About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Unholy Alliances  


As I type this article I am writing a detailed exegetical commentary on the Apostle John's first letter that I plan to publish this summer.  In part, John penned his letter because of heresies that were infecting the church near the end of the first century.  One heresy concerned the essence of Jesus while the other concerned what constituted sin.  Both heresies were a product of an unholy fusion of first century Greco-Roman philosophy and Christian theology.  Such religious mixtures have been common throughout history.  After Greece fell to Rome in the first century BC, the Roman goddess Diana became synonymous with the Greek goddess Artemis.           


The incorporation of pagan practices into fourth century Christianity was an unholy alliance that was meant to accommodate pagans into the church.  This unholy mixture corrupted both Biblical truth and the church.  It led to the dark age of church history that in some respects can be seen in parts of what is commonly call church today.  The church has learned little from its historic sins of accommodation.    


Our western-world culture believes that truth varies from person to person, from place to place, from culture to culture, and from time to time.  It is called "relativism."  There is no fixed universal truth, or so they say.  This philosophical approach to life is infiltrating parts of what we call church today, resulting in yet more unholy alliances.          


In order to accommodate those who believe there is no universal truth that applies to us all; parts of what we call church have replaced the Biblical meaning of marriage with our culturally correct definition of marriage.  Even in our so-called Evangelical Christian world some are attempting to unite Islam with Christianity.     


The Apostle Paul warned the elders at Ephesus about such unholy alliances.  He said that after he left savage wolves would come in among them and would not spare the flock (Acts 20:29).  Paul's prediction came to pass some thirty to forty years later when in Ephesus the Apostle John had to deal with these savage wolves and their heresies, and thus the reason for his first letter. 


If you read the first chapter of first John, three words will stand out.  They are: "sin," "deceived," and "truth."  If John was alive today he would call all of our present-day unholy alliances sin.  He would say that those embracing these sins are deceived and have forsaken the truth.       


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