gods of our day (part 2)
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In todayís article we will continue to look at the subject of "gods of our day". In last weekís article we considered one of the most popular gods of our present day as well as milleniums past, the gods and goddesses of sex. (If you missed that article and would like a copy of it, just request it from one of the addresses at the end of this article and we will gladly send it to you.
In todayís article we will consider the god of pleasure. This god of pleasure is closely related to the gods of sex, as weíll see in a few moments. Let me first make something perfectly clear. A god can be anything whether real or imagined. It can be a person, place, thing, image, idea, etc. What identifies any of these as being a god in a personís life is the place they hold in that personís heart, mind, and life. That which occupies a persons thoughts, life, passions, his or her purpose for living, in other words, the master passion of a personís life is that persons god.
Let me give two examples that may help clarify this point. For many people their job is a means of acquiring funds necessary to live, for others their job becomes their life. We often call them workaholics. Workaholics will sacrifice their family, friendships, and even their health in order to serve their god. Another example is the place that sports have taken in the lives of many today. Sports have become a very popular god for our day. There is nothing wrong with sports in and of itself, I enjoy playing and watching a number of sports, but when it becomes the most important thing in a personís life, then there is a problem.
The Bible, Godís Word makes clear whom the one and only God is and what manís response to Him is to be. In Deuteronomy 5:7-10, "You shall have no other gods before Me. 'You shall not make for yourself any carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 10:12-15, "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it."
Because of our sinful rebellious nature, we allow and even invite "other gods" to come into our life and steal our affections, time, and energy. As stated previously, one of the most pervasive gods of our age along with sex is that of pleasure. Over the past years we have heard and seen various slogans that encourage us to give ourselves over to pleasure and our passions. Such sayings as "If it feels good, do it" and "How could something that feels so good be so wrong?" and "Obey your thirst".
Let me address one aspect of the gods of pleasure as it relates to the gods of sex. As we looked at (in last weekís article) some of the practices of those who give themselves over to the gods of sex, it doesnít take a rocket scientist to realize that there will be some kind of product that is produced when sex is so openly and "freely" practiced. The product of course is a baby, unwanted babies.
Many years ago, man created a god of pleasure to deal with this "problem". It is extremely difficult for me to imagine that a precious baby could be thought of as a problem or an inconvenience, but this is how those who worship the gods of sex often view them. For you see, a child tends to cramp ones "free" life style, it hinders a person from giving themselves completely to their god. For now their time needs to be divided between their god and the child.
These gods of pleasure were known by a variety of names. They were called Milcom by the Cannanites, Anammelch by the Babylonians, and Chemosh and Molech by others. As these gods had different names, they also came in different shapes and sizes. The god Molech was made of bronze and had a head of a horse and hands of a man. The worship of these gods was most hideous indeed. I must warn you that the following description of the worship practices of these gods is not a pleasant thing to hear or read.
The worshipers of these gods would take this image made of bronze and build a fire around it until it began to glow red-hot. Then as they danced, sang, drank and yelled, they would take these precious unwanted babies and place them upon the outstretched, red hot glowing hands of their idols, thus causing their babies to be burned alive.
As we hear and read things like this we are sickened and appalled, and so we should be. We think, what savages, how awful, how could anyone do such things? We smugly think how glad we are that we have progressed to a much more civilized state. We would never do such horrible things.
Tragically those that think such things are very mistaken. Not only do we still worship the gods of sex and pleasure, but we still sacrifice babies to the gods of pleasure. No, we are much more "civilized" than those of years past; we donít burn them alive on the altars of our gods. Instead we inject a highly concentrated saline solution into the mothers womb and burn them alive when they are still in the womb. Or the "doctor" reaches up into the motherís womb with a pair of long forceps and begins to rip the baby apart, limb by limb. And if the baby is in the later stages of development, then the skull is crushed so it can pass easily through the birth canal. This of course, when the baby is alive and healthy.
There are about a million and half babies offered each year in our country alone to the gods of pleasure. In other countries like China and Russia the numbers increase exponentially.
Unwanted babies are not the only things sacrificed to the gods of pleasure. A personís family, livelihood, morals, and name are but to name a few, are also given up for the sake of pleasure. This is true on an individual basis as well as a society. Many societies have been destroyed in a short period of time as they have given themselves over to the gods of pleasure. Our nation is in great danger of collapse as it dives headlong into the worship of the gods of sex and pleasure.
I know many of those that will read this will disagree. You may think that we are the greatest nation on the earth and we are doing just fine. The fact is, we as a nation are not doing fine spiritually or morally. Consider the radical changes that have taken place in just the past 30 years. There is no shame anymore among many of our people. That which is good is spoken of as evil and that which is evil is spoke of as good. The reason so few realize it, is because of the gradualness of its occurrence.
The increase of evil has come gradually. It is like the frog in the kettle. If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water the frog will immediately recognize the danger and leap from the pot. But if you place the frog in a pot of lukewarm water and increase the temperature gradually until it boils, the frog will not notice the danger and eventually die without any attempt of saving himself.
This is what is taking place in our society today and we donít even recognize it. Depravity and wickedness has become the accepted norm. Make no mistake about it; God will not allow it to continue. There is a price to pay for rebellion against the Almighty God. There is only one thing for us to do; it is to heed Godís call to us to repent. Repent is to have a change of mind that leads to a change of heart toward sin. Change your mind at how you think about sin. Call it what it is, sin is sin. Quit rationalizing and justifying sin. When we do this, God will hear and bring about good changes in our life and our nation.
Next time we will continue to look at the gods of our time. Until then may the Lord richly bless you. Pray for me if you would, I will be in Belize ministering to some of our missionaries as you are reading this.
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