Sunday, January 13, 2013

One more thing on those handcuffs

I want to elaborate a little bit on what I said earlier about self-idolatry and how it fits into the grand story that I mentioned a few posts back.

Since it is the customary starting point, I'll start from the beginning. Man has been entrenched in a battle of dueling idols since Adam and Eve decided to take matters into their own hands (or mouths, rather) in the Garden of Eden. It was when we first said  "No, God, we got this." And because that decision backfired on Adam and Eve, it should come as no surprise to us that this same sort of thinking has backfired on us in modern times.

The nature of worship is such that you can only worship one thing. If you have two masters, either you will love the one and hate the other, or you will despise the first and love the second. And so it goes with who or what we worship. Worship of self is necessarily at odds with worship of God.

The problem, as I perceive it, is that the worship of self has been so ingrained in our culture that we do not even recognize it as such. In fact, it is the very nature of democracy to say that the collective "man" of society will save us from our ills. We are taught these things from our youth in government schools, and they become part of our DNA by the time we are adults. The proof of this mindset manifests itself in things like hate-crime legislation, which outlaws the "blasphemy" of man in the name of justice, equality, and so forth. Now, don't get me wrong—I certainly do not believe we should hate people, or act out against people because of hate. But it is a telling sign of what we worship that blasphemy against God is "free speech" while blasphemy against certain groups of people is a "hate crime." That's just one example.

For discerning minds, we ought to look to the Bible and see a sordid history of how God's people exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped themselves. And we ought to be able to see the destruction that it caused. The answer to all of this, of course, is to repent of our idolatry and return to worshiping the triune God of scripture. But we cannot do this until we fully understand how deeply rooted our self-idolatry is in reality. Take a look around you and ask, "is this fruit of the Spirit, or is this the poison of self-worship?" Anything that doesn't begin and end with the cross of Christ and his lordship over all is poisonous. And the poisonous fruit only brings curses—the blessings come from a life lived worshiping the true God, not the god of the people.

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