It is a little known fact that the ranks of EX-christians are growing. Of course, this is a significant source of embarrassment to Christianity; therefore, it is not often discussed. Increasingly, truly studious Christians are realizing traditional Christianity is filled with unscriptural, pagan concepts that differ dramatically with the practices of the first century believers and with Scripture.
Traditional Christianity and counterfeit Messianism are also growing; however, the growth is much like it was in the first few centuries as openly pagan, sinful individuals from numerous pagan cults joined the "cheap grace, license to sin" church that was being formed at that time and that is now preaching new levels of "salvation" ease. Since the forming church presented doctrines and practices pagans were familiar with, they chose to jump on Constantine's bandwagon. Today, since traditional Christianity presents an "obedience optional" and "Torah (God's Law) is dead and gone" salvation message, pagans and others looking for an easy ticket to heaven are seeing Christianity as a very attractive religion perfect for the modern sinner.
Christianity, without doubt, is THE easiest, least demanding religion in the entire world, a fact that is often openly admitted and used in their marketing campaigns! It is attracting millions of people that want to "do what is right in their own eyes", live as they choose, and not have to worry about having to obey anything but their own hearts. Christianity truly is the religion for the worldly. It is also largely becoming a religion of Scripturally ignorant individuals that choose whatever denominational flavor is served up as long as it suits their fancy, without ever questioning its adherence to Scripture, or ever even reading Scripture. This is precisely what Paul prophesied about in his letter to Timothy:
Christianity is "going home to pagan mama" through its increasingly sinful, unholy, worldly teachings that all but reject entirely the moral demands the True God imposes upon those wishing to enter into His coming Kingdom. Christianity also, in general, outright rejects and/or declares abolished God's eternal Torah (instructions), a practice that lies at the very core of the true meaning of the mark of the Beast.
A significant reality TRUE truth seekers that actually study on their own are discovering is the pagan foundations of traditional Christianity. As more and more truly sincere believers become dismayed at the growing paganism of the "church" and venture out to independently seek truth, they are realizing Christianity does NOT possess that truth. Often, after making a little progress in their studies, they stop over or permanently take root in what I call counterfeit Messianic Judaism. More often than not the more "Hebraic" facade of counterfeit Messianic Judaism lulls them to sleep and intoxicates them to the point they stop seeking further truth. They seem oblivious to the fact they are partaking of almost the same box of poisonous treats served within Christianity that are simply repackaged with a "Judaic" look. The spiritual "feeling" they get from the liturgical flavor of their Messianic Judaism groups blinds them to the fact the foundational beliefs of counterfeit Messianic Judaism are little changed from what they were in pagan traditional Christianity. They leave a rocky mine field only to end up in a grassy one where the mines are harder to spot but just as deadly.
Unfortunately, as the search for truth continues and the false nature of counterfeit Messianic Judaism is also recognized to be what it actually is - repackaged Christianity - many then overreact to the point that they totally abandon anything connected with the Scriptural faith of/in Messiah Yeshua and convert to Rabbinic Judaism. In frightening numbers many also choose to become agnostic, atheist, or venture into the realm of other false religions with which mankind is cursed.
I hope with this article to limit the wholesale exodus from the TRUE Messianic faith (vs. counterfeit Messianism) by addressing the issue most seekers of truth eventually discover about traditional Christian and counterfeit Messianic faiths. That issue is the clear pagan foundations of both faith systems. As one becomes aware of the paganism that especially infests traditional Christianity, he/she must be cautious against taking the paganism argument too far by considering EVERY pagan appearing practice to be unscriptural. Pagan-phobia - an overly sensitive reaction to all things "pagan" - is a tactic Satan uses to destroy us.
Consider this, Satan is VERY smart! He has ALL his bases covered. He can both destroy and entrap. By promoting a hybrid mix of paganism and truth he can destroy the faith of those with pagan-phobia by presenting exact PAGAN copies of certain aspects of the TRUE truth. Thus, he causes some to reject what is actually truth because they assume it is pagan. He also guarantees eternal death for others that are attracted to the easy way to salvation by entrapping them in lawlessness (anti-torah). He destroys some by making them think the truth should be completely void of ALL "pagan" elements, while he entraps others that desire the "freedom" to do as they wish yet still claim to be "faithful".
To the pagan-phobia crowd I ask the following: Would it be wise of Satan to promote a religious system (or systems) that is TOTALLY unscriptural? Of course not. In fact, virtually ALL religions have fragments of truth; however, this in no way makes them acceptable to YHWH ELohim (God). Satan's primary tactic is to sprinkle lies (tares/darnel) within the truth (wheat). By doing this he can destroy those that discover the paganism of Christianity by driving them entirely from the wheat field of truth and entrap those that flourish in such pagan, lawless faith systems. I feel that is one of the clear teachings within the parable of the tares.
The tares (false teachings and teachers) were sown among the wheat (truth and true prophets). The tares are darnel. Darnel is a grassy weed that is virtually indistinguishable from wheat until the grain is formed just prior to harvest. Yeshua could not have used a more perfect example to represent how many false teachings have the appearance of truth (darnel has the appearance of wheat) to those that are not constantly on guard for error. Also many true teachings are copied by Satan. Had there been guards watching the field closely, the enemy would not have been able to sow the tares. Likewise, one must carefully test the spirits and scrutinize what they are taught by comparing it to the Scriptures (Acts 17:11, 2 Timothy 3:16,17). The "Scriptures" being referred to for use in the testing of truth is the Tanakh (Older Testament). Sadly, since few Christians EVER test what they are taught by studying the Tanakh, they allow the fields of their minds to become infested with the tares of the Devil. Similarly, most common Christians of today allow their feelings, which they mistakenly and lazily consider to be promptings of the "Holy Spirit", to largely determine their beliefs. They are among today's tare-heads, not realizing or taking to heart that we MUST test the "spirits" using the Tanakh and Hebraic study of the New Covenant writings. Instead many profanely consider their personally desired beliefs to be "spirit" based when, in fact, they are based on Scriptural ignorance.
The tares and wheat - false doctrines and truth - will both grow together until the end when the the grain appears at the time of harvest and angels will come to gather the tares FIRST (this alone destroys "rapture" theory) from among the wheat. At that time the "fruit" produced will allow the tares to be easily distinguished from the wheat. The resulting lifestyle (obedience or lawlessness) as well as other fruits of ones particular faith system, will classify them as either tares or wheat. This is, in part, to what Yeshua refers elsewhere when he says one is known by the fruits they bear. The wicked, false teachers, and those loving the spirit of error will be gathered out of the Kingdom; then, the scrutinizing believers that never end their search for truth will be left for gathering into the granaries of G-d's Kingdom.
If one rejects doctrine or concepts because of apparent pagan equivalents (pagan appearances), then we may as well burn the entire Scripture including Torah. Virtually EVERY truth has a false equivalent in paganism. Paganism has its own "instructions" (torah). Paganism has temples. Paganism has sacrifices and blood atonement. Paganism has prophets of "god". Paganism has a Creator(s) god. Paganism has eternal reward and punishment. Paganism has demons. Paganism has a god that is prayed to. Paganism has a savior(s), etc. etc. Remember, often tares and wheat are completely identical in appearance. It's the root (origins, definition of God, etc.) of the tares and wheat that primarily differ, as well as the final fruit (obedience to and worship of the TRUE God and Messiah or disobedience and worship of the anti-messiah and false god).
As mentioned earlier, those realizing the truly pagan origins of traditional Christianity, which I will emphasize later, sometimes jump from Christianity to Judaism. As they learn about many of the false teachings regarding Christianity's unscriptural false Messiah, "Jesus Christ", they grossly overreact and reject the Messiah entirely without investing much time discovering the true aspects of the Scriptural Messiah. Those that do this often justify their change by pointing to Christianity's pagan nature. By doing this they become one of those discussed earlier whose faith is destroyed, though they usually feel they have actually finally found the "true" faith. They also fail to realize that, as discussed earlier, one can find parallels to paganism within Judaism also. Even the TRUE Hebraic faith can have pagan parallels; thus, paganism alone, is NOT a good characteristic to look for when determining the truth or error present in a set of doctrinal beliefs.
Another VERY disturbing trend I see is the habit many slide into of abandoning reading of the New Covenant Scriptures. I found myself near this abyss at one time; therefore, I am very familiar with the progression of thoughts in one's mind as they find themselves in somewhat of a spiritual crisis. This presents a unique problem and generally progresses as follows:
They discover the true fact that Christianity is largely a false religion and that the New Covenant writings are somewhat corrupt.
This causes them to doubt ALL the New Covenant writings.
They then assume corruption where none exist.
They fail to understand that the New Covenant writings ARE reliable, despite the fact they do have some scribal corruption and error in various areas; however, this corruption effects only a tiny fraction of the overall volume of the New Testament and can be easily seen as error by simply comparing it to the Tanakh. (Note: I discuss this and other issues regarding what is TRUE Holy Scripture in an article on that subject.)
They WRONGLY feel they can find ALL truth in the Tanakh and fail to realize if such was the case there would have been no need for clarification on issues such as Messiah, Torah observance, etc. Rabbinic Judaism proves itself to also promote the fact that clarification of what is written in the Tanakh is necessary since it (Rabbinic Judaism) LARGELY relies upon the "Oral" Torah - the traditions of the sages - for its interpretation of the Tanakh. Those leaving the TRUE Messianic faith (or never truly taking the time to learn about the TRUE faith) seem to somehow forget there ARE things within the Tanakh that are impossible to fully comprehend and that the New Covenant writings are one of the ONLY ways to comprehend them! Instead, they subconsciously begin to interpret much of their Tanakh studies in an anti-messiah way. THEY BECOME BIASED TO THE OTHER EXTREME - BIASED AGAINST MESSIAH AND THE TRUE MESSIANIC FAITH.
They reject the New Covenant writings yet willingly embrace Rabbinic traditions that are often Scripturally unsubstantiated. Their rejection of the New Covenant writings is often due to their failure to properly interpret them from the Hebraic world view in which they were written. They mistakenly make the same mistake most Christians make by reading the Hebraic writings of the New Covenant from a Westernized, Constantinian mindset; thus, they fail to see the purely Hebraic, pro-torah foundations of the New Testament. They then ASSUME the Rabbinic traditions to be more "Scriptural", when in fact, those traditions often stray further from pure Scripture than the New Testament.
Often, due to the truly admirable devotion of sincere practitioners of Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, the individual becomes somewhat seduced by Judaism to the point that they accept these unsubstantiated Oral Traditions of Judaism. There are a lot of admirable qualities within Judaism that traditional Christianity simply does NOT have. The level of devotion to God within Orthodox Judaism is something ALL Christians could learn from. Frankly, I have NEVER come across a single Christian that demonstrates the devotion to God that is common within Orthodox Judaism! Most Christians haven't the foggiest idea of the TOTAL devotion to God - in ALL facets of life - that is practiced within Judaism. Likewise, most Christians GROSSLY misrepresent and misunderstand the teachings of Judaism. It is a simple fact that if one is looking for a faith of true devotion to God, they will find it in Judaism; however, devotion is not proof of truth. There are other religions whose followers exhibit deep devotion. Of course, traditional Christianity is comprised of some of the LEAST devoted religious individuals. When one sees this devotion within Rabbinic Judaism, the beauty and inspiring aspects of it cause some to become enamored by it and to sometimes loose the objectivity in determining if the Rabbinic traditions are truly Scriptural.
Their anti-paganism grows to anti-Christian and ultimately to anti-messiah Yeshua. The term "Christian" becomes a repulsive word because of the HUGE amount of error, hypocrisy, open rebellion against God's eternal teachings, and paganism found within the Christian faith.
Since the "New Testament" is considered the Christian Bible, their anti-Christian mindset becomes an anti-New Testament mindset. They fail to fully realize it is that very New Testament that condemns the MANY false teachings of Christianity!! The false teachings that Messiah is God and that Torah is abolished can be proven FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT without even having to reference the Tanakh! The best proof that the New Covenant writings are reliable is the fact that almost ALL the false pagan teachings within traditional Christianity and counterfeit Messianism can be proven wrong from those very New Covenant writings!
By rarely reading the New Covenant writings, they loose perspective and slide down an ever steepening slippery slope. They develop an aversion to reading the New Testament, mistakenly condemning the writings for the errors practiced by ignorant, hypocritical individuals that claim to follow those writings.
Ultimately, they misapply the Scriptural admonition to always verify what is taught in the New Covenant by checking the Tanakh. Instead, they VERY WRONGLY interpret this to mean ALL they need reference for a clear understanding of Truth is the Tanakh; thus, Satan succeeds in keeping them away from the Messianic writings of the New Covenant through which they could obtain more clarity regarding YHWH's eternal plan.
Basically, they GROSSLY overreact and end up rejecting the New Covenant as a totally false set of writings or at least lessening it so much that their faith becomes weak and largely void of the advantages to be had from the TRUE faith of and in Messiah.
I MUST clarify an extremely important point. One should NOT judge the New Testament using the teachings of Christianity! That may sound contradictory; however, it isn't. You see, the primary teachings of traditional Christianity are NOT what is taught in the New Testament. Christianity GROSSLY misapplied the New Covenant writings; therefore, one commits a serious error when they condemn the New Testament just because fools claiming to follow it teach and practice the grotesquely unscriptural faith system known as traditional Christianity. In fact, I sincerely feel one of the primary strategies of Satan is to drive people from the New Testament using the Beast system he created and that, itself, does NOT follow the instructions presented in the pages of the New Covenant writings.
I feel one judges with an unequal measure when they reject beliefs (Christianity) ONLY because they have similarities to paganism while adopting Judaism as their new religion, since Judaism ALSO has similarities to paganism. Rabbinic Judaism is FILLED with pure traditions of men that cannot be substantiated from the WRITTEN Word! Even PURE TRUTH has similarities to paganism. Remember, Satan is not stupid and knows he cannot promote a faith system that is totally false. Instead, he mixes his lies with truth; otherwise he could not deceive.
One of the Torah Commentaries I study (JPS Torah Set) shows excellent similarities in paganism to many of the various aspects of Torah. So, if one condemns Christianity ONLY because of pagan similarities, then they must also condemn Rabbinic Judaism and even the true Scriptural faith. This practice is a PRIMARY objection I have to counter-missionaries. They are blatantly deceptive and judge unequally when they accuse Christianity of having pagan origins yet neglect to mention virtually every ritual/practice in Judaism can also be shown to mirror pagan ritual/practice. I am firmly and irrevocably convinced that Rabbinic Judaism is NOT Hebraic, Biblical Judaism. I consider this just as obvious as the unscriptural teachings of Christianity and am appalled at how many Christians convert over to Judaism. I DO feel Judaism has very little - on none - unscriptural paganism compared to Christianity and that there IS more pure truth to be found in Judaism, especially regarding Torah; however, Judaism has it's own set of serious problems, not the least of which are sage-worship and an exalting of the Oral Torah and traditions ABOVE the written Torah. As I've said in other articles, Christianity and Judaism have EXACTLY the same core problem - the worship of tradition! In traditional Christianity, however, the traditions are far less Scriptural and promote rebellion against God.
It seems everyone wants someone to lead them. Most want a king just as ancient Israel, and just like ancient Israel, what they are actually doing is rejecting YHWH (1 Samuel 8:4-8). Only a few, like ourselves, have the courage and conviction to not follow the herd. Most very much do have a herd mentality. There are few that possess the heart of a lion that have the courage to wander alone if need be or to accept being part of the very small, persecuted remnant.
When one seeks to determine what pagan aspects are acceptable, the ONLY source to be used is the Hebrew Scriptures, the Tanakh, along with a correct interpretation of the New Covenant writings (New Testament). So, what do I feel is the importance of making the "pagan connection" to show a religion false? Well, a few of the things I consider are shown below. The items I list below are what contributed to my realization that traditional Christianity is steeped in paganism and a VERY unscriptural, false religion - the BEAST (note my article on the mark of the Beast for my reasons).
False religions have a pagan godhead. The true faith is consistently and uncompromisingly monotheistic. Almost all pagan religions have some sort of "godhead" or a pantheon of gods. Few pagan religions are truly monotheistic. It is for this reason the paganism of Christianity and counterfeit Messianism is more legitimately considered a significant issue, since they most certainly are NOT monotheistic faiths, despite the deceptive gyrations their leaders use to try and prove otherwise. The only 3 purely monotheistic religions I know of are Scripturally Hebraic Messianics (us), Rabbinic Judaism, and Islam. I have gotten to the point that I have little patience with ignorant Trinitarians or bitarians that insist they are monotheistic. Their "monotheism" is a blasphemous joke and clearly seen as false monotheism to all except those intoxicated on the wine of the great harlot.
False religions have pagan morals. The true faith follows a strict code of morality. Again, the "once saved always saved" license to sin mentality of many Christians makes the pagan parallels to Christianity more definite. The "do what is right in your own eyes" attitude that seems to dominate Christian thought, despite the arguments by theologians that it doesn't, is purely pagan and clear proof Christianity does NOT follow the moral instructions of the ONE that inspired Scripture.
Paganism rejects the Torah. Again, Christianity's paganism shines here since it also rejects - or declares abolished - the eternal Torah. Also, counterfeit Messianism promotes falsehood by claiming to promote Torah while, at the same time, teaching Torah observance is optional! Teaching something to be optional is functionally no different than teaching it is abolished!
Paganism promotes holy days that are not found in Scripture and/or rejects those that are. Christianity, through its shameless exalting of celebrations of purely and undeniably pagan origins (Christmas, Easter, SUNDAY, etc.) and rejection of the God given festivals (SABBATH, Passover, Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Feast of Tabernacles, Day of Atonement, etc.) shows itself to be totally foreign to the Scriptural example. It also shows itself to be dedicated to open rebellion against God through its brazen rejection of festivals He declared to be everlasting.
Most pagan religions promote godly procreation. Of course, Christianity and counterfeit Messianism, through their teachings of the virgin birth, are very definitely promoting godly procreation. The godly procreation aspect is purely pagan and has absolutely ZERO Scriptural (Tanakh) support. The true Biblical faith does NOT present a God that comes down to earth to cohabit with woman. In fact, the hint that this occurred in Genesis 6 is clearly presented as bad. Read or listen to the article regarding the virgin birth for more insight into this.
In summary, my plea is to those that are sincere in searching and may find themselves questioning the TRUE Messianic, Hebraic faith. Before considering wholesale abandonment of the TRUE Messianic faith, make sure you are using an equal scale of judgement. Read the New Covenant writings with the Hebraic mindset in which they were written. Don't develop Pagan-phobia. Don't let Satan drive you out of the wheat field of truth!!