This Sunday Jesus Gets Crucified Again

One principle that runs throughout all of Scripture is that found in Isaiah 42:8: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” God’s exclusivity is a major theme of both Testaments, and all forms of religious syncretism are clearly condemned.

This passage speaks to the truth that Yahweh will not share his glory with any other spirit, false god or religion. He alone is the one true God and he alone deserves our undivided loyalty and worship. His uniqueness is contrasted with all the surrounding idolatrous practices and belief systems.

We find the same thoughts in the New Testament. Jesus resolutely proclaimed his uniqueness and that he alone deserved exclusive loyalty when he said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

The early disciples recognised this truth as well. For example, they boldly proclaimed, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” This rock-solid certainty characterised their approach, and they were more than willing to give up their lives for such truths.

Yet what a marked contrast we find today with so many who claim to be followers of Jesus. Unlike the early church, where there was fierce resistance to any sort of religious compromise or fuzzy syncretism, we have today all sorts of wishy-washy beliefs and interfaith foolishness.

Christians are tripping over themselves to just get along with those of other faiths. They are bending over backwards not to offend any non-believers or those of different religious traditions. Thus they are quite happy to get rid of any Christian symbols so that they can appear relevant, trendy and non-threatening.

One church after another is getting rid of any crosses – both inside or outside of the church – and many are even getting rid of the word ‘church’. Many are taking up upmarket names which seem to bear no resemblance at all to the Christian mission.

Sermons are often disappearing, as are hymns, Scripture readings and any other vestiges of Christian worship. All this would be bad enough, but some churches are taking things even further. Some are actually opening up their services to other faiths, in the spirit of good will and cooperation.

One group of clearly misguided Christians is in fact bringing in readings from the Muslim Koran and other religious writings. In a mind-numbing display of interfaith dialogue, these churches are effectively saying that the exclusive claims of God in both Testaments, and Christ in the New, are so much poppycock. I have written up this dangerous initiative elsewhere:
billmuehlenberg.com/2011/06/07/elijah-and-baalists-in-ecumenical-service/

As I mentioned there, this is about as helpful as Elijah inviting the Baalists around for a drink and a nice interfaith worship service. Sorry, but Elijah never would have even countenanced such a thing. Nor would the early disciples have. They would rather have died for their faith than give in to such destructive religious syncretism.

Indeed, it was exactly because they refused to be seen as just another religious group that they were so fiercely rejected and persecuted. They wanted nothing to do with the common practices of the day, as exemplified by the Pantheon.

As this name makes clear (Greek: every god), this impressive Roman structure was a place where all religious faiths could get together and nicely get along. They were all on equal footing, and none was seen to be superior to the others. Indeed, when the Romans conquered a foreign people, they would not demand their religion come to an end.

They had a much better idea. They would simply take the image of the local deity and add it to all the others in the Pantheon! Thus everyone could keep worshipping their own local gods, and everyone could get along in a terrific ecumenical shindig.

The trouble is, Christians knew they could never do this. They knew that Jesus was not just another local deity, but the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. As such every knee must bow to him, and every other god, deity, religion and idol must be seen for what they are: counterfeits, shams, and false claimants to the throne.

That is why the Emperor was so threatened as well by this new religion. He had claimed to be lord, but here was this upstart Jesus coming along, also claiming to be Lord. Indeed, he claimed to be the one and only true Lord, the one that every other king, ruler, potentate and dignitary must bow down to.

This certainly got the Roman authorities angry at the Christians. This certainly got the multi-faith society angry at the Christians. This certainly got the religious pluralists and inclusivists bent out of shape. That is why so many thousands of Christian martyrdoms took place.

These Christians just would not play the game of interfaith dialogue and religious syncretism. For that they paid with their lives. But this Sunday all sorts of churches will open their doors wide open to false gods, false beliefs and false religions, all in the name of “just getting along”.

What they are effectively doing is nailing Christ afresh to the cross. They are rejecting both his claims about himself, and the nature of his finished work at Calvary. They are despising the cross and rejecting the shame that goes with it. They would rather be seen as “nice” and “inoffensive” than stand up for the cross of Christ, the blood that was shed, and the once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice made by Jesus.

They have become enemies of the cross of Christ, which Paul and others so often warned against. They simply do not have the spiritual backbone to act like Elijah of old. They would rather receive the praise of men than stand up and pay the price for proclaiming the exclusive truth claims of the risen Christ.

Sunday June 26 will be a day of shame for the true church of Jesus Christ. But fortunately not everyone will bow the knee to Baal. Many will refuse such compromise and weakness, and will instead say with Joshua: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (24:15).

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

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20 Replies to “This Sunday Jesus Gets Crucified Again”

  1. I guess it is something positive in that there are no Australian churches participating. Yet.
    It is interesting that most of those participating in the US are already in the “Loonie” area of so-called Christianity, although it is almost impossible to believe that most of them identify with actual Christianity.
    Robert Wickstead

  2. Thanks Robert

    I wouldn’t doubt that this becomes an annual event, and I am sure plenty of Australian churches will get on board sooner or later.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Hello Bill,

    Thanks for another good article.

    I think it is out of place for the Koran to be read from the pulpit of these, or any churches, at their regular services. I think there is a place for Christians and Muslims to discuss their faiths and to ask questions to gain a better understanding of each other, but not at the expense of the pastors (shepherds) fulfilling their duty to feed, to care of, their flock. Now, meeting with Muslims to discuss our faiths can be a good way to witness, but I think it best to open other venues, on another day perhaps, for leaders and believers of both faiths to discuss their faiths.

    That said, I’m curious to see exactly what they are reading from the Koran, to whom, and to what end. Will the leaders of the churches involved be willing to take a stand for truth and not be afraid to speak the whole truth of Christianity, or will they water down the gospel to make it more palatable? Will they read only the nice, pious sounding parts of the Koran, or will they take the opportunity to shed some light on some of the less pleasant parts of the Koran and of the life of their prophet?

    Should be interesting to see how this all goes…

    Dan Brinkman

  4. Thanks Dan

    Good questions Dan. Indeed, your questions raise other questions:
    -In the interests of interfaith dialogue, will Christians be allowed to come into mosques and read from the New Testament as part of an Islamic worship service?
    -Will they be able to read about the deity of Christ and how he died on the cross for our sins and how he warned about false prophets, etc?
    -Will they be able to give their testimonies and tell about how Jesus saved them and explain how he is the only way to the father?
    Somehow I just don’t think so.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Those are good questions for sure. In so many parts of the Islamic world Christians are regularly denied permission to build churches of any kind. Yet, in the Christianized/Post-Christian world, there is usually no opposition to be found at all to the construction of mosques. I think it fair to expect few acts of accommodation to be reciprocated in any way. I won’t hold my breath waiting for it anyways.
    Dan Brinkman

  6. Thanks again Dan

    And of course it is not just a matter of not being able to build churches in Muslim countries. Of more importance is the fact that all over the Muslim world Christians are being killed, persecuted, tortured and treated as second class citizens (dhimmis). That in itself is a very good reason why we should not be playing these silly games with Muslims, allowing them to take over our pulpits telling us about how Islam is a religion of peace, and we are all brothers, etc.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. It makes me wonder at what point it would come to that, where life is made much more difficult for dhimmis, in countries where Muslims currently are the minority. They behave well enough here in Korea, as there are currently fewer than 35,000 Muslims here now (out of 50,000,000 people living in Korea), worshiping only at two main mosques, one in each of the two largest Korean cities, Seoul and Busan. But, given enough time, and a platform to speak from by naive but well-meaning religious leaders, when would they stop playing nicely and start running over anything and everything in opposition to them?
    Dan Brinkman

  8. Thanks Dan

    Hey I would behave nicely too if I were just a tiny minoirty. But we know from history that as their numbers increase, so too do their demands and their activism.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. Hi Bill. I do not think that any public dialogues between Christians and Muslims would be of any benefit. History has proven that arsenic can kill you. Enough literature about it. I do not have to taste it to see if this is true. This is the same with Islam. History has proven the poison in that religion and if people want to know something about that religion than they better start reading. I bought a second hand Koran and it is easy to find in it the exhortations to kill the unbeliever/infidel and to conquer the whole world, etc. But,of course we must be ready to share the greatness and real peace we can find in Christ, when we meet with a Muslim personally.
    May the Lord open our mouth and speak against lukewarmness in the churches. Thanks for you just doing that Bill.
    Evangeline Rykes

  10. Bill, I used the feedback info a few minutes ago to email to that site you quoted as follows:

    As reported at
    http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/05/17/faith-shared-june-26-2011/
    Sunday, June 26, 2011 is set aside “for Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding.”

    I look forward to a corresponding event with equivalent publicity where Christian Scriptures and the Torah are read and accepted within mosques.

    Please keep me informed.
    John Angelico
    Australia

  11. Once again you’re on the pace Bill. Today the sermon was Abraham and the testing of him, eg; putting Isaac on the altar. My eyes nearly fell out my head when the preacher reads the same scripture from the Koran point of view.
    Daniel Kempton

  12. Excellent piece Bill,

    Clearly deception and gross stupidity is alive and well in some churches across our Nation. Your courage in speaking up once again is highly valued.

    regards
    Phil Browne

  13. “This passage speaks to the truth that Yahweh will not share his glory with any other spirit, false god or religion.”

    What other spirits are being referred to in the phrase “any other spirit”?

    John Snowden

  14. Thanks John

    The biblical worldview affirms the reality of the supernatural world, both good and evil. Idols and false religions are not just lifeless objects and false belief systems, but in fact come from deceiving spirits, as the following passages make clear:
    Dt. 32:16-17
    Psalm 106: 34-41
    Acts 26:17-18
    1 Cor. 10:19-21
    1 Thess 1:9
    1 Tim. 4:1
    1 John. 4:1
    Rev. 9:20

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. I have sent to Human Rights First the following email which may be appropriate to share here.

    “Dear sir/madam,

    A couple of questions:

    Name any Islamic countries that respect other faiths?
    Name any Islamic countries where other faiths are not oppressed, persecuted, deceived and treated worst than 2nd class?
    Name any Islamic countries that will not prosecute or execute any convert from Muslim to other faiths?
    Name any Islamic countries where it’s not a crime to evangelize to Muslims?
    Name any Islamic countries that would allow Muslims to shop, eat and drink non-halal food or drinks with non-Muslims?

    The list can go on and on and on and on!
    Democratization of middle-east is just a pie in the sky! There may be democratization among the Muslims themselves – even that is far-fetched, let alone extending it to non-Muslims. Why? Because the root is in the unchangeable Koran!

    Your organization instead of fighting the injustice and gross violation of human rights perpetuated in the Koran and by its followers in Islamic nations, is in fact giving respect and honor to the most intolerant religion on earth!

    How can you sleep well knowing the sufferings under Islamic rule while the victims under Islamic rule are turning in their graves?

    Would love to hear your facts or “truths” – not the political-correct argument.

    Kind regards,
    A subject to Muslim rule for over 31 years.”

    Richard Chieng

  16. The problem is not so much with respecting Muslims and their right to practice Islam. As Christians we should respect peoples free-will to choose their religion and love each person as sons of God, irrespective of whether they are practicing Christian’s themselves.
    The problem is, is that by reading the Koran in Christian Churches, Christians are not saying “We respect the Muslims right to be a Muslim” but rather they are saying “We view Islam as being as true and valid as Christianity’ – which is not the Christian viewpoint.

    One can respect another’s right to follow and explore another religion without having to agree with or even respect the religion itself. A Christian can still love a Muslim despite viewing Islam as a false religion in the same way a Democrat can respect a Republican without having to agree with their policies. Imagine if in the senate, the Democrats began promoting Republican policy under the guise of ‘respect’ – it would completely undermine the political system.

    Damien Johnson

  17. The only time passages from the Qu’ran should ever be read in a church would be to warn Christians of the fact that there is a belief system filled with hatred towards them and their God. An example of which appears in Chapter 9 Verse 5:

    And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    I’m glad that my Lord and Saviour is far more merciful than that.

    Mario Del Giudice

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