Monday, September 10, 2012

"How long will you waver between two opinions?"

1 Kings 18:21
"How long will you waver between two opinions?
If the LORD is God, follow him;
but if Baal is God, follow him."

Two wedding ceremonies were held; for the groom was a Methodist and the bride was a Hindu. Someone asked the man, "How are you going to raise the kids?" The reply was, "That is an unsettled issue yet, but I hope we could come up with some sort of a combination."

How could that be? What kind of combination could they possibly formulate?

Methodism teaches trinitarian monotheism. How could you combine that with Hinduism's pantheism?

Methodism teaches that the universe and everything in it are real things created by God. How could you combine that with Hinduism's view that the material world is a just an illusion, and have its origin in the eternity past as God's thought or his radiation?

Methodism teaches that man's problem is sin-- his rebellion against God that made him worthy of condemnation. How could you combine that with Hinduism's teaching that man's problem is his lostness in illusion in the material world  which seems so real to him.

Methodism teaches that man's solution to man's problem is believing in Christ's person and finished work. How could you combine that with Hinduism's solution: finding God within and realizing our godhood?

Methodism teaches it is appointed unto men to die once and after that, judgment. How could you combine that with Hinduism's thousands of reincarnation for each individual until they are reunited with Brahman, the Divine Totality, like a raindrop falling into the ocean.

It is the view of many today that while Christianity is good, there are also some good things in other belief systems so they should not be totally rejected. Men should pick the good from every religion, mix them together and come up with their own customized religion.

In 1 Kings 18:21, we see the same problem. The people hasn't totally rejected YHWH. Yet while they believe that serving YHWH is good, they also consider serving Baal as equally good. They want to worship YHWH and Baal at the same time. Elijah, YHWH's prophet confronts the people. He tells them that they should make a decision. They have to make a choice. If YHWH is the true God, then they should serve him wholeheartedly without competition. And if Baal is God, then he is the one worthy of their full devotion; they must forsake YHWH.

Joshua, Moses' successor addressed the same problem during his lifetime. After all the miraculous deeds and mighty acts that God has done, the hearts of that stiff-necked people are still attracted to the gods of the Egyptians and the Amorites. Joshua asked them to choose once and for all; but as for him, his stand is fixed and firm. He and his household shall serve the YHWH (Joshua 24:14-15)

Even if you are not attracted to false religions, if there is anything in this world (treasure, dream, career, leisure, etc) that competes with God for your affection, then you should make a choice too. Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" (Matthew 6:24)

God demands our total allegiance. He is too majestic to receive a half-hearted love. He is too glorious to receive partial devotion and his splendor deserves nothing less than a complete zeal. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

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