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.