In my personal ministry I have been asked a few times “are standards falling” and “why doesn’t your faith reflect the standards of modern society”?
The truth is society has set it’s own standards and rules for thousands of years and moved away from God’s laws, guidance and principles. So standards are becoming accepted modern practices.
Historically the primary faiths, Catholicism, Anglicans, mainstream Protestant faith groups have been able to control the lives of the population and keep them in line with the brutal regime of the Church. To reject those standards meant a painful and swift end.
However, the Biblical standards are constant!
Jesus explained that we as Christians should master two points Matthew 22: 36 – 40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’38 This is the greatest and first commandment.39 The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”
So love of God and neighbour. In Matthew 7: 12 “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them. This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.”
Christian Alignment – appeasement
In the most descriptive of language the Bible describes organised religion that fails to recognise Jehovah as the Most High God, as set in opposition to his rulership. Modern churches have aligned themselves with Governments, Commercial practises and capitalised on celebrations, now focusing on pleasure and political appeasement (P & p).
Never confuse those who attend the churches with those who have faith and live by bible principles.
Let’s take one point – 2 Corinthians 7: 1 Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
At first reading this seems easy to accept but let’s just take one aspect – the incorporation of Pagan Holidays (Holy Days) into Christianity.
No where are we informed that we as Christians should embrace other practices – for example the Apostle John stated 1 John 5: 21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
At Christmas (a pagan holiday adopted by Christianity) the veneration of the Mother and Child has become common. Scenes of the manger, mother nursing the child and countless representations. An online Bible Research resource (Bible Tools) noted this on the origins of the images used to represent this relationship: “Through the generations, in this idolatrous worship, Nimrod became the false Messiah, son of Baal the Sun-god. In this false Babylonish system, the “Mother and Child” (Semiramis and Nimrod reborn), became chief objects of worship. This worship of “Mother and Child” spread over the world. The names varied in different countries and languages. In Egypt, it was Isis and Osiris. In Asia, Cybele and Deoius. In pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiterpuer. Even in Greece, China, Japan, Tibet is to be found the counterpart of the Madonna, long before the birth of Christ!”
From the 431 CE council at Ephesus representations of the Mother and Child (Madonna nursing Christ) have been acceptable.
The origin of the image – Nimrod reborn and his mother – Nimrod is clearly identified as Rebel one who turned his back on God and wanted to do his own thing.
The words are clear – keep yourselves from idols. and yet every church, gallery and most religious buildings we find representations of these abhorrent images
To worship God acceptably we need to ensure we know what is required and maintain those standards. Have standards fallen? No true Christians have always maintained them and died for it. Have the Churches diluted the standards to incorporate pagans and those without faith. Most definitely.
The only way to be certain that you are maintaining Gods standards is study the bible, set that as your benchmark and let the rest get on with their chosen pathway.