DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
By Al Collins
A popular book when I was growing up was “Alice in Wonderland”. Alice followed a rabbit down a hole where the world became increasingly strange, chaotic and deceptive the further she went.
Christians, since the early centuries, have gone deeper down satan’s rabbit hole, where now, most Christians live in a fantasy world they believe to be reality.
Many even know the truth, yet prefer the comfort of the rabbit hole.
Early Christianity (designed by Jesus) met in homes, where each person participated in the gatherings. There were no ‘holy’ buildings, honorific titles nor hierarchy. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, with all operating in spiritual gifts. New converts were baptized in water, baptized in the Holy Spirit, delivered from demons and then mentored on how to operate in the supernatural.
“In the process of replacing the old religions, Christianity became a religion.” – Alexander Schmemann, 20th Century Eastern Orthodox priest
Let’s peek down satan’s rabbit hole to follow what happened to Christianity.
2nd Century – Relic collecting of dead bones, considered holy and sacred
2nd Century – Lord Supper, a full meal, downgraded to a ceremony called Holy Communion. In the 4th Century, it became a ‘mystery’ moved to the altar table, considered a holy object to be handled only by ‘the clergy’
2nd Century – The ‘sermon’ was borrowed from the pagan Greek culture, which was trained, professional speakers (sophists) who entertained listeners with their charisma and speaking skills. They demanded payments for their orations. Unless trained in special schools, a person was not allowed to address God’s people
This created an entertainment atmosphere that is still in practise today. Also, prevents the body of Christ to operate as it was intended.
The modern-day priest or pastor, did not exist in early Christianity for good reason.
The word ‘pastors’ in the Bible is a function, not a title or office, with no definitive description of who they are.
Priests and pastors have taken on Christ’s role as mediator between Father and His children. Totally unbiblical.
“Beware of those who walk around in long robes.” Jesus in Luke 20:46 NASB
190 AD – ‘go to church’ phraseology adopted (you can’t go to something you are). Early Christians were the only ones without a sacred building for worship
250 AD – Infant water baptism allowed
257 AD – Immersion water baptism replaced with sprinkling
300 AD – Prayers for the dead commenced
321 AD – Sunday ordered to be a legal holiday by Constantine (sun worshipper). At the time, Sun-day was considered a pagan holy day
324 AD – Constantine ordered construction of church buildings, designed as ‘basilicas’ after Greek pagan temples, with front facing East. Special priests were promoted to places of honor
324 AD – Roman practise of beginning services with music was adopted, choirs brought in. Worship became professional, dramatic and ceremonial
Open participation of Christians was abandoned. Professional clergy performed while laity became spectators
Pagan customs such as sermons, liturgy, clerical vestments were adopted
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
325 AD – Ancient Easter pagan holiday accepted by Roman Catholic religion. Easter was a Babylonian festival created by Queen Ishtar (pronounced Easter). Pagan customs of rabbits, eggs, making the sign of the cross with hand over chest, eating ham and cakes, were all adopted by Christianity
330 AD – Treasures and art taken from pagan temples and put in church buildings
Constantine considered himself to be the high priest of paganism. He took the title Pontifiex Maximus, which means chief of the pagan priests. In the 15th Century, the pope took this title
336 AD – Christ-mass instituted on December 25 which was a Roman holiday for hundreds of years to worship the sun god Mithra. Christmas tree, yule log, mistletoe, gift-giving, carols, santa claus, are all pagan customs
379 – Praying to Mary and dead saints introduced
3rd Century – Shrines built over Christian burial places calling them holy (pagan practice)
3rd Century – ‘Ordination’ became a formalized rite with symbolic garments and solemn ritual, that put the ‘ordained’ above the laity
“I majored in Bible in college. I went to the seminary and I majored in the only thing they teach there: the professional ministry. When I graduated, I realized I could speak Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and the only thing on earth I was qualified for was to be pope. But someone else had the job.” – Anonymous pastor
4th Century – Vatican constructed. The word “Vatican” literally means “Divining Serpent,” and is derived from Vatis = Diviner, and Can = Serpent. The original name, Mons Vaticanus (meaning City of the Dead) and was founded as a cemetery (the Vatican Necropolis lies under the Vatican City pre-600 BCE as a Temple to Cybele 204 BCE). Ashtoreth the goddess of fertility, sexuality and war; was known as Cybele in Rome
“Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths.” Judges 10:6
Today the Roman Catholic cardinals, bishops and the pope all wear the open fish-mouth mitre, which represents the worship of Cybele and Dagon.
“I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.” Jeremiah 1:16
4th Century – Christians lost their personal relationship with God and with the supernatural, as the flesh-driven, earthly ‘church’ and its practises became their focus
400 AD – Once saved, always saved false doctrine devised
430 AD – Mary exalted to ‘mother of God’ title
4th-6th Centuries – Roman Catholicism adopted many pagan and Judaism practises, such as a professional priesthood and ‘sacred buildings’, burning incense, vestal (sacred) virgins
The system of Temple, priests (pastor) and sacrifices became obsolete with Jesus. Each Christian right now, is a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), a royal priest (1 Peter 2:9) and a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
5th Century – Crucifix designed
519 AD – Lent conceived
593 AD – Purgatory doctrine developed
607 AD – 1st ‘pope’ (universal bishop)
6th Century – Mass invented, adopted from paganism
787 AD – Worship of icons and statues commenced
850 AD – Burning of ‘holy’ candles (pagan practice)
995 AD – Only certain dead Christians could be declared saints by the ‘pope’
998 AD – Good Friday false doctrine devised – Jesus didn’t die on a Friday – late Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning doesn’t equal 3 days and 3 nights
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jesus said in Matthew 12:40
1009 AD – ‘Holy” water
1022 AD – Penance conceived
1054 AD – Church splits (Rome and Constantinople)
1090 AD – Rosary beads devised
1190 AD – Sale of indulgences or “tickets to sin” (punishment of sin removed)
1215 AD – Confession of sins to priest, false doctrine commenced
1230 AD – Ringing bells at mass
1268 AD – Priests given power to absolve sin
1414 AD – Laity no longer offered Lord’s cup at communion
1439 AD – Purgatory dogma began
14th Century – Pews introduced to put laity in orderly rows, with the priest elevated on a platform/pulpit
1517 AD – Protestant Reformation – Church split. The Reformation changed little in the process. The pastor replaced the priest, the book replaced the rites.
Unfortunately, the Protestants failed to re-establish, the centuries-long-discontinued biblical and historical acts of Holy Spirit baptism and deliverance for every believer.
1546 AD – Justified by works false doctrine instigated
1547 AD – Confirmation created
1560 AD – Personal opinions of pope become official creed
16th-17th Centuries – American Puritans considered the sermon to be God’s way of speaking to people. Laity should be quiet.
Harsh punishment was adopted for those who didn’t ‘go to church’, such as fines or put into the stocks. Many today consider missing ‘church’ to be a sin
The order of the ‘church service’ was formed
17th Century – Steeples on top of ‘churches’ to copy Egyptian obelisks to reach to Heaven
1870 AD – Pope considered infallible
19th Century – Grape juice introduced to replace wine at Lord’s Supper. At a Jewish Passover seder, that Jesus celebrated with His disciples, wine is served, even to this day
19th Century – After 1800 years, Christians started prohibiting alcohol, considering it a sin
1906 AD – Pentecostalism took off. Claiming to be followers of the early Christians, they follow the same order of worship and practises as do most other Protestant denominations. Roman practice of leading the meeting, the pastor or ‘apostle’ or ‘prophet’ in charge, the sermon, people in rows, passive spectators
1950 AD – Sinner’s prayer started (belief that when one just says this prayer, they’re saved for life)
1954 AD – Immaculate conception of Mary conceived (saying she was without sin)
21st Century – Gay priests and gay marriages accepted by denominations and the majority of Christians
21st Century – Muslim imams invited to preach in churches
2009 – Barna Group surveys Christians in America…
40% don’t believe satan exists
22% believe that Jesus was a sinner
38% don’t believe the Holy Spirit exists
66% say it’s important to have healthy relationships with non-Christians
33% believe the Bible, Koran and book of Mormon all teach the same truths
Satan’s rabbit hole went wide and deep.
Sunday mornings around the world, people calling themselves Christian, sit in a building they consider holy, to watch priests and pastors perform under pagan customs with pagan philosophies and false man-made, heretical doctrines that contradict God’s Word.
“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” Titus 3:10-11 KJV
Modern Christianity has become a white-washed tomb, following a multitude of pagan practises, with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy making the priest and rites at the center and Protestantism following the path of the jewish synagogue, with the pastor and book as the center.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
True Christianity has Jesus at the center and head of their gatherings, demonstrating Holy Spirit power and gifts, and spiritually functioning as a unified, participatory body under Father’s will as a primary direction.
“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
There are estimates as high as 43,000 different denominations (established churches) and an untold number of sects within those denominations. There are as many sects as humans have opinions and can convince others their opinion is correct.
I have been to Heaven many times and have never seen a ‘church’ building or people separated into doctrinal camps doing their own agendas. Not Father’s will.
“There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall”. – Joseph Campbell, 20th Century American writer
The Israelites sinned when they disobeyed God, rather than follow His way. Christians have the same mentality today.
“Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.” – Will Durant, 20the Century American Historian
People today will argue that what they do is custom or tradition, so they’ll keep doing it, following the crowds, over the cliffs.
“Custom without truth is error grown old.” – Tertullian, 3rd Century Theologian
I know people, including leaders, who know they’re in the rabbit hole, yet will stay there, so as not to lose family, friends, a paycheck, position, power and control over others. It’s comfortable in there for them. They don’t see the harm in following a false way.
Pride and rebellion.
They’d rather be slaves to satan or people pleasers, rather than God pleasers.
“If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.
Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.
“Lord, send to Your church today many who have ‘seen visions of God and… heard a voice from the Throne.’ Amen.”
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) – Known as the 20th century prophet
Many have recognized these false, religious rabbit holes and climbed out, only to go down some other rabbit hole like islam, buddhism, hinduism, judaism, JW, mormonism, wicca, satanism or into atheism, humanism or some mongrel mixture of several of the above.
Madness like Alice experienced in Wonderland.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Even Alice left the madness of Wonderland.
Step away from all of it. Religion isn’t God. Be persistent in operating in the supernatural, going in the spirit to walk with God face-to-face in Heaven. Fellowship with those who honor God and His way. This is His Biblical direction to each of us. Other ways are unacceptable… and frankly, quite mad!
Climb out of satan’s rabbit holes, as you will be held accountable one day for your actions.
“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:5-11
Research sources – Pagan Christianity? – Frank Viola and George Barna; Wikipedia