I have a friend who is in a Spiritual crisis, but she cannot see it. I tried — as gently as I knew how — to help her see it. In return, my friend denied that they are in crisis and viciously attacked me. My friend said that my attempt to show they were in a Spiritual crisis proved that I was not their friend. My friend even said I was telling them they are not a Christian. I did not want to make matters worse, so I left my friend to themself, but I have been reflecting on this exchange ever since. It’s been a couple weeks now, and what I have learned is that my friend is not alone. In fact, a majority in the Western world are in the exact same Spiritual crisis as my friend, and they are just as blind. The crisis of which I speak is Caesar worship: or, in modern terms, the worship of man in the form of government.
Scripture repeatedly pleads with us to rely on and trust in God to provide for our needs but, being human, we repeatedly try to take things into our own hands. We either try to manipulate God by forcing His hand to act in our behalf, or we try to take charge of things, ourselves. This act can take many forms, but all of them amount to nothing more than replacing the One True God with ourselves. When we create new gods, we are worshiping the reflection of ourselves in these false idols. This can also take many forms. It can happen in the form of molten idols or graven images as in Biblical times, or we can create gods out of our sports, our electronic devices and even the things we build as a society, such as our cities. Today, government is one of the largest and fastest growing ways we worship ourselves — man.
Government is a human creation. Thus, if we worship it, we worship ourselves. Worship is a feeling of respect and adoration toward a deity, or the act of expressing the same. This is why many people cannot see that they worship false gods. They say and even believe they worship the One True God, but their actions reveal where their true allegiance and dependence lies. IN the Gospels, we are told of the rich young man who asks Jesus what he lacks to be perfect, and Jesus tells the young man to sell all he owns and follow Christ. The rich young man is saddened because he cannot do what Jesus asks of him, so the young man leaves. Jesus then explains that the young man actually worshiped his money. This is where Christ tells us we cannot serve two masters. The problem is that we are good at fooling ourselves and we cannot see that we are the young man in this story. My friend is a perfect illustration of how this blindness has over come our culture.
My friend is having a difficult time finding a job they like. Since I have known this person, they have quit two jobs because they did not like the boss or work environment. Now my friend is upset because they have not been chosen for or able to interview for the jobs they want. My friend has said the words “why bother?” and asked why God had not taken care of them. My friend has claimed that ‘the system’ is against them, and that others are against them. Now my friend wants the government to force others to not only give them a job, but to make sure they are paid enough to live the life my friend wants to live and to make sure my friend does not feel any stress in the work place. In short, my friend wants others to provide for them, and is looking to government to force others to do my friend’s will.
Though my friend does not see it, this is a Spiritual crisis. First, my friend forgets that God has provided for them — twice! God says He will provide, but He never promises to make us comfortable in that provision. My friend shows no gratitude for the two jobs gave to them and they threw away because they felt their boss ‘disrespected’ them. Spiritually, my friend has done the same thing the Jews did when they dismissed Jesus. They were looking for a political warrior to be their Messiah, so when Jesus showed up as a lowly, suffering servant, they rejected Him. My friend has been begging God to provide, yet, every time God provides, my friend throws God’s provision away because they do not want what God gave them. Paul tells us we are to eat what God provides and be happy with it. My friend knows these Scriptures, but they reject God’s Word. This is a Spiritual crisis.
On top of this, my friend has not turned to God to see them through their latest rejection of the Lord. Instead, my friend is looking to government to provide for them. They want government to force people to make special provision for them. My friend wants government to force people to hire them. My friend wants government to force people to pay them what they think they deserve so they can live the life they wish to live. In short, my friend is looking to government to provide: they are trusting in and relying on government — not God! “Trusting and relying in” is how the Bible defines worship. This means my friend is worshiping government, and since government is a reflection of man’s works, my friend is ultimately worshiping man. This is a Spiritual crisis!
Sadly, my friend is not alone. Many of us are blind to our own worship of ourselves. If we rely on government, we worship ourselves through government. But we can worship ourselves in many ways, and some of them may shock us. Those who point to America’s heritage and claim we should be ‘rugged individuals’ are saying we should trust in and rely on ourselves. This is self-worship in a pure form, almost to the point of being the man of lawlessness who says in his own heart that he is god and attempt to take the seat of the One True God. We can see this reflected in the words of secular humanists like John Dewey, who flat-out said man is his own god; or Joseph Smith who claimed men can become gods. Others may trust and rely in things they have built, such as their business. It does not matter: if we trust and rely in anything other than the One True God, we are worshiping a false god. When that false god is a reflection of man or man’s works, then we are that false god — man. This is the same sin Satan committed when he rebelled. So I ask you: how can this not be a Spiritual crisis? And sine so many of us in America and the West are blind to our own guilt, how can it not be a Spiritual crisis on a national and even cultural/global level?
Jesus openly wondered whether or not He would find faith when He returns. I fear He will find faith alright: just faith in everything and anything but Him!