovah, the people rose to worship. The point? What is our demeanor when we assemble for worship, and what does that say about our understanding of what is taking place? If we feel no sense of awe at the presence of God, and therefore demonstrate a lack of reverence in the assembly, then perhaps there is some kind of idol inhibiting our communion with the Creator.

    Lord, open our eyes in the assembly; remind us that You are in our midst during worship, for only then can we begin to show the reverence You demand.

     
    • Gede Prama 3:19 am on 2014-01-20 Permalink | Reply

      thank you, the article and the true happiness rays began to warm hearts, when we share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

  • John T. Polk II 12:09 pm on 2013-09-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , idolatry, , , , , statues, , ,   

    Was Jesus Christ Beheaded? 

    If the Roman Catholic Church is right, Jesus Christ was decapitated on September 17, 2013 in Malaga, New Jersey. Among nine statues damaged were 3 five-feet-tall statues of Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was beheaded, Virgin Mary, and Our Lady of Fatima. These were located outside of St. Mary’s Malaga Catholic church. Spokeperson for the Camden Diocese Peter Feuerherd said, “These are important symbols of the Catholic faith and in that way when you attack the symbols of faith you attack the faith.” —CBS Philly, September 19, 2013

    The fact that there is no physical description, drawing, image, or icon of Jesus Christ in Scripture or out of the Scriptures in the 1st Century doesn’t seem to influence anybody. Jesus was “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), and God always condemned every attempt to recreate His image. To the Israelites under Moses’ Law, God said: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul preached to idolaters: “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (Acts 17:29). There is no physical description of God, whether in the flesh or not, although “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

    Every statue, icon, painting, or other representation of Jesus Christ comes only as “shaped by art and man’s devising,” not God’s revelation! To call a church building or statue “sacred” is purely by the authority of men, and is totally contrary to the Will of God, for Jesus said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father’” (John 4:21). It is the church of Christ, not a building, but the people, who form the “building” that is “a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

    That physical buildings and statues are “important symbols of the Catholic faith” is yet another proof that the “Catholic faith” and the faith in the Word of God are completely separate and contrary to each other! The Roman Catholic Church is not the church of Christ in the New Testament, and never has been true to the Word of God. The practices of the Roman Catholic Church are based upon idolatry, not the faith of Scripture, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), and the Word of God condemns idolatry (1 John 5:21)! An idol means nothing to a Christian’s faith, for there is only “one God, the Father,” and “one Lord Jesus Christ,” so food sacrificed to an idol is not “sacred.” However, Paul asked: “if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?” Though such idols mean nothing to a Christian as a matter of faith, Christians are to show respect for the consciences of idol worshippers who are converted to Christ, but still haven’t elevated God to His supreme place in their hearts. This should be done without compromising their own Christian faith (1 Corinthians 8:4-13). A Christian would never offend another Christian’s conscience who has not developed to his own level of understanding, and wouldn’t think of intentionally desecrating those things that are considered religious “symbols” of others. Christians would, however, strive to teach the emptiness of such practices, as Paul did (Acts 14:8-18).

    Instead of considering a statue of Jesus “holy,” why not let Jesus, Himself, be “that Holy One” (Luke 1:35), who died for you and God raised up (Acts 3:12-16), for whom you “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), so that you may be “holy” (Colossians 1:21-23)?  —–John T. Polk II, Dover, TN

     
  • Eugene Adkins 2:43 pm on 2013-03-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , idolatry, Smartphone,   

    Guest Article: iPhones or iDols? 

    The following article is by Josh Gulley. Josh is the son of preacher man, a high school music teacher and member of the church in the same county that I live in, but he’s not a member at Keltonburg…hey, everyone has to have a flaw or two 🙂 Hope you find his words of warning helpful:

    iPhones or iDols?

    Cell phones can be wonderful tools. They have made the world smaller by allowing us to communicate more quickly and conveniently than has ever been possible. Using smartphone technology we can do almost anything, from paying our bills to controlling the lighting and air conditioning in our home while we’re not there. It has made life much easier—no longer must we waste all that energy opening the door or peeking out the window to check the weather: we can do that with just a few touches of the screen. Jesting aside, they have become a useful addition to our lives, and I imagine that there are some children of God who have (as I suppose we should) given Him thanks for the blessings cellular technology has brought to our lives.

    As with every other good thing, however, cell phones can grow on us like warts. Days and weeks pass before we realize that we are touch-screening our lives away. Some of us have perhaps had the experience of turning around and driving miles back to our homes because we were almost to our destination when we realized our phone was not on our person. We feel like the earth’s rotation will stop if we are without our phones for an hour or two. At some point we cease using our phones because our phones are beginning to use us.

    I personally do not have a smartphone (yet), but I know the description above can be true based on simple observation and experiences with other technology. As a teacher in a public school, I constantly have to remind students to put their phones away. If I do this at the beginning of class, within two or three minutes of giving that direction I will see somebody holding their book in just such a way to hide their phone from my sight. I am afraid some of them are drifting into a world where they depend on having that gadget in their hand the way we as humans depend on food and shelter. (More …)

     
  • Ron Thomas 9:27 am on 2012-01-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apologist, , Guam, idolatry,   

    A Local Catholic Apologist 

    While in Guam I saw a letter to the editor that challenged a previous letter concerning God’s first commandment in the Decalogue. The author of the letter is Tim Rohr (of Agat, Guam); he argues that the prohibition against a graven image of any kind is not to be taken literally. To do so is to relegate not only all religious icons to the ash heap, but also non-religious statutes and figurines of anything to the same pile.

    As a local Catholic apologist he thinks he has scored a point when he says, “But we know not to take it literally because a few chapters later (chapter 25) God commands Moses to make two statues of ‘beaten gold’ (cherubim). A couple books later, (Numbers) God instructs Moses to make a bronze serpent, put in on a pole, and tell the people to ‘look upon it’ and be healed. According to Zerzan’s interpretation, it appears God was the first to break his own First Commandment – twice!” (The Pacific Daily News, 12/28/2011, p. 15; all mistakes in the quotation belong to Tim Rohr)

    I respect the effort of the man who has conviction with regard to his belief. Lord knows we need more people to stand up for what they believe.

    However, the paragraph above illustrates a lack of biblical knowledge. God’s first command to the Israelites is not to be taken literally, we are told. I wonder if God’s command relative to Sabbath observance was not to be taken literally by the Israelites. Moreover, I wonder if God’s prohibition against adultery was not to be taken literally. The only reason there is opposition to the command’s prohibition is because it opposes a practice by the Catholics on the island of Guam.

    Does the fabrication of the Ark of the Covenant show that God is confused in the institution of His command (or commands)? The commandment of God to the Israelites is plain and not easily missed (unless one wants to miss it). There is to be no religious devotion to any relic! One can’t make an image (a religious relic) of God because no one has seen Him; there is no pictorial image of Jesus for one to reproduce into a religious relic; and most certainly there is nothing of a similar sort with regard to Mary. Why, then, the effort to make religious icons for man to bow before? Among the many reasons that might be presented, one of them is surely associated with idolatry. God is spirit and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth.

    The Ark of the Covenant was not a religious relic to be worshiped at all; it was placed in a location that represented God’s presence and mercy. In fact, the only one to see the relic was the High Priest and he could only see it at certain God-ordained times. Never was the High Priest to bow before it.

    With regard to the account in Numbers 21 if Tim Rohr does not know any more than that which he shared with us, then I suspect his knowledge on other biblical topics will be just as flawed. Does he actually think the bronze serpent of the events in chapter 21 was a religious relic (to any degree)? Even if he does not regard this as a religious relic, the fact that he would include this as a violation of the Lord’s command (if the words of the first commandment are to be taken literally) is just plain ridiculous. It was most certainly not a religious relic, and when it became one it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4).

    In conclusion, we have learned that to promote a practice that has no sanction in Scripture all one needs to do is to take literal word meanings and replace it with figurative meanings. This is done, however, when it serves a useful purpose – like perverting the truth!


     
    • Eugene Adkins 7:52 pm on 2012-01-10 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ron, good article. Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m putting an article you wrote entitled “Are you living your Faith?” in our congregation’s bulletin this week. I got it from Bulletin Gold. You never know where your writings may end up 🙂 Take care brother – I enjoy reading your posts.

      • Ron Thomas 4:57 am on 2012-01-11 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Eugene. Also, I am honored that you like the article in BG for the church bulletin. Be well, brother.

c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
shift + esc
cancel