In our discussion on the podcast, AJ and I discussed how idols have changed over time. Way back in the day, the gods were manifestations of different human aspects. Pain, Panic, Eros, Cupid, etc. People would try to invoke these different aspects into their life by calling on those gods. As time went on, the worship of idols started to break down, at least externally.
Instead of idols being statues focusing on attributes of our humanity, we have turned it inwards and focused our idolatry on ourselves. Pride is the original sin and engrained in our sinful nature. It does not take much to convince a proud heart that it is god.
Take for example, the line AJ gave in the podcast. He said there is a difference between, “God loves me unconditionally, therefore I am lovable.” As God is the pinnacle of all things, he is what all things point to. Therefore, to be properly ordered, we must be pointed towards God. That is a properly ordered understanding of why we are worthy of love. The comparison he made was, “I am lovable therefore God loves me unconditionally.”
The issue with the second sentence there is that it has our self as the center, setting our selves up as our own god. In that view, God responds to us. We are the driver, not Him. The problem though is that humanity cannot bear the burden of godhood. We are fragile and fractured. The weight of being a god would utterly crush us.
This has been part of my struggle as I have moved through different self-help books. Everyone wants to believe that everything they need is already inside themselves. That they do not need help. That they can manifest reality at will.
I’m not saying that self-help books are the devil. I’m saying that our current culture assumes there is no God. We are in the age of science. I am not saying that science is the devil either. The point I’m heading towards is that with the mass removal of God, humanity will seek to fill that void. If it cannot find an idol outside itself, which science will not permit either, so it turns inward. We will seek to elevate ourselves to a level of godhood so that we may satisfy the innate need to worship. I do not feel like this is much of a stretch either. Just look around at what is happening in the world, and you see everyone running around trying become their own little gods.
The antidote is a tough pill to swallow too. Proper order subordinates humans to God. Pride doesn’t like to be subordinate to anything. The thing is, once we get past that first hurtle, we find that we were carrying a load far to heavy. We were not truly free. To be yoked with Christ is to have the heaviest burden placed on the shoulders of the one being who can bear the weight. With that removed, we are able to learn and grow properly, contributing more and more each day.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.