The Issachar Report<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
1 Chronicles <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />12:32
Dennis A. Wright, DMin
David Tackett observes, "Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order --- everything." ("What's a Worldview Anyway?" Focus on the Family, July-Aug., 2004, 8)
The worldview of polytheism is making a major comeback in the western world and is affecting our society in ways that many people overlook. This belief in many gods results in some surprising concepts. For example, most polytheists teach that the universe is eternal, but the gods are not, for there was a time when each of these individual gods did not exist. Most polytheists believe that mankind can attain godhood as well. Some examples:
Polytheism was the all-encompassing worldview of the first century. We see this in Acts 19 when the Apostle Paul encounters the worshippers of Artemis in the city of Ephesus. His proclamation that man-made gods were no gods at all sparked the Ephesians to riot. Paul would not have gotten into trouble had he proclaimed that Jesus was just another god to worship, as opposed to being the only one true God.
The Ephesians --- as were most of the Roman world of that era --- believed in the Greek pantheon of gods composed of three main categories of deities: the Titans, the Olympians, and the Lessor gods, such as the Fates and the Muses. Other religions were tolerated within the Roman Empire and were generally "tribal deities" unique to specific people groups that had been conquered by the Roman legion.
Francis A. Schaeffer, in his monumental book, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, describes how Rome's polytheistic worldview could not support its civilization and how the Roman Empire eventually fell.
Voodoo (Vodoun) evolved from West African beliefs and developed further among slaves in the Caribbean who adopted elements of Catholicism. Voodoo practitioners believe in a supreme God and spirits, known as Loas, who link the human with the divine and are summoned by offerings that include everything from rum to roosters. The Loas (from the French, 'lois,' law) are the 'deities' of Voodoo. Similar to (and sometimes identical to) the Orishas of Santeria, they are considered not gods unto themselves, but emanations of a supreme being, as well as evolved spirits of the dead. As a pantheon, the Loas are similar in many ways to the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Some of the Loas were Kings or other notable citizens.
Through an edict issued by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (a former Roman Catholic priest) in April 2003, voodoo became an official religion of Haiti, where it is practiced by millions of followers. A voodoo priestess bestowed a presidential sash on him at his first inauguration in 1991. More than 80 million African and New World peoples participate in or are closely familiar with this religion. The number is increasing at a very rapid pace rather than declining.
On April 7, 1844, in an address now known as the King Follett Discourse that was delivered to more than 20,000 Mormons at General Conference in Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith openly declared: "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" Just a few days later (June 16) he candidly taught: "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.
we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!"
These polytheistic religions are an antithesis to Biblical Christianity. However --- and this may come as a shock to you --- there are those within the historic Christian faith who appear to be openly teaching just such a polytheistic worldview. A common teaching among Word-Faith teachers is that Christians are little gods. Just one example: "And I say this with all respect, so that it don't upset you too bad. But I say it anyway: When I read in the Bible where He says, "I Am," I just smile and say, "Yes, I Am, too." (Kenneth Copeland, "The Believers Voice of Victory," July 9, 1987, cited in John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, 332).
Yahweh, the God of Israel has the answer: "I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:22).
Dennis A. Wright, DMin is Founder and President of Understanding The Times Ministries. An accomplished writer and educator, Wright has spoken in churches and conferences all over America on spiritual counterfeits and Christian Worldview topics. He can be emailed at Dennis@UnderstandingTheTimes.org and his new website can be found at www.UnderstandingTheTimes.org.
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