2014-08-17 - The First Commandment
Polytheism that We Regularly Encounter Today
Realize that even today the practice of polytheism still exists around the world. This is true, even in this society (the US). We find this especially in the practices of some of the Eastern religions. Mormonism is polytheistic, in that it teaches it is possible to become a god, and that God was once a man as we are.
Some cults, such as Baha'i, are even more subtle. They teach you can follow their tenets without violating biblical teachings. They teach a Christ who doesn't exist, and so one can end up following another god, without necessarily realizing it. Actually the current movie "Son of God" is guilty of the same subtle lie, presenting another Christ.
Without intent, one of the main churches within Christendom can promote polytheism, through a practice of saint worship. So you can see that the problem may be more common than we realize.
Stuart Brisco points out that there is another way to worship other gods. He described how the Canaanites confused the acts of nature with acts of gods, and so developed a host of gods. His concern is that we do the same thing, but from a slightly different angle.
"What does this have to do with us? A lot. We also live in a very sophisticated pagan culture. Like the Israelites, we are called to be the people of God in the midst of a culture that does not honor him. Living in our sophisticated, rational, skilled, technological society, we too forget the Lord. We find it so easy to develop a nominal attachment to him, pushing him more and more into the background, as we follow the gods of society. It doesn't take long, before he no longer holds the number-one spot." 2
But for us, if we follow the teachings of Christ
"And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37 ESV).
there is no danger that we will worship other gods.
This works the same way with a husband or wife. If they love their spouse as Christ said, regarding the Father, there is no way they could possibly become unfaithful. And here, regarding the First Commandment, it is unfaithfulness towards Himself that the Lord is warning against. There is a basic underlying principle here: A person can only wholeheartedly love one person or thing. In the proper scheme of things, the Lord must come before all else.
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