CultureWatch

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Elijah and Baalists in Ecumenical Service

Jun 7, 2011

In an unprecedented move to show unity, love, respect and interfaith cooperation, the prophet Elijah has announced that he will be holding a major ecumenical service with the prophets of Baal this coming Sabbath. Calling the event “Faith Shared” the renowned prophet said this event was needed to ease religious tensions in the area. Elijah put it this way at a recent press conference:

“Faith shared seeks to counter the anti-Baalist bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence. This countrywide, day-long event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths. This event will help counter the common misperception abroad that most Israelites are hostile to Baalism. It will send a message that Israelites respect Baalism and Baalists, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general.”

Elijah, who in the past has been criticised for his confrontational approach, and his intolerant stance regarding foreign religions, has clearly had a change of heart, and now admits that he had got it wrong. “I used to be very zealous for the glory and honour of Yahweh, and saw rival religions as an affront to him, and a hindrance to unique and pure worship in Israel.”

He continued, “But I have since realised that by being so closed-minded and intolerant, I was not really displaying the love and compassion of Yahweh. I was being far too narrow and exclusivist. I now see that there is wideness to God’s mercy, and I now believe that in the end, ‘Love Wins’.”

Elijah had formerly condemned such interfaith cooperation, labelling it as idolatrous and dangerous. He once believed that exclusive worship and allegiance to Yahweh was the only way for Israel to proceed, but he now admits that such an unloving stance may have alienated Baal-worshipers, and other pagans in the region.

“In my youthful zeal to defend the name, honour and reputation of Yahweh, I was unnecessarily alienating all these good people, who each in their own way are also good religious people. I now realise that such dogmatism and narrowness is not the way of Yahweh, and that he sees all idol-worshippers and pagan religions as just expressions of his wide, affirming love and acceptance.”

The cry of the hour, he said, was not more divisive religious bickering and fighting, but the need to all just get along and realise that we are all on the same path anyway, serving the same God. It is time to put an end to these useless divisions, and unite for the good of humanity.

“As Israelites and as people of faith, we must use our great traditions to come together for mutual enrichment and understanding,” said Elijah. “At its core, this project will bring together Jew, Baalist and heathen clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts. In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.”

It is hoped that this interfaith meeting – the first of its kind – will lead to even more works of peace, harmony, and love. The Jerusalem event, which begins sharp at sunrise, will also provide tangible expression of good faith and cooperation. Elijah announced that a pig will be slaughtered and offered to the many gods in the region, followed by a great feast of roast pork.

He also hinted that in future services, the Torah might be publically burned to demonstrate how serious Israel has become in renouncing its intolerant past, and show that it means business by embracing the various religions in the surrounding area.

And as a final act of goodwill, Elijah said that only females would be allowed to officiate at this special service, and those in a loving and committed relationship with another female would be given special prominence in the sunrise to sunset service.

Elijah said a number of local Israelite groups had gladly come on board for this exciting initiative. These include members of the Emergent Synagogue Movement, the Progressive Israelite Alliance, the Uniting Synagogue of Israel, the Shiloh Sojourners fellowship, and the Social Justice Collective of Judah.

Correction to press release

I have to pause here and mention that the above press release is a little bit inaccurate. It is 98 per cent correct, but a few names have actually been changed. The real press release was put out May 17, 2011, and it featured this headline: “Pastors to host readings from the Qur’an at churches across the country to display respect and combat anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Aside from that, the two press releases are basically the same. A group of 50 churches in 26 US states has committed to participate in this event, and it is being taken quite seriously by many. Needless to say, I find this entire initiative absolutely incomprehensible from the standpoint of biblical Christianity.

Just as Elijah and others were quite happy to use satire and irony to rail against the false religions and idolaters of the day, there may be a need to do so again today. I am utterly staggered that these so-called Christian pastors have even countenanced such foolishness.

Indeed, what will they do next month? Read atheist works from the pulpits? Invite Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris in to give the sermons? I can just see the headline for this: “Pastors to host readings from Dawkins and Harris at churches across the country to display respect and combat anti-atheist bigotry.”

And then the following month they can bring in drug dealers, pimps, abortionists, and paedophiles. After all, Christians have given these folks a bad name over the years as well. In condemning their activities and lifestyles we have obviously failed to show Christian love and compassion to them, so we need to repent, and show our solidarity with all these guys.

Better yet, if we really want to demonstrate how serious we are about all this, why don’t we just allow our churches to be turned into mosques, or witch covens, or shooting galleries, or brothels, or New Age havens, or gay discos, or crack houses? Why all these half-hearted measures in interfaith dialogue? Let’s just go the whole hog and get it over with.

Indeed, since some folks are clearly intent on putting up the white flag of surrender, why don’t we just renounce our allegiance to Jesus Christ altogether, and tell the whole world that all religious systems are equally true and equally pleasing to God – whoever or whatever we consider him/her/it to be.

Hey what’s the diff if we proclaim Jesus is Lord, or Muhammad is Lord, or Dawkins is Lord, or Lady Gaga is Lord, or Bart Simpson is Lord? The main thing is that we all just get along, isn’t it? One big happy family – that’s what we want. No more evangelism. No more proselytising. No more divisive theology. Let’s just build one big modern ecumenical Tower of Babel. Surely that is something God is in full favour of.

www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/05/17/faith-shared-june-26-2011/

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20 Responses to Elijah and Baalists in Ecumenical Service

  • That would be funny if it were not so true.
    Tas Walker

  • I forgot to say, a great article Bill.
    Tas Walker

  • That IS funny (and true). The press release wording even sounds reasonable and thought out for about ten seconds, until you actually think about it.
    Alison Keen

  • Yes, nice article. According to the book “The Raft of Mohammed”, Moslems generally do not read the New Testament. Indeed in many Moslem countries the printing and sale of that book is discouraged. So should we ask Moslem clerics to read the New Testament in their Mosques as a gesture of respect and to discourage anti-Christian bigotry? They could always invite Coptic priests to do the reading.
    John Snowden

  • Hope you don’t mind Bill, but I have sent a link to this page to any email I could find related to the churches participating in this foolishness. God bless you mate. Really appreciate the work you do.
    Mario Del Giudice

  • Human Rights First, God’s Word last seems to be their catch cry. Mind you, when I talk to Moslems many of them respond with “I respect your religion” as a lead into breaking off any further conversation. They seem to be all for mutual respect when it suits them. It is a great way to lull others into a false sense of peacefulness within Islam. It seems that there a lot of so called churches willing to echo such statements and put aside the offence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Mark Bachelor

  • Yes quite right Mark.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Great article! Sure does highlight the fact that politically correct thinking is biblically blind.
    Denise Hayden

  • lol Bill. Whilst reading through your article I was wondering if it was real and you just changed the names or if you had made the whole thing up. It wasn’t until I got to the phrase “moving forward” that I knew it must have been the former.

    And there has already been an atheist type celebration in churches where atheist works are read from the pulpits. It is called “Evolution Sunday”.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_Sunday

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • I laughed at the satire until I got to the kicker – that your ‘release’ was based on a real press statement. Now my head is spinning in disbelief …

    Great article otherwise Bill – thanks for the post.

    Peter Jackel

  • Don’t send it onto the Australian Council of Churches or to the university chaplaincies. They won’t get it.
    Peter Barnes

  • Brilliantly said, Bill.
    Reminds me of the ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ held in MELBOURNE last year!!!
    The churches generally ignored it but many Christians and some churches actually supported, attended and endorsed it!!!
    We had a small protest outside – small because Christians generally would not support it.
    We with a banner stating ‘Jesus, the only way to God’, and were abused by some Christians.
    People from other religions actually came and discussed the banner and some good witnessing was done.
    Peter Stokes

  • Quite right Peter, and Peter, and Peter.

    Well done Peter Stokes. Yes I was there too, not to participate in the conference, but to pray against the deception taking place there. I wrote it up here:

    www.billmuehlenberg.com/2009/12/02/christianity-and-religious-syncretism/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Some might say that these Pastors have their priorities wrong. But no they are obvious lacking in basic intelligence. It has been proved time and time again that if a Christian gives a Muslim an inch (faith & belief wise) the Muslim will not respond with mutual respect but with total contempt for that particular weak kneed Christian. The constant public persecution of Christians in Muslim countries should be sufficient evidence for anyone whose brain is in reasonable working order, to be aware of this fact of life. Also, If a Fire Chief had a meeting with some firebugs to have a working understanding between the two groups, he should be put on heavy medication 24/7 preferably under constant supervision.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Thanks Frank

    Hey I like that. Let’s take their statement and use your example:

    “Fire fighters to host readings from firebugs at fire stations across the country to display respect and combat anti-arsonist bigotry.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The father of deception is very busy throughout the whole church. To be able to recognise his works we have a clear duty to have a well formed Christian conscience based on all that Jesus taught, a faithful daily prayer life and membership of a worshiping community which also seeks to be faithful to the Gospel. That’s no small challenge in these dark days but we have His promise, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”.
    Thanks for the post Bill, you keep us awake and aware of all the many battle “hotspots” I know, from Scripture, that the calling to be a prophet brings suffering and many hardships to the man whom God has called and so I pray for you daily and hope all those who follow your posts do the same. Thank you for your faithful service to The Body of Christ may Our Lord Jesus bless and strengthen you always.
    Anna Cook

  • Great analogy, Bill. A few months back, I saw a YouTube clip showing a Muslim cleric elaborating from the Qu’ran in one of those historic, traditional style churches. You have to wonder what exactly Christianity is to some people? A collection of people of various beliefs getting together to listen to whatever waffle is getting about? Is it a philosophical discussion and may the most meritous sounding comments win the day. When relationship with Jesus is no longer there, when worship comes from vain repetition and not from the heart, there is an empty void that just screams out to be filled with something…anything. Meanwhile, the Spirit is long gone, taking His glory with Him.
    Dee Graf

  • Are these the “signs of the times” Bill when there will be a great falling away? I was asking at a Synagogue in Kew about how they felt about the Muslim prayer meeting at the Alma Road Community Centre. I was not prepared for the answer that I received. “Oh we get on well with them and the rabbi has interfaith dialogue with them”. There seems to be a lack of understanding about what God means about showing His love to the world. Where is the discernment? Where is God’s truth in love? Where are the words and deeds that lead to repentance? There is only one way to the Father and that is through His Son Jesus the Christ. All other are thieves and robbers of men’s souls.
    Keith Lewis

  • Frank, I am not sure that intelligence alone will be enough fortification to stand up against the onslaught of the enemy, but even if our intelligence fails, our faith in the One and Only Living Saviour need not, but we need to follow the instruction of Gal 6 “and after having done all, stand”.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • An unloving stance?? It depends how it was said, is it alright to love people right into hell? It`s a great article, makes me wonder how we come across sometimes (maybe all the time) how do we love deceptive faiths into the kingdom? I guess I cringe when asking someone into my own feminist church, or offer them another church 20 minutes away. How do we love without being weak kneed? Bill, can you get some articles of real life conversations of when people loved opposing beliefs without being weak, bossy or judgmental. Thanks again.
    John Archer

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