Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

   Facing Idolatry
   by Rayola Kelley

     Last month we considered the possible reasons our country is in its present condition. My attempt in September’s Newsletter was to show our need as Christians to identify with and own the sins of this nation. As the Church, we may not have partaken of all the sins of this nation, but we must consider if we have truly committed the sin of omission because we have failed to stand for what is true and right. Have we clearly maintained a distinction between our high calling in Christ Jesus, and the world’s pursuit for vanity, its decisive hatred towards Jesus, and the condemnation it is under?

       Recently, a Christian from England shared how she sought God in prayer for this nation. The Lord showed her that like Israel, the people of this nation have been pursuing other gods because they thought these false idols could do better for their causes. For the people of Israel, the oppression in the midst of great idolatry often became so great for them that in desperation they finally humbled themselves and began to cry out to Jehovah God for mercy.

       As I watch the news surrounding the tea parties and town hall meetings, I am seeing people’s frustration beginning to boil over. As people lose their retirements, jobs, and possible health care, they are becoming uncertain, fearful and angry. After all, those in power who refer to them as being a “mob” are slanderously discrediting them. It is clear that some of the leadership is bent on carrying out their progressive (Communistic) agenda. Meanwhile a growing number of Americans are using their first amendment right to make their concerns known to those whom they have voted into office. Because of the fragile state of the leadership in Washington D.C., these people are being demonized as a means to detour the light from shining on the real issues at hand.

       In spite of the demonization being done by the White House, the leadership of Congress or the left media, Americans are voicing their opinions, but they are also finding out what it means to have their concerns fall on deaf ears of a government that feels it has a mandate to do as it pleases, regardless of who and what is sacrificed. Clearly, Americans are becoming desperate, but are we desperate enough to cry out to God for mercy and deliverance from the wicked pagan leadership in Washington D.C.? After all, God seems the last option most people turn to. And, if we did cry out to Him as a nation, would He hear us? After all, God and His commandments were the first ones sacrificed by the wretched courts of our society while others sat silently by.

       It is apparent that the present cries of Americans seem to be falling on the biased, deaf ears of Washington D.C. We have to wonder how many cries of babies, violently extracted from their mother’s wombs and discarded in trashcans, have fallen on what appears to be the deaf ears of a selfish, self-centered, indifferent American society. As a society, are we beginning to receive the same type of judgment we have been guilty of purporting by remaining quiet about the godless, idolatrous, immoral, and murderous practices of this nation?

       Even though the words of this woman from England may seem harsh to some, we cannot deny their truth. Like the days of Elijah in 1 Kings 18, people stood between two opinions. It is true they knew of Jehovah God, and they even had an altar dedicated to Him, but they pursued pagan idols.

       Many people in America will tell you they know that there is a God, but they have allowed His commandments to be kicked out of public property and buildings. They have supported various forms of entertainment that have shown contempt towards the righteousness of God and His ways. They have allowed an immoral minority to bully and influence the moral flavor of this country through the court system, the media and music industries. The general attitude of the American society has been simple; “As long as it does not affect me it is no big deal. After all, this is America. We have always been free and that will never change.”

       The truth is we are not free. We are first of all in bondage to the sin of indifference. This indifference points to a divided heart. People who stand between two opinions have a divided heart in regard to who and what they are serving. In other words, idolatry will always cause a divided heart.

       Even though there was an altar of God among the other altars in Israel, it had become broken down while pagan altars had been in use. What about the idolatrous altars in America? Even though there are various religious institutions in American, there have been worldly altars established alongside of them. Upon these worldly altars families, unborn children, morality, and righteousness have been offered up to the various idols of this world as a means to keep peace with it as well as attract it.

       The people in Israel faced the judgment on their idolatry when pagan nations who were crueler and more wicked than they, were allowed to humble them. Their idols remained silent, proving they could not save them from the judgment that exposed their idolatrous environment. Since their dependency was elsewhere, they were not in the habit of calling upon God until all other options were spent, forcing them to cry out in repentance for mercy to a God they had forsaken.

       Out of mercy God would often save them out of their misery, but sadly they would often go back into idolatry. The reason for such backsliding was because they quickly forgot the destructive path their idolatry would end in. They became self-sufficient in their time of peace and prosperity. In the end, they always went with the ways of the pagan nations in order to fit in.

       Like Israel, America has stood unique in the midst of the world, but apparently such a stand has become too burdensome for some of the people. It appears as if these individuals resent the burden of being a capitalist nation when most of Europe is socialist. Even though Europeans are beginning to realize the socialistic way is a complete failure, the leadership in America believes that it is an exception to the rule. In these people’s minds, they will make it work regardless of what and whom they have to sacrifice along the way.

       Sadly, like the people of Israel centuries ago, Americans are finding out that the leadership currently in power is proving that without true righteousness, there are no limits as to the wickedness and cruelty evil will go to get their way. For example, on September 11, 2001, a crisis of tremendous proportion challenged this country. From this premise some Americans fell to their knees, patriotism took center stage as many realized the strength of this country, and people became sober as they faced how fragile America was as a nation. That was less than ten years ago. Those who lost loved ones have not forgotten, but it seems that many Americans have. After all, life goes on and as long as harsh reality does not intrude into their world, they do not have to remain vigilant and sober about how fragile greatness can be if there is no character or resolve to uphold it. It is the foundation, or godly grass roots, that first raised this nation out of bondage from an indifferent kingdom ruling the people from a far distance. In addition, those same grass roots will once again enable each of us to remember the sacrifice it requires for character and greatness to reign in a nation.

       Americans voted a man into the highest office who not only clearly opposes the grass roots that made this country great, but obviously hates everything it stands for.  As I consider this leader, I have to wonder how much he is a mirror to the visible leadership of the Church. How many leaders in the so-called “Church” are ashamed of or hate the truth and righteousness clearly laid out in God’s Word, and undermine it with lies, while many believers remain silent to such a show of contempt?

       The leader in the White House also refuses to produce a legitimate birth certificate, along with other important documents, and openly admits in his writings that his preferred ideology is that of Marxism. How many leaders in the visible Church have refused to let concerned Christians test their heretical doctrines and ungodly stands without hiding behind the smoke-screen of, “Don’t touch God’s anointed?”

       Unlike some Americans and Christians, the man who is now in the White House has remained true to his ideology. He has foolishly squandered all the wealth of America, and appointed Communists, radical opponents of the Constitution and Moslems to posts in the government. Why should this surprise us since this man gave himself away throughout his campaign? Is not this man a form of judgment when it comes to the visible Church? Consider some of the leaders in the visible Church. They have squandered their donor’s money to build their own physical kingdoms, while many of God’s unknown servants struggle to build up God’s kingdom. These leaders deride the true servants of God and mock the principles clearly laid out in Scripture because it would expose them as imposters. Yet, how many people continue to support them?

       The man in the White House showed his contempt towards America by refusing to salute the flag or wear its symbol on his lapel, and has used a smoke screen of lies to throw us off from his real intent to bring this nation down to its knees in total subjection to his dictatorial ideology. When he voiced his contempt on the international scene by apologizing for the pride of America, he was also letting the whole world know his contempt for this nation.

       When it comes to the true Church, how many Christians have supported wolves even though they have been exposed by Scripture? These wolves have shown contempt towards God and His truth, yet people continue to flock after them and defend them in an idolatrous way.

       What a slap in the face to those who voted for the man in the White House to change the rhetoric and stalemate of the political machine in Washington DC rather than to change the structure of America. But, what a slap in the face to God because of those who, while claiming to belong to Him, continue to support enemies of the cross in His name!

       We must now come back to how God could allow this scenario to play out on the American scene. Is He putting a mirror up for, not only this nation to consider, but believers as well? Are those of us in the Church, along with the rest of America, being turned over to taste the vanity of our worldliness and idolatry? It is important to point out that it could have never come to this point if the environment was not ripe.

       As a nation, we must consider whether we are being judged according to our own idolatrous environment. This brings us to another important aspect of this matter. We expect idolatry among the unbelievers, but the real matter is not with those who do not know God, but with those who claim to know Him. God was not upset with the pagan nations for their idolatry, but He was upset with the people of Israel for their idolatry because they knew who the real God was.

       Perhaps we must consider whether the judgment upon this idolatrous environment is going to be used to humble the true Church of Jesus. God used the pagans to humble Israel and most likely the Church will be humbled in the same way.

       When I speak of the visible or professing Church, I speak of the worldly religious system that is in place. Sadly, this system which claims knowledge of God does not necessarily represent the living Body that Jesus died for. However, whosoever lays claims to knowing God is going to be held responsible for how they have responded to the worldliness and idols of this present age.

       This brings us back to the vanity of the world. People who pursue vanity of the world will be turned over to taste just how worthless such vanity is. There is no substance to any of it that can stand any type of judgment. In addition, everything of this world including its philosophies and idols will prove to be vain and useless when it comes to judgment. As the nations before it, America is being exposed as a fragile house of cards, because God’s presence is missing from much of the Church. His blessings no longer reside upon America because His commandments are not considered the bedrock of this nation. God’s sheep are finding themselves scattered in the midst of the confusion because they cannot hear the real voice of Jesus coming from many of the pulpits.

       Next month we are going to discuss how an environment of idolatry will produce the lost, and often the last generation of any great nation.

       What about you? Are you one of the sheep who is ready to bolt from the toxic “religious food,” laced with the poison of heretical doctrine, or from the coffin of your dead pew to find some semblance of truth in the midst of this insanity? On the other hand, are you hiding in Christ, tightly clinging to the Rock and seeking His face in humility to find mercy, obtain grace and deliverance through this tremulous time?