See How The Golden Calf Shines!

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Tying the name of Christ to entertainment extravaganzas does not prove God authorized them.

The golden calf is the centerpiece of modern American religion, and, my, how it shines! The burning question is: Did God authorize it and does it please Him?
      
While Moses received God's Word on Mt. Sinai, Israel grew restless and decided he was not coming back. Rather than wait for God's Word, they decided to honor God in their own way. Aaron used their gold ornaments to make a golden calf and proclaimed "a feast unto the Lord." Sacrifices and an entertainment extravaganza were offered in worship to God: "The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play." 
      
Moses returned and rebuked these events, but Aaron had two excuses. When gold was thrown into the fire, the calf appeared--evidence of divine origin, power, and guidance. Also, the calf was necessary to appease the people. God rejected these claims. The calf and several thousand people were destroyed.
      
How beautiful the golden calf was, how it shined! How proud Israel was to honor God with the help of this calf!   
      
Exodus 32 teaches some powerful lessons about the use of that calf:  1. It was substituted for the power of God's Word.  2. It claimed to honor God.  3. Its attraction was carnal or fleshly.  4. False claims of divine origin, power, and guidance were made.  5. It was used to appease the people.  6. God did not authorize or accept the use of the calf, but punished those who did.
      
Modern-day churches have their beautiful, shining golden calves. Rather than preaching the simple gospel of Christ, they try to honor God and attract people with carnal things. Their defense is false claims of divine origin, power, and guidance.  Besides, we must appease the people. For example, all sorts of holy days, pageants, contests, celebrations, and recreational events are used to attract people.  Nearly all churches are doing these things on a larger or smaller scale.
      
Church ads proclaim, "Largest Egg Hunt & Pageant Dramatizing the Events of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ" at the "Multi-Purpose Building." "40,000 Eggs!!!  Free Live Bunnies and Chicks to be Given Away!" "Style Show Presented by the Ladies" along with the "anointed teaching" of Cathy Duplantis, "a licensed minister of the Gospel," fulfilling "the vision the Lord" has given (ads placed by The Christian Center, Brazoria County [TX] News, 3-28-96). Tying the name of Christ to such entertainment extravaganzas does not prove God authorized them. God does not give visions telling women to preach contrary to His revelation in Scripture (1 Tim. 2:11-12).
      
God teaches us to be "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16).  "The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword" (Heb. 4:12). We are told not to use "carnal" weapons to fight spiritual battles because God's Word is "mighty through God" to defeat every enemy and to save every soul (2 Cor. 10:3-5).  Therefore, God's church provides the Lord's Supper to commemorate Christ's death each Sunday, but leaves social meals and social events to the sphere of family life (1 Cor. 11:34). 
      
The social gospel is choking the spiritual gospel, the calf replacing the cross. Modern golden calves and their followers will be destroyed by the Lord (Matt. 7:21-32).  Without apology, let us call sinners to the cross of Christ where they can believe in him, repent of their sins, confess his name, and be baptized into him (Gal. 3:26-27). 

 

Ron Halbrook  

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