Dropping all pretense

Americans have long engaged is state worship. But until recently this civil religion has been cleverly disguised. It has been couched in subtle terminology so as to make it possible for us to fool ourselves into thinking we’re not really worshipping idols. Of course, God is not fooled — but we feel better.

Consider the words we use with regard to some of our monuments. The Lincoln Memorial has an inscription which reads, “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” A temple is a place of worship. Lincoln’s statue, indeed his entire memorial, is reminiscent of Greek temples. And he is worshipped in this country.

Go to just about any veterans’ cemetery. There will almost always be a sign somewhere declaring the ground to be sacred. Holy. Yet scripture tells us God alone is holy.

We swear our loyalty to a man-made, inanimate object every time we say the pledge of allegiance. But we call this “patriotism” rather than idolatry.

Taken individually these examples may be defended as something other than state worship. Together they have created a culture that has conditioned us to view the state as something greater than it is. As something to be revered — even worshipped. As a result we no longer know the difference between actual patriotism and gross nationalism.

The 2008 election, however, has taken this idolatry to a new level. All pretense has been dropped. There are people openly comparing the Democrat candidate for president, Barack Obama, with the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Just take a look at this website. Scroll through the articles. Read them. Watch the videos. Consider how much faith — yes faith — one must invest in a president for these kinds of things to be said.

The mask has come off. We are a nation of idol worshippers.

May God use this election to show us all where we are guilty of idolatry.

About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

2 Responses to Dropping all pretense

  1. ProdigalKnot says:

    You are so right about this. It’s very unfortunate that many people believe being American and being a Christian are the same thing. If you are proud to be an American, wave the flag proudly and pledge allegiance to the USA, then you are, by inference, a God fearing believer.

    We Americans have worshiped and pursued the “American Dream” rather than God’s righteousness. We, like the disciples, cannot comprehend how wealth and plenty can possibly be anything but God’s favor on us. We sing “God Bless America”, but inwardly say “but leave our cars, homes and material comforts alone, please”.

    Thank you for being bold enough to say the truth of the matter. I’m very surprised you haven’t been accused of being unpatriotic yet! Only when we, as believers, count everything as rubbish compared to the knowledge and fellowship of God in Christ, will we be spiritually blessed. Our material blessings have become a curse.

  2. Pingback: The collapse of an idol « Thideology™

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