Today, Christians sometimes mix New Age practices with their faith in Christ. This is exactly what the Israelites did after their miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
We can learn a lot from the Scriptures about Moses, Aaron, and the Golden Calf. Aaron’s bull was a mixture of the true God and the pagan methods of worship that were borrowed from the people around them.
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Exodus 32:1 NIV
The people don’t like waiting, so they demand an idol who will fit their selfish desires. Aaron is pressured into giving the people the kind of god they want.
2 “Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:2-4 NIV
5 “When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward, they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” Exodus 32:5-6 NIV
Aaron calls this idol “the Lord”. Why? Because he isn’t giving them a new god. He is making God fit the image of God they want. This corruption leads to revelry.
“The Hebrew word rendered indulge in revelry … can refer to words that have sexual implications. Here it implies sexual acts done in the worship of pagan gods. Immorality often accompanies idolatry, even today.” David Jeremiah
“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” Romans 1:22-24 NIV
7 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” Exodus 32:7-8 NIV
Do we mold God into who we want Him to be, rather than seeking out who He truly is through His Word?
When God’s people create an image of God to fit what they want Him to be, (but still call that image “God”, even “Jesus”), are they worshipping the true Jesus, or a counterfeit Jesus? Paul warned Christians concerning false apostles who would preach about a Jesus who is not the real Jesus of the Bible.
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold” 2 Timothy 4:3 AMP
Not everything being taught in Christian circles today is “sound doctrine”. There is only one way to recognize false teaching when you hear it, and it is this: You must read and study the Bible for yourself. That means reading the Word of God every day. It means reading the Word of God more than you read books about the Word of God.
When you read a popular Christian author more than you read the Bible, you begin to interpret the Bible through their “lens”. If it is false, it can take years to “unlearn” what you have been taught. On the other hand, if you read and study the Bible for yourself, you will immediately recognize false teaching.
I know this to be true from experience. Having once been deceived myself by the Word of Faith teachers, it took many years for me to recover. Many of the Word of Faith teachings are rooted in New Age beliefs. I could refer you to numerous Bible teachers who can expound on this, but I would rather you recognize false teaching for yourself. That is the most powerful kind of discernment.
When listening to a Bible teacher, do you ever think, “Where is that in the Bible?” or even more importantly, “That’s not what the Bible says!”
Sometimes new Christians, in their excitement of knowing Christ as their Savior, read many books about the Bible. I believe the devil takes advantage of their hunger for God to lead them astray through false, yet entertaining, books that are so widely available today. This is what happened to me.
Lest you think, “I could never be deceived”, think about this:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
The only real protection against this is to read and study the Bible for yourself, love the Truth, and follow Jesus. Jesus said,
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 NIV (Emphasis mine)
With Love, Cindy
Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?