Mt Olympus, in ancient Greece, was once regarded the abode of the Greek gods. The deities believed to have dwelt there were Zeus, the king of the gods; his wife Hera; his brothers Poseidon and Hades; his sisters Demeter and Hestia; and his children, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Athena, Hermes and Hephaestus.
I am reminded, however, of a quip by D. L. Moody who once wrote, “You don’t have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them.”
For some, their god is pleasure. They live to enjoy their fleshly desires gratified. For others it is money. Many worship the golden calf of financial success and monetary gain. And still others bow before the trinity of power, position and prestige. This god demands a religious devotion and a cult-like control.
Conservative columnist, Cal Thomas, writes about another kind of god in a column pre-dated October 21, 2015. It’s about the false god of politics.
“As we continue to be bombarded by the words of politicians promising things they can’t deliver–like free college tuition and free heath care and ‘putting God back in America’–consider this. It’s from Psalm 4: “How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?”
“In our day delusions are all around us from the Kardashians to politics. Politics has become a false god, a belief system to its own. Just like the ancient false Gods–from Baal to Molelch, to Greek statues and the Roman Emperors–none can deliver. None are real. None are God.”
“We Americans think we are more sophisticated than the ancients, but human nature never changes. The emptiness in every human heart meant to be filled by God himself is being filled by false gods, including the false god of politics. These can’t deliver either.”
Sadly, Cal Thomas’ words strikes a nerve that affects many conservatives, including Christians. I recently heard someone lead a public prayer asking God to touch the hearts of our national leaders to be guided by His Word. Then adding “so that we might be able to reach the lost.”
Really? I thought the power to reach the lost was through the gospel. (Rom. 1:16). I’m sure the brother leading the prayer meant well. And no doubt is concerned about the perilous direction of our country. Yet, the success of evangelistic outreach is not dependant upon which political party occupies the White House or is elected to Congress. The answer to what ails America will not be found in newly elected political leaders. Our real problems are spiritual. The root cause is sin. And the answer is Jesus Christ.
I am not opposed to political involvement, supporting a candidate, or voting. All are within our personal prerogative as citizens and Christians. But let’s not make a god out of politics.
Christianity was born and flourished in the Greco-Roman world of Emperor worship and cities filled with pagan gods. The means of “turning the world upside down,” was not overthrowing the emperor or the policies of Rome, but the preaching of Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:5-9).
Political preference and party affiliation should not divide brethren. Nor become a stumbling block to reaching the lost who may hold divergent views. To paraphrase Paul, “All are one in Christ”–whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Green Party or Constitutional Party.
D. L. Moody was right, “Whatever you make most of is your god. Whatever you love more than God is your idol.” Indeed, it is correct to say, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
“Choose this day whom you will serve.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman