We All Worship Something
We All Worship Something, What Is It?
Finding out is surprisingly easy. We now live in a largely Post-Christian era which means we have chosen to forsake the faith of our nation’s Christian Father’s. Britain really began in 937 following perhaps the least known and greatest battle fought in England by a Christian king. Athelstan’s defeat of the northern armies at Brunanburh and the conquest of numerous kings who had ruled lands that now incorporate the UK. From that time onwards, until the 1990’s Britain was a land living under Christian influence if not rule. We seem to have made the choice to replace this roughly thousand-year rule under Christ with something else: perhaps more accurately anything else. It is as if we are back with St Paul in Athens looking around at the huge array of possible gods, each one designed to attract worship. A choice was laid out and anyone could choose any one of those on offer; or alternatively reject the lot. The more there were the more difficult it was for one to stand out. Consequently, even Paul with all his skills of oratory found it difficult to make much headway. We no longer think in terms of gods, but in essence a modern god Is just a personal reference point. It may dominate our life or just fill a temporary void. It could be a play station or celebrity cult figure, a movement of some kind, political or social, anything that consumes our time and attention. To Paul, if he had lived and preached today he would I think call these things idols or gods. He would condemn them and urge you to spend your energies seeking God. To do anything less is to live your life seeking solace from the waste bin of consumerism. But we love these things we spend out time and money on. We are made to worship and If it is not our Creator God then it will be something else, something less. You can test this theory. Think about what it is that sets your heart and mind on fire with desire and you will have found your idol, god or goddess. It will be within a range of possibilities between sex and drugs, riches and power, and objects of desire like the latest mistress or IPhone. If you can’t keep your mind and hands of it, then it is an idol, and the time it consumes are periods of worship.
If you have ever tried taking a favourite toy from the hands of an engrossed infant you will understand the problems involved in separating a worshipper from the object of worship. If you worship money you will not appreciate hearing a message that states money is the root of evil. If power is your thing then you will not want to hear the parable of the poor man who begged at the gate of the land-owning rich man. The latter ended in hell. If voices speaking this message are not silenced, then we cannot be happy. If happiness is our objective, then there is only one option. Get rid of the irritants.
Jesus who knew he was facing execution said this to his followers.
“For if people do these things when a tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Most of those who followed him and later proclaimed the resurrected Jesus as Messiah and God would also face arrest, torture and execution. They knew it to be the likely cost of following their Saviour God. Saying to people things they do not want to hear is unlikely to serve you well.
In our modern society we have arrived at a point of departure from anything that has gone before. We are learning to accept a legal structure that permits any form of entertainment to engross us, but within a context of what is known as British Values. These values are worked out within a legal framework. And it is here that apparently noble intentions morph into something sinister: hate laws that appear to be directed at a target defined best by the opinions and experiences of those who get prosecuted. Bizarrely they also protect and empower individuals and favoured pressure groups from those same hate laws. All laws are designed to catch those who break the law. What is odd here is that hate laws seem designed to fit the aims of an ideology. They have a likeness to those developed by dictatorships and repressive religions.
Examining and attempting to prove the above comments is one of the purposes of this blogsite.
Reforming zeal is often a companion of great social change and that is what’s emerging from our newly enlightened State machine. The aim of these British Values is to create a society free of unattractive social stains like Islamophobia and homophobia and views which conflict with these reforms. If you are of a traditional conservative nature or a radical bible believing Christian you will find it difficult to conform to these values, not because of hatred towards anyone but because they conflict with what you believe to be good, natural and true. It is not because you are racist or homophobic but because you disagree with the way these laws operate. The way they are framed entraps those who cannot celebrate or applaud or nod through these values as if there were self evident truths and exemplars of how society should be.
For much of the prolonged debate that led to the Brexit vote to suggest large scale unchecked immigration was of questionable benefit was to risk being accused of being racist. That became difficult to sustain when it was discovered that over 50% of the UK voting population were prepared to vote for Brexit. A similar charge is levelled at people described as homophobic. To question whether the lifestyle was good or healthy and to be encouraged, taught as if it were a perfectly natural sexual practice was to be a homophobe. British Values placed people who held diametrically opposing positions liable to the threat of penal sanctions. And there are those who have fallen into the net. Once there they are hung out to dry, gasping like dying fish in an alien environment. Who could these people be?
Many of these are Christians of the more traditional type. I am one of these and have decided after much prayer and thought to have my say in public, rather than the safer alternative which is to complain in private. For reasons I examine, Muslims who hold some of the same views, only much more fiercely, have as far as I am aware avoided prosecution. That conundrum is simple enough to solve, but more of that later