Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Walking Away From Paganism

We humans are interesting creatures. When faced with something that has to be changed and we don't want to change, we will do and say just about anything to avoid the change. We will convince ourselves and attempt to convince others that the change is unnecessary. We will justify with our reasoning why we don't have to change. Or if backed into a corner, we will try to change only some parts and not the whole thing.

Example: I have several friends who know that we don't take part in typical holidays such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter. We don't take part in them because they are pagan festivals going back thousands of years. We don't have anything to do with them because Yahweh says that we should not. The book of Jeremiah in the Bible is full of warnings to the Israelites' not to celebrate pagan festivals.

I have had conversations with these friends, explaining the info above and there begins a debate on just how far do you have to go to be obedient to Yahweh. To me, it is black or white, obey or disobey, no middle ground. To others it is what can I do to still partake without being in disobedience. Hence you will see churches with their fall festivals instead of Halloween. They have taken the pagan Halloween and turned it into something else, something they hope that Yahweh will approve of. Problem is they don't read their Bibles enough to see that Yahweh already said that He disapproves of this type of stuff. The Israelites learned that the hard way.

Not only that it is not up to us humans to turn something pagan into something Godly. That is Yahweh's prerogative only. We just do not have that right. Pagan is pagan and we are to stay far away from it.

Believers are supposed to be set-apart from the world. We are to be looked upon as different from everyone else. If we do the same things, celebrate the same pagan festivals, eat the same foods then are we really set-apart? I think not.

Yahshua (Jesus) said in Matthew that many would come who did works in His Name and He would send them away saying that He didn't know them. It seems that no one in the church is taking that seriously.

In the Bible Yahweh means what He says. When He says to keep His commands He means the Torah instruction. When He says to keeps His festivals and feasts, His set-apart Holy days, He means it. When He says to keep the Sabbath, He means it. When He says to stay away from anything and everything that has paganism He means it.

It is not OK to call it something else. It is not OK to change it into something that a person thinks is better or more Godly. It is not OK to take the bits and pieces that you want to hold onto and keep them in your life.

Either you are going to obey or disobey. There is no middle road. To try to ride down the middle is choosing to disobey.

And for anyone with children, please remember the Proverb (Prov 22:6) to bring them up the way they should go. The way they should go is the way of Yahweh, not the way of s.a.tan and paganism. As parents we will be held accountable to Yahweh for what we teach our children.

I leave you today with one of my favorite scriptures from Joshua. The Israelites had entered into the promise land, a land filled with a culture steeped in paganism. Although Yahweh told them to rid the land of these people and their pagan practices, the Israelites had not done so. At this point many of the Israelites had adopted the pagan practices and combined them with their Torah instruction and how they obeyed Yahweh. This was an abomination to Yahweh. This is what Joshua, a very Godly man, had to say on the issue:

Jos 24:14 “And now, fear Yahweh, serve Him in perfection and in truth, and put away the mighty ones (pagan gods) which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve Yahweh!

Jos 24:15 “And if it seems evil in your eyes to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves this day whom you are going to serve, whether the mighty ones which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the mighty ones of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But I and my house, we serve Yahweh.”

Jos 24:16 And the people answered and said, “Far be it from us to forsake Yahweh, to serve other mighty ones,

Jos 24:17 for Yahweh our Elohim is He who has brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs before our eyes, and has guarded us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed.

Jos 24:18 “And Yahweh drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We too serve Yahweh, for He is our Elohim.”

Jos 24:19 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve Yahweh, for He is a set-apart Elohim, a jealous God is He. He does not bear with your transgression and with your sins,

Jos 24:20 if you forsake Yahweh and shall serve mighty ones of a stranger. Then He shall turn back and do you evil and consume you, after He has been good to you.”

Jos 24:21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we do serve Yahweh!”

Jos 24:22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen Yahweh for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “Witnesses!”

Jos 24:23 “And now, put away the mighty ones of the stranger which are in your midst, and incline your heart to Yahweh Elohim of Yisraʼĕl.”

Jos 24:24 And the people said to Joshua, “Yahweh our Elohim we serve, and His voice we obey.”

Jos 24:25 And Joshau made a covenant with the people that day, and laid on them a law and a right-ruling in Sheḵem.

Jos 24:26 Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Torah of Elohim. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the set-apart place of Yahweh.

Jos 24:27 And Joshua said to all the people, “See, this stone is a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of Yahweh which He spoke to us. And it shall be a witness against you, lest you lie against your Elohim.”

As for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh. We have put away the false gods and idols and we have turned away from the pagan celebrations. Will you? It's not easy. Family and friends will turn against you. But that is the way of the narrow path that leads to eternal salvation with the Father, Yahweh. Will you do the hard stuff that it takes?


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