What is paganism? Please explain with examples how Christians adopted it?

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Speaker 1

What is paganism? This person is asking what is pagan religion? And please also explain how it was adopted by Christians and the examples associated with pagan religion.

Speaker 2

We were asked to go to this 1 second but are you ready?

Speaker 3

Tina as ready as I’ll ever be. The Bible says to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks us for the hope that lies within you. So without any preparation I am answering this question. So as far as we’re the pagan religion so that’s the first question that’s being asked here and so my answer would be paganism. Actually, it’s a religion that goes way back basically to the time of Genesis in the early after God created Adam and Eve and there was rebellion and man sinned. And paganism is basically a form of worship where it’s a false system of worship where people will worship things like nature or things of the earth and things like idols. And you read about this in various places of the Bible of how dangerous it is to be part of idolatry and pagan worship. That’s why the Second Commandment very specifically says thou shalt not make them to be any grievance images nor shall thou bow down to them nor shall thou make them that resembles basically anything whether it’s in heaven above or the sea below. And there’s actually a curse that’s pronounced on those who give into idol worship if you go ahead and read about it.

Speaker 3

Actually, let’s go to the verse in Exodus chapter 20 looking at the Second Commandment as far as idol worship which is in a sense paganism. So Exodus 20 and starting in verse four it says thou shalt not make into the any graven 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. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them for I the Lord thy God and a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. But verse six thank God, but showing mercy to thousands to those who love me and keep my commandments. So basically this in essence is like a summary of kind of what paganism is. It’s worshipping anything that’s not God. And so the roots go back to, you see in Genesis, chapter four people making false gods and worshipping them. So it’s so important that we’re not doing that because in a sense we’re saying we are turning our back towards a true God and we’re turning our faith towards a false God.

Speaker 3

And so whether it’s worshipping an idol that resembles an animal or we’re worshiping the air or worshiping the sun there’s all sorts of things in nature that people have worshiped for thousands of years just depending on that culture. And so it’s very dangerous because every type of form of paganism involves some sort of practice and a ritual. And so there are many different types of paganism religions or pagan religions that are mentioned in the Bible. Like, you look at the religion of Baal, and what was involved in the religion of Baal is they would put their children through the fire and they would actually sacrifice their children by putting them in fire, which was terrible. Same thing with Molec. That was another pagan religion. I’m not 100% sure which area that was from, but there’s different ones. And then you go into Babylon and they worshiped not Bendigo, but Anibo, as well as Belle, who was like a dragon, and he really in essence, it was like worshipping the devil because of just the way that it looked. So there’s just many types of pagan religions that have been around since the beginning of creation after the rebellion.

Speaker 3

And it’s kind of funny if you think about it, because the Bible has some very interesting things to say about pagan religions and kind of how silly they are. And there’s one specific passage I want to pull up for you guys. It’s found in the book of Isaiah, and I want to make sure because to me, this is like kind of the epitome of just the Bible’s view of the foolishness there is in worshipping these false idols and basically the idols and the pagan religions. And I believe it’s in let me see in Isaiah chapter 46, and God’s basically saying, I don’t want you guys to worship these aisles because they’re just false gods. And basically, what are you doing when you’re worshipping things that are my creation? It’s like you’re worshipping the creation as opposed to the Creator. And so I apologize. I’m having a hard time finding this specific first. And I know Isaiah 46, so I’ll read you this portion because it’s basically God speaking to his people about idols because sadly, the nation of Israel fell many times back into idolatry and fell into these pagan religions. And if you read like in Isaiah 46, starting in verse one, it says, bell bows down, nebo stoops.

Speaker 3

Their idols were upon the beast and upon the cattle. Your carriages were heavy loaded, they were a burden to the weary beast. They bow down together, they could not deliver the burden. They themselves are gone into captivity. And so basically God is saying, like your idols, they stoop down, they’re nothing, they have no power. All they do is burden your life. They burden your beast of burden. They’re just a burden to you. They have no benefit to your life. And God says something very profound in verse nine. He says, remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else. I am God and there is none like me declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure. So only God is the one who can tell you the end from the beginning. Only God can tell you the future and tell you everything you need to know about your life. And that’s kind of the sad thing about an idol is that you’re basically putting your trust in something that has no power.

Speaker 3

And there’s one more verse I want to show you, and it’s in the book of Psalms speaking about idols and those that worship them. And in Psalm 115, David said something very interesting about idols that I think kind of encapsulates the whole idea of paganism and idolatry. And it says, starting in verse, verse three, but our God is in the heavens. He has done so whatever he has pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not. They have eyes, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not. Noses, but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not feet, but they walk not, neither they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them. So is everyone that trusts in them. And then he calls his people Israel. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord. He is their help and their shield. And so basically, David is summarizing these idols are images of things, like an image of a person or image of an animal, but it has eyes, but it can’t see, and it has ears, but it can’t hear.

Speaker 3

And if you make them, you’re like them. It’s just like you have eyes, but you can’t see things for what they really are. Like spiritually speaking, you’re blind and you’re not producing anything that’s fruitful or a benefit to your life or to those around you. Now, what’s sad is kind of going into the second half of this question how has this come into Christianity? Well, most definitely has come into the Christian church and in the Christian faith. And if you think, oh, this is a new thing, that means Christianity is bad, no God’s. People have been struggling with idolatry and having pagan things come into the camp for a very long time. And I’m not saying it’s right or excusable, but it is something that God’s people have just been dealing with because we as humans, we have just an innate desire to worship. I think we all recognize that our world, our universe is so much bigger than we are and we just have this burden within ourselves to worship. And who are you going to worship? Where is your heart going to go to? Is it going to be to the true God or is it going to be to something you desire or something of your own creation?

Speaker 3

And I think that modern day paganism, yes, there are pagans now who do or shift things in nature, like there’s what they call white magic or people who worship manal and these other pagan gods of nature and things like that. They worship trees, they worship all sorts of things. Again, it’s just worshipping the creation and not worshipping the Creator. And while that’s gone on, and those things might seem very obvious, well, I’m a Christian. I don’t worship a tree or I don’t worship the sun or things in nature like that. But there have been things that have come into Christianity that are definitely related to paganism. And one of the biggest ones that people usually bring up is the Easter celebration. It’s like, why do we have bunnies and eggs and those sort of things? Well, what happened was back in the time of Constantine, he was a Roman leader who was trying to unite Rome. And what was going on at the time was Rome. It was a world power, but it was very broken. And the reason for this is because there are these barbaric tribes that were pagan and they just wouldn’t get along with Rome.

Speaker 3

And Rome had its own set of paganism. And then in addition to that, a few hundred years had passed since Christ has come to the earth. And so the Christianity had been persecuted, but every time they would kill a Christian, ten more would pop up because there was just something amazing about the gospel. And the gospel was just spreading, and Rome just couldn’t keep it under wraps. And so finally this guy Constantine was like, you know, I think for Rome to unite, to be a united kingdom, we need to have a state religion. And so what he did, in essence, is he blended the pagan rituals or the pagan religions, like things that were going on in those religions with Christianity. And you see that in things like the Madonna, which is now what people would say is Mary. And so you kind of see these blending of these things, and you do see the god echo being celebrated on Easter, because she’s the god of fertility. That’s why you see bunnies and eggs. So there’s things like that that have gone on. Some people also bring up Christmas, that December 25. That’s actually the day that the god Tamus, which is the Babylonian god of the sun, was born.

Speaker 3

And so it’s kind of like the blending of Jesus being that and kind of thing like, oh, it’s kind of the same thing. So there’s a lot of things like that that have come into Christianity. But anyways, I could go on and on. So I’m sorry if I’m talking too much, but anyways, there’s many other examples of that. And honestly, the biggest thing that I would say has been the change of Sabbath to Sunday. That is the number one pagan ritual that has come into our church. And the reason for that was early Christians, they worshipped on Sabbath. You see that in the Book of Acts. But when Constantin was trying to unite the pagans and the Christians, they were like, well, the pagans worship on the first day because that’s Sunday they worship the sun and the Christians worship on Saturday. Well, let’s worship both days. And then what they started to do was they started to do the Sabbath being a Sabbath fast. And then Sunday was a Sunday feast. And so, if you can imagine, Saturday wasn’t all that. The Sabbath wasn’t very pleasant, and Sunday became this wonderful day of gluttony, basically, and just enjoying yourself.

Speaker 3

So eventually things just kind of faded into the Sabbath being changed to Sunday. And honestly, that’s one of the biggest changes that you see. And the thing is, it was also predicted in the Book of Daniel, chapter seven, verse 25, where this Roman power seeks to change times and laws. And the only time, the only law in the Bible that’s related to time is the 7th day Sabbath. So there you have it as far as paganism and how it’s coming into the church. But we have to be very careful because we know that we’re coming to the end of time. In Revelation 13 says there’s a beast and there’s going to be a mark of the beast. And I really believe that the beast is related to a false system of worship where I believe a Sunday law will be imposed and just basically forcing God’s people to not keep all ten of his true commandments. J or Wendy, any other thoughts on that?

Speaker 2

Yes, that’s very talking a lot, man. I think there’s a topic that you could write books on the differences between true Christianity and paganism. Maybe the simplest way is paganism. Can you be I guess it’s a subset of false religions, but encompasses a lot of different ways that Satan can steer people away from God’s true religion. And for me, what’s really at the cusp of what Satan is trying to achieve with paganism is he’s trying to steer you away from how God really is, and he wants to make you think God needs to be pleased by you before he’ll accept you. To me, that’s one of the major falsehoods in pagan religion. So they have these statues and they’re giving offerings to these statues, and they’re bound down and praying to them all these things and fearing these gods, and you, Oh, no, it’s not raining. We got to do the special dance and please this God, and then I got to kill my baby, and then they’ll please this God. Maybe we don’t do that today, but we still do it in that manner. But maybe we still do things where we feel like we have to do penances and things of that nature to make God please with us.

Speaker 2

But what do we hear in the Bible, second Corinthians five, starting at verse 18? Corinthians five, verse 18. It says, now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their. It trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. So what is this verse saying? I mean there’s some big words there but the big word we’re seeing again and again there is reconcile. There’s a problem with the relationship. Things went wrong. Which fault was that? Was ours. Adam and Eve went down the wrong path. They chose to distrust God, disobey God, believe the lion serpent and hurt God. That’s it at the end. But this guy said, that’s it, I’m done with you guys. Get away from me. No. What does God do? Immediately promises them in Genesis three a way out. How God is going to deal with Satan, how God is going to pave the way for a savior to come through the lineage of Eve and someday bring reconciliation between the human race and God.

Speaker 2

And that’s exactly what Jesus did. Jesus was God in the flesh, paying the price for our sins so that there’s nothing that needs to be between us and God. And he became human. He was hurt and injured. He took on all the shame, the guilt, the problems we have. He experienced it all so we can connect with Him, so that we don’t have to be afraid of God, we don’t have to run and hide like Adam and Eve did. We can boldly approach the throne of grace as Paul says, that is the true religion. But again, paganism is oh, this guy could be mad at me and wants to destroy me and I got to please him. No. First, God has pleased himself with what he has done. We just have to accept that that is true Christianity. We can’t do anything to please God. In fact, what are we told? Hebrews eleven, verse six but without faith it is impossible to please Him, referring to God. For he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a reward of those who diligently seek Him. Where in there does it say you got to do good acts to be a good person for God to be happy with you?

Speaker 2

Yes, God wants that, he really does. But that’s not what allows you to enter God’s presence. He’s ready made the path for that. It’s by your faith, by believing. What does it mean believing God? Like James even says, even the devil knows. The demons know God is God. That’s not faith. Faith is trusted and he’s a good person. That God is faithful to his promises, that he loves you and he wants to welcome and accept you as His Son. That is true Christianity. That is true religion. And then anything that tells you otherwise, anything that says you’ve got to go through a church, you got to go through a human being, you got to go through some ritual, you got to say some magical prayer, you got to say something that’s paganism. Yeah. And going back to Cain wanted to offer his own fruits to God. He brought fruits. He was supposed to accept a lamb for him from Abel. He rejected the lamb representing Christ and he wanted to offer the fruits of his labor. To me. That is the beginning also of paganism. Cain started it and somebody of religions continue it today.

Speaker 3

Yeah, no, definitely. I think that’s a good summary. I appreciate you helping me out with that. And I think it’s just so interesting, kind of like you’re saying that’s the thing with paganism and pagan religions is yeah, you’re trying to appease a God and that’s really what distinguishes the God of the Bible from any other God or religion in the whole world. Which is very interesting because every other religion you have to do something for your salvation. You have to appease this higher power of some kind or you have to realize yourself in some way or do some sort of rituals to just elevate yourself to a higher level of spirituality. But the thing is, when it comes to Christianity, only in Christianity do we see God himself come to us. God humbles himself. You see that in Philippians, chapter two or Let This Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but basically humbled himself and became a man and humbled himself to the point of death, even the death of the cross, which is one of the most humiliating and gruesome and painful deaths.

Speaker 3

He could have died for us, but yet that’s the God that we serve and there is no other God like that. And so any religion that basically is telling you you have to earn your salvation in some way, shape or form, there’s a problem there because that’s not the God that we serve. God says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, yeah, I appreciate you bringing out that super important point of just how different and unique our God is. And there is no other God like him, period, hands down. And I’m just so glad that the God that we serve is the God of love.

Speaker 2

And when you said there about Christianity is the only one that way, that is that way, I mean that there is a huge point. And to me, when I was in college and exploring what is truth and what’s the odd they’ll be born into the right religion, the one thing that really grasped me and kept me into Christianity was noticing how it was different than any other religion in that regard that Christianity is so special.

Speaker 1

Yeah, yeah, I noticed that as well in my journey because I wasn’t raised in a church. It’s kind of phenomenally Christian environment, but didn’t have a strong basis there or foundation there. And then I got to a school that was super diverse and had every different religion, and I was searching for truth. And I found the same thing, that Christianity was the only one where God literally gave his own life for us while we were still sinful and broken when we were not good. Whereas everything else, it’s like this constant earning, earning. And it’s so unique.

Speaker 3

Yeah. And to me, in a way, that makes me so sad to think that there’s so many people who live that way who think that they need to appease this God. When I read about in the book of Daniels, chapter two, when Nebuchadnezzar, who’s a pagan king and he has this dream that the true God gives him trying to reach out, trying to connect to him. And what’s funny is that God uses an idol in the dream. And God, obviously he hates idols, but God used the idol to get his attention because it was something that Nebuchadnezzar would understand. And what’s interesting is when Nebuchadnezzar goes to his astrologers and magicians and these other pagan spiritual leaders, he goes, what was the dream that I had? And they’re like, well, you have to tell us a dream for us to interpret it. And he’s like, no, if you’re really spiritual like you say you are, your gods or whatever can tell you the dream and then you can tell me the interpretation. And they say something so profound as far as just kind of the essence of paganism. And you see it in Daniel two and verse eleven, or basically 1011.

Speaker 3

It says that Caldians answered before the king and said, there’s not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter. Therefore, there’s no king, lord or ruler that asks such a thing at any magician or astrologer or Caldin. And this is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show up before the king except the gods. So these false gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. And that broke my heart in a way when I read that, because I’m like these people lived in a way where they thought that their gods didn’t even live with them. They don’t have any connection to them. But I’m so grateful that I have Jesus, whose name is Emmanuel, which is literally God with us. How much better could you get as far as if you were going to choose, which God do I serve? Choose the God that’s with you. Choose the God that’s for you, who will be there with you and he’ll never leave you nor forsake you. To me, there’s just no comparison. There’s no way I could ever leave my Jesus because he doesn’t leave me.

Speaker 2

Amen.

Speaker 3

Anyways, I know we probably should keep it moving. You’ve got some more questions to answer.

Speaker 2

But that was an extremely important topic that you just covered, I think, of everything people should know this is one of it. How many people are led astray? Amen.

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