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When idolatry happens to good people

A graven image, Petra, Jordan

      When Idolatry happens to Good People

   “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me” Exodus 20: 1,2

In the pagan cultures that surrounded Israel after the Exodus, the definition of idol worship was very limited. Carvings of false gods were etched into stone and wood. The prayers directed at these objects involved things such as fortune, healthy livestock,  a good harvest, and victory in war. Islam, Judaism and Christianity were unique  in being the only monotheistic religions in the Middle East.  As the centuries progressed, physical carvings in wood or stone were no longer the only idols served and worshipped. Idolatry was expanded  to include anything, tangible or invisible, that takes the place of God. In modern times,  manifestations of idol worship have evolved  from physical creations, such as wood carvings or statues, to idols formed out of new philosophical ideas and fables.  A good example of this would be the emergence of Communism in Russia. In our time, these fables are constructed of something much more flimsy in substance. We have seen faddish concepts emerge,  like  the so-called  New Age philosophy of the 70’s. This could be seen as the forerunner to the “me generation”, and eventually, to  widespread and unabashed narcissism. Finally, in our ultra gross and depraved cultural environment, we have been witnessing something much worse- gender reassignment. Of course, none of this idolatry occurred by accident. It was all designed with a purpose as old as the worship of the golden calf on Mt. Sinai.  It also represented a continuation of  the greatest conspiracy of all time. Put simply and broadly, it was humanity’s effort to obfuscate and obstruct the recognition of the one true God. To accomplish this task , many evil agents of Satan have come along with the sole mission of expunging all that is of God and the Bible. And they will never stop until all humanity is brainwashed and  their diabolical purpose is realized.

                                                     More fallout from the 60’s

The 1960’s have rightfully been described as the decade when everything went south for America. The counterculture movement that brought in sexual promiscuity and widespread drug use also brought in Hinduism and its panoply of false gods. If you don’t remember it, you probably knew it better as the New Age movement. Hippies, in what were called “head shops”, often had idols of Brahman,  Shiva, Krishna and other gods. It was a time  of  seeming” enlightenment “that manifested itself in some apparently harmless ways. Yoga, transcendental meditation, and a “back to nature” movement were some of its results. Some fundamentalist preachers made a big issue out of practicing Yoga. Pat Robertson denounced it as a gateway to the worship of Hindu gods. There were others, such as myself, who simply saw it as a good way to limber up and stretch stiffened muscles.

                                           Nature’s God? Or the god of nature?

At first, the return to nature and the outdoors was a very positive trend. In today’s culture, we can see clearly the negative effects of kids who never get out in nature. Two of the results of this are obesity and short attention spans from too much technology. The end result was a general dumbing down and a lack of healthy curiosity. The brain, body and soul all benefit from contact with nature.  But as with all positive trends in the culture, the return to nature was thwarted. The culprit? Who else, but the one involved in all the little details-better known as our adversary, the devil. He has expertly subverted a healthy return to nature and turned it into today’s caustic and politically charged environmental movement. He has taken it from healthy stewardship of our natural resources and God’s creation, to a political jihad to overthrow industry and Christianity altogether. How is this done? It is accomplished by labelling oil, fossil fuels, and shale energy as intrinsically evil. Ecology warriors and fellow “tree huggers” don’t care a whit about clean energy. Otherwise, they would applaud the many advancements made in clean energy production. Ironically, and amusingly, they also don’t seem to go out into nature much either.

                                                            The True Motive

The attack on Christianity occurs when all who question the motives and methods of  environmentalism  are labelled as evil. These activists   have no interest into pressuring India and China into cleaning up their environment. In Beijing, the citizens wear face masks and the air is worse than anything we ever saw in Los Angeles in the 1950’s. At that time, fuels containing lead were used and catalytic converters were not required in cars. The air was brown and clearly unhealthy . But if the world’s most populated country has no interest in environmental safety, what can the rest of the world do? Good luck in strong arming the Chinese into doing the right thing! How then can the rest of the world seriously consider preserving this “fragile planet”? If the rest of the world would collaborate and demand action, it would be possible. Real action might actually take place. Instead, environmental destruction becomes a moot point- and  climate change does as well. The environment has been front and center as one of the main idols of our time. And as of now, it shows no signs of losing its place among the top. But the last lie is the worst. And it also puts its subscribers into great moral jeopardy.

                                                         The biggest deception of all

  ” And changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever”-       Romans 1:25

Both the Old and the New Testaments rate sins according to seriousness. The  Jewish Torah has many definitions of sins and their remedies. Jesus constantly referred to varying degrees of punishment here and in hell. Paul speaks of the sins of the flesh and the sins  of the spirit. He describes how we defile our bodies with sexual immorality as the “temple” of the spirit. There are clearly varying degrees of sin and also different types of sin. There are what are called sins of the flesh, and sins of the spirit. Jesus clearly illustrates this when he said “fear not him who kills the body and then can do nor more, but fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell”-Lk 12:5. Here, Jesus makes clear that reverence for God is the great divider between average sins and sins that consume your soul. He shows us  that physical sins, such as murder , theft or adultery, are evil and will send you to hell. The remedy for these is repentance. They are bad, but not as life threatening as spiritual sins. These are sins such as anger without a cause, character assassination, slander, treachery. worship of money, and chronic lying.  And the worst lying is that  which regularly denies reality, the Bible, and contradicts Bible prophecy. The average man may conclude in his heart that Bible prophecy is crazy or mythological. But it doesn’t matter. Prophecy is God’s provision for the judgement of evil humanity.

                                                 Satan the great student of scripture

Jesus had only one other equal in His knowledge of scripture . His name was Satan. He knows full well how feeble and dull- witted humanity is and how eagerly they will serve any god but the real God. With a great lie he deceived Adam and Eve- and he has been pitching lies to humanity ever since. His latest lie is one of his best and may be second only to his grand finale, when he sets up the anti-Christ and leads the whole world to believe he is God.  That lie is the lie behind what we term ” climate change”.

                                                   Birth pangs of the New Millenium

 “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” Rom 8:22

You would have to be an absolute fool to say that climate change doesn’t exist. You would also have to deny the evidence that faces you every day. Every day it seems we see bizarre and violent weather ravage the population in new, more terrifying forms. It seems that every two weeks a new record is set in some way, or a new “thousand year flood” has hit a new area. For us today, these are  very costly and destructive events. However, they portend a time of such geological and meteorological chaos, that the disasters will wipe out huge portions of the world’s population. In fact the disasters will come so quickly and be so devastating that they will be what I call “spin proof” in the eyes of the media. In other words, CNN won’t even have time to utter the usual words like ” climate change deniers ” and” Republican opposition ” before the calamities fall from heaven. They will intensify and terrorize to the point that no one will be able to escape them. It will be clear to all there is a presence from beyond that is actively targeting the world for destruction. Then there will be no more  “talking heads” bantering gibberish on Sunday talk shows. There will be no more discussion of the role of the democrats or the republicans in fighting climate change. Then it will be finally exposed to one and all that climate change is the judgement of almighty God on evil humanity.

                                                                   Bi-Partisan  Idiocy

The fools that deny climate change are usually servants of two other idols so prevalent in our time- materialism, and patriotism. These idols have both been alive in America since they  first gained acceptance under President Ronald Reagan. In the early 80’s greed had a rebirth. “Greed is good” said Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. It was as if people had discovered money for the first time. Reagan was key in promulgating the very popular notion that a country’s wealth was somehow connected to its virtue. With his war on the “evil empire” of Russia, he made it quite obvious. It was fashionable  to equate wealth, military power and patriotism with truth and virtue. This trio of idols have carried us along right up to Trump’s presidency (with a big stumble along the way, in Obama’s presidency). Patriotism has become the default idol of our day, with both progressives and conservatives going to her well to draw water whenever it suited them politically. The main thing to remember here is that God is not fooled. He promised destruction to every nation that turned from Him, even to turn those nations into hell. He offered us up to the perfect recipe for our destruction, with Jesus words, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. As a nation we are divided almost exactly  50/50 . And now we are even leaning more progressive. Trust in the USA, trust in materialism, trust in your 401k…and you have built your house on sinking sand.

                                                                         Conclusion

The false idols of our time are clearly invisible, as opposed to the physical idols of ancient times. They exist in the aethyr , in the realm Satan inhabits as the “prince of the power of the air” They are many and diverse, but all lead to blinding and fatal deception. Some put all their trust in politics, only to find that there are no honest men or women there. Others put all their trust in education, even to the point of cheating to get their kids into ivy league schools. Then, after the years of special treatment, and academic accolades, what do they find? They find that there is no exalted position for someone who has merely echoed the mantras of the progressive mind set. Their best employment opportunities lie mostly in academia or government jobs. It is because they never sought truth. They never sought God. And whether they recognize it or not, they inhabit  a dry desert, with no water or surrounding life. They are the blind leading the blind, only to find desolation and emptiness. They seek status and prestige, and receive only shame and humiliation. They imagine they are enlightened and unique, like a god that some religious cults promise them they can be. Too late they realize that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” and that truly, “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no god” This is,of course, only under the condition that they have a conscience left in them to receive any conviction at all. Most, as we know, have no conscience left, as their conscience has been “seared with a hot iron” , to quote the apostle Paul.

                                                                    One Last Warning

These are truly the most dangerous and perilous times ever. These are the times that require us to look up in earnest expectation of Christ’s return. As I suggested in the title 0f this blog, many of these people serving these idols are otherwise good people. Trump is one of the most prominent ones to find deception. He shows how dangerous a lot of good knowledge can be if one is not fully surrendered to Christ. His decision to abandon the Kurds was not based on wisdom or revealed Bible prophecy. His god in making this decision was the god of patriotism. Although he has had Christian pastors advise him, and even rescued a pastor from Turkey, his action was not guided by the Holy Spirit. It was made from trusting the false god of patriotism. When times get tough, many on the right and left simply wrap themselves in the flag. When the discussion gets too uncomfortable, they simply put their head in the sand , or sing the national anthem. We are not called to be” born again Americans”!We are called to be  born again Christians We should pray that a man such as Trump, who has very good instincts and motivation, will truly be born again, and serve the living God wholeheartedly. He played the role of a modern day King Cyrus of Persia when he intervened to bring the capital of Israel to Jerusalem-( Cyrus was the Persian king famous for releasing the Jews to return to Israel during the Babylonian captivity). For this, God honored Trump and the Jewish people loved him for it. They even named a street after him and Cyrus and minted a coin in honor of them both. That notwithstanding, the support for Israel is increasingly strained. It is  tenuous, and prophecy indicates America will be long gone when it really counts . And when the day of the gentile influence is fully removed, there will be no other nation to be patriotic about- except the nation of Israel, the “apple of God’s eye”. And it will be there that we turn our attention, for our great deliverance and salvation.

 

 

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