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Keeping your faith pure is much more difficult in reality than a whole load of good intentions.


It seems so obvious to us now. With wonderful hind-sight we get to look at the history of the Israelite nation when God was forming them. It makes such sense to us that if they want to be the example that God chose them to be (Genesis 12 v2-3), and receive the blessing that He desires to shower upon them (Genesis 17 v3-8), that they should follow His instructions (Genesis 17 v9). Then what blessing would be theirs. They were to go into the promised land and make it their own (Deuteronomy 7 v1-16). Right from the start they failed to do that. God said move out the people who were there and they didn’t do it. God said make sure you don’t pick up any of their vile religious practices and they did. The blessing didn’t follow because they didn’t manage to keep themselves as the pure example that God called them to be.

The coming of Christianity

Keeping your faith pure is much more difficult in reality than a whole load of good intentions. We know that because we are exactly the same. Christianity reached the shores of the UK, from where I am writing, many centuries ago and arrived in a nation which already had many religious beliefs and practices—like every nation on earth. But those new Christians found it difficult to give up their old ways and continued with some of their old practices along side the worship of the newly met Creator God. Superstitious practices continued and Christians persuaded themselves, against biblical teaching, that God didn’t mind.




We need to...understand what we are doing and what God thinks about it.

Spring-time festivals

It is spring here as I write. There are many spring-time superstitions and festivals which are thriving even today. In fact I would say there is even a resurgence of them for their own sake as we sharply veer away from being a Christian country. No one seems to mind, even many in the church, because we like celebrations and festivals and cultural diversity, but we need to be careful of what we celebrate and understand what we are doing and what God thinks about it.

I am a great believer in redemption and that includes redeeming festivals and practices for holy purposes. The word Easter comes from an old heathen springtime festival. We have taken it and superseded it with a noble purpose as it is at about the same time of year as the anniversary of Christ's death and resurrection. Christmas was once a heathen celebration of the winter solstice, in Anglo-Saxon times being the first day of the year, but we have supplanted those purposes with thinking about the incarnation of Christ. But there are many practices that we are happy to go along with which are not ‘holy to the Lord’. Those Israelites failed to be blessed by God when they got involved in these things and we are on the same route.

I am going to be keeping a special look out for things which are culturally normal or ‘wonderful old customs’ but which actually stop me from being in the relationship with God that He wants for me. What about you?

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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.