Beware of Ancestor Worship

As we approach ANZAC Day here in Australia, I was once again reminded of the importance of only praying to our God - not to any dead saints or ancestors. I am an Australian Christian of jewish ethnicity. I am sensitive to ANZAC Day because of the horrific torture and atrocities that took place. And to be honest, there are still horrific atrocities happening in the world in our times.

The Australian main stream media and media personalities often talk using terms such as 'spirit of Christmas', spirit of Australia' or the 'spirit of the ANZACs' and it appears, they are encouraging the worship of these spirits, which I do not believe are the Holy Spirit of the Living God.  As Christians, we are repeatedly told not to worship, pray or burn incense to idolatrous spirits.

For several years now, ANZAC Day has looked more like ancestor worship here in Australia than a respectful remembrance of past war tragedies and our own sinful inadequacies. Jesus Christ's Name has not been honoured at any service I have attended. Yet He delivered us from evil. There was just a lot of reverent, worshipful kneeling down at inanimate statues of soldiers and all the glory went to them. That concerns me. It looks like idolatry.

And whilst I think there is some importance in remembering those who died in the wars that Australia has fought in, I have concerns that this has turned into ancestor worship or idolatry. We are told there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ. We are told to always give the glory to God, especially when we win war battles. All through out the Bible, are songs written to give God glory for His people's victory over their enemies. Christians might pray for another person or on behalf of another person, but no where, anywhere are we told to pray to a dead person or dead spirit or an alternative spirit. 

You see...Jesus Christ is not still dead. He is alive. When we pray to Him and our Heavenly Father we are praying to a Living God. He was resurrected three days later after His crucifixion. Lots of witnesses saw Him. 

When Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples how to pray, He told them to pray this way..

"Our Father who is in heaven. 
Holy is Your Name. 
Your Kingdom come. 
Your will be done 
on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day
Our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
Deliver us from evil
for yours is the kingdom
The Power and the glory
Forever and ever

In Jeremiah 18, we are told that God has the power to raise up Nations and Kingdoms and to destroy them. Here God links a Nation's destruction to it's idolatrous prayer life. God also goes onto say, that if a Nation is being obedient to God's way and will and then stops being obedient to God, then God has every right to withhold promised blessings on that Nation. 

But...God also says that if a Nation repents of it's idolatry, though it had been idolatrous, God will forgive it and restore it's blessing. 

Now further on it the chapter we are warned that the Nation that refuses to repent, once it has been warned is disciplined with famine and death and infertility. Now that is something we definitely don't want here in Australia.

So as we approach ANZAC Day here in Australia - 

Shall we ensure we lift up the Name of Jesus Christ above everything else that we do. 
Shall we raise our hands in worship to the Living God.
Shall we give Him all the glory for all the good He has given us. 
Shall we repent of the times when we have not fought in the Name of Jesus Christ but in the name of some other idolatrous spirit. 
Shall we fight our battles in the Name of Jesus Christ and by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.
Shall we remain in His presence as we go about our lives.
Shall we ask Him to bless Australia abundantly as we lift up His Name.


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