Pagan beliefs and true Christianity? (LISTEN)
Amid all the differing churches and various religions in the world, there are many pagan doctrines and beliefs in what is assumed to be Christianity—but is that really true Christianity? We all know that many denominations claim to be Christians, but are they really? What is the difference or is there any? Is a humble follower of the Jesus of the Bible, ever to be engaged in Pagan practices or nonbiblical doctrines?
Those that make up the body of Christ should come to readily recognize the truth when they see it, or at least be taught, to by those in the ministry. But let us be honest, we have passed out of the era of Philadelphia, the time frame of brotherly love that older folks of the COG today learned much of the truth in. We are now in a very confused, laidback and lukewarm era in the COG, which was prophesied (Rev.3:14-21) and those who are still trying to cling to truth find themselves scattered and many times being bombarded with a different attitude and approach to truth—even the truth of past history concerning the COG!
To discern truth from error in our world today and its religions, can & should be relatively easy with most things presented, when comparing what the Bible actually teaches and reveals through its pages. We find in 1Cor.12 that discernment (that is the discerning of spirits) is one of the gifts given to true Christians and that must be exercised on a daily basis or as much as is possible, as we let the Spirit lead. Some things however, are quite tricky to get a solid grasp of, being cleverly and deceptively worded and some of those come from the COG organizations of Laodicea today. Christ gave the warning to His immediate disciples and any who would come along later, (Which applies to us today) having or desiring the purpose of trying to be obedient to God and Christ’s teachings. Thus the striving to be or become a true Christian by holding fast to and being Committed to truth. Yet we even find some confusion on “What is a true Christian” and what is not, and the same goes for the Church, simply because of the various approaches and wordings presented by some in their articles. Yet we are told that we should all be of the same mind and judgement once in the body of Christ, the true Church and Christianity, having NO divisions. (1Cor.1:10 & Phil.2:5) Look around you today and even at the many COG groups and evaluate what you see—do you see unity and harmony and that with the truth of the Bible?
I have run across certain things (Statements) from time to time in some articles & other messages from various COG organizations that make me go back and re-read or listen again—maybe even multiple times—in trying to get the right understanding of what is being said or written. And that is just among the ones I visit—but there are many that I don’t even go to anymore because I have already proved there is no spiritual benefit in going to them. Sometimes there are some wordings in these various pieces of material that are just confusing or not correct the way it is written and can be misleading or deceptive, especially to the new learner of truth who is paying close attention to what is being said. That should not be the case in anything that is to be a help to anyone trying to learn truth, especially coming from the Church. The true Churches main purpose is to witness to people with the truth, not a mixture of truth and error, like the many other religions do in their publications.
This article (Mainly for COG brethren and others seeking truth) is to be a short explanation of some obvious confusion some people may have on this subject. Pagan beliefs and true Christianity is the title and anyone who has studied the Bible, even having a long history with the COG, ought to know these are totally opposite to one another. Anyone NOT in the COG and that are interested in truth—have not all learned this yet, so they should be given that truth without a lot of confusion—make it plain—for God is not the author of confusion. (1Cor.14:33) These words of the title do not both belong in the same sentence intended as truth without some clarification, so that is why I have placed a question mark at the end of the title. That is a question this article can answer. However, some have failed to learn this, apparent by some of their words, and are trying to blend true Christianity with the false and their pagan doctrines or beliefs, as I have brought out in some of the audios on this web site, plus the article titled Christianity. Many such deceptive articles have come out of late and may even be leading some of the elect astray. This is very important for anyone aspiring to be a true Christian to come to grips with. Christ found it important enough to tell us that; “False christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.” (Mark 13:22-23—NKJ throughout unless others wise noted) The easiest way for Satan to deceive the elect is to have some agents (Perhaps even ignorantly) within the COG groups and among people the elect want to trust.
The apostle Paul understood this and wrote in Eph. 5:11-14 that a true Christian is to; “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. (Or pure truth) V.14 Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." This should be the desire of any true Christian and even those who are wanting to become one, still in the initial stage of coming to Baptism; to be seeking the truth.
I could spend several hours of writing confusing and off track quotes for you that have come out in various pieces of material from some COG groups in the last few decades. However that is not my purpose, but I will say, in finding some of those things, I realize that some of those are what I would call “HONEST” mistakes, because they are not intended to deceive and may just be a typo or misinformed thought. But inevitably, if it is in error it can deceive or give someone the wrong idea. When found to be in error it needs to be corrected. If it cannot be recognized as needing correction, then that may be a flaw in the understanding of the mind, which becomes even more troublesome. Let us note this one quote from a recent COG article on a web site, which is a good example of very subtle truth and error in my opinion—whether intended or not— but here is the quote; “What is the truth? Are the many nonbiblical doctrines and practices we see today—indisputably and easily proven to have been brought into Christianity long after Christ established it—a sign of genuine or counterfeit Christianity?”
Now on the surface and in the context of the whole article, if one does not think about the obvious blending of false Christianity with the true, also examining what this is saying word by word, it might slip right on by you, even if you are in the COG. (The world does not know the difference because many believe they are Christian by just “believing on Christ” while still keeping pagan doctrines and having that kind of belief.) But let us now examine these words a little closer, just as they have been written. Let us remember that Christ has told us in Matt.4:4 & Luke 4:4 that we are to live by every word of God, which is truth that we should be set apart by. (John17:17) Should we, aspiring to be true Christians, apply any less diligence at seeking truth, to words that are supposed to be truth and helpful in learning truth? What about even from supposed history and concerning modern Christianity or the truth about them, as well as the true COG? Which is true and what is counterfeit in the quote above and can you tell by the wording? THINK ABOUT IT as you read that quote again. When searching for truth, the error often comes right out.
So I am going to take some time with this before going on to more Scripture. Let us examine these words to pinpoint the error, if there is any, in them. Let us begin with the first few words, What is the truth? By these words we see this is a question for the reader to consider truth, but do we go on to see truth we can clearly identify by using the Bible and actual history? There is more to be considered in the next part; “Are the many nonbiblical doctrines and practices we see today— (Stopping here) So the “nonbiblical doctrines” that this is referring to are the same pagan beliefs in the title and condemned in the Bible—however we have to also consider the rest of the statement, so let us go on to that; “indisputably and easily proven to have been brought into Christianity long after Christ established it—” so this, put with the first part is a statement in itself that is to help us see some truth. What about this—is it truth? Is it even “indisputably and easily proven” (These nonbiblical doctrines and pagan beliefs) that they have been brought into Christianity? We go to the last part of this sentence and it says; “Christ established it”! Anyone who knows any truth knows that Christ was the reason for His true disciples to become established as Christians. They got that label by being His true followers, which will be seen a little later. So with that said, the only reasonable conclusion that a person could come to is that the word Christianity must be referring to the true Christianity Christ established. So the only conclusion I CAN come to is that this statement is saying pagan beliefs (nonbiblical doctrines) and practices were brought into true Christianity.
Then there is the last part of the quote, concluding the question with another bit of confusion—“a sign of genuine or counterfeit Christianity?” Why do I say confusion? Because what is meant to be true within is actually false! Just in case you cannot see this; it says Christ established it —but true Christianity, the Church that Christ founded with His teachings, has never been involved in nonbiblical doctrines and those pagan beliefs were never a part of the one true COG. So the only conclusion I can come to is that this statement is a false and deceiving one—intended or not! Now earlier in the same article the quote was taken from, there is another false statement according to the wording of it. Enemies of the true COG were not trying to change the COG itself, (as is said) but were in fact seeking to establishing another church entirely that does away with the Laws and Commandments of God. In that, they have been successful.
This became a great FALSE CHURCH THAT WAS THE PERSECUTOR OF TRUE CHRISTAINS THROUGH TIME, until the protestant reformation and that persecution will COME AGAIN; in the days and years just ahead. The apostle John makes it clear that those with their own ideas and doctrines, deceptions that lead away from truth (mostly brought into false Christianity that developed into the great false church and counterfeit churches of our day) were not a part of the true COG—EVER! The true COG is a Spiritual organism and is made up of those who have and are being led by the Holy Spirit of God. (Rom.8:9, 14)
Note this from 1 John 2:19, emphasis mine, saying; “They (meaning those who are anti-christian and not of the COG—they) went out from us, (John says, even if they mingled with true Christians for a time, they were not true Christians) “but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” Now interestingly enough, John also includes this in V.21; “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” This is something to give some serious thought to, considering what we are to become and then be like as true Christians! We must overcome, as every letter to the COG shows and we are called out of the world for that very purpose! So let us look at a little bit of the true history of the early COG, remembering Christ is its head and He never changes. (Col.1:18 & Heb.13:8)
When Christ began to call His disciples to “Follow Me” as we see in many passages; they were from the Jewish belief and some of them were already disciples of John the Baptist, who was preparing the way for Christ. Note this in John 1:35-37 saying; “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” V.40 reveals that one of those was Peter’s brother Andrew, saying; “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.” As we continue on we see that Andrew brought Peter to Christ. V.41-42 says; “He (Andrew) first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.”
However back in Matthew’s account, as well as Marks; we see a little different scenario to this and this account must have been at a different time, for there are no contradictions in the Bible. (John 10:35) Matt 4:18-20 says; “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” The point I am bringing out here is that the Jewish belief was not centered on any Pagan beliefs and doctrines, those that later came to be accepted in what is called “Christianity” today. That is false Christianity and did not begin with Christ or the early COG— not even being all truth— but a mixture of truth and error. Christ first established the “follow me” concept when He began to call His disciples and that is what a true Christian is; a follower of Christ. (Acts 11:26)
The true COG was begun on Pentecost in 31 AD., when the Holy Spirit was given to those few Disciples of Christ, as we can read about in the first couple of chapters of the book of Acts. (False Christianity teaches Passover (Crucifixion) and this Pentecost was 30 AD or 33 AD, in order to support their false claim of “good Friday and Easter Sunday” doctrine—more pagan and false beliefs!) There is a vast difference between true Christianity and the false and anyone wanting to be a true Christian will quickly learn of it and acknowledge the truth. There is no place for anyone trying to blend them together in the COG, the Spiritual Organism. That must be repented of. Christ was a Jew and the Jews were very firm about not fellowshipping with the gentiles, (The uncircumcised, in many scriptural references) because the Gentiles did have false gods and lots of them, which were abominable practices and false beliefs that the God of the OT had Commanded Israel and Judah (the Jews) to come out of. It was unlawful for them to even eat with a gentile, until God called the gentiles into the true COG. (Acts 10:26 & 11:2-3) When the Jews came out of their captivity, they tried to insure they would not go back into it and added many do’s and don’ts amounting to their own traditions—which Christ reprimanded them for—but none of these were Pagan practices that fake or false Christianity eventually embraced, long after Christ was resurrected. All of these details have been disclosed in various pieces of material on this web site, as well as in the Truth of the Gospel programs. The last 3-part series there, titled Church & true Church also reveals much truth concerning some of these things. Feel free to check it out and download anything for further study, using your Bible. Be paying close attention to what you read, even if it is from a COG group, lest you also become lukewarm.