You shall have no other gods

The world takes offense at God.   The Pagans hated the idea that their gods have no real power.   The Muslims and the Mormons are counterfeits of God.   Buddhists say that “God” is not a real person, but a spiritual amalgam.   Atheists are angry at the God they don’t believe in.

Communists, being Atheists, are angry at God.   So the latest outrage from China comes as no surprise.   The First Commandment is outlawed.   It started recently in just one church that we know of, but the Party statements indicate that this is a nationwide China policy:

One of the officials explained, however, that Chinese President Xi Jinping “opposes the statement,” referring to the first commandment.

“Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone doesn’t agree, they are fighting against the country,” the official warned. “This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.”

The church was forced to take down the Ten Commandments sign that day.

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16 thoughts on “You shall have no other gods”

  1. This is why the “real” Christians in China have to stay underground in house churches.  Dangerous times.  We have no idea what it means to risk our lives for our faith.  These people do.

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  2. “Who dares  not to cooperate?”

    A godlike utterance if there ever was one, on a par with “Who shall withstand the day of His coming?”

    They  shoulda just changed it to “Thou shalt have no other gods before Xi.”

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  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor:
    This is why the “real” Christians in China have to stay underground in house churches.  Dangerous times.  We have no idea what it means to risk our lives for our faith.  These people do.

    We live in a country where the government is prohibited from “establishing”  any particular religion, which has been interpreted to prohibit any “entanglement ” whatsoever with any and all creeds, and even to prohibit favoring religion per se  over non-religion, and vice versa.

    Wellsir, it seems you can take the church out of politics, but you can’t take politics out of the church.  Witness PCUSA’s  enthusiastic support for BDS. Witness the support of a huge number of Muslims, if  the U.K. Is any indication, for  imposition of Sharia law .  (Have there  been any such studies in the US? probaly this is an issue the Left does not want to know about, or doesn’t want the rest of us to know about..) Witness the number of voters who appear to care about nothing except saving, or truncating, the lives of the unborn.

    We’ve got sorta the opposite situation from China.  The govt here would not dare tell Christian or any other congregations what to do. But any and all creeds, including but not limited to Satan-worship and atheism, muck in where they don’t belong  to dictate their precepts to the government.

    “Who dares not to cooperate?”  if Ilhan Omar wants to wear religious headdress in the legislative chamber? Well?  Who shall withstand the wrath and obloquy of the “interfaith community” ?  I dare  you….

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  4. Hypatia:
    The govt here would not dare tell Christian or any other congregations what to do.

    Ah, but they sure try. Just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated and remanded their case, and the Trump administration issued a rule…which could be changed by another administration.

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  5. I have long said Atheists are angry at God for not being the God they want. Positive unbelief is as faith based as belief. They are as angry at faith as any person of faith being angry at other faiths, often moreso, since their own faith is pretty crappy.

    Agnostics, those who say “The information is not clear for the existence of God, therefore I do not accept God as being real” are not usually angry at faith in others. They just don’t believe. John Derbyshire called this “unbelief” which is a term I like.

    Incidentally, dreaming up an infinite number of universes that cannot be at all proven to “explain” why our universe is so perfectly aligned for us to be here, is a form of faith. That is bending over backwards to create a system that rules out the need for God. The almost frantic rejection of even the mild anthropic principle cannot be called “science”.

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  6. Speaking from a point of faith, I am not 100% certain that pagan gods had no power. If we follow Christian Tradition, there is another team on the field, with its own legions. Pagan gods might well have given power to followers before the coming of Christ, in that tradition. I don’t know, but worth thinking about.

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  7. Bryan G. Stephens:
    Incidentally, dreaming up an infinite number of universes that cannot be at all proven to “explain” why our universe is so perfectly aligned for us to be here, is a form of faith. That is bending over backwards to create a system that rules out the need for God. The almost frantic rejection of even the mild anthropic principle cannot be called “science”.

    We went to a family wedding this summer in Portland. The couple was married by the groom’s sister, who was a “minister” in the Universal Life Church.  The wedding was held at the planetarium and the ceremony was preceded by a show about dark matter and dark energy.  There were readings, one of which was introduced as “a reading from the book of Carl Sagan.”

    The bride is my Goddaughter.  My feeling of utter failure is mitigated only by my  knowledge that she does have free will.

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  8. On a related note, here is John Derbyshire on the reports of the Chinese “war on Christmas” from the 2018-12-28 Radio Derb.

    Item:  You may have heard that the ChiComs are trying to stamp out celebrations of Christmas. Just a couple of cautionary notes about that.

    One: This is China. It’s a big place and local authorities have a lot of power. “Heaven is high, the Emperor far away,” they’ve been saying for three thousand years.

    Hence these reports on Twitter about huge Christmas trees in department stores in Shanghai, Ningpo, and elsewhere. No, China’s not turning Christian; but Chinese people do love an opportunity to shop, give out gifts, have feasts. Christmas is as good an excuse as any.

    Two: This is China, land of the 後門, the “back door.” The Chinese are world champions at finding a way round stupid rules and regulations. If they want to indulge in a little Christmas spirit, they’ll find a way.

    In China, there’s always a way—always some workaround, some evasion, someone you can bribe. If you can find it, everyone will admire your smarts. Then they’ll imitate you.

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  9. Bryan G. Stephens:
    Speaking from a point of faith, I am not 100% certain that pagan gods had no power. If we follow Christian Tradition, there is another team on the field, with its own legions. Pagan gods might well have given power to followers before the coming of Christ, in that tradition. I don’t know, but worth thinking about.

    In the OT God doesn’t say He’s the only deity, just the most powerful.

    But if you’re talking about Satan ,I believe the. Orthodoxy is that he’s a created being, not an equally powerful evil principle, like you get in the dualistic religions.

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  10. Hypatia:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    Speaking from a point of faith, I am not 100% certain that pagan gods had no power. If we follow Christian Tradition, there is another team on the field, with its own legions. Pagan gods might well have given power to followers before the coming of Christ, in that tradition. I don’t know, but worth thinking about.

    In the OT God doesn’t say He’s the only deity, just the most powerful.

    But if you’re talking about Satan ,I believe the. Orthodoxy is that he’s a created being, not an equally powerful evil principle, like you get in the dualistic religions.

    Oh sure. But, not equal is far from not more powerful than Man.

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  11. MJBubba:
    The world takes offense at God.

    As you know, I’m no theologian, but many of these observations sound like a classic power play to me.

    Even as a secular, I’m threatened by no religion (save the faux Islamism) and I encourage the promotion of good values. At my father’s funeral, my family giggled at the site of me singing “Amazing Grace” that I did so out of respect for my dad. (It was his favorite song.)

    I resent atheists because of their open hostility toward something I may not believe in, but thoroughly respect. It does make me wonder:

    What is their agenda?

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  12. John Walker:
    On a related note, here is John Derbyshire on the reports of the Chinese “war on Christmas” from the 2018-12-28 Radio Derb.

    Item:  You may have heard that the ChiComs are trying to stamp out celebrations of Christmas. Just a couple of cautionary notes about that.

    One: This is China. It’s a big place and local authorities have a lot of power. “Heaven is high, the Emperor far away,” they’ve been saying for three thousand years.

    Hence these reports on Twitter about huge Christmas trees in department stores in Shanghai, Ningpo, and elsewhere. No, China’s not turning Christian; but Chinese people do love an opportunity to shop, give out gifts, have feasts. Christmas is as good an excuse as any.

    Two: This is China, land of the 後門, the “back door.” The Chinese are world champions at finding a way round stupid rules and regulations. If they want to indulge in a little Christmas spirit, they’ll find a way.

    In China, there’s always a way—always some workaround, some evasion, someone you can bribe. If you can find it, everyone will admire your smarts. Then they’ll imitate you.

    I am unaware of any claim that the Chinese government wants to “stamp out celebrations of Christmas.”   But on Christmas week they did imprison over a hundred Christians and closed over a dozen churches.

    I rather suspect that the Chinese government would really like a Christmas like what they see in Japan, or in the shopping malls of America;  a big occasion for lots of gift-giving and partying to stimulate the economy and make people feel good.

    The Chinese government wants a Christmas like the one permitted in the offices of my Dilbert company.   Knock yourselves out with decorations, but do not include any religious symbols or representations of persons.   So, holiday decorations are pretty and pleasant, and are devoid of any meaning.   No Saint Nicholas, no Santa Claus, no elves, no wise men, no shepherds, no angels, no Joseph, no Mary, and most of all, no baby Jesus.   Which of course means no comfort and no joy.

    But the Chinese government is worse than Dilbert-esque Grinches.   They are truly offended by the notion that people believe in a Creator who made them to be individuals, with dignity of personhood.   They recoil at the teaching that there is such a thing as eternal life or a final spiritual Judgement.   The Chinese government views the Christians as a sedition to be diverted into safe government-monitored Christian-lite feel-good counterfeit churches, or else crushed.

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  13. Hypatia:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    Speaking from a point of faith, I am not 100% certain that pagan gods had no power. If we follow Christian Tradition, there is another team on the field, with its own legions. Pagan gods might well have given power to followers before the coming of Christ, in that tradition. I don’t know, but worth thinking about.

    In the OT God doesn’t say He’s the only deity, just the most powerful.

    But if you’re talking about Satan, I believe the Orthodoxy is that he’s a created being, not an equally powerful evil principle, like you get in the dualistic religions.

    Both Jewish and Christian thinkers have allowed that some idols may have real spiritual powers on occasion, that they attributed to demons doing bad tricks in order to lend credence to Pagan tales.   Just consider how some minor miracle or coincidence, about once per century in each Pagan culture, would be more than enough demonic activity to keep whole populations in spiritual enslavement to Pagan priests, or witch doctors, or shamans.

    Yes, Satan is a created being and not on a level with God.   But remember that Satan was originally Lucifer, the apex of creation, with great power, and that he has a legion of fallen angels who became demons in his service.

    It has been revealed to us that Satan lost and Jesus won, so we can be comforted that our eternity is secure.   However, the Day of the Lord is still waiting for fulfillment.   We still live in a world corrupted by sin, and we must resist temptation and seek to walk in His ways.

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