UI – Part 340 – We Become What We Worship
What Do You Worship?
How telling a statement – We Become What We Worship. The first consideration given to this statement is how it relates to all religions, but consider a love of idols that are not eternal or incomprehensible. Material items, like money, cars, fashion, real estate are for some a passion, a form of worship. Then there is the immaterial, that of sex, stimulants, fitness, and sport. There are leaders that desire they be the object of your worship – autocrats. In the days of Rome emperors insisted they be embraced by their constituency as god. They wanted the citizens to hold them on a pedestal, bow at their feet and obey their commands. Worship refers to a focus, the desire of your attentions, above all else. What do you choose as your primary love?
The leading religions today, by the numbers, are Christianity, then Islam and the third largest is Hinduism. The numbers, respectively are 2.2 Billion, 1.5 Billion and 900 million. Buddhism comes in fourth at 375 million.
I am proud to say and rejoice in being a Christian. It offers a loving saving God that made the greatest sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Where punishment is considered for the sinner, then know that as a Christian forgiveness has been meted for those that believe in Jesus Christ, the horrific death he was subjected to for our crimes and his resurrection. The Resurrection is the most important element of Christianity setting it apart and making it uniquely available to everyone. It is the Good News that paved the way for Salvation. Christ gave credence to the Truth he shared during his life when he rose from the dead, overcoming death, and proving he was God among us. Worshipping Christ does not make me Christ, but makes me a kinder, gentler, more loving individual. I am sensitive to the needs of others, tolerant and accepting, yet willing to share my faith and encourage others to do the same. It is a valuable gift we have been given. But then I am not without sin. I recognize and accept that I am a sinner – that is the bad news.
Loving and worshipping the automobile will not make me an automobile, just a lover of cars. A passion for wealth, for sex, a dependency on opiates or other addictive products may make a person weak, feeling empty and dependent. Without moderation a loss of independence, a selfish need, can overwhelm and overcome mind, body and soul. The question that pops up can only be, how does one change, how are habits altered to improve health and mitigate one’s dependence and lack of control.
Political – Theocratic Islam
The difficulty with Islam may rest in the theocracies that dominate the landscape where Muslims rule. When a majority population is Islam, and led by a monarch whose counterpart is a Wahhabist, a President as selected first by a religious leader, a Khomeini, a Shiite, or a dictator, a person once chosen by the people but then consumed with retaining power, control and financial benefits possible, it becomes problematic for citizens to follow a path other than that laid out by the head of state. This system of life lacks objectivity and tolerance. Islam is like a deli that offers but one sandwich, turkey on pita bread. The head of State then holds Allah over everyone, Muhammad the example, and announces the superiority of Islam and requirements to be met without question. Not doing so, failing to follow Sharia Law, a law for only Muslims, leaves no alternative. A resident is then trapped, or caged, and must consider Islam solely, perish or be subject to the consideration of a merciful dictator. Under Sharia other ways of life, non-Islam, are to be eliminated. A moderate degree of acceptance exists for Christians, Jews to a lesser extent, but only if the superiority of Islam is recognized and accepted and money is paid for protection. It strains to exist side-by-side with another religion. There is no other religion, no independence, no love and no way out except for the culture of Islam. The truth of Islam is that it allows no debate, no questions and no criticism. It cannot take being tested. There is a lack of historical and architectural evidence, missing verses of Scripture, a mortal example for whom little was written until more than 200 years after his death. Fight trumps love as the means to encourage followers. It cannot operate successfully unless it is the declared religion of the environment in which it dwells and the overseer is a combination of military man and religious zealot. Saudi Arabia and Iran are prime examples. Finding a church or other center for religious worship other than a mosque for Islam is impossible.
In the culture of Islam public school students are taught only Islam. They are reminded of the superiority of Islam and hatred for those not of like mind. Study of other ways of life, other religions, is not permitted. The presence of other religions is looked at with disdain. Total adherence to the 5 pillars is law. If another religion is attacked rarely is the perpetrator punished. The greatest problem is political Islam. The same may hold true for political Christianity or political Judaism, however no Country other than Muslim Countries are theocratic. Where there is freedom, freedom of religion, you have a choice. Where there is political religion there is no choice.
When it comes to choice I say choose Christianity. Accept freedom and God’s love. Accept the salvation offered by Christ that makes man right with God. If not then choose to live among Christians, live in a secularly governed environment where the rule of law is for all the people, common law, not Sharia. Where the principles of equality, liberty, freedom, opportunity and love prevail you can find the path that enables the attainment of salvation, a life after life on earth. If you believe in an eternal life you want to know that your religion actually offers such and the requirements to meet the standards necessary. There are false promises made by many contrived religions. Beware, by being informed and making a cogent choice.
Life’s Center – Worship Him
God should be the center pole of your life. I refer to the biblical God, the creator of heaven and earth. Consider God’s greatness. He can be what he wants to be. He can be human. He was human, incarnate in Christ. There is no reason to fear God. God loves everyone unconditionally. Judgement is God’s alone and applied when one’s life on earth ends. God is humble. He asks those who are his followers to be humble too. God is truthful. He always keeps his word. Deceiver, the best at it, is not an attribute of God. God is eternal, faithful, powerful, personal and honorable. “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to everyone who take refuge in him.” – Proverbs 30:5 (NIV).
If permitted to compare the god of Islam, Allah, to God, the true God, you will be rewarded knowing there is hope and joy in the world when God, the loving Biblical God, fills you with His spirit (the Holy Spirit). He does not insist the rule of law be His rule, but asks humanity to reflect well upon the manual of life inspired by Him. The Bible is a guide and even then says it is desired that leaders be followers, putting God first in their lives, but it is not a condition required. We are to respect our leaders, our President, our Prime Minister, or other government officials that are responsible for our societal welfare, but they are not to remove the opportunity for you to have God at the center of your world.
Worship Him who loves you, knows your weaknesses, and came to earth to enable you to be right with God. He understands you, even the predicaments you may get yourself in, and he can help. Seek first the glory of the Lord.
Become a light to the world. God is the light to the world and worshipping him allows his rays to flow through you upon others.
We pray for France and those who perished or were harmed by the recent tragedy they experienced inspired by ISIS. A suicide bomber pulls the trigger, or the button to detonate his device, thinking he is a warrior for Allah and a life eternal awaits. But killing just to kill, to send a message, is not what God suggests. That dead person’s soul will be disappointed that what he/she worshipped, that which they became, was but a tragic reminder that truth is not in a battalion of killers using Muhammad as their example, Allah as their God and the Quran as their guide. It is not the good news. Even the Quran called the birth of Christ the Good News.
Grace and Peace.