Recently a friend, who is still not QUITE convinced about all aspects of trying to walk in obedience to “Torah as Written,” asked me a somewhat blunt question: “Why are you so hard on the evangelical church?”
It’s probably true. I often refer to paganized “holi-days” like Ishtar sun-god day and Xmas when I am teaching on the Sabbath, or observe that there are many verses in the “New Testament” which are all-too-often twisted. Romans 13, of course, and there’s “Peter’s Dream” in Acts 10, which does NOT prove that “Jesus Christ died on the cross so we can all now eat ham sandwiches,” as well as the four “necessary but not sufficient conditions” from Acts 15:20-21, and literally scores of others. “Not all Christian denominations,” I was reminded, teach the lie that the “law was nailed to the cross.”
And that’s a good point. I certainly try not to lump all Christian denominations into the basket I tend to call “Xtianity.” Some are starting to return to at least acknowledging that the Feasts of YHVH might still have something to teach us. Some are questioning the pervasive “Rapture Cult” message that we’re going to get beamed out of here before anything REALLY bad can happen. (Perhaps, though, because it’s getting harder to deny that bad things ARE happening already!) Quite a few more are beginning to examine prophecy — even “Old Testament” prophecy — as ask questions like, “are we entering the End Times?” (Although, in fairness, many have been predicting dates on that score for centuries, too.)
But the vast majority of the licensed, tax-exempt, 501c(3), “Caesar-created faith-based corporate institutions of another god,” still tend to ignore far too much of what the Messiah they claim to acknowledge as “Lord” said. Things like that He would not change ANY of His instruction (torah) so long as heaven and earth still exist, or that “many” who practice torah-less-ness would come to hear Him say, “depart from Me, you who practice iniquity, I never knew you.”
“Fine,” I heard in response. But the subsequent exchange boiled down pretty much to a reminder that, “you can catch more flies with honey,” than vinegar. And that leads me to the real point of this article. When we talk with people, particularly friends and loved ones, whom we KNOW, one-on-one — we must of course be sensitive to individual concerns, and engage in a discussion, where, hopefully, “iron sharpens iron.” The value of personal discussion is just that — listening, quoting Scripture, responding to concerns, or misunderstandings, even prejudices, in a productive way. But when it comes to a teaching in front of a fellowship gathering, or on the radio, or even in an article like this, things are a bit different. While people can, and do, respond with questions or comments, the audience is often more “general.” It usually includes people who ARE searching for more, and have come to realize that we have all, “inherited lies from our fathers.” And — here is the real issue — there comes a time, warns Scripture repeatedly, when we must ACT: to “blow the shofar,” because we recognize there’s a “sword coming upon the land,” or “come out of her,” because we can likewise see the plagues at hand. And, ultimately, those who fail to “know the times and the seasons,” will end up being “without excuse.”
Why am I often so hard on the evangelical ‘church’? For the same reason that Eliyahu (Elijah) was. And Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Isaiah. And Moses was. And Yahushua was. Because it’s a matter of literally “life and death,” or blessing and cursing, and time draws short. Many WILL die. And many ARE being “led astray” by wolves masquerading as shepherds.
Shaul, or Paul, put it this way. (2 Cor. 6:14-17) “…what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Just exactly who is he talking about being “unequally yoked” with?
The answer can be found in the repeated prohibition of mixing: of the clean and the unclean; of the qadosh, or “holy”, and the profane; and even of things like wool and linen garments, crops in a field, or different types of animals to a plow. Most importantly, we are not to mix the worship of YHVH with the types of things pagans did — and still do! – for their false “gods.” From the infamous golden calf, to Baal, and Molech, and Ishtar/Astaroth/Astarte/Easter, to Xmas trees, the winter solstice, Mithras’ December 25th birthday, and Halloween, to mix what our Creator specifies that He wants with pagan traditions is not only expressly forbidden, but called “abomination.”
Shaul’s Second letter to the people of Corinth still seeking to “come out of” paganism goes on to make it so clear — IF we can rid ourselves of the “Xtian baggage” we often still carry:
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living Elohim… (Are we really, if we commit idolatry before Him?)
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith YHVH, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…”
Ultimately, if we are to do as he sought to do, to “speak boldly, as I ought to speak,” then we must confront idolatry, EVEN within the ‘evangelical church,’ exactly as Scripture confirms. And perhaps ESPECIALLY with ‘the church’! The last lines of Deuteronomy chapter 7 are unequivocal. We are not even to “bring an abomination into [our] house!” And the reason why is equally clear…”lest [we] be a cursed thing like” those idols He abhors.
If we love Him (John 14:15), He says we should keep His commands. And if we love our brothers, we’ll speak His truth boldly. Even if it sounds hard.