Summary: We need to be on guard against the schemes of the Devil, who would have us mix other faith practices with the Christian faith.
Islington Baptist Church May 20, 2001
Series: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, philosophy, or way
Base text: Ephesians 6:11
As the followers of Jesus Christ we must make sure we don’t mix any other faith practices with the Christian faith
For the past 4 weeks we have been considering the following question: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, system, philosophy, or way?
It’s a question the Bible calls us to be prepared to answer at any time; for as I Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
In short, a person ought to follow Jesus because
1. He’s the only way to the Father
2. His sinless and perfect life qualifies him to declare the way to the Father. In addition to this, his sinless and perfect life alone qualifies him to offer atonement for sin.
3. He offers a better way of salvation
4. He is the true God, He is Lord
These are the reasons we have considered in our studies but there are other reasons too:
1. His historical resurrection from the dead sets him apart and provides a solid reason for following him. (which we examined on Easter Sunday)
2. His miracles are superior
3. A superior Holy book—the Bible
The bottom line is: There is no one like Jesus. He is the incomparable Jesus. Every examination proves him to be the true God and only Savior. He must be followed and all others rejected.
Today I want to close out our series by emphasizing this point: As the followers of Jesus Christ we must ensure that we take care not to mix any other faith practices with the Christian faith.
This is a very important point because we have for the last month been considering why a person ought to follow Jesus and not any other religion, philosophy, or way. It has been conclusively shown that Jesus is the one to be followed.
Having established all this What sense would it make for us as Christians to commit to following Jesus and then mix into our faith, practices and beliefs that derive from the false religions and ways that we have considered? This is called syncretism. Syncretism is all about a mixing of other faith and philosophy practices and beliefs into the Christian faith.
The early church struggled with this as Galatians 1 and Rev. 2:12-16 indicates
I. We must strive to keep our faith and practice pure and undefiled by the evil practices and philosophies of the other religions and ways that surround us. Many scriptures address this…
In Ephesians 4-5 we are exhorted to: not give the Devil a foothold in our lives, put off our old self with is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, live as children of light and to find our what pleases God. We are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.
In I Timothy 4:16 we are told to watch our life and doctrine closely
In II Corinthians 6:17 we are told to touch no unclean thing
These are but a few verses and passages that have this application in mind: We must keep our faith and practice pure and undefiled.
II. With this base in mind the question you are asking is this: What practices that belong to other faiths or philosophies do you have in mind that I must keep away from?
What defiling practices must I avoid?
1. Halloween/ The Witches New Year:
2. Any thing to do with “forces or energies”: Pokemon, Digimon, Therapeutic touch, Star Wars, etc
3. Horoscopes, Astrology, Tarot Cards, Palm readings, Harry Potter, etc
-what’s your sign is not a question any Christian should ever ask of someone
4. Yoga and Tai Chi
III. Now the question is: Why? Why have I singled these out as things which defile us and make us guilty of mixing other faith practices and beliefs with the Christian faith?
1. Halloween is a no brainer as is Harry Potter, Horoscopes, Ouji boards, Seances, Channelling, Tea readings, any T.V shows that feature witchcraft or the occult.
The Bible repeatedly condemns witchcraft and the like. Consider these words from Deuteronomy 18:9-13 “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or scorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritists, or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”