‘For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.’ (v26) 1 Chronicles 16:25–30
C . S. Lewis identified the central distinction of our age as the difference between true religion and idolatry, not that between secularism and religion. Idolatry comes in many forms – personality cults, wealth accumulation, infatuation, even secularism.
Secularism, properly defined, is ‘a system which seeks to interpret and order life on principles taken solely from this world, without recourse to belief in God and a future life’. It also proposes ‘a closed system that affirms that human existence and destiny are fully explainable in terms of this world without reference to eternity’.
Secularism is a form of idolatry seeking to dethrone God and worship human achievement and possibility. Idolatry is to worship the wrong thing in place of God. We have our instructions in the two greatest commandments (Matt: 22:37). Anything directing our gaze away from God, whilst also blinding us to the interests of others (Phil. 2:3), means that we deny God.
Whilst we may want to choose language carefully in a complex world of political correctness, itself subject to interminable battles over the rights of various communities who make up and contribute to society, we must never allow ourselves to deny the reality that God is always above all and in all (Eph. 4:6).
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Exod. 20:1–7; Jonah 2:7–10; Rom. 1: 21–25; 1 Cor. 10:12–24.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Are there activities, ambitions or desires that are focused beyond the way and will of God in your life? Take steps to move towards God and away from these idols that all too easily consume your aspirations and actions.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, strengthen my resolve to live for You and Your will entirely, just as Jesus gave His life entirely for me. Amen.’
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