Just a Pinch of Incense
In a rise of multi-culturalism and inter-faith endeavors, we fail to notice that we are being asked more and more to compromise the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the days of the Roman Empire, Rome was content to add Jesus to the pantheon of gods that were acceptable for worship, but the exclusivity of Christianity was not tolerated. Christians were told to worship Caesar as god. Either bow to his image or burn a pinch of incense before his image. Just give a token nod to the emperor as god. Christians were even told that they didn’t even have to mean it to burn a pinch of incense. Just go through the motions. Compromise!
“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:29-32
Because Christianity is exclusive and Jesus Christ has no rivals, Christians then as well as now should always fail to compromise their faith in ways that seem as innocent as burning a pinch of incense.
Today we are asked to “burn a pinch of incense” by entering into worship with those of other religions by Government entities seeking common good among religions. And if not outright worship then at least all religions ought to promote a message of acceptance of each other.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.’ Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
Today we are asked to “burn a pinch of incense” by being tolerant toward sexuality that is outside of the confines of Biblical marriage between one man and one woman and even to take “pride” in June for what the Bible calls a perversion of sexual behavior.
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26-27
Today we are asked to “burn a pinch of incense” by engaging in ecumenical fellowship with those who may claim the name of Christ without any thought to orthodoxy or the truth of the gospel.
All roads do not lead to heaven.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14
Pressure will continue to build pushing the church away from Scriptural truth. The question is, will we continue to burn just a little pinch of incense to Caesar even if we don’t mean it, or will we face harassment, ridicule, and even suffering for our faith in Jesus Christ?
“Jesus said to him,‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6