When Politicians Substitute gods for God
They follow a pattern as old as man and most assuredly a pattern as spelled out in I Kings 12:21, 31-33. Men in Adam will always find an excuse to abandon the Word of God as the only safe guide for society. This is particularly so in the passage we refer to today.
The kingdom of Israel, united under David and his son, Solomon, was divided, at Solomon’s death, into two kingdoms; the northern under Jeroboam who fought against the high taxes instigated by Solomon and supported by Rehoboam, leader of the southern kingdom. When it appeared that the ten tribes that went with Jeroboam might defect since they would still make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship, for pure political reasons and the possible loss of power, Jeroboam, instituted a worship based on a god of Egypt. He had golden bulls made and set up a false priesthood with places of worship convenient to the people.
The passage makes clear the extent that some politicians will go to so as to maintain power and position. They will substitute gods for Sovereign God and His righteous rule. Jeroboam is not alone in this sin. Aaron sinned against God and the people in much the same manner in the wilderness. Were it not for the intercession of Moses, God would have caused all of the men to perish. As it was, three thousand lost their lives for such sin.
The history of Israel and our own history reveals the same sin of turning from the living God and His will because of the pressure of gaining or keeping power. Solomon was guilty of this sin of idolatry but due to the great prosperity of his kingdom, tribute coming from many nations, the people looked the other way, not heeding the clear Word of God.
Sound familiar? It should.
Eta Linnemann’s book, Historical Criticism of the Bible: Methodology or Ideology?, provides us with some very helpful observations of the process that leads to the destruction of a nation when, for political reasons, men substitute gods, dumb idols, to direct the affairs of the nation, thus throwing off the Word of God as the only certain guide for a Godly nation. The sinful worship of gods must of a necessity have its promoters. She zeros in on the educational institutions at their source, the University system, as promoting this departure from God and the adoption of the false god of secular humanism.
Linnemann traces the process with great accuracy. I will sum up the essence of these steps. They describe a process not only for Europe but for the world to take serious note of the danger of such sin.
The first step begins with one person, or perhaps a few, who, like Jeroboam, make a conscious decision not to regard God’s Word as a most certain guide – nor even a normative guide – for men. Social position or political power, plus an already secularized people, lead a nation down the path of worshipping false gods.
The second step focuses on the lust of the flesh and is given legitimacy and strengthened by the leadership. Such leadership not only allows such sinful practice to flourish, but actually encourages and promotes the same for both personal and political reasons. Indeed, the practice becomes institutionalized in the University system, and thus corrupts the whole of education and the nation.
The third step follows. What was once abnormal is now substituted as normal. White is black, black is white; individual desires become individual rights; the unrighteous become the only qualified priests of this religion and the Word and Will of God becomes no longer relevant. What is the norm under God and practiced must be demonized with those who practice. The place of worship is anyplace where God’s Word is not allowed.
Thus, institutionalized monopoly teaches the young how to think like the world and be indoctrinated with a humanistic worldview and a tolerance with which each individual acts according to his own interests. Schiller, in Walensteins Loger, is quoted:
Whatever is not forbidden is permissible. No one here inquires what anyone believes.
So, it is in not only the educational system of the secular world but also in many, if not most, of the institutions that train those who will fill the pulpits of the various denominations that follow these deadly steps.
What is the end of the process? Commitment to such a scheme eliminates God’s point of view altogether. This was the result in the case of the northern kingdom of Israel, and later the same with the southern, Judah. In spite of the warnings of the prophets, the worship of dumb gods continued until in 722 B.C., the nation fell and the people were carried off into exile.
Political expediency is a dangerous road to travel when such excludes God’s point of view. The support of an educational system of the magnitude we have in America may be expedient, but it is most dangerous if dead gods rule such. It may be expedient to obey the masses, but the wisdom of the masses in history has led to chaos and destruction.
The Word of God, and history, provide wise counsel to the wise. Fools plow on to their own destruction.