Sunday, February 21, 2010

Comments on the Syncretism Series

Joseph Herrin (02-21-2010)

Before sharing some of the comments to the present series on Syncretism, I want to speak on the subject of this Blog’s intended audience. When in High School and College, my English teachers used to tell the students that they needed to have a clear idea of the audience to whom they were writing. This would allow the students to write clearly, and with focus, and keep from drifting.

As a minister called of Yahweh to fulfill the calling of a teacher, I am not free to choose my audience. My audience is that which Yahweh has appointed to me. I am called to speak to those who are disciples of Christ, or who are considering being disciples. As I wrote in a few recent posts at the beginning of this year, the ministry I am appointed to is to “a few.”

Those things expressed in this Blog are not intended for mass appeal. There will ever only be a remnant who are truly willing to follow Christ wherever He would lead them. To be a disciple of Yahshua the Messiah, one must hate their own life (Luke 14:26). To be a disciple one must die daily to the things their soul would choose, for they must submit to do the will of Another that they might be found pleasing to Him.

Yahshua is the pattern of all who would be true disciples. He is recorded as saying six times in the gospel of John that He never did anything of His own initiative. He only did the will of the Father.

Undoubtedly, if all professing believers lived according to this very demanding standard of discipleship, the church would never have gotten off into all the error that we find today. Syncretism would not be the bane that it is, for a man or woman who lives only to do the will of the Father would not be pursuing an agenda that has been birthed in their own soul. They would be waiting to be led of the Spirit in all they do.

I realize that none today can say they have arrived at “a perfect man.” Christ has not yet been “fully formed” in any of us. Yet, it is to those who are desiring to arrive at the fulness of the stature of Christ that I am writing. I anticipate that such ones will place no allegiance to any religious institution above their allegiance to their Father in heaven. I am writing to those who walk in the fear of Yahweh, and understand that on a day not too far off they must give an account to Him for every deed done in the flesh, and every idle word spoken.

If you have stumbled upon this Blog, not realizing for whom it is written, you will no doubt find much that is recorded here offensive. The carnal Christian will not be pandered to here, but neither are they intentionally insulted or driven away. Rather, a true standard of discipleship is portrayed before them, and they are allowed to choose whether they want to accept the cost of following Christ wholeheartedly, or turning aside to some level of compromise that allows them to live as comfortably in this world as they choose.

Let me also mention something about the comment feature on the Parables Blog. The Parables Blog is not a forum. It serves as the medium of broadcast for those messages I believe the Father has given me to share with a particular audience, a dedicated audience. You are welcome to use the comment field to send me a note, and I will read every comment. However, I do not publish all the comments.

All comments are moderated. That means, they are sent to me automatically to allow me to choose whether to post them, or reject them. A great many get rejected. Some were not intended as public comments, so I simply read them, and if the person has provided me with an e-mail address, I will write to them privately.

Some of the comments are argumentative. I am not offended by disagreement. I am very willing to discuss disagreements with any who have a sincere argument that keeps them from accepting a particular doctrine of thought. I am very patient in these discussions, and I very frequently engage in lengthy correspondence with individuals, sometimes spending more than an hour on a single reply.

However, I do not believe it is in the interests of those who come to the Parables Blog to read the writings there to post every contrary thought that might be submitted. Some are very poorly thought out. Others are very bitter in their tone and abusive in the manner in which they express themselves. Others are just simply opinion, lacking the characteristic of patience and wisdom that would make them suitable for public consumption.

Some years back I wrote a short piece explaining the reasons that I believe unmoderated Christian forums are unhealthy for the saints. You can find the article here:

If you desire to correspond with me personally, I encourage you to not use the comment feature. Send me an e-mail. My e-mail address is posted on the Parables Blog at the top left hand side. Also, if you receive the Parables Blog by e-mail, simply hitting the reply button will fill in my address for you. Please note, however, that due to my receiving a large volume of e-mail, plus my other writing responsibilities and various duties, it may take some time for me to get back to you. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

I do want to spend some time answering a few comments that have been sent to me. Some are obviously from people who are not my target audience, and I do not believe they will remain readers for long. Others, are more thoughtful, and have asked questions, or raised sincere objections that deserve a thoughtful reply. Let me begin with the following:

Mr. Herrin-

Did you ever read in Scripture where people sat in sackcloth and ashes, or in an act of penance threw ashes on their heads? This is all we Catholics are doing on Ash Wednesday. It is a sign of repentance and a sign of our mortality save the Cross of Christ. We Catholics take a lot of hits from the world but I've never been called a sun worshiper by a Christian. Christ is the living Bread come down from heaven. He is our manna to this day; until the end of time. The 'sun' has nothing to do with it. The rays only show visibly what we believe is true spiritually in Christ's true presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Confession is in Scripture, the Eucharistic presence (John 6:52) Vestments, the Levitical priesthood, Apostolic succession, The papacy (modern day prime minister from Old Testament-Hezekiah)...My gosh! I could go on and on...

One of the first thoughts that comes to my mind in reading this comment is, “If a person is a Christian, then why do they need to be joined to a sect of Christianity that gives them an additional identity?” Is it not enough to be a Christian? Must one be a Catholic as well?

Please know that I am not being petty in asking this question. The apostle Paul brought up the very same issue with those Christians in the city of Corinth.

I Corinthians 1:10-14
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Yahshua Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

I Corinthians 3:1-4
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?

The word carnal means fleshly. Paul says that having divisions among the church is a sign of their immaturity. Of course, a Catholic Christian finds it hard to not be divisive for their doctrines teach them that one must be a Catholic to be a Christian. If one is not a Catholic, one is not a Christian, and not a member of the true faith. This teaching is extra-Biblical, having no foundation in the teaching of Christ or His apostles, but the Catholic Church also declares that the words of the Pope supersede the words of Scripture. It was necessary for them to develop such a doctrine, for there is much taught and practiced among the Roman Catholic Church that is contrary to the Scriptures. It is truly “another gospel.”

Regarding the comment about Ash Wednesday simply being a sign of mourning for Christ, I would ask the defender of this practice to consider why it is that they apply ashes to their forehead at this particular time of year. Why not mourn for Christ all year long? Why not mourn for Him on Passover? Why does the Roman Catholic Church only do this on the day that the Babylonian Sun worshipers applied ashes to their foreheads to commemorate the death of Tammuz? Why do they mourn for forty days as did the Babylonians, and why do they end their mourning on Easter, whose very name testifies to the fertility goddess derived from Babylonian idolatry?

I have no problem with any Christian wanting to commemorate the suffering of Christ. Christ told His disciples to remember Him in His sufferings as often as they partook of the bread and the wine of Passover. If one wants to keep an apostolic ordinance, then why not choose one that the apostles practiced, instead of one the followers of Babylonian Sun worship practiced?

The writer ends with a list of Catholic (as opposed to Christian) doctrines. He wrote:

Confession is in Scripture, the Eucharistic presence (John 6:52) Vestments, the Levitical priesthood, Apostolic succession, The papacy (modern day prime minister from Old Testament-Hezekiah)...My gosh! I could go on and on...

Each one of these things as practiced by the Catholic Church is an abominable aberration. It is a departure from the truth. There is a little truth and a lot of error, and a little leaven leavens the whole lump. To think that when one eats a small Sun shaped wafer of bread that it actually becomes at that moment the living presence of Christ, and one is eating His flesh, is truly atrocious. The same is true of the drinking of the wine. Satan has deceived the masses (the pun is intended). He has them acting out something Yahweh has declared to be vile and abominable.

Leviticus 7:27
Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.

Show me from Scripture where the apostles delivered to the church any instruction concerning Vestments, Apostolic succession, the Papacy, or confession to a priest. Much of this is based upon an errant belief that the Catholic Church has stepped into the role of the Levitical priesthood. Yet, the apostles testify that Christ was the end of the Levitical priesthood.

Hebrews 7:11-12
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.

The apostle testifies that perfection was NOT through the Levitical priesthood, and Christ was after the order of Melchizedek, not Levi. The apostle says that the priesthood has been changed, and the Law has been changed as well. These things are outside the scope of this post to address, however.

Let me move on to another comment. One reader wrote:

I hope your readers actually investigate what the Pope says. He is one of the only public figures standing for moral truth in our world today. All the personal attacks and hatred of him prove that!

If a prophet of Baal stands for morality in some area, but is inducing people to embrace idolatry which Yahweh declared to be an abomination and a violation of the first of the ten commandments, should we back the prophet of Baal? This is one of the subtleties of Satan. He seeks to dress up that which is an abomination in Yahweh’s sight in a manner that makes it seem acceptable to Christians, and those who have some sense of morality. We find this with Freemasonry in that Shriners have established hospitals for children, and they engage in numerous civic and charitable activities.

Yet every Shriner must be a 30th degree Freemason before they become a Shriner.

Despite the red Fez, whose origin was a Muslim slaughter of Christians where the Muslims dipped their hats in the blood of the slain, and the emblems of Islam on the back of the shirt, he sure looks like a nice guy to be carrying a poor crippled girl. Who could find fault with such a one?

II Corinthians 11:13-15
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

Despite the Dagon fish god miter on his head, the numerous Tau symbols draped across his miter and vesture to commemorate Tammuz, despite the fact that he is a prophet of Baal, millions still think he is a nice guy. Some even think he is a servant of righteousness.

The Pope’s predecessors are responsible for the slaughter of an estimated fifty million professing Christians for such crimes as possessing a copy of the Scriptures, or refusing to adopt the pagan rites and doctrines of the Catholic Church. I have not even addressed the topic of the inquisitions and slaughter of entire cities who resisted the false teachings of Catholicism, but history has preserved this horrendous heritage of the Roman Popes. The Roman Catholic Church has fulfilled the prophecy of the apostle John:

Revelation 17:6
And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Yahshua.

I cannot agree that just because the Pope opposes homosexuality (while his priests are practicing homosexual pedophilia and paying out hush money to keep it all quiet), and because he opposes abortion, that he is a champion of righteousness and Christians should all rally around him. No! He is a false apostle, and a deceiver, leading millions into idolatrous worship of Mary, and many other grievous deceptions.

One reader wrote the following:

Please! It is sun worship that has been polluted and obscured by Christianity, not the other way around. Our life giving Sun is the light of the world - it's a no-brainer.

Well, at least here is an honest Sun worshiper. I don’t know what he is doing reading my blog. He must have strayed in by accident.

And another wrote:

I have thoroughly enjoyed your teachings!! But I have questions for you. I mean them earnestly and with no disrespect at all!! I just don't know where to go from here.

We have been anti-Christmas, Easter syncretism, etc. for years, but have found ourselves without a church home for a long time. Is it just a matter of finding a local church that actually preaches the truth? And what of grace? I read the man's letter at the beginning of the article and it is the stream of thought taught everywhere. We may be wrong, we may be deceived, but the Love of Jesus and grace will cover us. If we don't know we are wrong or deceived, we are covered by grace are we not? It is the Lord's day morning and we have no where to go to be truly fed the word of YHWH. A very lonely place to be indeed.

I appreciate thoughtful questions that are written in sincerity. This writer is expressing such questions. Let me answer first the following:

If we don't know we are wrong or deceived, we are covered by grace are we not?

Christ gave a parable that reveals an answer to this question. Following are some words from this parable.

Luke 12:47-48
"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

Christ is saying that ignorance does not give one a free pass. Those servants of Yahweh who did not know their Master’s will, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging will receive stripes. However, their stripes will be few in comparison to the one who knew his Master’s will and did not do it. This makes knowledge of the will of God a very costly thing. Those who have been given much understanding will have much expected from them.

If Yahweh is making you aware that He hates the mixture of the holy and the profane, and He is revealing to you the pagan origins of many of the practices and teachings of the church, then will you not be held accountable? Will Yahweh not expect more from you than from another who is ignorant of these things?

Some are careless. They think it is not a big deal, and they will not trouble themselves to even investigate such matters. They may say to Yahweh on the day of judgment that they simply did not know about the origins of so many pagan practices and doctrines, but God may rightly ask them why they did not seek out the truth. Many are the sins of omission.

I can empathize with the sister who wrote above. When one begins to walk separately from all the confusion and mixture of Babylon, the way does become lonely. There are few other saints with whom one might find fellowship. One finds that there are a myriad of confessors of Christ, but few who are disciples. I trust that if you are reading this blog that you are laboring to walk as a disciple of Christ.

Heart4God Website:
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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063


Kim said...

Hello, Joseph,
I began at christmas withdrawing...I didn't get out completely (due to in-laws' objections) but much different than previous years, and I plan to skip easter this spring. How would one "celebrate" passover? Is there something we should do to celebrate?


Anonymous said...

For the woman who posted about not having any fellowship: yes it is lonely, lonlier than I thought. But in some ways it gets better. You start to zone in on the LORD. You start to really see. Saying goodbye to this world is hard and challenging and lonely. Be encouraged sister, there are more like us out there! Blessings to you and your family.

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Kim,

You have asked an excellent question about Passover. I do not believe the Christian is mandated to observe Passover, but I do believe He is granted the "privilege" of doing so as a memorial. I would refer to the following verse on this matter:

Colossians 2:16-17
Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day - things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

The word "festival" above refers to the Hebrew Feast Days, which include Passover. I do believe many of the Jewish Christians continued to observe Passover, seeing it as a memorial of the saving work of Christ. Many could have kept it in fulfillment of Christ's words spoken to His disciples at Passover, "as often as you eat this, do this in remembrance of Me."

At the same time, one should keep in mind that we have passed from the shadow of the Passover to the substance, which is in Christ. Paul also wrote:

I Corinthians 5:7-8
For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

All the elements of the Passover meal are symbolic of the life of Christ, and they also point in many aspects to the afflicted path that all His disciples must walk.

If you want some specific information on how you might observe this meal, you might do a search on the phrase "Passover seder meal." You will find an abundance of references. Keep in mind also that much of what is practiced in traditional Seder meals is simply "tradition."

To read about the Biblical observance I would direct you to Exodus chapter 12.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Brittni said...

God Bless you Mr. Herrin!
previously I have been led to do some study on this subject. but now I see I had yet to even scratch the surface! thank you so much for compiling and putting up all this information. and the pictures are extremely helpful (I am a rather visual person, and pictures really help me to grasp what's trying to be said)

all this stuff totally goes right along with the revelation the lord gave me on mixing the light with darkness = twilight.. (I will have to write up an article on it one of these days..!)

and reading up through the previous comments. Yes I have also walked a rather lonely road.. (I have actually written a song called 'lonely road' it also has lyrics, which at the time being I am unable to sing and play at the same time..)

The loneliness lessens very much so when the lord is speaking to you and is giving you revelation..

In fact, at times, relationships can pull too much from your time with the lord and you loose alot of valuable hours that you could have been using hearing and learning from the lord. (and amazingly enough you are left feeling very unfulfilled. Compared to the very excited, full feeling you get from spending time with the lord and seeking him.. Yet.. At times God Does bring certain people into your life that you are able to share with, or talk with & That makes your excitement double!.. But if those people aren’t brought by God, They are like a ball and chain, after talking with them you feel like an empty hole just wanting and grasping for something to be filled with..)

So I get really excited when I hear of other people whom have also been set aside and are experiencing the same feelings as I. (and experiencing the 'same' extreme trials and testings.. Which others whom are off enjoying the world seem to be avoiding at the moment.)

with all these new 'social networking' sites. I have recently been able to 'keep up' and see what people I used to know are doing and people who I kinda know now are doing. and it saddens me to see that most are just off in the world, goofing off and enjoying worldly pleasures.. even people whom I've once thought were 'Really good Christians'.

then the saddest part is when I look on some peoples pages whom I know are worldly.(extended family) and then look back at the 'christians' pages. and I see no difference.. :-((