About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Just before Joshua died he admonished Israel
concerning the pagan practices of the Canaanite community they were now
living among. He said,
"… be careful to obey everything that is written in the
Book of the Law of Moses … Do not associate with these nations that
remain among you; do not evoke the names of their gods and swear by
them. You must not serve
them or bow down to them … Be careful to love the Lord your God.
But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of
these nations … if you intermarry with them and associate with them,
then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out
these nations before you. Instead,
they will become snares and traps for you … until you perish from this
good land". (Joshua 23:6 – 13)
Canaanites were historic enemies of Israel. Therefore,
was not to ally themselves with them, serve, worship, or evoke the names
of their pagan gods. If Israel
did any of these, God would no longer protect them from the Canaanites.
The Canaanites would rise from within their midst, become a snare
to them, and defeat
The apostle Paul gave the elders of Ephesus
a similar admonition. He
said, "… I know that after I leave savage wolves will come in
among you and will not spare the flock.
Even from your own number men will rise and distort the
truth". (Acts 20:29 and 30) This
came true when men rose from within the Ephesian Christian community
teaching false doctrine and leading people astray.
About 3 decades or so after Paul's warning, Jesus Himself, in
Revelation 2:6, warned these Ephesians to repent or else they would lose
their candlestick. History
tells us that in subsequent generations, the Ephesian Christians ignored
these warnings by Paul and Jesus. The
community of believers eventually perished. An
Islamic community rose from the ashes of a defeated Ephesian church.
and the Ephesian Christians ignored the Word of the Lord.
They gave themselves to false teaching and pagan practices.
I suggest that parts of the Evangelical movement are doing the
same today. For the sake of
unity and tolerance, which is a non-Biblical worldly philosophy, many
Evangelicals are allying themselves with other religions and
participating in their pagan practices.
This is evident in the Emergent
Men like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and Rick Warren,
are teaching people to do what Joshua told Israel
not to do. In the name of
unity, these men both teach and practice an unbiblical alliance with
other religions. They
"evoke the names of other gods" in so-called joint worship
services. Like Israel
and the Ephesian Christians, the end result of this union is death.
They and their following will perish from the good land God once
gave them. As Jesus put it
in Revelation 2:6, "they will lose their candlestick".
The witness from the light of the Holy Spirit will depart from
them and they will join the apostate church of these last days.
Paul called these false teachers of the last days,
teachers of demonic doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:1) The
time has come for those who take the Word of the Lord seriously to call
these teachers to repentance and warn the Christian community about
them. If they don't repent,
we do as Paul teaches. "Have
nothing to do with them". (2