To understand Christianity’s golden calves you need to understand ancient Israel’s golden calves. Then you’ll easily see how the church fell into the same idol-worshiping trap.
Twice in their history, Israel sinned against God by making and worshiping golden calves to represent YHWH.
- While Moses was 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving the 10 Commandments, Aaron led the people to melt their gold into an idol (Exodus 32:1-20).
- After Solomon fell into idolatry and died, God split the 12 tribes of Israel into two parts; the Northern 10 tribes (under Jeroboam) and the Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin (under Rehoboam). Jeroboam didn’t want the people of the Northern 10 tribes to worship in God’s temple in Jerusalem. So he set up two golden calves unto YHWH, in the cities of Dan and Bethel. These cities were located at the North and South ends of his kingdom. He claimed this would be more convenient for people to travel to (1 Kings 12:26-30).
Two Precedents: Aaron and Jeroboam
1. They created a calf of gold to represent YHWH
- Aaron and Jeroboam both said, “These are the gods who brought you out of Egypt.” (Ex 32:4 and 1 Ki 12:28).
2. They Created Alternative Worship Festivals
Aaron and Jeroboam both instituted new worship festivals (Ex 32:5-6 and 1 Ki 12:32-33) as substitutes for God’s appointed festivals (Leviticus 23).
3. God severely judged their compromised, pagan worship.
Judgment for the Golden Calf at Mount Sinai
It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it…He said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” So, the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. (Ex 32:19-28)
Judgment for the Golden Calves at Dan and Bethel
Jeroboam and His Family Cursed
“Go, say to Jeroboam, ‘Thus says YHWH, God of Israel, “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you—yet you have not been like My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only that which was right in My sight; you also have done more evil than all who were before you, and have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back.
Therefore behold, I am bringing calamity on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male person, both bond and free in Israel, and I will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone.
“Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat. And he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat; for YHWH has spoken ”’ “Now you, arise, go to your house. When your feet enter the city the child will die. “All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s family will come to the grave, because in him something good was found toward YHWH, God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. “Moreover, the LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam this day and from now on.
Jeroboam’s Nation (Ten Tribes) Cursed
“For YHWH will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they have made their Asherim, provoking YHWH to anger. “He will give up Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam, which he committed and with which he made Israel to sin.”
Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. As she was entering the threshold of the house, the child died. All Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through His servant Ahijah the prophet.
Christianity’s Golden Calves
For centuries, Christian leaders committed the sin of Aaron and Jeroboam, establishing Christianity’s golden calves. How?
Christianity’s Pagan Festivals
The vast majority of ‘churches’ totally ignore the 4th commandment and God’s seven ‘appointed times’ in Leviticus 23.
They erroneously believe the Old Testament doesn’t apply to them. As a result, the vast majority of Christians don’t realize God’s plan of redemption is revealed in these 7 festivals.
- Jesus fulfilled four of these appointed times (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost).
- God will soon fulfill the remaining three (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles) in our future.
Like Jeroboam, church leaders (for the last 1900 years) wanted to keep their people away from Jerusalem (the Hebrew roots of Christianity).
So, as substitutes for YHWH’s appointed ‘Jewish’ festivals, early church leaders adapted pagan festivals as ‘christian.’ These festivals include: Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, and many others.
A quick google search will verify the thoroughly-pagan roots of these golden calves of Christianity. But trying to make these pagan holidays ‘Christian’ is like putting lipstick on a pig.
Sure, most Christians believe they’re worshiping God during these festivals, because that’s what our ministers taught us. But none of these festivals are in the Bible. And, to make it worse, the seven festivals that are in the Bible the Church totally ignores.
Think about it objectively… God rejected Aaron’s golden calf, and Jeroboam’s alternative form of worship at Dan and Bethel. Do you think He will now accept our alternative worship via these man-made holidays?
Judgment Begins with the House of God
Christianity’s Golden Calves: Lawlessness in the Church
Of our time the Apostle Paul wrote, “The Day of the Lord will not come until the great apostasy comes first. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, the wicked one doomed to destruction.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
- The Greek word translated ‘lawlessness’ is anomia, which literally means “without law”.
- Christian leaders say they believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. But, by ignoring God’s appointed times in Leviticus 23 and substituting their own festivals, they are literally (even if it’s unintentional) practicing and teaching lawlessness—which is the rejection of God’s Word.
Judgment Against Idolatry
The pattern is clear. Whenever Israel created their own way to worship YHWH, substituting their festivals for the ones YHWH specified, they fell into idolatry and sin. And then YHWH judged them severely.
For centuries the church ignored God’s Word, creating its own ‘worship’ festivals. They substituted their own festivals in place of the ones YHWH appointed for His people.
The Apostle Paul tells us ‘the great apostasy’ will occur in the end time. Paul associates it with the lawlessness of the Antichrist. Let me repeat this key fact–ignoring God’s Word concerning His appointed times fits the Biblical definition of lawlessness.
In 1 Peter 4:17 the Apostle Peter tells us the coming judgment will begin in the house of God. This judgment is reminiscent of Ezekiel 9:4-10, when God sent His angels to start the judgment in God’s sanctuary–with the church leaders. When the slaughter was completed, only the godly remained in the land.
Similarly, in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus taught,
“The Son of Man will send forth His angels. They will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:41-43)
Christianity’s Golden Calves: What Should You Do?
How can you reject and turn away from Christianity’s golden calves? How can you avoid God’s coming judgment against people who won’t submit to Hid word?
- Respect God’s Word above man’s tradition, whether the tradition is Catholic, Protestant, Messianic, or Jewish.
- Obey God’s Word, according to the Holy Spirit’s leading. All Old Testament law, etc., must be understood in view of the cross. This perspective ensures you’re following God’s Word according to the New Covenant in Messiah’s blood, preventing you from falling into dead legalism.
In our future, God will remove the lawless tares from His church, leaving His righteous disciples to shine as the sun. Which group will you be in?