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Spiritual Fornication

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.” (Psalm 106:34,35)

God’s people are always in danger of corruption through the prevailing philosophies and mindset of the society that surrounds them. The inroads are subtle because the god of this world rarely declares himself in outright opposition to God.

Satan’s ministers pose as ministers of righteousness. They appear as earnest lovers of humanity who are seeking to alleviate human suffering. They would unite with us in common cause to banish all that makes life miserable for man in this world. But entering into a league with them comes at a cost. They also want us to abandon the message of the cross and all that the cross entails for our lives. Jesus was not ignorant of Satan’s devices when He said: “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23)

The goal of God in salvation is not the alleviation of human suffering.

The goal of God in salvation is not the alleviation of human suffering. God’s first goal through Christ was to create for Himself a holy people and a worshipping nation. The gods of the land are not interested in people being brought into true and right relationship to the Lord God almighty. The “gods” (i.e., devils) simply promise people protection and provision if they bow down to them and follow their prescriptions for a happy and healthy life. These gods are fine with the promotion of a self-centered religion. But God seeks true worshippers, who live for Him and His pleasure, who are not “into” their faith for what they can get out of it.

God indeed loves us. He wants good things for His children. But His chief goal is our conformity to His Son, who was the perfect worshipper. The world has no interest in conformity to this Christ. It would know the Christ within each of us who enables us to realize that we are divine and able to act like little gods. In this way we can control all things, banishing the bad, and gaining the good.

God’s chief goal is our conformity to His Son, who was the perfect worshipper.

Paul told the believers that they were not only dead to sin and dead to the law, but dead also to the elements, or principles, of the world. (Col. 2:8,20) These were the ways in which the gods of the world promoted human health and happiness. They were found in philosophies that were not according to the faith of Christ. He warned that the church would be “spoiled” if they entered into league with such thinking.

We are not called to destroy those who hold different views than we do. But scripture leaves us a potent example that we are not to “mingle” with them and “learn their works.” We are not to be conformed to this world in any way. Through the mercies of our Christ, we are to be living sacrifices, transformed into His image.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.