The Push for Paganism | February 12th, 2023
Have you ever been to a place in nature where the beauty is so breathtaking and picturesque it seems everything around you is giving glory to God? That’s how it felt for me while spending time in Asheville, North Carolina. The colors of the flowers were bright and cheerful. Bees were buzzing around happily as the sun provided a comforting warmth. And the soft, rolling hills continued like a dreamy infinity as far as the eye could see.
When we look at nature around us, we see clear evidence of creation pointing to the Creator who made heaven and earth and everything in it!
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Psalm 66:4
It is nourishing to our soul to be surrounded by the beauty of nature. We can’t help but want to drink it in! God reveals to us His creativity, glory, power, love, and presence through nature. We were made in His image to know Him, love Him, and worship Him. We are fully dependent upon God for our existence, our purpose, and our spiritual fulfillment. Nothing else in all the world can ever satisfy.
Despite the innate emptiness inside each of us that can only be filled by God, we continue to look for other things to replace Him to give our reverence and honor. We have a built-in spiritual appetite that craves to worship but a heart that is not naturally inclined toward God.
There is a strong connection we feel when we are in nature because of the many positive emotions it generates. We experience a sense of peace and happiness. It often gets our creative juices flowing. And it even seems to lower depression and anxiety. How natural it may be for people to feel inclined to give praise to their surroundings.
A Modern Form of Paganism
There has been a shift taking place in America from worshipping the patriarchal God of the Bible toward goddess / creation worship, also called “Mother Earth.” And it is nothing new. For thousands of years, people have been bowing to the sun, moon, sea, stars, trees – anything but the Creator. This is called paganism.
Today, paganism shows up in a more modern form, deceptively easy to embrace, called environmentalism. There is a strong push in society to love, respect, and worship Mother Earth. Now, there is nothing wrong with taking care of the environment. In fact, we should not neglect to do our part as good stewards of what God has graciously given us. But the environmental movement is completely consumed with preserving the earth forever, even to the point of placing nature above people and their needs. Because we were created in His image, God gave us a privileged place with rulership over the earth, not the other way around.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
As limited human beings, saving the planet is nowhere within our realm of power or responsibility. We can know from God’s Word that He is good and sovereign and has created a planet for us that can sustain life as long as He desires for us to be here. The resources He gave us to provide for our needs are renewable and continuously replenished, just as He planned from the very beginning.
Instead of focusing all of our energy and efforts toward saving this temporary earth which will one day burn up and be replaced, our focus as believers should be on telling others the Good News of the gospel which affects souls for eternity. Because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross, shedding His perfect blood for the forgiveness of our sins, we are given the hope of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Paganism in the Movies
Paganism is also showing up in movies made for children so they can be indoctrinated at a young age, teaching them that there is nothing wrong with Earth worship. Look at the huge box office hit Frozen 2 that grossed 1.45 billion in 2019. This Disney movie dives deep into environmental spirituality, straight from Wicca, a nature-based pagan belief system.
The story of the main character, Elsa, is driven by her belief in and contact with spirits coming from environmental worship of the four elements, the forces of nature, which are water, earth, air, and fire. These are considered sacred and highly revered by Wiccans and are symbolized with the pentacle – a star with a circle around it. This represents life and the union of the 4 elements with spirit. It is often worn by Wiccans for “protection.”
The top point of the star is spirit or goddess, the fifth element. This is the discovery Elsa makes about herself and is given the promise of knowledge. Where have we heard this before?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5
God hates practices like Wicca because it is an attempt to cut off our dependence on God and get answers apart from Him. The clear messages being sent in this movie are dangerous, especially for children who are unable to be discerning, as occult concepts are presented in an enticing and glamorous way.
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; Deuteronomy 18:10-12a
Paganism in Seminaries and Churches
Where else is paganism showing up? In theological seminaries and Bible churches! You can see where evangelicalism is heading if you look at the National Association of Evangelicals. In 30 years, it has gone from an emphasis on salvation in Jesus Christ to environmentalism, ending poverty, and the social gospel.
Is this any surprise? Not when you look at these recent findings from the American Worldview Inventory in 2022:
A new nationwide survey of America’s Christian pastors shows that a majority of pastors lack a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) possess a biblical worldview…
In 2019, a chapel service was held at Union Seminary in New York City (founded in 1836 by Presbyterian ministers) in which students confessed to a display of plants:
“Today in chapel, we confessed to plants,” the nation’s oldest independent seminary declared. “Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?”
What complete nonsense! This is what happens when the biblical worldview is abandoned. If you do not worship the Creator, you will inevitably worship the creation in one form or another.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25
We also now have The Green Bible, published in 2008 by HarperCollins. This Bible, printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, uses the New Revised Standard Version as their text. Like the “red-letter” editions of the Bible where the words of Jesus are printed in red ink, The Green Bible prints verses in green ink that deal with environmental topics or creation care.
Included are inspirational essays by Brian McLaren, leader of the emerging, progressive church movement, and Pope John Paul II. The main purpose is to promote the “green” agenda as urgent, a distraction from what is truly urgent which is to tell people about the love of Jesus Christ and His plan of eternal salvation in the short time we have left!
Distraction is one of Satan’s greatest and perhaps favorite weapon that he uses to keep us from God. Why? Because it works! We are bombarded with multiple distractions every day that leave us with very little time or energy to read, study, and grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.
God Alone is Worthy of Our Worship
God has created stunning beauty in nature to point us directly to Him. He clearly shows us His amazing attributes through all He has made. He desires for us to know Him! No one is without excuse for worshipping anything but Him.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20
God’s Word tells us how we should live as we wait for Jesus’ soon return and it has nothing to do with saving the planet…
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:10-13
This earth was not made to last no matter how well we take care of it. If we have believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have a new heaven and a new earth to look forward to in eternity, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the never-ending love of our Creator. It is He alone who fills our emptiness and is worthy of our worship.
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