A Voice in the
Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devis- ing a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good." Israel responded, "..we will walk according to our own plans, and we will [each] obey the dictates of his evil heart." (Jr18:11-12)
The past few decades America has been in moral decline. When rock- n-roll started in the 50's and "free love" was the thing in the 60's and 70's, there was at least a segment of society which viewed the trend as being "wrong." Churches proclaimed "sin" to be "sin." But then society adapted the "do your own thing" mentality. If it feels good do it. Anything goes.
Our nation has sunk so far into the gutter that our President's escapades are not seen as being wrong. I keep hoping to hear "somebody" in the public eye express a negative opinion about "zipper-gate." But what do we hear? The comedians have a never-ending supply of jokes originating from the Oval Office. In interviews the only condemnation of the President is regarding his "tastes" in women. He was voted for a second term with the populace knowing what kind of man he is. His first term opened with an edict about gays in the military. They approve. Because he is like them. He's "cool." We each have our "rights" to do anything we want.
The "church" has adapted to this philosophy, too. After recent writings about rock/worship music in the church, there have been several reader responses of the order, "People are all unique and worship God in their own individual ways. We each have our own characteristics and attitudes. Music is 'neutral' and created by God. One kind of music reaches one kind of person. Another, another. That which VW labels as 'occultic' may be one person's only way of reaching God. It is up to the individual to discern..."
What does the Bible say to all this? Moses says, "These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe.." (De12:1) This word "careful" means to "guard or take heed to; be diligent." And if you will look up this passage, you will see two essential elements. 1) Destroy any and all elements of idolatry which exist in the land; and 2) Be sure to worship God in the Prescribed MANNER, in the prescribed place. And he makes an interesting observation, "You shall not at all do as we are doing here today-every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes.."(vs8) In other words, "individual rights" are "not at all" acceptable to God. We are to "submit to God" (Jas4:7) and ask "what do You [God] want me to do?" (Ac9:6) After the idolatry is destroyed, the next step is, "take heed...that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'how did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise."(vs30) You shall not worship God by the very means which are an abomination in His sight, which God hates.(vs31) "Be careful to observe.." everything God commands.. "you shall not add to it nor take away from it."(vs32)
When the respondent suggests that the "occult may be a person's ONLY WAY of reaching God" we come to a grievous error which God warned against. He said to Israel, "..you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations" (De18:9) and goes on to describe various occult practices. He calls them ...disgusting & wicked.
So, when Israel took possession of the land, what happened? Remember that Israel's history is recorded as an "example" for us. (1Cor10:6) "..the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals." (Jg2:11) And vs 11-23 gives a synopsis of the next few hundred years. Israel would sin. Enemies would plunder them. Israel would cry out and God would raise up judges (Othniel, Deborah, Gideon, Samson, etc) to deliver them and "yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods... and bowed down to them." (vs17)
"..everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Jg17:6) And ch17-18 is about Micah's idol.
Then we have a dark series of events. The levite's woman was ravished to death in Gibeah. Her body was cut into twelve parts and couriered to assemble all Israel together; Israel punished Benjamin for protecting the evil perpetrators of the crime, and then contrived a manner for them to have wives, so the tribe would not be totally wiped out. And the book of Judges ends with, "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."(21:25)
Years later when Jeremiah is prophesying against Israel, they say, "..we WILL walk according to our own plans, and we WILL every one do the imagination of his evil heart."(Jer18:12) And God replies with, "Ask among the Gentiles, who has heard such things?"(vs13)
Think about it, reader! If a Catholic and "christian" want to marry, the Catholic church does not "give in" to "christian" principles. Conformity happens "to" the Catholic church. No if's, and's or but's. Muslim countries do not practice "tolerance" to other religions. All must bow to "Allah." Societies and brotherhoods are not tolerant of other ideas; all members make their oaths of agreement in all points.
And then there's the "church." We can worship "God" any ol' way we please. God "doesn't care." I can use satan's music, immoral sensuality, and occultish mantras to worship God. After all, we have our own ideas of "who" God is, and I can pretty much decide what "my needs" are to reach God. It doesn't matter that God says, "For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Lev11:44) But they take from "The [creeping] serpent."
Rather than repent, and seek God's face (2Ch7:14) they persecute the messenger. (Jer18:18)
What does God respond? "Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place..they have burned incense..to other gods..and they have devised things "which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind" His judgment proclaims "therefore behold the days are coming.." for judgment.(19:4~)
For the "church" this translates into, "I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand...will give to each one of you according to your works...I will [violently] come upon you...I will spew you out of My mouth."(Rev2-3) And to whatever degree it is tied into "Babylon" she will receive just retribution.(Rev18)
There is no other human entity which does not strictly adhere to its tenets. Even the "United Religions" holds to the tenet of "unity in diversity." And they hold to this militantly for anything that is opposed to God. As long as it's satan's ABCs.. [A]nything [B]ut [C]hrist.
For a True Believer, how can we be anything less! Truly knowing God, we CANNOT allow satan's dilution to deviate us from God's "thus says the Lord." If we are True Christians, we are "called out" from the world.(Ac15:14) If we "name the name of Christ" we are to "depart from iniquity."(2Tm2:19) We are not to "[conform] yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct"(1Pt1:14-15) ..and worship.. As He says, "this is the way, walk in it."(Is30:21) Amen!