In the Bible, "calves of our lips" means "praising God." This expression equals making a sacrifice to God.
Format: Verified Digitized
As a convert to Christianity from Hinduism, Bishop K.C. Pillai came to the Western world on a singular mission: to teach the Eastern culture of the Bible. Although Christianity is generally considered a western religion, the Bible itself was written and set in the Orient, and it must be viewed through the light of that eastern window. The Bible is filled with passages that perplex the Western mind, and yet they were readily understood by the Easterner. When the reader becomes knowledgeable of the oriental idioms, customs, and traditions of the Biblical setting, these Scriptures become clear. God called Bishop K.C. Pillai to reveal these Biblical truths he called Orientalisms. At the time of the Bishop’s early life, his native India had remained an isolated country for thousands of years. Therefore, the customs and manners of the people were still aligned with the Eastern, Biblical culture. For over twenty years, Bishop Pillai taught these Orientalisms, bringing great enlightenment to the Christian world. His crusade of imparting this light of the Eastern Culture carried him to numerous universities and seminaries, as well as every major denomination throughout the United States, England and Canada. Still today, his teachings remain the foremost authority on the rare gems of Biblical customs and culture. Bishop K.C. Pillai’s conversion to Christianity is a witness of God’s heart, as well as a lesson in one of the most significant Eastern customs found in the Bible. The Bishop was raised as a Hindu. When a Hindu child of the ruling class is born, a little salt is rubbed on the baby who is then wrapped in swaddling cloth. This custom invoked one of the oldest and strongest covenants in the Eastern world, the “salt covenant.” In this particular instance, the child was salted for a lifetime of dedication to the Hindu religion. The “salt covenant” is used in like manner throughout the Bible to seal the deepest commitment. As a result of the salt covenant it is difficult for Hindus to convert to Christianity. When they do, their family actually conducts a funeral service to symbolize that the individual is dead to their family, the community and Hinduism. Their family will carry a portrait of the “deceased” to the cemetery and bury it. Many times Bishop spoke of his “burial day” when he was disinherited by becoming a Christian; the only Hindu willing to break that covenant of salt in his community during that time. K.C. Pillai answered God’s call and served as Bishop of North Madras in the Indian Orthodox Church. Sent on a special mission to the United States, he spent the last twenty years of his life acquainting Christians with the Orientalisms of the Bible. The interest Bishop Pillai generated in the field has led to numerous further studies by other scholars in the field of manners and customs in the Bible, as well. His books and teachings continue to illuminate and inspire students of the Bible throughout the world. A solid understanding of Orientalisms is essential to “rightly dividing” the Word of truth, and Bishop K.C. Pillai’s works remain an indispensable reference.
Calves & Sacrifices
Calves used as sacrifices on the alter signify, "we are giving God praise."
Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
Therefore, in the Bible, "calves of our lips" means "praising God." This expression equals making a sacrifice to God.
By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
A calf is a sacrifice but when it is worshipped, it becomes an idol. Casting idols from molten brass, copper or silver is a very ancient practice, and the idols found near the temples in the East today may have been formed more than five hundred years ago. Molten images are made of brass, copper and silver. The Eastern people melt the ore and fashion an idol according to their choosing.
II Kings 17:16, 17
And they left all the commands of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
In the East two brazen calves are often found before the temples as well as around gates and beside the holy waters. Each temple has a small pond called a molten sea, and the surrounding walls are made of brass. Calves are sacrificed with the belief that God will keep His people safe and secure. When the people of the East pray, they point to the calves and say, "Lord, the sacrifice which our forefathers made unto thee in the years gone by – we also make unto thee now. Please, Lord, forgive us." Idols are frequently erected in the midst of a grove. In the Bible a grove is usually a small plot of ground higher than the surrounding land, on which there are trees that grow quickly and provide shade. These trees that grow quickly are known in the Bible as "green bay trees". The eastern people believe that the green bay tree indicates God’s presence and is symbolic of God’s prosperity and righteousness. Once every six months, during the full moon days, the women go to these groves to cook food and to call upon God, believing the presence is there in manifestation because the groves are green. The true God instructed His people that they were not to worship Him in the groves, but were to cut down the groves and high places, meaning "Don't worship idols, but rid yourself of them by destruction." In Jeremiah we read that the people baked cakes to the queen of heaven, who is supposed to be one of the goddesses in the stars of the sky. Some stars are also called the host of heaven. According to the superstition propagated by the priests, the people will suffer a severe plague if they do not have a grand festival in honor of the queen of heaven. Thus many people in the East are subjugated by fear. One of the foremost idols of the groves in the Bible is Baal. The practice of "fire walking" is not new, but as old as history and as devilish as Satan. Only a devil-possessed person could walk white hot coals of fire without getting burned. The Mohammedans, who are not supposed to be superstitious or indulge in base practices, have an unusual tradition. Once a year, at the time of the greatest religious festival, they build a special pit 14 feet in diameter and 4 or 5 feet deep, with an elevated wall 2 feet high surrounding the pit. A few days before the feast they build a fire and keep spreading the red hot coals throughout the pit. On the festival day people walk through the fire to prove that they do not get their feet burned. If they have to find out if a man has committed a crime, they compel him to go through the fire. If he gets his feet burned, he is guilty. God is not pleased with such ungodly practices, and His people are constantly warned not to participate in such devilish acts. God's people are to be judged by Him and His standards and not according to any of man's ideas. God is a spirit, and they that worship Him are to worship Him in spirit and not according to any image or idol. A spirit has no form or comeliness. The true God is the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D.