I would fight any suggestion that I bow to idols, that I put my trust in things carved from stone or wood. I believe all people who consider themselves Christians would put up a fight if someone implied that they worshiped or followed a god created by man rather than The Creator who created man.
We have gods made by us in our churches.
I know it was never the plan to create an idol nor was it our intention to worship anything but God however, as I look back at the attraction model, the mega church movement and seeker friendly system I have to wonder, what were we worshiping? We saw budgets, marketing, facilities, programing and performances as tangible expressions of the way God works in the world. While I am not trying to suggest that churches cannot spend money, advertise what they offer, create programs and work hard to present quality music and communication, at some points we have crossed the line and made them gods. Our trust in what we could do surpassed our trust in God. Our resources and hard work replaced our need for God’s power and perfection. Our gods may not be carved from wood and stone but they are created by our own hands. We have gods we have created in our lives.
We have been so intertwined with the North American culture that we have bought into the gods of this world. In our defense, we didn’t carve them out of wood or stone nor did we purchase them from someone who did. Maybe that is the reason that we never noticed that God has been replaced by other gods. We began to equate the ability to make as much money as possible, the freedom to say what we want, to do what we want, to go where we want, to purchase property, vehicles, vacations and just about anything else we want as being the Christian way. We have carved out a lifestyle that we think honors God but maybe, just maybe it has become a god.
Who do we trust?
The things we have are what give us life. The liberty we embrace defines who we are. Our ability to create our own destiny brings us joy. We carve out an image of what it is to be human, to follow The Creator but the problem is we created it. Our fathers are those who declared independence (USA) or created the confederation (Canada) and our constitution gives birth to us, to who we are. The documents that guarantee our freedom have become the documents of our faith. We trusted the North American dream, democracy and our governments to protect us. We have unintentionally worshiped these things as gods but now the economy is crashing, the political system is being hijacked and our governments do not represent our values. Our gods are failing us.
They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Jeremiah 2:27 (NIV)
I know these are fighting words. I have beaten myself up over them over and over again. We have expected our gods to protect us, to save us. We have turned our backs on God but God is truly gracious and we can repent and say “come and save us!”