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Re: Bali and the pagan "church"

Public TV is quite a source of information. An 'eye' into remote parts
of the earth where a normal person might not have opportunity, or be
able to afford to go. When they present documentaries, they typically
do so with no 'agenda', necessarily, that they are promoting; other
than "culture" and/or "art". Recently there was such a program about
Bali. And a week-or-so before that, on a 'primative' tribal culture.

When we see these cultures we ought to on one hand be alerted to
the things the "church" has fallen to, and become diverted. On the
other, we who are True Believers ought to be ashamed of our lack of
dedication to and 'care' of the things of the Lord, when we see the
'lifestyle of worship' that other cultures represent!

Bali does not have a word for "art". They do not have "artists". And
yet, their culture is -loaded- with what we consider to be art. This is
because their 'artists' are -religious- people. That which we call 
"art" is part of their daily, moment-by-moment "worship" of their 
'gods'. The one "artist" they showed was being very careful in his work 
because it needed to "glorify the gods" properly.

When tourists go visit, and are "entertained" by ritual dances and
shows, this is not "culture". Well... it is. But it is more. Those 
dances and shows are a religious service they are performing. When they 
wear those face masks, they have spiritual powers; and those movements 
you see are the enactments of demons under whose spell the person has 
subjected himself.

As I was watching, I thought to myself, "Those are the same movements 
that rock musicians make on their stages!"

They have their "trance". They specifically ask the spirits (plural) to
enter them. Such participants go into spasms, twitches, fall on the
ground, and make grunting, growling, howling sounds. Sound familiar
like anything some are calling a "spirit-filled christian" experience?

They also have "power". When in these trance states, they will take
daggers and try to stab themselves with all their might. But the
"filling" they are under gives their bodies 'power' to not be injured.
Sound like anything else that's called "christian"?

In the tribal settings, the witch doctor and fellow-shamans would
inhale hallucinogens, get into an altered state, and would "heal"
people. They grab the sick person's head and yell at the spirits. They
grab the person where the sickness is, and rub up towards the head to
draw the sickness out of the person. Sound like anything else you've
seen on TV a lot, called "christian", and performed by those now being
labelled, by some, "great men of god"?

What is "art"? Art often includes study of religion. Studies of the
origins of musical art begin, essentially, with study of the Roman
church's music.  Paintings, frescoes, statues often include religion.
The study of architectural history usually involves the study of
temples, cathedrals, and other objects of worship.

With the TV special on Bali, practically -everything- they discussed
had -some- religious significance. The little I've studied on Japan, my 
birth-place, I have come to realize that -most- of what I as a child 
just saw as being "Japanese" was, in actuality, of religious 
significance...to "Shinto".

How the world must laugh at "Christians"! These are just three cultures
we have spoken of here. But if you've ever watched very many
documentaries of other cultures and archaeology, you know that cultures
revolve around their deities. Their culture is -distinct- BECAUSE OF
their deities. And they very carefully make sure they adhere to the
strictness of every detail regarding their worship. Distinctly.

And yet...here's the "church". Embracing shamanism, occult, witchcraft,
and everything else of the world through its art and music.
"christians" embrace all their little trinkets, fish symbols, and
pictures. But, did they ever think about God's command, 'you shall not
make to yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that
is in the heavens above [pictures of 'Jesus'], or that is in the earth 
beneath [crosses, crowns of thorns], or that is in the water under the
earth [fish]. To the heathen cultures, their 'art' -IS- their worship.
A thing of distinction for Christians is that God commanded to NOT have
any of these 'likenesses.' "God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him
must worship in spirit and in truth." (Jn4:24)  Not "objects".

The heathen have all their rituals and demonic ways. Christians are to
NOT engage in those things. They are not to embrace them. The flesh has
been put to death (Col3:3,5) as we are "mindful of things above" (vs2)
We don't use the methods of the world to worship and/or witness.  "For
the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to
the pulling down of strongholds" (2Cor10:4)  If we are using the 
heathen ways, we are no longer 'distinct' from the world. The world 
cannot tell that our "citizenship is in heaven". (Phil3:20) They cannot 
tell that we are -REALLY- "looking for the Savior, the Lord Jesus 
Christ." If we are not distinct enough to be different, why should they
become a Christian? It must not be "genuine" enough to stand up for.

Something I have noticed about essentially -ALL- other cultures and
religions, as I'm exposed to them from time to time, is that they are
militant and faithful to their distinctives. The only ones who are not
are the Jews and the Church!! Shame on us!!

"I am JEHOVAH your God..you shall have no other gods before Me..you
shall not make to yourselves any...likeness...you shall not bow
yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I JEHOVAH your God am a
jealous God.." (~Ex20:2-5)

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what
fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what
partnership does light have with darkness? And what agreement does
Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an
unbeliever? And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God...therefore come out from
among them and BE SEPARATE, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean
thing." (~2Cor6:14-17)

May this prayer of Moses be ours...

"So we shall be separated, I and Your people, from all the people that
are upon the face of the earth." (Ex33:16b)


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