Romans 1.18-25 – Idolatry
Posted: 10 August 2010 in Romans

….For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

“Professing themselves wise they became fools,” rings very true today; especially when you vistit a website where the new atheists are giving you the benefit of their wisdom.

People probably kick more against the idea of a sovereign God today more than they did in St Paul’s time. In the western world most people live in democracies, and the idea of an absolute ruler is foreign to them. But there is one absolute ruler who is never going to be removed from his throne by a revolution. We can try to ignore him, and pretend that he is not there, but that has consequences which Paul describes. We become our own rulers, and, except when the civil power intervenes, anything then goes. In making ourselves the arbitrators of good and evil we predicate to ourselves a very great wisdom, which, sadly, we do not have.

For all their much trumpeted free thinking, it is difficult not to notice the way in which atheists always feel driven to create some kind of idol for themselves. In recent years it is science which the new atheists have idolated, but their predecessors all had their own secular religions. When man worships an idol, he is really worshiping himself, or something of his own creation, and the results are always disastrous. He is not capable of carrying the weight of divinity on his shoulders, and when, in the form of calamitous consequences, God’s judgment upon idolatry finally arrives, we once again become aware of our need for salvation.

But the problem is first there must be a judgment, and with things like nuclear weapons present in the world today, that should give us pause for thought.

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