“What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?” 1 Corinthians 10:19-22
This post is the seventeenth in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet. In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:
Harmful Effect #17: The demonization of other religions, e.g. Christianity demonizing Pagans (“They’re devil-worshipers!”)
This “harmful effect” of Christianity effectively laments demonizing demons. It is peculiar, bemusing even, that the atheist authors of this list could not find a better term than “demonization” (since they don’t believe in demons) to describe the Christian tendency to condemn pagan religions. According to Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians, the idolatry of pagan religions either is or is akin to the worship demons. Since the atheist authors of this list neither believe in God nor the devil, the inclusion of this “harmful effect” on their list is perplexing. Would the authors of this list consider it harmful if people who believed in Santa Claus demonized people who believed in the Tooth Fairy? According to the logic set before the reader of this list, they just might.
Furthermore, the authors of this list do not at all address at the harmful effects of pagan worship itself, which include child sacrifice, emperor worship, and temple prostitution. Even on a secular worldview such actions can be (and often are) condemned as harmful. Harmful Effect #17 effectively states, “It is harmful for Christians to condemn child sacrifice, worship of the head of state, and religious harlotry.” What an absurd claim. This ridiculous claim is demonstrative of the insight provided by Paul in Romans Chapter 1, in which the Apostle asserts that deniers of God are dark-hearted men who speculate in futility.
God alone, and not any created being, is worthy of worship. Worship of any entity other than God, as revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and proclaimed by the Holy Spirit, is a sinful affront to the Almighty. To God alone belongs the glory. Christians rightly decry the false worship of other religions as demonic.
In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:
Harmful Effect #18: Children spending the period of their lives when the brain is most receptive to learning new information reading, rereading, and even memorizing religious texts.
[Contributed by Seth Dunn]
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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