Religious harmony does God support it?
12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
In today's message we read about God clearly instructing us not to make any covenant or agreement with people of other religions that leads us to support or tolerate their religious believes or gods. Does that mean we should be like the extremist Muslims in Islamic countries who break statues of other religions and burn down their temples or places of worship? On the other hand we have the Catholics who do not believe in this scripture thinking since it is in the Old Testament therefore does not need to be followed.
We need to understand in the New Covenant Jesus did not change the Covenant that continued from Noah to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Moses to David and finally to Jesus. The Bible says Jesus only added Truth and Grace. That means by Him we come to understand the Covenant better and also are saved from the consequence of failing our part of the Covenant by His grace due to our faith in Him.
When Jesus preached He quoted the Old Testament often and told the people they needed to abide by them but made them understand it in a way they never did. People till then, followed the letter but Jesus showed them that the spirit of the text (understanding) was more important than blindly following the text. Paul said the text kills (cause traditions which destroy faith) and the spirit of the text (understanding which builds faith) gives life, since faith saves us.
We see the Catholic promote religious harmony. Pope John Paul II and then Benedict and now Francis all these Popes and those before promoted interfaith gathering bringing God and Satan on the same platform at the same level, which means glorifying Satan and bring down of God.
Today's message does not tell us to do violence towards other religions; in fact in the book of Moses God has rules of how we should behave towards strangers (unbelievers) amongst us. He tells us to be just towards them and Jesus also says we should love them. So God always guides us to tolerate the unbeliever but not towards the beliefs of the unbeliever. Break statues do not make much success in fact harden people and make them more determent to make more and bigger ones. What we need to break is the statues in people and the only way is by giving them the Truth, not only in words but also by our living. Unless they do not see the power of God and the effect of God in our lives how would they know our God is not like their non-existent gods but is a Living God.
Paul says in his letter to the people of Corinth even though he was People of the Way (what Christians were called before) yet he became them when he was with Jews and those without law that he gain them. Both these people were worshippers of Jehovah but had differences of understanding of scriptures.
We can go from one denomination to another as far as we worship the one God, but we cannot go from one religion to another. We should reach out to the people of other religions but not their religions - their beliefs and their traditions.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are a Jealous God. You love us like a mother loves her children and no mother will allow her children to be taken by another mother especially when she knows that mother is going to harm her children and put them to death. Lord we pray your people are not deceived by the teachings of this world. That they do not bite the bait of deceit in the name of worldly peace, peace comes only from You, for You are the giver of peace...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
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