Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Blasphemy and Idolatry

Image It is obvious that our country has undergone substantial and fundamental changes in the 236 years since our forefathers declared independence from English rule. A country founded upon the promise of religious freedom has become decidedly secular. Traditional moral standards have been replaced by a situational ethic, and what was once scorned is now championed. While there is obvious concern about our present economic and debt problems, few are interested in discussing moral issues.

The Democrat Party’s latest political platform, as penned by party leadership, removed all references to God. When criticized, the references were returned to the document, but only after strong opposition and sustained booing during the voice vote at their convention.

Recent reports of unrest in the Republican party indicate that mainstream leadership is concerned about the effect that social conservatism is having on electability. Some leaders in the party desire that socially conservative positions (pro-life and pro-marriage positions, for example), be removed or deemphasized. They believe them to be injurious to the party as a whole.

It is obvious that the nation as a whole has become more antagonistic toward the expression of Christian faith. It has become more profane, and public statements that are blasphemous and idolatrous are commonly made, with little criticism, and no repercussions.

Some examples:

Glenn Beck, a conservative radio host and well known social commentator was upset that Mitt Romney (who he supported) lost the election. In his comments following the election, he expressed his displeasure with God in profane terms. He was upset that his prayers for victory were not answered. Regardless of his emotional distress, the language was vulgar and blasphemous, and would have been shocking to previous generations. In our day, however, little was said (except by the few who remain sensitive to such inappropriate language, and are offended at such sentiments being expressed toward the Almighty).

Another disturbing trend is the cult of personality that surrounds the President. Back in June of 2009, an editor at Newsweek Magazine, Evan Thomas, said, “In a way Obama is standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of god. He’s going to bring all different sides together.” Some might say that this is just hyperbole, but the quote is eerily similar to the people’s adoration of Herod, in Acts 12:21-22, “So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’”

On November 8, 2012 at the BET Soul Train Awards, comedian Jamie Foxx, an Obama supporter, said, “It’s like church over here. It’s like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama.” These words would have ruined a career in generations past, but they were widely applauded by the audience on this occasion. It is interesting that Obama has not publicly (that I can find) distanced himself from Foxx’s words. While he is not responsible for what others say, neither was Herod. And yet, we are told, “Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him [Herod], because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died” (vs. 23). Consider the response of Paul and Barnabas when the people of Lystra reacted to a miracle by proclaiming, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”, and tried to offer sacrifices to them. Luke wrote, “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them” (Acts 14:11, 14-15).

Attacks on God and Faith are myriad in our time, and our reaction to them is ridiculed and demeaned. We are “too sensitive”, have “no sense of humor” and are “overreacting” in the minds of many. In the face of such criticism we must continue to “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Now, as always, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).