CHRISTMAS, SYNCRETISM, ECUMENISM & CHRISTIAN LIBERTY

I remember a booklet made available by former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett. On the cover was the sketch of a Pope with a huge Protestant crowd in the distance in front of him. It showed the Pope deeply inhaling and under the sketch were the words “THE GIANT SUCKING SOUND”. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

The ecumenical movement is alive and well in today’s born again Protestant/Evangelical church.

Ecumenical: promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Unity with Roman Catholicism, in any way, is never an option for the born again believer because Rome preaches a false gospel. It may be hard to believe, but there is one area of the ecumenical movement that is often totally ignored by the most committed believers. I don’t want to minimize individual responsibility, but I do believe a multitude of compromising Pastors have brought this about, and it would be an understatement to say that many believers have gone with the flow, including myself for a season.

That area is the celebration of Christmas 🎄 and Easter 🐣. I find it interesting that as I typed in the words Christmas and Easter the two emojs above appeared which easily brings me to the topic of syncretism.

Syncretism: the combination of different forms of belief or practice (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Christmas and Easter are Roman Catholic “holidays”. It’s as simple as that. They are pagan holidays that have been “Christianized” and they mock and bring reproach on the great I AM, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. To partake of a “holiday” that connects the great I AM with paganism is an abomination in the sight of the Lord.

Yes, we have Christian liberty, but Christian liberty never gives us license to partake of the anti-biblical practices of ecumenism or syncretism.

2 Corinthians 6

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

More on Christmas… here

THE CHURCH

Schools, restaurants, department stores etc. have closed. Sporting events and concerts have been cancelled. Large gatherings among family and friends are also discouraged, all in an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. I believe the churches should not have services, not gather, for the very same reason. There is a debate going on about keeping churches open and it made me think about this post that I wrote in 2007…

CHURCH 

Strong’s Concordance

1577. ekklesia, ek-klay-see’-ah

HELPS Word-studies (source: biblehub.com)

1577 ekklēsía (from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2564 /kaléō, “to call”) – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.

A building is not “the church.” Born again believers are the church.

An organization is not “the church.” Born again believers are the church.

The true church is a family, and should function similar to a family, each person having a role.

If all the buildings that we call “churches” were to close their doors, there would still be a church.

If all the organizations and institutions that are called “churches” were to fall into apostasy, the true church would still be in existence.

How? Why? Because the church is the faithful born again remnant of people who follow the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and in truth.

ASSEMBLING

If we are not gathering in Spirit and in truth our gathering is pointless. It has become nothing more than a legal formality. The Lord told us that when two or three are gathered together in His name, He would be in the midst. 

MINISTRY

There can be, and there is, ministry outside of the institution/organization called the “church.” We are to be salt and light in this world. Our whole life can be, is to be, ministry. Ministry does not have to be confined to belonging to a particular “church” and then signing up for a specific “ministry.” We can be salt and light wherever we are. There are people all around us who need to hear the Gospel. There are people all around us who need comfort and help. There are people all around us who need prayer. Whatever the Lord puts before us to do for others is ministry. I have found in my experience that it is possible for “ministry” to become nothing more than a legal formality. On the other had I have also experienced the joy of ministry that flows from the heart, and is a very real part of the world we live in.

GIVING

Giving can also become a legal formality. We can give in a compulsory manner, or give with eyes closed to serious false doctrines being propagated in our local church. We think we have done our duty, and say we are not responsible for what is done with the money once it leaves our hands. But is that really true? I don’t think so. When the institutional/organizational church has gone astray, there are many other ways we can give to further the Gospel and help the poor.  We should provide for our family also, including our parents etc. if they have need.  If we pray and seek the Lord through His Word, He will lead us in the right direction.

Before I was born again I attended the Roman Catholic church. They have what they call “holy days of obligation.” You must attend a “church” on those days or you are guilty of what they call “mortal sin.” Many Catholics attend church in legal obedience to this Roman Catholic law.  But we, as born again Christians, are to be concerned with truth, not a legal obedience void of truth. We must follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man who had nowhere to lay his head. If our local congregations have fallen into apostasy, we may have no choice but to go forth and worship Him outside the camp, and by doing so we will surely bear his reproach.

Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

ADD THOU NOT UNTO HIS WORDS

The Scriptures could not be clearer. Do not add to God’s word, yet we have rampant ecumenism in the Evangelical church. We yoke with Rome and celebrate her “holidays” such as Christmas, Easter etc. and think nothing of it. Are we more influenced by our Pastors and those around us than by God’s Word? Is this a small thing? Where is our fear of God?

Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

See… LIST OF CATHOLIC HERESIES

Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Gill:

Ye shall not add to the word which I command you, nether shall you diminish ought from it,….

as the Scribes and Pharisees did in Christ’s time, who by their traditions made the word of God of none effect,

as do the Papists also by their unwritten traditions; 

Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Gill:

as the Pharisees did upon the law; and when unwritten traditions are made to be equal to it, or above it, as the same persons made the traditions of the elders, whereby they transgressed the law, and made the word of God of none effect, and so broke through the precept given, Deuteronomy 4:2

as do the Papists in like manner; and when men pretend to visions and revelations, and make them the rule of faith and practice, and to confirm things that are neither in this book, nor in any other part of the word of God;

 

CRUCIFIED

Luke 23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

Gill Commentary:

For if they do these things in a green tree,…

Or it may be rendered impersonally, “if these things are done in a green tree”; by which is meant the Lord Jesus Christ, who is often compared to a tree, as to a green fir tree, an apple tree, a vine, and is called the tree of life: and may be said to be a moist or green tree;

because, as a green tree is full of juice, so is he of grace and goodness;

as that is flourishing, so was he in the fame of his doctrine and miracles, in the spread of his Gospel, and in the increase of his kingdom and interest;

and as that is fruitful and useful, so was he in preaching the Gospel, and healing diseases;

and as that is not proper to be cut down, nor fit fuel for the fire, so he was not deserving of death, or to be used in the manner he was;

the metaphor seems designed to express the righteousness and innocence of Christ; … who was pure in his nature, without sin in his life, harmless in his conversation, and did no hurt to any man’s person or property:

his enemies could find nothing, nor prove any thing against him; nor even the devil himself, but owned him to be the Holy One of God;

and he was also declared innocent by his judge, the Roman governor: and yet, how many hard and grievous things were done unto him!

He was persecuted in his infancy, and his life was sought for;

he was despised and reproached by men all his days;

he was apprehended as if he had been a thief, and was bound as a malefactor;

and arraigned at the bar of men, as if he had been the greatest criminal on earth;

he was mocked, buffeted, and spit upon in the palace of the high priest;

he was scourged by Pilate, and misused by his soldiers, who arrayed him with a scarlet robe, put a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed in his hand, and in a mock way bowed the knee to him, and saluted him as King of the Jews;

they crucified him between two thieves, …

and as he hung on the cross mocked him, and gave him gall and vinegar to drink.

To which may be added, that he was forsaken by his God, and Father, and his wrath was poured out upon him, as he sustained the persons, and bore the sins of his people; the curse of the law was executed on him: and justice drew its sword, and sheathed it in him. …

and if such things were done to Christ by his Father, according to the requirement of the law, and the strictness of divine justice, when he was made sin for his people, though he knew none, nor committed any himself, what vengeance will fall on them, who must answer for their sins in their own persons?

What devouring flames, and everlasting burnings, will such dry trees be exposed to, as being fit for them, and deserving of them?