The Christian Church (on the whole) is muddy and unclean with many false doctrines.
How can our thinking be organized?
Thesis: Use Ezra 8, 9, 10 to model, identify and address the “lukewarm church.”
“The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” Ez. 9:1-2
The church as the bride of Christ?
The ekklēsia is never explicitly called “the bride of Christ” in the New Testament. However this is pictured clearly in Eph. 5:22-33.
Wisdom is also picture clearly, “She” is painted as the fairer sex throughout scripture. True wisdom is very desirable (Proverbs 8:1-11)
Has the Ekklesia been deceived by Leaders “marrying” into the church some of the alluring “wisdoms” of “pagan” culture? What are those?
List some of the pagan “wives” (wisdom) that have not been kept separate? (noting there are eight nations, the “-ites” in Ez. 9:1.)
- Humanism – “all men are good” — Inclusiveism, permissivism, many faiths / one god
- Secularism – “good works, seen by all” — ritualism, religiosity, charity / philanthropy, politics / bible-ethical confrontationalism.
- Transcendentalism – “find god in me” — Contemplative self-actualization, eastern gymnasium, body worship (Kudalini)
- Spiritualism – “sense and/or encounter god” — mysticism, signs and wonders, experientialism, emotionalizm
- Relativism – “my god my way” — Self satisfaction, AA, NA, “anonymous” claimants, epicurean contentmentalism
- Analism – “it’s not my fault” — psychology, pharmacology, self esteem (christian counseling), behavior modification, cultural moralism
- Intellectualism – “knowledge of faith” — theologianism, apologetics, stoicism, science denial / pseudo-science and “flat-earth” theology.
- Applicationalism — “rewards of faith” — prosperity doctrine / health and wealth, “name it and claim it”
Note: No particularly order. The list is just a swipe at organizing a range of perceptible issues.. as “-isms” as opposed to the O.T. “-ites”. Hope you can enjoy the made-up words that fit the premise. Please contribute your own ideas. Thanks in advance for a response.
So… Judgement begins with the House of God?
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1Pt. 4:17
What, then, is the essence of faith?
“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jn. 20:29
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” Jn. 6:29
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 Jn. 4:8
Lord, where am I crossing into pagan wisdom?
An indicator in the past has been my reading habits. I question: To what do I devote my mind? Christian authors included – thankfully, my attention has drifted back into scripture and worship, prayer particularly.
“Drifted back to scripture, worship and prayer?!” I don’t think it’s other than the Spirit saying: don’t be looking at those lovely pagan ideas so much.