Consider this passage on idolatry.

Isaiah 44:12-20

12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in the form of man,
of man in all his glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is man's fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
"Ah! I am warm; I see the fire."
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
"Save me; you are my god."
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
"Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"
20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
"Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

Shall I bow down to a block of wood? Sounds like a ridiculous proposition, doesn't it? Few modern Americans practice this type of explicit idolatry, but we certainly worship all sorts of other things that we've created -- jobs, families, relationships, wealth, power, fame, recognition, and so forth. Many people live and die for these, but are they much different than blocks of wood?

Many block-worshippers will be quick to argue that the Christian concept of God is no different, that we've created an intangible God in the shape we prefer to suit our own purposes. This is an interesting argument, but it doesn't account for the fact that the God of the Bible commands us to do things that are often against our best interests, individually and corporately. Still, it could be said that Christianity commands behavior that promotes the survival of Christianity, which is why it has been so successful.

One who views God as an artificial construct generally reverts to worshipping the only thing he has that he didn't create: himself. In the end, all the other blocks of wood I listed above come down to a love of self. No wonder so many people are so unhappy and frustrated in life... if your god is yourself, you're bound to be constantly disappointed.



Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info