An other Christian WordPress.com site – Een andere Christelijke WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘Heathen worship’

Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing

Paul’s warning about false stories is in the first letter he wrote to Timothy, a Christian elder. Paul told Timothy to keep the congregation clean and to help his brothers and sisters to stay loyal to Jehovah.

1 Timothy 1:18, 19: 18 This instruction* I entrust to you, my child Timothy, in harmony with the prophecies that were made about you, that by these you may go on waging the fine warfare,+ 19 holding faith and a good conscience,+ which some have thrust aside, resulting in the shipwreck of their faith.

The Greek word that Paul used for “false stories” means “a lie” or “a made-up story.” One book says that a false story is a religious story that has no connection with what is real. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia) Perhaps Paul was thinking about the religious lies that came from old stories that people made up and that made others curious.*

Paul said that these stories were dangerous because they “furnish questions for research.” This means that people who pay attention to these stories start having questions about things that are not true and then use their time trying to find the answers.

The adversaries of God (also called Satan) do like to bring division in those who are looking for God and into those who want to be part of the Body of Christ. Christendom has lots of preachers who worship another god than Jews, like Jesus worshipped only One True God. They follow lots of human teachings which where brought into the religion by the years, by so called “theologians” who claimed to be clergy ordained by God.

We must be fully aware that there are lots of people who like to twist the words of the bible, which we consider the infallible Word of God. They offer the world a false religion to fool people. That is why the Bible says that he makes himself into “an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) For example, the religions of Christendom say that they follow Christ, but they teach lies like the Trinity and hellfire. They also teach that some part of humans lives on after the death of the body. Many think that Christmas and Easter please God, but the things that people do during these celebrations really come from false worship. False stories will not fool us if we pay attention to God’s warning to separate ourselves from false religion and

“quit touching the unclean thing.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

When we hear the majority of people we may get the impression it all does not matter so much. But we may not be mistaken. God gives enough warnings and lets the world know that He is a serious God of order who wants people to recognise Him as the Only One true God. As a jealous God He also does not like it that graven images or pictures are  made of Him and other gods to pray to Him and other gods. He detest any form of heathen worship. But lots of people want to convince you and others that it does not matter to participate at those many heathen festivals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and so on. They want you to believe all those stories about Santa Claus, the elf’s, Easter bunnies do no harm. Such teachers are the ones Paul and other apostles warn for. Because they allow wrong actions to be done by you, and you to be a partaker of heathen festivals, which is an abomination in the eyes of God.

A map of the world, showing the major religion...

A map of the world, showing the major religions distributed in the world as of today. A different type of map which views only the religion as a whole excluding denominations or sects of the religions, and is colored by how the religions are distributed not by main religion of country etc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may never forget that the first and biggest lie, which false teachers bring is:

You can do whatever you want; you decide what is right and what is wrong.

We often hear this on television, in movies, in magazines, in newspapers, and on the Internet. Because we hear this lie all the time, it is easy for us to start to think that way and follow the immoral ideas of the world. But the truth is that we need God to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Jeremiah 10:2323 I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.+

The second lie is:

You are now saved and free to do whatever you want. God will never change anything on the earth.

This idea makes people think only about today. They do not care about the future or about pleasing God. Several preachers wants the Christians to believe they are saved for ever and have not to worry any more about what they do or if they sin, because according to those false teachers they always will end up in heaven.

Such thought of not having to do any works of faith is a false teaching which lures lots of Christians in not bothering any more to do good and to avoid doing wrong. Lots of people start to think like them and then become “inactive or unfruitful” in their service to God. They become partakers of this world corrupt system, avoiding you to escape the entrapments of this world.

2 Peter 1:4-8-11: Through these things he has granted* us the precious and very grand promises,+ so that through these you may become sharers in divine nature,+ having escaped from the world’s corruption produced by wrong desire.* For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+

False teachers blind people or shut their eyes for their actions and for abstaining from certain actions the people of the world like to do. They give the impression it does not harm to be of this world and to partake into all the actions of this world.

English: Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Min...

Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Miniature of Saint Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Already early in the beginning of manhood man became to dread the presence of God because they were under His wrath. The children of Adam and Eve present to us a picture of good and false religion. Cain his offering was not done in the right way and was rejected, which made him furious and made him to kill his brother Abel. Later in history man sought all sorts of ways to elucidate things he could not understand and therefore started making different gods. They also started to split the elements of nature into characters of God, often giving reason for them to worship elements of natural phenomenons and creating ones-more false gods. Trying to declare the events in our world lots of philosophies were brought forward. Many people got carried away by such philosophies and by teachers using lots of such theories. Also today we can see that false teachers take many captive through their words full of philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on the teachings of the Jewish Nazarene Jeshua, Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:8-9: Look out that no one takes you captive* by means of the philosophy and empty deception+ according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.+

Neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted oral Jewish tradition to support their teachings but, rather, appealed to the written Word of God. (Mt 4:4-10; Ro 15:4; 2Ti 3:15-17) It is the Word of Gdo as presented in the Scriptures which we should hear and take into account.

Mt 4:4-10: But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s* mouth.’”+

Then the Devil took him along into the holy city,+ and he stationed him on the battlement* of the temple+ and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”+ Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah* your God to the test.’”+

Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.+ And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+ and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”+ 11 

Jesus as the son of God never wanted to test God and preferred doing God His will, not his own will. Jesus gave an example to us how we, like him, should obey only Jehovah God and not try the Most High God to see how far we can go or what we can do to better ourselves. All people should come to understand not human teachings are going to bring the all life saving knowledge. Man should know that the Most High God provided all knowledge man should know to come to live a proper life giving him the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.

Ro 15:4: For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction,+ so that through our endurance+ and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.+

Though it might ask patience fro mus it are the writings in those old manuscripts, reprinted in the different Bible translations, which shall bring hope and comfort. We must pay full attention to those words in that Book of books, Bestseller of all times, that was written for our instruction in order that through the steadfastness and encouragement in the scriptures we may have hope. False teachers do bring false hope and might even take away the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God, because you going in against the Will of God.

From the early gatherings of the followers of Christ we can see that observance of the unscriptural Jewish traditions amounted to a “fruitless form of conduct” that Jewish persons had ‘received by tradition from their forefathers [Gr., pa·tro·pa·ra·doʹtou, “given along from fathers”].’

1Pe 1:18 18 For you know that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were set free*+ from your futile way of life handed down to you by your forefathers.*

The “things given aside” (The Greek word pa·raʹdo·sis means, literally, “a thing given beside”) and hence “that which is transmitted by word of mouth or in writing.” (1Co 11:2, Int) we should be very careful with and always compare it with what is written in the Bible. The word paradosis as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures is applied to traditions that were proper or acceptable aspects of true worship, as well as to those that were in error or were followed or viewed in a way that made them harmful and objectionable. the false teachers are those who present such sayings which are in error with the bible, God’s Word.

Several Jews, upon becoming Christians, abandoned many false Jewish traditions. When some false teachers in Colossae urged taking up that form of worship, Paul warned against “the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men.” Though evidently he meant, especially, the traditions of Judaism (Col 2:8, 13-17) we also can transpose it to the Celtic and Germanic traditions which were integrated by the false church, first the Catholic Church and later also not abandoned by many protestant churches.

Viewing tradition in the sense of guidelines handed down orally or by example, the information that the apostle Paul received directly from Jesus could properly be passed on to the Christian congregations as acceptable Christian tradition. This was so, for example, regarding the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal. (1Co 11:2, 23) The teachings and example set by the apostles constituted valid tradition. Thus, Paul, who had personally toiled with his hands so as not to be a financial burden on his brothers (Ac 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 9:15; 1Th 2:9), could urge the Thessalonian Christians

“to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition [pa·raʹdo·sin]” they had received. One who would not work was plainly not following the fine example or tradition of the apostles. (2Th 3:6-11).

Each of us shall have to decide fro himself or herself in which way he or she wants to follow human teachings and human traditions or the Word and the Will of God. Those who want to call themselves Christian should know that God’s Word should come in the first place. all should also know that when one chooses to follow human doctrines, like the one of the Trinity a.o., it shall be decisive for what happens with that person. We always should remember

Mark 7:7-8: It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’+ You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.”+

Isaiah 29:13: 13 Jehovah says: “This people approaches me with their mouth, And they honor me with their lips,+ But their heart is far removed from me; And their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught.+

Following false teachers shall not bring us far. Just the other way around, it shall bring us on the wrong track, further away from the entrance to the Kingdom of God.

The truth is that Jehovah will soon change things on the earth, and we must show by the way we live that we really believe that there is Only One True God above all gods and that He had sent His only begotten son, who did not do his own will (which he would have done when he – Jesus -would be God) and gave his body as a ransom for our sins to liberate us from the enslavement of sin and the curse of death. In that son of man we should find our hope, because God authorised him to be a high priest for God and a mediator between God and man. We may be looking forward to the time this man of flesh and blood, who was taken up in heaven to sit next to God, shall come back to the earth to judge the living and the dead. Make sure that you are ready for that time.

Matthew 24:44: 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready,+ because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.

Mark 13:35: 35 Keep on the watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming,+ whether late in the day or at midnight or before dawn* or early in the morning,+

Make sure you prove yourself ready by being alert, always on the lookout,

Mark 13:33: 33 Keep looking, keep awake,+ for you do not know when the appointed time is.+

Romans 13:11 : 11 And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep,+ for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:6: So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do,+ but let us stay awake+ and keep our senses.+

*

Footnote:

  • The book of Tobit, or Tobias, which some people think is part of the Bible, is an example of the false stories that existed in Paul’s time. It was written about the third century before Christ. This book is full of false beliefs and stories of magic. It tells impossible stories but says that they are true.

+

Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Position and power The early days of Christianity

False teachers and false prophets still around

Good or bad preacher

Teachings, prophets, wolves in sheep’s covering and a narrow gate

2015 the year of ISIS

++

Additional reading

  1. Warning
  2. Should We Love The Ungodly?
  3. Beware of Counterfeit Catholicism
  4. The beginning of false religion
  5. High-living North Carolina ‘prosperity gospel’ pastor indicted for bilking church in massive tax fraud scam
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  7. Lord in place of the divine name
  8. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  9. Relapse plan
  10. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  11. Halloween custom of the nations
  12. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  13. Great things, Voice of God and terrors
  14. Satan the evil within

+++

Further related posts

  1. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  2. The Warlord Of Religion 
  3. True and false religion
  4. It’s Never been about Religion!
  5. Cookie a day: Topic-Man-Made Tradition
  6. “Westboro Baptist Church cheers on Hurricane Irma via Twitter”
  7. Calvinism & Christianity
  8. If God spoke to us audibly
  9. Why Are there So Many “Gods” & Religions?
  10. Know God in a Year #191 Religion Gone Bad
  11. Church History is good to know
  12. Confounding the Idols: A Rebuke of the Impotency of the Modern Church
  13. What Is A False Prophet?
  14. “Cain,Tubal Cain, Mystery Babylon & The Image of the Beast”
  15. Confident Evangelism: Roman Catholicism
  16. What makes a false religion, false?
  17. Babylon Is Fallen
  18. The Danger Of Hyper-Grace

+++

Position and power

History of Christianity

1. The early days of Christianity

1.1.       Considered as a danger

1.1.1.  Position and power

The founder of the Christianity, Jesus from Nazareth, the Christ, prayed that between his followers could exist unity (John 17:21), and the apostles really tried to keep the unity of the Christian municipality (1 Corinthians 1:10; Jude 17-19), but already in the first century false teachings entered Christianity.

The fact, that the Christians were a closely united body, fresh, vigorous, hopeful, and daily increasing, while the heathen were for the most part a loose aggregation, daily diminishing, made the true prospective strength of the church much greater. But they remained strongly surrounded by all kinds of several pagan belief forms and popular activities which could be sometimes very tempting.

With the years going by, the Christians came to stand for all sorts of trials and persecution.  As the first disciples they draw consolation and encouragement from their meetings.  Consequently the apostle[1] Paul wrote to the Hebrews 10:24, 25: “let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” Those words are much more than a command to come and remain together. They provide a through God inspired standard that counts for all Christian assemblies— and actually for each occasion that Christians come together.

The apostles had been aware that dispute in the belief could lead to vehemently, discord and even enmity. (Acts of the Apostles 23:7-10) The apostles and early inspired men of the first century defended the Christian faith in two ways: verbally (Acts 22.1, Philippians 1.7, 16, 2 Timotheüs 4.16) and by means of literature (1 Corinthians 9.3).
Already in their time the apostles had to warn the followers of Christ for false teachers and wrong teachings which slowly entered the faith already n the first century.

the Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus...

Conversion of Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus

The apostle John refutes misconceptions of how to live godly in the face of the docetic-gnostic teachers infiltrating the church (1 John 2.1). “For many deceivers have entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua the Messiah has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 1:7 KJBPNV) “Because a number of false teachers have gone out into the world, who do not give witness that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Such a one is a false teacher and Antichrist.” (2 John 1:7 BBE)

Peter writes: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1 KJBPNV) “Especially those who follow their old natures in lust for filth and who despise authority. Presumptuous and self-willed, these false teachers do not tremble at insulting angelic beings;” (2 Peter 2:10 CJB)

No one of genuine concern wants to be wrong on what the Bible teaches. Therefore we must be cautious and ready to see all the biblical evidence as slowly or quickly as it is analyzed. In principle, it is what we find in Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians: “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 KJBPNV)

Abiding in the words of the Gospel (John 8.31-32) we must be patient, hoping to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and let the scriptural facts reveal themselves on their own terms. Some early Christians were lacking that patience and found it not pleasant to give up their old customs. They then became attracted by those who found that it did not matter so much to love so strictly.

As long as the apostles lived, they protected the municipality. The history shows that the early Christians were not concerned by the political matters of the Roman Realm and that they had no prominent class of clergymen. Instead they were all diligent proclaimers of Gods kingdom. To the end of the first century, they had given testimony in all parts of the Roman Realm and had made disciples in Asia, Europe and North-Africa. (Colossians 1:23). These performances in the preaching meant however not that it was not longer necessarily to remain spiritually watchful. Jesus predicted coming lay yet far in the future.

Sects had to be avoided, since they belonged to the works of the meat (Galatians 5:19-21). Christians were admonished to promote no sects neither to let them self bring on a wrong track by false teachers (Acts of the Apostles 20:28; 2 Timothy 2:17, 18; 2 Peter 2:1). In his letter to Titus the apostle Paul commanded that a man who after a first and a second serious admonition continued to promote a sect, had to become rejected, what apparently meant that he must become rejected from the municipality (Titus 3:10). Those who refused to become involved by the causing of disunion within the municipality or by the supporting of a particular party, would distinct themselves through their faithful walk and give a token to own Gods approval. This was what Paul apparently meant when he said to the Corinthians: “For there must be also factions or sects among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19).

The Christians kept high principles of morality and probity, and with fiery diligence made the message of hope known. Thousands left Judaism and accepted Christianity (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 6:7). In the eyes of the Jewish religious leaders Jesus’ followers were unfaithful or apostate.  (Acts of the Apostles 13:45.) These furious leaders were of opinion that Christianity annulled their traditions. Yes, it denied even the view that they had on heathen! From 36 C. T. a heathens could become Christian and believe and hope in the same privileges as Jewish Christians. (Acts 10:34, 35).

Because of their high morality beginnings and the holding fast on to their belief conviction on more than one issue superior the Christians in the Roman world became not loved. Their separateness of the world (Johannes 15:19) triggered aversion. They did not take up political office and refused military service. As consequence of this they “became proposed as men that were dead for the world, and useless for all matters of life”, according to the historian August Neander. Not being part of the world, meant also to avoid the godless ways of the Roman world. “The small Christian-communities disturbed the pleasure making pagan world with their piety and decency”, explains the historian Will Durant (1 Petrus 4:3, 4). By pursuing and bringing the Christians before court perhaps the Romans tried to bring well the tormenting voice of the conscience till silence.

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BC unto 117 AD

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BCT unto 117 CT

The first-century Christians preached the good news of God’s kingdom with unshakable diligence (Matthew 24:14). About 60 C. T. Paul could say that the good news’ was preached in whole the creation that under the heaven is ‘(Colossians 1:23). At the end of the first century, Jesus’ followers had made supporters and disciples in the whole Roman Realm — in Asia, Europe and Africa! Even some members of “the house of Caesar” became Christians (Philippians 4:22). This diligent preaching woke resentment.  Neander says:’ Christianity steadily progressed under lay men from all forms of population and threatened to bring the state religion to fall.’ You can imagine how considerably important it really could be to let men infiltrate to let bring them on other thoughts.

Jesus’ followers offered Jehovah exclusive devotion (Matthew 4:8-10). Perhaps this aspect of their adoration brought them more than what else in conflict with Rome. The Romans were tolerant to other religions, as long as their supporters also participated at the emperor adoration. The early Christians normally could not participate at such adoration. They looked at themselves as people, that were due account at an authority that was higher, than that of the Roman state, namely Jehovah God (Acts 5:29). As a consequence of this a Christian became, though he was further in such a way in all respects such an exemplary citizen, considered as an enemy of the state.

There was yet another reason, about which faithful Christians in the Roman world became “objects of hatred”: Common backbiting over them was believed stylus, accusations, for which the Jewish religious leaders were in not small extent responsible, (Acts 17:5-8). About 60 or 61 C. T., when Paul waited in Rome for his trial by emperor Nero, prominent Jews said over Christians: “Really, what concerns this sect, it is us known that she experiences everywhere arguments” (Acts 28:22). Nero would certainly have heard defamatory stories over them. In 64 C. T. he chose, when he was held responsible for the fire that Rome afflicted, according to reports to use the already everywhere slandered Christians as scapegoats. This appears to have brought on a wave of violent persecution that had as target to exterminate the Christians.[2]

The false accusations that were brought in against the Christians were often based on a mixture of straight lies and a twist of their belief views. Because they were monotheistic and not adored the emperors, they were labelled as atheists. Because some non-Christian family members revolted with their Christian family members, they became accused to disrupt their family (Matthew 10:21). They were constituted for cannibals, an accusation that was based according to some sources on a twisting of the words that Jesus had uttered during the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-28).

Towards the end of Nero’s reign the Christians were required, under the heaviest penalties, even that of death, to offer sacrifices to the emperor and to the heathen gods. After the death of Nero the persecution ceased, and the followers of Jesus enjoyed comparative peace until the reign of Domitian, an emperor little behind Nero in wickedness.

The dispersion of the Jews, and the total destruction of their city and temple in 70 C.T., are the next events of consideration in the remainder of the first century. The numbers that perished under Vespasian in the country, and under Titus in the city, from A.D. 67-70, by famine, internal factions, and the Roman sword, were one million three hundred and fifty thousand four hundred and sixty, besides one hundred thousand sold into slavery.[3]

Domitian,” says Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history, “having exercised his cruelty against many, and unjustly slain no small number of noble and illustrious men at Rome, and having, without cause, punished vast numbers of honourable men with exile and the confiscation of their property, at length established himself as the successor of Nero in his hatred and hostility to God.”[4] He also followed Nero in deifying himself. He commanded his own statue to be worshipped as a god, revived the law of treason, and surrounded himself with spies and informers to bring a second persecution of the Christians.

Christianity, in spite of Roman emperors, and Roman prisons, and Roman executions, pursued its silent steady course. In little more than seventy years after the death of Christ, it had made such rapid progress in some places as to threaten the downfall of paganism.

Artemis Apollon Herakles

Artemis Apollon Herakles

Christians got the hatred of pagan worshippers on their neck. As the making of small silver temples of the goddess Artemis was a profitable business in the old Ephesus. But when Paul preached over there, a considerable number Ephesians reacted positively to his preaching and turned for this purpose their back to the adoration of Artemis. Now their trade was threatened, caused the silver blacksmith a tumult (Acts 19:24-41).  Something similar did happen after Christianity had expanded itself until Bithynia (now Northwest-Turkey). Not long after the Christian Greek Writings were finished, the ruler of Bithynia, Pliny the Younger, informed that pagan temples became left and the sale of feed for offering animals drastically collapsed. The Christians were blamed — and were prosecuted — because in their adoration there was no place for animal offerings and idols (Hebrew 10:1-9; 1 Johannes 5:21). It is clear that the spread of Christianity practiced influence on particular established interests connected with pagan adoration, and, those who as consequence of this lost as well trade as earnings, fumed about this.

By the progress of Christianity the temporal interests of a great number of persons were seriously affected. This was a fruitful and bitter source of persecution. The heathen temples became more and more deserted, the worship of the gods was neglected, and victims for sacrifices were rarely purchased. This naturally raised a popular cry against Christianity, such as the one at Ephesus: “This, our craft is in danger to be set at nought, and the temple of the great goddess Diana to be despised.”

goddess of hunting

Diana goddess of hunting

A countless throng of priests, image-makers, dealers, soothsayers, augurs, and artisans, found good livings in connection with the worship of so many deities. All these, seeing their craft in danger, rose up in united strength against the Christians, and sought by every means to arrest the progress of Christianity. The cunning priests and the artful soothsayers easily persuaded the vulgar, and the public mind in general, that all the calamities, wars, tempests, and diseases that afflicted mankind, were sent upon them by the angry gods, because the Christians who despised their authority were everywhere tolerated.[5] They invented and disseminated the vilest calumnies against everything Christian and laid many and grievous complaints against the Christians before the governors. This was especially so in the Asiatic provinces where Christianity was most prevalent.The First Christians naturally withdrew themselves from the pagans and became a separate and distinct people and held their meetings secretly. They could not but condemn and abhor polytheism, as utterly opposed to the one living and true God, and to the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ; this gave the Romans the idea that Christians were unfriendly to the human race, seeing they condemned all religions but their own. Hence they were called “Atheists,” because they did not believe in the heathen deities, and derided the heathen worship.[6] But that confinement of that pagan population seemed not always even easy.


[1] “apostle” signifies one “sent forth.”

[2] In the month of July A.D. 64 a great fire broke out in the Circus, which continued to spread until it laid in ruins all the ancient grandeur of the imperial city. The flames extended with great rapidity, and Rome being a city of long narrow streets, and of hills and valleys, the fire gathered force from the winds, and soon became a general conflagration. In a short time the whole city seemed wrapped in one sheet of burning flame.

[3] Dean Milman’s History of the Jews, vol. 2, book 16, page 380

[4] Roman History, Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 19, page 406

[5] Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, vol. 1, page 67. Cave’s Primitive Christianity; early chapters

[6] Christian worship, in true simplicity, without the aid of temples and priests, rites and ceremonies, is not much better understood now by professing Christendom than it was then by pagan Rome. Still it is true Today a lot of name Christians want also to see priests in special clothes and services with offerrings, incense and symbols in temples or special church buildings. Instead of knowing that “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

+

Persecution of Christians under Nero > Bible-history Nero

The Institutions behind the Terms in the 1st Century

Tag Cloud

johnsweatjrblog

Doxology rooted in Theology: Nothing more, Nothing less

jamesgray2

A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

Showing the only One True God and the Way to That God

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

The Biblical Review

Reviewing Publications, History, and Scripture

Words on the Word

Blog by Abram K-J

Bybelverskille

Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

God's Simple Kindness

A place to share your daily blessings

takeaminutedotnet

All the Glory to God

Groen is Gezond

van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

Jesse A. Kelley

A topnotch WordPress.com site

JWUpdate

JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Withouth Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

Beit T'Shuvah

Redefining Recovery

%d bloggers like this: