Tuesday 18 August 2015

Avodah Zara: What is true and false worship.

In July 2015, The movie Terminator Genisys was released to generally unfavourable reviews with critics with casual movie reviewers being more favorable toward it.

A common defense of the film is that it pays homage to the first two Terminator films and James Cameron, the director and co-writer of the first two films has given his blessing on Terminator Genisys. You can find Cameron's comments in this featurette: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAGS0G2i7UY

A lot of people as said before claim it is a homage to the first two films, but more than that, they even consider it the third installment in the franchise, a comment even made by Cameron himself.  This specifically refers to the recreation of the T-800's introduction from the ground up in the film, including an admittedly excellent recreation of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his youth, as he appeared in the original film. There have been complaints of course regarding the appearance of the punks from the original film, but more or less, the recreation has been well received. Whether other reasons are given for it being respectful of the first two films I would need to see.

I did like this movie a lot at first, so much so I saw it three times in the cinema, but my view of it has dropped slightly and this will tie into what I am going to talk about.

The biggest problem I have with Terminator Genisys is the screen play. While the production of the film was top notch and the action was well executed and phenomenal, The screen play of the film is ultimately the film's downfall, namely being loaded with too much expository dialogue and a lack of story and themes present in the film and a convoluted plot. It's a sad case of a film distracting you from it's glaring problems.

It hit me like a sponge, The attitude towards Terminator Genisys and the claim that pays the first two films is similar to the attitude that most have to false worship in the church, namely the claim that honor is being paid in a certain way that God has not endorsed.

Just as I am convinced that Terminator Genisys pays superficial lip service to the James Cameron Era of Terminator films, Those who participate in false worship in the church are themselves guilty of paying lip service to YHWH God himself.

Idolatry is a problem in the church that can easily be spotted and dealt with, but unbiblical worship is something that is not quite so. Unbiblical worship is the same as Idolatry, but it is NOT always bowing to a false god, it can also be worshiping the true God in a false way, also known as Avodah Zara or alien worship.

Isaiah 1:10-20 shows us an example of it:
"10 Hear the word of the Lord,
    you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching[b] of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!
11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.
12 “When you come to appear before me,
    who has required of you
    this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
    incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
    I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
    my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
    I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow's cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason[c] together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be eaten by the sword;
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”"

We see that the people had all the right rituals but their attitude and their sins were abhorrent to God, rendering their devotion entirely worthless and meaningless. Such an attitude to God is displeasing and he will not accept your worship if your heart is NOT in the right place or if you introduce into the church rituals that he himself has not commanded you.

Read also from Deuteronomy 12:
"29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

32 [b] “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it."

There is a principle here that is carried over into the new covenant, namely that you don't look to pagans to see how God is to be worshiped. Just as Israel were not to do that, Neither was the church to do that. God demands his people to worship in the proper way.

See also Exodus 23:23
"23 “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces."
and also Jeremiah 10:1-2:
"10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:

“Learn not the way of the nations,
    nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
    because the nations are dismayed at them,"

So let us ask ourselves, If a religious practice comes into the church and God have not commanded such in his holy word, Is it right that we should observe it immediately? Should we not inquire as to where the practice in question comes from lest we be lead astray?

Paul himself also warns on false worship:
"Colossians 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh."

Human precepts are to be tested and if they fail the text of being biblically good, disregard them completely.

Even Jesus makes the point of not accepting false tradition:
"15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”[a] 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word[b] of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”"

Isaiah 29 is referenced by Jesus in this context:
"13 And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,"

Again, this ties into another point from earlier, as to whether or not a human teaching has a bibilical basis for it.

We should NOT defend false worship for such a thing will send our fellow man to hell for eternity if they die in that state.

Answering Judaism
PS. I am not attacking individuals for liking Terminator Genisys nor is this an attack on James Cameron, I still like Terminator Genisys despite it's flaws. I am just using that as an example of people defending some thing and missing the point and showing that an attitude found in the Terminator community is similiar to how there are Christians who defend false worship and have no reason to do so and I condemn the false worship that is conducted by so called Christians.

An opinion of a film is subjective, but God's view of how we must worship in the proper way is NOT.

No comments:

Post a Comment