#1 in the series
It’s hard for me not to see our progressive society of today (2023) and how closely it aligns with the pagan societies of days gone by. “Commonly accepted ideas – God does not exist, the Bible is not divinely inspired, all religions are equally valid, absolute values of right and wrong do not exist and there is no such thing as sin, were all expounded by pagan philosophers.” (1)
And don’t even get me going on the acceptablitiy of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, and infanticide – secular humanism dominates our society today my friend, and could also be called – neopaganism.
According to the Pagan Federation paganism: (4)
- is not dogmatic
- pursues their own vision of the divine as a personal experience
- represents a rich diversity
- refuses to judge others ways of life as wrong because they’re different
- respects all life
- follow a polytheistic or pantheistic nature
Paganism has become a god of our society and many have chosen to serve it, as their own god, not even knowing the full ramifications.
As people today serve their own gods, let’s define some of those beliefs-
- Monotheism – the belief that there is only one god
- Polytheism – the belief that there are many gods
- Atheism – the belief that there is no god
- Agnosticism – the belief that the existence or non existence of a god is unknowable or unknown
- Pantheism – the belief and worship of all gods
- Panentheism – the belief that god and the world are interconnceted – the world being in god and god being in the world
- Animism – the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena and the universe have souls
- Paganism – spiritual beliefs and practices other than those of Judiasm, Christianity or Islam
- Neopaganism – new paganism developed from preChristian or anti-Christian religions
It is clear today we see these beliefs mixed in and around us. We see and know of people who hold these beliefs and are serving their own gods. This mixture of beliefs about god is what alerts us to the seriousness of our standing as a society, and as a nation even.
In 2021, Pew research found that 58% of Americans describe God as the God of the Bible. Another 32% believe in a god or spiritual power – although not that of the Bible. (2) And, 43% of millennials don’t know, care or believe that God exists. (3)
I am going on record to say that what you believe about God matters. It is not an incidential issue for you to deliberate at some future date in your life when you are more prepared, older, wiser or facing death. The god that you chose to serve matters now, as well in the life that is to come.
And lest you say, “I don’t serve any god, really”, let’s all be reminded that where we spend our time, money and energies reveals what our god is and who we serve.
If we are being honest, we just may find in our own life a mixture, the same kind of mixture revealed in generations past. One in which –
we fear the Lord, but serve their (our) own gods…”2 Kings 17:33, 41 ESV
Throughout the Ancient writings we find that phrase – “feared the Lord, but served other gods“. In fact, over 40 times we find the phrase, “they served other gods”.There is a difference you know, between “fearing” and “serving” the Lord.
Because we are afraid or maybe even respect or revere the Lord, we “fear” Him. But it is more like a kid fears when Dad comes home, because he knows that is when he will be punished. We are fearful of the Lord and his judgments, so we do our best to appease Him, not because we love Him. We seek to appease Him but don’t bother serving Him.
At what point does that fear blossom into love? Should it? Can it?
That, my friend is the difference between monotheism and what all the other gods of this world have to offer.
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image … you shall not bow down to them or serve them… for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…”Exodus 20:3-5 ESV
The Jehovah God, Almighty, Creator of all things, revealed in the Messiah – Jesus Christ is a personal, loving and relational God. Desiring to have personal, intimate conversation and exchange. This wonderful God, pursues us, longs for us, and is ever-present in our affairs, steps and amusements. He never leaves us, never slumbers in His watch over us, and is fearfully powerful, He could wipe us out in an instant. Yet, because He is love, His mercy is everlasting and His forgiveness endless. His ear is ever bent toward our cry and always listening for our hearts desire. He is jealous in His love for and toward us. Oh what wondrous love!
THIS God, is the great “I AM”, who is, who was, and who always will be. THIS God is Jesus Christ, He who said, “I Am He.” THIS is the God who you and I must must chose to serve – not just fear.
In these days, every man must choose the god he will serve. Fearing is not enough. Whom do you serve? Your self, your job? Money? Status? Prestige? God? Pleasure? Freedom?
We are living in days when men (women and children) are serving “their own gods”. What god are you serving?
I am not interested in serving my own, man-made god. Lord, please help me, remove my idols.
- Tomorrow’s World, Douglass S. Winnail; 11.2019
- B. Mark Anderson.com
- Cultural Research Center @ Arizona Christian University
- The Pagan Federation – Prudence Jones