Some Truths About False Gods

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/08/20 at 7:00 AM

The Creator-God, because it is His nature to be good, wishes that every human being who has ever lived or will ever live should be able to fulfill his or her purpose of life and come to eternal happiness after death by being in the presence of God Himself. Not everyone has been exposed to Divine Revelation, but everyone does have a means of determining that there is a Supreme Being who has also implanted in the human soul a sense of moral right and wrong (conscience). This human reason can deduce the existence of a Supreme Being without any reference to anything religious. The most obvious and easiest way is to simply observe the wonders of nature and the universe, realizing that no one on earth could create it all. There must be another being outside the universe that brought it all into being.

The ancient peoples, without the aid of divine Revelation and millennia of human experience to build on, sensed that there was a Supreme Being, but usually ended up worshipping false gods, distortions of reality. Without science, some groups explained natural phenomena by inventing rain gods, moon gods, fire gods, fertility gods and others (polytheism). Still other groups concluded that things did not merely exist in a religious milieu, but were part of an all-absorbing deity, of which all things were a part (pantheism). Many did not see things as part of a godhead, but rather each individual thing that existed was divine in itself (animism). A few became so perverse that they invented gods that were evil in themselves such as those that demanded human sacrifice (Aztecs of Mexico) or the Middle Eastern god, Moloch, who demanded the sacrifice of children. (Remind you of anything going on today?)

We can assume that early man was attempting to find the true God, but he usually failed because every person is burdened with the effects of Original Sin whether he knows it or not. The only ancient people that did find the true God were the Jews of the Old Testament.

Contemporary man is different. He is not looking for a Supreme Being; he has already found one … himself, and his false god is himself and his ego. All truth resides in him. No truth exists outside of him. He decides what is good or bad, moral or immoral for himself. If you disagree with him, you just have to live with it. Feelings, not human reality, are his guide. Because he fails to deal with reality (or Truth), he has set up a core of sub-gods among which he is free to chose whichever one suits his fancy. Thus modern man adores such entities as the body, and his religious rituals are gyms, exercise, diets and health fads. His goal of life is fitness to avoid as long as possible the unspoken dread: death.

Another of his sub-gods is what used to be called illicit sexual activity (or even further back, sin).  But his god has deceived him and left him with disease, death, frustration, impersonal relationships and all the ill-effects of rejecting Divine Law.

Many have come to worship sports and entertainment (one of the causes of the decline of Rome, according to Arnold Toynbee, a British historian). My TV has dozens of channels dedicated to every sport known to man and a mere 4-5 religious channels. One city in NC has wasted millions of tax dollars in artificial white-water rafting, a racing museum, new stadiums while old ones still functioned. Children are urged to compete at an early age on teams of all types.  Baseball used to be referred to a “pastime.” No sport is anything but all-consuming today.

Political parties have become false gods to many. They have become an end in themselves, rather than a means to influence elected officials. “This is MY party: right or wrong.”

Presidential politics has become on-going in the media. As soon as one presidential election ends, the media start right in on the next one. There is no respite. Sometimes a party, to curry favor with the “correct” people, will support immoral and/or stupid ideas. This does not seem to have much impact on membership roles at all. “Christians” will vote for a candidate who openly professes his non-Christian moral values. “MY party: right or wrong.”

In education and science, the great false god is Darwinian evolution, as yet, far from proved, but nevertheless is  new religion. I read that any professor who balks at evolution will not be hired by most college biology departments. Evolution is an egregious error perpetuated by those who claim to seek truth in science. Apparently, the truth must coincide with preconceived ideas; if not, too bad for truth.

The list of modern false gods could go on and on…money, power, prestige, popularity, etc. It is important to note that there is NOTHING wrong in themselves with any of these things that become false gods to many. They become false gods when their adherents exaggerate their importance and will do too much to attain them. Money is not evil, but greed is. Sex is good, but only within the context of Divine Law. Those who deny objective truth lose their ability to think logically and systematically; therefore, luring them to false gods becomes relatively easy.

The problems with any false gods are:

  • The worshipper must first invent the false god. That makes the inventor the god’s creator.  He then worships what he himself made, thereby relinquishing his role as superior to his creation. (The true God is always supreme.)
  • False gods are fickle and undependable. Sometimes they please, and sometimes they annoy or outrightly fail to deliver on promises. (The true God is always consistent and never fails to give what we need.)
  • False gods promote of all kinds of immorality, especially physical and social. (The true God never endorses any sin for any reason.)
  • False gods are by their nature very, very temporary. Illness, age and frustration can end your “religious” life. Death will certainly end it. This is the problem with all habits of sin: Those habits rule you until some circumstance alters the situation. (The true God is eternal and is present before and after death and through all the ups and downs of life.)
  • False gods are anti-human because a person who refuses to think reasonably is not acting fully as human beings. To fail to act in a human way is to fail to attain the goal of human life which none of the false gods can offer. (The true God offers an eternal destiny fully in accord with human needs.)

In the long run, false gods never satisfy because they are incapable of it. Even in the short run, they often fail to give the worshipper what he is looking for. There is always a pennant “next year”, another dollar to be made, another man/woman to be seduced, another election to be fought and so on. The reason they don’t satisfy is relatively simple: As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts were made for Thee, O,Lord, and they will not rest until they rest in Thee.”

We were not designed to be satisfied for long by false gods. If we persist in idolizing them (and they are idols), even up to the moment of death, we will be unknown strangers in the eternal world of the after-life. Our former gods will simply be setting out to lure other fools.

Are we  so blinded and deafened by the siren lure of those false gods in this life that we don’t hear the quiet knocking on the door of our hearts by the One Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life? When we’re stopped by death and face the eternal gate of heaven, what will we say to St. Peter….if we even recognize him?


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