gods of our day (part 1)
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Over the next few weeks I would like to address a subject that is of great concern to me, namely, the gods of our day. Though some may vehemently deny it, everyone worships some kind of a god (gods). Even the atheist worships a god. Many religions claim to be monotheistic (worship only one god) where others have many gods that they recognize and pay homage to. The Hinduís worship over 330 million gods. The purpose of this article is to not try and cover all the millions of gods rather to look at the most common in our society and see what the Bible, Godís Word, has to say about them.
We will be looking at four or five of the most popular gods of our day. It should be understood that though they may seem "new" or "different", they are neither new nor different. King Solomon who was the wisest man that has ever lived, correctly stated that "there is nothing new under the sun". In other words, what may seem new today has been around before, probably much longer than we realize, its just been packaged differently.
With this in mind, it would be best for us to look at one of the most popular gods that existed during Bible times and see how it has survived over the years to the present. It should first be understood that the Bible makes it very clear that there is only one true God who exists eternally in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). All other gods are man made, created by man so that man can worship the creation of his own hands.
When God created man, He created him with the desire to worship. When man rejects the only true God, this desire still remains within him. In order for man to satisfy this desire, he creates a god(s) to worship. It must be understood that by man creating his own god, man is able to set the standards and limits that his god dictates and prescribes. In other words, his god becomes an extension of himself. The Bible tells us that God created man in His own image, man tries to return the favor and creates a god in his own image with disastrous results.
One of the most popular gods of our day as well as times past is the god and goddess of sex. In Bible times the gods and goddesses of sex were known by a variety of names. There was the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility known as Istar, the Cannanites had Ashtoreth, the Moabites Ashtar, the Greeks Aphrodite, the Philistines Dagon, and the Romans had Venus.
The worship of these gods and goddesses included all sorts of lewd and depraved sexual practices, which were often performed in the temples that had been built in honor of them. Within each temple dwelt a thousand or more "temple prostitutes" both male and female that would perform various rites and rituals (sexual in nature) that were part of the worship practices.
God strictly forbid the worship and practices of any of these gods and goddesses.
One of the many accounts given in the Bible of Godís people turning away from the true and living god to worship these gods and goddesses in found in the Book of Judges. In Judges 2:11-15, we read,"Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed."
Anytime a person or group of people turn from the true and living God to worship and serve a god or gods that are nothing more than the creation of manís hands or any created being, there is going to be great suffering and hardship. Read what God has to say about this in Romans 1:18-32, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that- they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."
Do not misunderstand, the Lord God Almighty is not against sex, He created it and did so in a way for a man a woman to experience great pleasure from it as well as the ability to reproduce. But God has set forth very clear guidelines in regards to people experiencing and enjoying sex. In a later article I will address the subject of sex and the Bible. But for now it must be understood that when one deviates from the guidelines that God has given (one man and one woman in the confines of marriage) concerning sexual practices, there will be trouble, pain, sorrow, and suffering.
And this is the very thing that we are experiencing in our society today as a large number of our society are giving themselves over to worship the gods and goddesses of sex. It is next to impossible to watch TV for one hour and not see any number of sexual innuendoes and connotations being made either on the program itself or the commercials. Hollywood knows that sex sells and so it gears its programming to portray as much sexual material as possible. The pornography industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business. So much so that large corporations like AT&T, the Marriott chain of hotels (owned by the Mormons who claim to be Christian and a family oriented church), major automobile makers, and many others are investing in it to make profits.
It has never been easier to bow down and worship the gods and goddesses of sex. By a simple push of a button on your computer, remote control on your television, telephone, neighborhood library, bookstore, video store, mail order, etc. The options are numerous.
Consider some of the tragic results of our day as people give themselves over to sex. An ever increasing number in our society that contract AIDS and other STDs, unwanted pregnancies, increase in rapes including date rapes, child molestation, homosexuality, and many other perversions which I would rather not mention. Many of the divorces are because of infidelity. Do you know that according to the recent census, only 23% of our homes today are made up of both original father and mother living in the same household? So called sexual addiction is at an all time high. Many tell us that it is as strong as any drug addiction.
Unfortunately we have run out of time and space to continue any further. We will pick up here next week as we continue to look at the gods of our day. In closing, let me say this. If you are honest and have found some of that which has been said in this article applying to you and want to change, there is hope. The hope comes by way of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord. If you will agree with God that you are a sinner deserving judgement, be willing to repent of your sins, and turn to faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and ask Him to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior, then He will come into your life and begin to change you from the inside out. Jesus is your only hope, turn to Him right now.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine