Imagine a world in which our Creator-God is acknowledged, honoured and obeyed. The biblical stance is that God is the one and only God, not one among many; and He personally is the one who is honoured, not some replica or facsimile of Him.
And with that thought, I introduce the second of the Ten Commandments, namely, God’s decree against idols and idol worship.
This is a bitter pill to swallow for those who are polytheists (= many gods) or atheists (= no god). , Then we have the New Agers, who embrace the theory that there is a god within each of us, that we are our own gods. Beyond that, there are the environmentalists, who embrace the notion that god and nature are one or at least inter-connected (and related to pantheism,)
One would be remiss to not mention the cults who twist the truth about God to their own liking. Last, but certainly not least, there are many who simply say, “Who gives a rip?”
Well, actually I do, as do millions of others. And because I do, I am motivated to develop this short series on a society based on the Ten Commandments. If you feel there’s no merit in taking it seriously, please at least finish this column.
In my terminology, I will identify the Christian God as simply the “God of the Bible”; that’s in part because the Bible is where we get to meet Him, know him, and follow him.
I write this series and live my life as a “monotheist,” (mono = one; theos = God). I assume that some readers may find this arrogant, though I hope not. It would be be misleading on my part to write from any other angle, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?
So, premise Number One is that there is a divine Being to Whom we are connected and accountable, one way or the other. Grasping that reality would definitely change our culture for the better. Premise Number Two is the simple fact is that He will not compete with other gods, goals, or greed.
This is a pretty rationale approach; it’s not as outrageous as it sounds. For example, no wife wants to compete for her husband’s affection, And I’m not just thinking of his interest in another woman, either. It could be that cool car in the garage, his demanding workload, his love of sports, or other hobbies, or any other idols.
We’ve established that the God of the Bible (there’s that expression again) is real, personal, holy, and true. Whether you agree with that is not the point: it’s the premise of this series. Not only is “He there and is not silent” (Francis Schaeffer), but He will not have anything or anyone compete with Him.
That viewpoint in the hands of a dictator is deadly; however, in the hands of our Creator-God it is most re-assuring.
Did you know that we all worship something, even somethings? That’s because worship is not an inherently religious practice; rather, it’s an inherently human practice. Worship is the act of adoration of or on something other than ourselves, though it could include ourselves. In extreme cases, it could be considered a fetish.
And just to clarify: an idol is much, much more than something comprised of wood, stone, or metal.
When I am consumed by entertainment, sports, music, physique, greed, or whatever, that is a form of worship. Idol worship, then, is something that fills our time, minds, and energy–other than God.
And this is the very affection that should be directed primarily to God, Who demands and deserves it.
Imagine a society where every citizen was less consumed with hearts, minds, words, money, and energy over such fleeting commodities such as bank accounts, houses, toys, status quo, sex appeal, education, and a myriad of other distractions, and channelled all that affection towards the God that made them.
Would that transform society for its good? Absolutely!