PENTECOST TO PLURALISM
In vain they do worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
"Hi-de-ho everybody. This is Michael Jay Busybody speaking with Reverend Plebeian Baseborn Bathos. First of all Reverend Bathos I would like to comment on your name. If I may say so I find your name quite intriguing. Is there a history attached to your name by any chance?"
"Indeed there is Mr Busybody. I come from a long line of Bathos' reaching far beyond the birth of Christ. Bathos is indeed a name worthy of honor and respect, and one I'm proud to bear."
"Thank you for that enlightenment Reverend Bathos. Now to your soon to be released book that is drawing much notice from the critics. As I understand it your book responds to the recent call to unify the churches and to blend them with other religions of the world. Do I have my information straight?"
"You do indeed Mr Busybody. The concept of one religion having superiority over another is a thing of the past. The modern, and correct view of God and religion is that we are all the same, that God looks on all people who call on Him in the same light. The day of Christian paramountcy is over. The day of true Christianity is upon us and will very soon sweep the nation as well as the entire globe. I'm sure you've seen the signs of change written in the stars."
"I have indeed seen the signs of change Reverend Bathos. But the signs I see are quite confusing to me. My confusion might be that I come from the old school of thinking and what I'm being confronted with is foreign to me. Would you please help me assemble the dislodged pieces by describing what it is you're seeing?"
"I would be most happy to do that for you Mr Busybody. We of the church have held the attitude that Jesus died for those who are baptized in His name and who choose to follow Him bearing the name Christian. We can see from history that such an attitude is unworkable. For hundreds of years Christians, of whatever denomination, persecuted and martyred those who chose to disagree with them. Today we have this same elitist attitude in the conventional churches. Instead of killing with sword and guillotine, we now kill with condemning words and condemnations anyone who does not see Christianity in exactly the same light as we of a particular denomination have been taught to see it. For this reason we find hatred and prejudice throughout the traditional church society. This is not the religion or the attitude Jesus shed His life for. In 1John 2:2 we read that Jesus died, not for the sins of the Christian only, but for the sins of the whole world. He died for the Jew, for the Arab, for the Hindu, and even for the sins of the Atheist. Sin in the world is no longer in question. Love is now the issue, not sin."
"I agree with you that the churches have become very elitist and condemning Reverend Bathos, but it seems to me you're going a bit astray of your theological background when you say sin no longer is in question. Would you please expound on that statement if you will?"
"We all sin and come short of the glory of God Mr Busybody. That is a foundational premise. A Christian, by carrying such a title, is not exempt from this rule. If sin were still in question than all of us are lost. What is important is that we love one another. Jesus left this edict with His Apostles, and we read it all through the Epistles. Elitism and prejudice is not love. By the mere fact that one person sees him or herself above any other, even the most sinful Atheist, demonstrates they are without love, and therefore condemned in spite of bearing the Christian epitaph. We of the Ecumenical church system endeavor to bring all people together. That is our mission, to eradicate the hate and the ill will of the world."
"That is an honorable mission to be sure Reverend Bathos, but doesn't such teaching go contrary to what you teach your congregation, that being that Jesus and the receiving of the Holy Spirit is the only way to God and to Heaven?"
"You're not seeing the big picture Mr Busybody. If you take a few words from here and there such a concept can be manufactured. The big picture is that everyone, from the least to the highest, from the holy angels to Satan himself, will ultimately be taken into Paradise, the place God has established for His creations, all His creation, not just those who take a dip in the correct pool. As for the Holy Spirit, if you read Acts 2:17 you will find that God poured out His Spirit upon all flesh, not just the Christian."
"Instead of helping sort the pieces so they connect Reverend Bathos, I fear you're knocking more of my assembled pieces to the floor. I'm far from literate in regards to the Bible, but what you're telling me counters everything I see Christianity to be. It's my understanding that to be a Christian, one to be afforded salvation, they must shun those with dissenting views, to love, but not be a part of them, and to separate oneself from the attractions of the world. You, it seems to me, are preaching just the opposite. If I understand you correctly you're saying that to be a true Christian, one conforming to what Jesus has called for, we're to participate in the world, and to readily accept as godly those who oppose God, or who choose to worship other gods. How do you reconcile these two anomalies?"
"Your confusion comes from the fact that you're still looking at the little pieces that don't fit, and missing the big picture. The big picture is as I said before, God wants to reconcile the world to itself, and to Him. He, like you with your puzzle, wants no pieces left out of the big picture. Those who worship God through another name are still worshiping the Creator, regardless of what they call Him. Our purpose in the Ecumenical churches is to bring the world into one unit and to see one another as brothers rather than enemies, which is and has been the purpose of God since the creation of Adam and Eve, whether that creation actually occurred, or if He accomplished His creation by way of evolution, or some other way. Ours is not to judge what is known to God only. Our mission is to love one another, which is not only the cry of Ecumenicalism, but of the world in general, outside of Christianity that is."
"But Reverend Bathos, you preach the Gospel, the Bible. Yet it sounds to me as if you don't truly believe the words of the Book you teach from. This I don't understand. Would you please explain this apparent contradiction if you will?"
"There is no contradiction Mr Busybody. I teach what I believe. The fact that I head a church with a long tradition does not preclude my teaching the truth, and teaching love as was commanded by Jesus. How can I teach love and hate at the same time? Jesus said to hate our mother, brothers and our family if we wish to be His disciples. Then He turned around and said we have to love one another, even our enemies, if we want to be His disciple. How can we do both? I choose to love rather than hate. Other churches desire to hate rather than love. Which do you consider the better Mr Busybody, to hate or to love?"
"To love of course Reverend Bathos. But I fear you've missed the question I placed before you. How can you teach your congregation what is in the Bible, and also teach them what you believe that contradicts the Bible at the same time?"
"The Bible is composed of many precepts Mr Busybody. In the Old Testament for instance God was a god of anger and vengeance, even upon His own people. In the New Testament we find a God of love and compassion for everyone. Then at the very end of the Bible we read in the Book of Revelation that God is once again a god of wrath upon the whole world. How can I teach such a concept as this, especially considering that out of the thousands of views available in the church world, few seem to agree with one another? They teach what they find in the Word, which obviously has to be contrary to the Word. I, like so many others of the modern Ecumenical churches, choose to disregard the Book of Death and teach love and concern, and the need to come together under one banner as God desires of us. Do you understand now what I'm saying Mr Busybody?"
"I believe I do Reverend Bathos, I do believe I do."
This is Michael Jay back with a final observation. It's my opinion that in order for two people who hold two conflicting opinions to come together, both parties must surrender the main premise of their belief. This is not necessary if the intent of the union is to form an association. However for a bonding to take place, this surrender is essential. For the world to take the opinion that there is no God, or that God accepts everyone is no surrender at all. For the Buddhist to surrender his concept of God in order to form such a union is again no surrender. However if a Jew, or a Muslim were called to make such a compromise the request would be rejected off-hand because such a belief goes contrary to the very tenets of their religion.
The Christian churches are falling to the sway of Ecumenicalism, throwing out their basic tenets and in so doing undermining the very foundation of the Christian religion. In other words, it seems to me they are meeting under the banner of Christianity without having any form of Christianity in their system of beliefs. Other of the Traditional churches see themselves as refusing to compromise, however in my observation these very churches have been compromising their beliefs for decades to the point that a puff of wind will cause them to fall over the precipice of Ecumenicalism. And that wind, I suspect, will be in the form of a universal anti-hate law which will make the preaching and holding of morally disparaging attitudes illegal. And this will cause the Bible itself to become just another book on the banned list of reading material.
When, and if, the world turns to Ecumenicalism, the true Christian, unwilling to sacrifice His position with God, will become the outcast, the criminal, the person Jesus and the Apostles were. Christianity in its traditional form will die, and the Christian who is Christian in deed and not in name only will be forced underground, as they are in other countries, and as the Jews were in Nazi Germany.
5That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (Dan 3:)
12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed...... saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev 13:)
6And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. (Ezek 44:)
30Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. (Ezek 33:)
7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)
13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:)