|CARLA MCDOUGAL (regular guest )|
Image via WikipediaThe Athenians seemed to be a religious group of people. But, the problem is, they didn’t build their foundation on the true word of God. As a result, leaks in their religious thinking made it possible for false teachings and idol worship to seep in and spread. – Carla McDougal
Over the course of any year a book will explode in popularity promising “new” ideas of Christianity. Those ideas will spread like a refreshing blast of spring water over a parched desert. We drink up it’s promises as we attempt to grow more enlightened or pious in our thinking. This is the way God’s Word should be; it should burst into our world with greater impact than those books written by mortal men. Instead, we become refreshed for a moment only until the idea ages and someone else reinvents it and calls it their own. We’re all trying to be a Billy Graham, but some of us have become like the city of Athens as spoken about in Acts 17:10-33.
The NIV Study Bible gave me a lot of insight into these verses. Centuries prior to Paul’s visit to Athens, the city was famous for it’s art, philosophy and literature. In Paul’s day, Athens glory had faded, but it still maintained a good university and was well esteemed for its Philosophy. In Acts 17:10-33, Paul visits the ‘meeting of the Aeropagus.’
Aeropagus means ‘hill of ares.’ Ares was the Greek god of war. The council considered themselves, “custodians of teachings that introduced new religions and foreign gods.” Paul discovered the tomb of the unknown god among all of the idols in the meeting place. The Greeks were fearful of offending any god and so the tomb of the unknown god stood in various places all over Athens. Paul referenced the tomb in his preaching. Stoic and Epicurean philosophers gathered around him to hear the Good News. Some were moved by his words and others scorned him.
“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, ‘we want to hear you again on this subject.’ (Acts 17:32)”
“But when you get right down to it,” Carla McDougal writes on potholes. “Poor foundations and water create potholes.” Poor foundations create potholes! Poor foundations are when we listen and believe in other gospels and faiths, buying into perhaps that all religions lead to the same God. Or we dissect what we like about a religion and after taking a little from here and there we create our own god. Maybe God disappointed us and like shopping for a new car, we look for a new god to worship because we believe in something divine. Read the Bible!
There are many noteworthy narratives about the Christian faith and devotions that are heart stirring, but unless your main reading is the Bible your foundation cannot long withstand the pressures of culture, popularity, and tradition. The worship of the one true God requires more than fluff, more than emotion, but a total, hard core and loving devotion; more than the devotion that you give to your spouse and more than an allegiance to a country. There is only one way to Heaven and He does not compromise nor is He politically correct
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