By Femi Aribisala
Whenever there is a cautionary word of prophecy, it is customary for supercilious Christians to automatically exclude themselves. Thus, some Christians object to the assertion that Christians are idol worshipers on the grounds that it does not leave room for possible exceptions. But the prophetic word does not give room for self-exclusion. It is tautological, creating the need for general self-introspection.
Christians who feel they should be excluded from prophetic rebukes fall into a trap. They are like Jesus’ proverbial Pharisee who comes to the prayer altar flaunting his credentials. But Jesus says: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32).
One critical attribute of idol worship is the glorification of self. We are warned in the scriptures: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” (Romans 12:3).
However, many Christians worship at the altar of the self. We are proud; devoted primarily to ourselves. We see everything through the prism of “me, myself and I.” Our principal yardstick for determining the appropriateness of anything is: “What is in it for me?” We are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Our agenda for action says: “If it benefits me and feels good, do it.”
This tendency is forewarned in the scriptures: “In the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves.” (II Timothy 3:3). Lovers of self worship themselves and not God. For this reason they cannot be disciples of Christ. Jesus says: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself.” (Matthew 16:24).
Jesus alone is the saviour of true God worshipers. Jesus says: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25). However, self-worshipers are inclined to save their lives by their own devices; while true worshipers no longer live for themselves but for Christ. The latter also comply with Christ’s injunction to give their lives as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45).
Holy days and holidays
Jesus says God is looking for those who will worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24). But Christians are idol worshipers because we celebrate pagan festivals refurbished into Christianity by Roman Catholics.
In the scriptures, God institutes holy days such as the Passover, the Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. (Leviticus 23). However, the Church of Rome replaced these with heathen holidays camouflaged as Christian, in the bid to make it easier for pagans to become Christians; while largely ignoring the divinely ordained holy days that Jesus and his disciples observed.
Jesus berated the Jews saying: “they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9). He said to them: “You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:6-8). Nevertheless, Christians remain either ignorant or unconcerned that quite a number of so-called Christian practices have nothing to do with God or biblical Israel, but belong instead to the traditions of pagan Rome.
God specifically warns the Israelites about the idolatrous practices of their neighbours: “You must be especially careful not to ask, ‘How did those nations worship their gods? Shouldn’t we worship the LORD in the same way?’ No, you should not! The LORD hates the disgusting way those nations worship their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31). However, Christians have adamantly refused to heed this warning.
Worship of Tammuz
Emperor Aurelian of Rome proclaimed the sun god Tammuz as principal patron of the Roman Empire on December 25, 274 (AD). The date corresponds with the winter solstice when pagans celebrate the renewed power of the sun. It was also the day of the Roman Saturnalia; a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, after whom Saturday was named.
This date was then morphed into “Christmas;” a fictional celebration of the birthday of Jesus, for which there is no precedence in the Acts of the Apostles.
When Tammuz was allegedly killed by a wild boar, Ashtoreth instituted an annual ritual of 40 days of mourning for Baal worshipers, when no meat was to be eaten. This pagan tradition of “weeping for Tammuz” is specifically proscribed in the scriptures.
God said to Ezekiel: “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” So he brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD’S house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.” (Ezekiel 8:13-14). Nevertheless, Christians weep for Tammuz by the institution of Lent; a 40-day period of fasting and prayer observed as a prelude to Easter.
Jeremiah also writes: “Thus says the LORD: “Do not learn the way of the heathen; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.” (Jeremiah 10:2-4).
This is virtually identical with the current practice of putting a green tree in the house at Christmastime. Therefore, when Christians decorate “Christmas trees” with lights, glitter and tinsel, they are actually observing the God-forbidden protocols of a pagan festival in honour of an idol god!
Similarly, the burning of yule logs during the so-called “yule-tide season” of Christmas is really a ritual of Teutonic sun worship.
Worship of Ashtoreth
Easter is another pagan festival that has been surreptitiously infused into Christianity. Noah’s grandson, Cush, married a woman called Ashtoreth. In some cultures, Ashtoreth is called Ishtar which, transliterated into English, became Easter.
Ashtoreth made herself “the Queen of Heaven;” the goddess of fertility. The worship of Ashtoreth has then been camouflaged in Christendom as the celebration of Easter; the death and resurrection of Jesus. At this pagan festival, “hot crossed buns” (cakes decorated with solar crosses) are offered to the goddess of Easter. This practice, currently observed by some Christians at Easter is specifically God-forbidden in the scriptures.
God says: “The women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces? Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my fury will be poured out on this place.” (Jeremiah 7:17-20).
Queen Ishtar was allegedly “hatched” from an egg that fell into the Euphrates River from the moon. This “Ishtar’s egg” is now the “Easter egg” of Christians.
Furthermore, sun worship is expressly forbidden in the scriptures. Ezekiel says: “I was then led into the temple’s inner courtyard, where I saw about twenty-five men standing near the entrance, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were to the LORD’s temple, and they were bowing down to the rising sun. God said, ‘Ezekiel, it’s bad enough that the people of Judah are doing these disgusting things.’” (Ezekiel 8:16-17).
Nevertheless, following this pagan tradition, “Sunrise Services” are conducted on Easter Sunday mornings in the churches.