No, we don’t worship idols in the states
Our civilization is far too great
We drive cars like palanquin
Live in temples with lawns so green
Rooms with mirrors, shrines to our corpulence
Our highest value is our happy abundance
O crap
The idol is me

Josh Cushman

A few weeks ago I was sitting with some friends from several different countries. India, Myanmar, and Cambodia were represented, along with myself from the USA. My friends were talking about the odd things that were worshiped in their countries. My friend from India, shared about cows, trees, and rocks that were worshiped in his country. My friend from Myanmar, shared about his grandfather who had been a very successful witch doctor and regularly made animal sacrifices to the spirits. Here in Cambodia, every store front and house has a shrine or a spirit house. After the others had shared, Moody asked me, “what do you worship in America?” 

Without thinking, I answered, “we worship ourselves.”

Afterwards in thinking about our conversation, I realized just how right that answer is. In Church we talk about idols, we talk about money and cars and image. These are idols certainly, but I would suggest they are merely products of the much more insidious idol of self worship. 

There is no more sneaky false god, than our own being.  After all, isn’t that the sin of Adam and Eve? When we have placed ourselves, our happiness, our feelings, our value, on the throne of our hearts instead of God, we can go a lifetime without recognizing our mistake. Evan as Christians in the west, we are liable to make our worship of God subject to our own self worship. Without even knowing it is happening. We stop going to a Church where we were growing because we found a message offensive. We overextend our budget and miss some tithe payments because we bought ourselves a newer better car. We skip Sabbaths to pursue our own interests. We look down on the people surrounding us in Church because we assume we are better. We don;t see anything wrong with where our heart’s at, because we feel happy.

God doesn’t share thrones. We are either subjecting ourselves to Him as our king, or we are not. He doesn’t force us, but He does beckon us. He invites us. He longs for us to stop giving Him lip service while in truth we worship ourselves. Evan attending Church can be simply one more avenue to get something for ourselves. We are not capable of being God. Even if we try to just be our own god, we will find ourselves inadequate. We can achieve happiness, or satisfaction for a while, but when life gets real, and we are faced with our own mediocrity, tragedy or death, we will know our need to hand over our throne to the only one who is worthy to be our king. The question is, will we still remember how? Or like Pharaoh, a self styled god in his own right, will our hearts be too hard?

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