Christian view of the Color Run (Holi festival): Putting the brakes on Pagan Christianity -stop bringing the World into our churches

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Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods”
Deuteronomy 12:4

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:30-31

     The newest fad in our churches, Christian organizations and youth groups is the Color Run. The Color Run is an ancient Hindu and Hare Krishna festival also called the Holi festival.  Holi was the name of the Hindu demon king’s sister. This festival dates back to over 2000 years ago. It wasn’t suddenly invented two years ago as some websites claim. It’s been going on for thousands of years at the beginning of spring. When I first heard about this 5k color run, it sounded super fun…however something didn’t feel right about it and I wasn’t comfortable with my children participating in it. When I found out the origins, I was still unsure. However that same day, I sat down to read my bible and this verse practically jumped off the pages:

“Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods” Deuteronomy 12:4

  Let me clear some things up first. I’m not judging anyone who is participating; I only hope that those who are feeling indecisive about this, would find their answer. I pray that the shepherds would be more aware of the paths along which they are leading their sheep  and that those called out to be gatekeepers and watchmen would stand guard and protect the flock.

 
Photo credit: newyorkdailynews- Holi celebrations kick off in India


Color run origins:

The Holi (aka Color run) Hindu festival is celebrated at the beginning of spring each year. The name Holi (which means burning) originated from the name Holika, the demon king’s evil sister.  She, Holika, helped her brother reign by killing his son/ her nephew. Legend says that the son of the demon refused to worship him and instead worshiped Vishnu. So Holika ended this by putting the boy on her lap and sitting in a fire so he would die. She thought she would be untouched because her super power was that fire could not burn her- but her plan backfired and she sizzled to death.
In India, they throw colored powders in the air over the people as a symbolic remembrance of this demon sister Holika (Holi) and the beginning of spring.  On this day many others worship Kaamadeva, the love god. There are a few other variations and myths (and some have changed over the years): to some it was a time when the moon god was worshipped- here’s another one – Krishna wasn’t happy with his skin color so his mother told him to color his lovers skin so her complexion would change and from there, they started the color festival. Don’t ask me to explain that one, but if you want to find out more, see the links below.


photocredit- indiajoin. com


Why are we turning to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age ideas and witchcraft to find new ways to play church? 

Last year, the fad was the Harlem shake. I embarrassingly watched my children’s youth group’s you tubes as they gyrated in their underwear wearing large animal head pieces. I cringed! Then I saw pastors and churches joining in. The year before this it was the Circle maker. Why are we going to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age and witchcraft to find new ways to play church?

I wonder how many pagan practices we unknowingly have within our churches, traditions and holidays. It’s our job to stop it when it begins to sneak into our churches.  What are we teaching the next generation by doing this? The Color run sounds like a lot of fun, no doubt about that- but I ask you, as Christians and Church members- When are we finally going to put the brakes on bringing the world and pagan practices into our churches?

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turnedas worthless as a half baked cake.
Hosea 7:8

For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways; Isaiah 2: 6

Reading through Hindu sites I found mixed emotions on how they feel about us celebrating their tradition. Some are deeply offended and some are happy they can share their Hindu and Hare Krishna religion with us- yes, they see it as an open door to share their faith.

Do Something New!

God wants us to be NEW. A new Creations. He gave each one of us an amazing mind- surely we can come up with our own new ways of worship and fellowship. I am sure we can think up new creative ways of fellowship without copying pagan religions. We are not to be conformed to this world, but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind.

I just thought of something!!!!!! Joshua at Jericho and Gehazi with the Shumanite were both supposed to run/walk without a word spoken, okay maybe it’s boring – but think of how much we’d have to say when we reached the end. And how about Elijah’s supernatural run when he outran the chariots, there was a terrible storm coming. So I’m thinking everyone has to run like the wind and anyone who is slow gets soaked. Lol– but you see, you can get creative, amen?

He asks us to sing Him NEW songs. He specifically tells us in Deuteronomy 12:29-32

“When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land,  do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’  You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.

 Hear the Word of the Lord:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:1-3

“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs.Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit Zephaniah 1:8-9

 You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies Isaiah 57:8.

This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. 2 kings 17

 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 2 Kings 21 (NLT)21

  Photo credit: dw.de

This festival is also called ‘run or dye’ – yes, churches are using that slogan.  I have no comment for that- just a sigh……

Money, Money, and More Money   

One more thing that weighs heavily on my heart- the pull of money, money and more money – isn’t that what this is all about?  Are we feeding the hungry?  are we visiting the sick? are we visiting those in prison? are we clothing the naked? are we helping the widow? are we going after the lost? are we guiding the those who have backslidden? Where have our priorities gone? What example are we setting for the next generation? How much of our thoughts- and our church leadership’s time and energy is put towards  business/money and how much is put toward walking with God? It’s time for a heart check- where are my priorities? Am I really trusting in the Lord? How can I get to that place where I can walk with the Lord as Enoch did?  Would I be on the left or the right in that last day parable described in Matthew 25:34-

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me!’

 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

 Related articles:

 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

The Power of Words- Words bring life, death, favor, foolishness, blessings, curses, grace, love, wickedness, anger, calmness, salvation, pain, comfort and when paired with faith, they can move mountains

Comments 12 Standard

 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

Your Words can:

  1. Bring long life:Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything Proverbs 13:3.
  2. Set your life on fire- ruin your life Proverbs 13:3 James 3:6  
  3. Warn of danger “Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee” Gen 27
  4. Cause jealousy and hatred “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words Genesis 37:8
  5. Cause captivity Gen 39- The wife of the Egyptian ruler lied about Joseph
  6. Move people  “And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do”. Exodus 4:15
  7. Crush a Spirit  Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit Proverbs 15:4
  8. Break a person to pieces-How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? Job 19:2
  9. Bring Curses – Don’t use God’s name in vain – honor your parents
  10. Bring Blessings – Issac and Jacob, Abraham, Eli and Hannah, Joseph’s Sons, Jacob over his sons…..
  11. Be twisted for a bribe– A bribe makes even a righteous person twist the truth. Ex 23
  12. cause anger 2 Samuel 3:8  
  13. Save Nations “Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Esther 9:26
  14. Annoy others “How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Job 8:2
  15. Distort the truth Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
  16. deceive and hide iniquity and sin :iniquity and deceit lie in the words of some psalm 36:3
  17. Devour with lying tongue Psalm 52:4
  18. Be as powerful as a weapon  Psalm 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
  19. Encompass around with hatred Ps 109:3
  20. Deceive through flattery proverbs 2
  21. Speak wisdom Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. Proverbs 17:27
  22. Turn wrath away Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger
  23.  Bring health Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
  24. Be a Spring of Wisdom Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook
  25. Hurt others Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly
  26. Hasty, leading to foolish nonsense Proverbs 29:20  Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him
  27. Cause deep grieving Genesis 27 – Essau cried when he heard his blessing had been taken from him “he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.”
  28. Powerful :Soft Words can be more powerful than the loud cry of a king Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools
  29. Full of nonsense A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? Ecclesiastes 10:14  
  30. Help others or Discipline and lead you :The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep
  31. Cause Fear And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;Jeremiah 26:21
  32. Bring Salvation Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved
  33. Move Mountains. Mark 11:22-24 Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

What have your words done today? Have they brought life? Hurt? Wisdom?Anger? Death? Destruction? Praise? Encouragement? Help? Foolishness? Gossip? Deception? Faith? Hope? Healing?

     I was surfing through you tube and I found a video of a high school reunion from my school. Each person was talking into the camera having fun with each of their friends. The camera went from person to person as everyone said hello. One person mentioned that she thought it was funny that everyone at the reunion “knew me, but none of them ever said a word to me in high school”, then another man with sad eyes just looked in the camera without a word. You could tell he was holding back tears and he only held up his name card so the people watching the video would know who he was. I’m still sad thinking about it. Knowing some of the people I grew up with – and I’m no better- I can easily see people ignored or made fun off today – even after all these years. I mentioned to a friend that I ran into an old classmate and before I could continue, she remarked “wasn’t she a nerd”. I was silent, are we grown up and still doing this garbage?  Do people really need to have lifetime tags on them? Growing up in a Christian school, you would think we would treat all people as Jesus did, but we were far from it. To be Jesus like, we need to step outside that “old man” box and show the “new man”.  Use words of kindness and encouragement. Say hello to others, don’t just think about yourself – but stop to consider others. Ask the Lord for a great love for other people – you’ll be surprised.

     I believe God’s word is true and powerful. I  have seen answered prayer. I’ve prayed with others and seen miraculous healing. I’ve seen scripture spoken over a person about to die – only to recover with a supernatural healing. It is here for us –for life, blessings, salvation. I was reading through the Parable of the talents and stopped to consider the talents, money, gifts given by the Master. I asked the Lord – what are the gifts? And I heard in my heart; ”What gifts have I given you?” I thought for a moment, and said- I believe the greatest gift you have given me is the gift of prayer– through your Son Jesus, I now have a place before your throne, second gift I have is Your Word. I know there is another side to this – use your talents – but I think it must be taught to :

1- Devote yourself to prayer: We should be just as persistent in our prayer life as we are in our outward “service”: God has given us His Son – the greatest gift- and now we can go before the throne of God in prayer. So I ask you- are you using this gift? Have you put it to the side? Have you taken full advantage of this priceless gift of prayer? The Lord God waits for you, He has prepared a place before the throne for you- Use this gift!

2- Open up the Bible and apply it! Study and Follow God’s Ways in His Word. God has given us His Word- are you using this gift? Have you gotten lazy? Don’t you know that all Gods promises are written there for you? It leads you along the path to Salvation. It warns you if you happen to step off the path, it is a lamp to your feet and light for your way. What have you done with this gift?

   When you think about it, what good is all our service if we aren’t walking with the Lord? What good are all our books, blogs, studies, teaching, videos, sermons, events – if we are far from the Lord and walking with the World and not the Word? What good are our talents if we are using them according to our own ways – because we haven’t stopped long enough to hear God’s leading? What good is all our teaching if our heart is far from God? What good is all your hospitality if you are not walking along God’s path because you don’t know His path? You may be saying – well they had an investment-and to that I say- aren’t prayers equally investing, if not more than anything else? Don’t they reap reward? Surely they heal the sick and bring people to Christ, protect workers from evil and strengthen the weak. Doesn’t the word say- that those who put much study and time into the scriptures, get much out – and in Ezra, the Lord blessed Him because of His study of the scriptures. Doesn’t the book of Isaiah tell us that God’s word always accomplishes everything it is sent out to do and it always succeeds!!! Show me an investment like that.

         Then I said, Lord, why did you give the third man so little? and the Lord told me that He gave him little because He knew he wouldn’t do much work. He knew He wasn’t going to do much with it so He gave him little to do- but He still expected it to be done. Unfortunately the lazy fearful man did nothing with what He had- it reminds me of the Parable of the Great feast. One man showed up without his wedding clothes – he didn’t even bother to get dressed- how disrepectful, not only that, but when asked why, he didn’t even bother to answer. It’s a picture of pure laziness and disrespect. In other words, there was no fear of God. Sure, the man said he feared him, but if true, would he have so boldly spoken out to him on what a ruthless inconsiderate man his master was? The master called him wicked and lazy. Talk about lazy… that’s what this generation is creating with all the electronics. Parents are wasting their kids talents away on video games, computers, and television shows. Turn it off!

 Check out these investments and payoffs – rewards:

  • Saving Souls!!! 1 Thess. 2:19-20 After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy.
  • Helping the Prophets and the Righteous-  “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.  If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:40
  • Helping the least of His followers – you will surely be rewarded!!! Help others.
  • Care for the traveling teachers, even if they are strangers to you: Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.For they are traveling for the Lord,[c]and they accept nothing from people who are not believers.[d] So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 3 John 

 And we do all this – not to seek a reward, although that is wonderful, but we do all this to please our King and our Lord- helping the sick, visiting those in prison, helping the lost find their way, taking care of the orphans, the widows, the homeless, the downcast, the hungry, and the thirsty.

I’ve rambled on and now I’m off topic, so maybe, if I find it interesting enough, Ill post the rest of this power of words study on another post. It’s much to long to post here.

Peace! And may the God of peace SOON crush that annoying serpent under your feet as you step out in Victory for Jesus Christ, the Savior of the Whole World .May the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.