Tension Between Yahwism and Popular Religion in Ancient Israel: Implications for Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria

Tension Between Yahwism and Popular Religion in Ancient Israel: Implications for Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria

Author by Dr. Theodore Uchechkwu Dickson

Journal/Publisher: Philippines: Journal Of Aiias African Theological Association

Volume/Edition: 2

Language: English

Pages: 117 - 146

Abstract

Whereas Yahwism or the worship of YHWH as the only true God was inaugurated at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19, 20), after Israel has been delivered from their Egyptian bondage, tension between Yahwism and Popular religion, such as is prevalent among the Israelite neighbors, apparently began at the same spot (Exodus 19, 20, 32). The foregoing begs the question: What was the rationale for inaugurating Yahwism? Upon what foundation was it founded? To what extent was it practicable? What are Popular Religions and their mode of operation? What factors were responsible for Israel’s crises of faith and how did they respond to it? What implications are there for the Seventh-day Adventists, who see themselves as the Remnant Church? Using the historical grammatical and Evaluative approaches, the paper examined the history, essence, and development Yahweh’s covenant relationship with ancient Israel and the events that followed especially in their interactions and relationship with the Canaanites. This will serve as benchmark for drawing necessary implications for the Seventh-day Adventist Church with reference to the Nigerian situation in the struggle with contemporary ‘popular religions’. The study reveals that upon settlement in Canaan, Israel became immersed in paganism and syncretistic practices contrary to covenantal stipulations with Yahweh to the point their identity was diffused. The evaluation of the experience and response of SDAs in Nigeria to the wide influence of Pentecostalism shows that some SDA Clergy and lay persons in Nigeria have succumbed to Pentecostal influences incongruent with biblical principles and detrimental to our identity. The paper therefore recommends that SDAs in Nigeria, especially church leaders should learn from the Israelite experience that only as we remain faithful to the Bible and not culture, can we be free from divine punishment.


Other Co-Authors