Warning: This article may be upsetting for some people...
As a believer, would you be comfortable participating in a satanic worship ritual? I would hope you would say “Certainly not,” because God forbids us from doing this.
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…”
What is interesting is that the Israelites not only had to leave behind the false gods they worshiped in Egypt, they also had to deal with the false gods they were going to encounter in the Promised Land. God had clear instructions about how to treat the worship of pagan gods in the land Israel was about to enter...
“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
God’s command is to not even investigate pagan modes of worship lest it entice the Israelite's hearts away from God or worse still they would try and worship God in a pagan way. God not only forbids worship of false gods, He also forbids worshiping Him using pagan practices.
To bring this into today’s terms, we shouldn’t use pagan practices to worship God, e.g. Christians can’t worship God by celebrating Ramadan because God calls pagan worship an abomination. So if a Muslim became a Christian she would have to abandon her Muslim practices - no rocket science here. But what about the “Christian” practices she encounters when she joins a church. Are these God ordained or is she coming face to face with pagan worship in the Promised Land?
Most people in churches just accept what is done in church because it seems it was always done that way so it must be correct (i.e. it is assumed that those who instituted these practices must have followed God and handed them on to us). Very few have looked at where our “Christian” practices have come from. So if I told you most “Christian” practices are pagan worship rituals I’m going to rock a few boats. Not only that, if what I said is true and we’re going to take God’s commands seriously about how to worship Him this will mean a total rethink of almost everything we do.
“What do you mean Christian practices are pagan?”
Great question! For a brief overview of some of our pagan practices consider:
Christmas is the pagan celebration of the birth of the sun god Mithras and has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Christmas is timed for the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice when the days start getting longer again and so the sun is “born”. Christ was born around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles in Sep/Oct and there is no record of the New Testament church ever celebrating His birth.
Christmas trees are phallic symbols (as are church steeples) and the wreath is the female organ, also see Jeremiah 10:1-5.
Lent is the pagan festival "Weeping for Tammuz" which God calls an abomination in Ezk 8:13-14.
The cross is the symbol of the pagan god Tammuz (being the first letter of his name) and also Teitan (the supreme god of the Roman mystery religion - which came from the Babylonian mystery religions and who is satan himself).
Hot cross buns are pagan festival food – see Hosea 3:1 NKJ.
Easter is the pagan celebration of the return to earth of the Canaanite goddess Asherah the sun god’s wife. The bunnies and eggs are all part of her festival (she supposedly returned to earth in an egg). Asherah’s British name is Eastre – hence even the name of the festival is pagan. Note the warning in Zech 14:21 that "...there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."
Most of our services are held on Sunday morning which is the day of the sun god (Mithras again). The service was specifically set in the morning so parishioners could worship the rising sun – New Testament believers actually met on Saturday (the Sabbath) or Saturday night.
For fuller accounts of Christianity’s pagan practices (there's plenty of them) read Frank Viola’s “Pagan Christianity” or “The Two Babylons” by Rev Alexander Hislop.
Well more important than where these pagan practices came from are the questions: "What does God say about them?" and "Can we continue to practice them now we know what they really are?" Let’s dig a bit deeper into Ezekiel 8 & 9.
In Ezekiel 8 God gives Ezekiel a vision of the pagan practices that had infiltrated Judaism. What is intriguing is that these same abominations have infiltrated Christendom. We start in verse 12 where Ezekiel sees the elders of Israel secretly worshiping idols, this is similar to those who lead churches but are members of secret orders e.g. Freemasons etc. Then in verse 14 we see women weeping for Tammuz – which is now practiced across the Christian church as Lent. Finally in verse 16 God shows Ezekiel worshipers with their backs to the temple worshiping the rising sun. This had its fulfillment in Christendom when Constantine made Sunday morning the official Christian worship time, the temples were built facing West so that worshipers could turn and bow to the rising sun before going in to service – and we continue to meet on Sunday mornings today.
Let’s read God’s reaction to all this in Ezk 8:17-18:
Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”
And we wonder why our prayers aren’t getting answered...
Oh that that was the end of the matter. But in the next chapter not only does the glory of God start departing from the temple He also starts taking things into His own hands. He calls forth deadly angels for judgment. Firstly in verse 4 God sends one of the angels into the city with an inkhorn to mark the forehead of everyone who sighs and cries over all the abominations that are occurring i.e. those who are repulsed by the pagan practices. He then sends in the rest of the angels for judgment. Let’s pick up the action at verse 5: Ezk 9:5-7:
To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!”' And they went out and killed in the city. So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?” Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’ And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.” Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.”
The judgment of God started in the sanctuary (the church) because these people were supposed to be His witnesses and yet they were committing abominations. God's warning is clear, we must stop our pagan abominations and worship Him biblically.
"But that's not what it means to me!"
I hear your cry, and I understand your sentiment. I used to hold these practices near and dear to my heart too. However, God isn't interested in what it means to you or me, He only wants obedience to Him. He made this clear through the words of His prophet Samuel in 1 Sam 15:22 "...to obey is better than sacrifice...", "so what it means to me" is never a valid doctrinal position especially when what we are doing is in clear violation of scripture.
So what can we do about this?
1. We need to repent before the Lord and seek His forgiveness for our participation (however unwittingly) in pagan festivals and practices.
2. Utterly forsake our pagan practices and never return.
3. Try reading some of my other articles on this website which further explores these issues.
4. Don't go to war with your church over this, the spirits behind these abominations have been in the church for over 1,700 years and they're not about to leave. If you try to fight the church over its paganism you will only get hurt and possibly seriously.
5. The best thing for you to do is to leave quietly and quickly, like Lot, run and don't look back.
6. Seek out fellow believers who have also forsaken paganism and start fellowshipping with them.
Read the following books:
"Escaping Church" by Tim Mather. This will assist you in your transition out of the "church".
"The Messianic Church Arising" by Dr Robert Heidler. This explains how the church became paganised versus what God's festivals actually are.
Also, the rest of Frank Viola's book series which cover what the New Testament church looked like. Start with "Rethinking the Wineskin".
You Gotta Move!
You gotta move
You gotta move
You gotta move, child
You gotta move
Oh, when the Lord gets ready
You gotta move
You may be high
You may be low
You may be rich, child
You may be poor
But when the Lord gets ready
You gotta move
You see that woman
Who walks the street
You see that police
Upon his beat
But then the Lord gets ready
You gotta move
Songwriters: Fred Mcdowell, Reverend Gary Davis
You Gotta Move lyrics © Bug Music, Folklore Productions, Inc.