Here in “the land of the free and home of the brave”, three things are guaranteed to happen each and every August:
- Tens of thousands of American baby boys and girls will be “legally” murdered in American police/military protected child mass murder and dismemberment facilities operating openly (and for a profit) in the name of “freedom” and “liberty” all across the fruited plane.
- Tens of thousands of American “conservative Christian” politicians will be loudly and proudly campaign on, among other things, being “pro-life” in some vague, abstract sense that never seems to get close to actually abolishing abortion…all while religiously refusing to call abortion murder and advocate legislation accordingly.
- NFL preseason football will begin, providing tens of millions of Americans with the distracting activity that they love and look forward to most on Sundays, allowing them to once again pour their passion and shape their identity in accordance with their favorite team while dutifully avoiding pouring their passion, time, and treasure into things like their home, family, and children’s education.
While these have been three norms for American culture for many decades now, last year saw a significant addition to the mix in the form of NFL players protesting blind and/or total allegiance to the flag. While it seems reasonable to suspect most of these players’ reasons for such protests as being somewhere between weak and downright crazy, the fact of the protests has given us an important opportunity to consider things like the socialist-written pledge of allegiance and the concept of blind devotion to any flag, including (and perhaps especially) the one that we adore most.
The subject of idolatry is not something we’re encouraged to notice (much less carefully consider) in American culture, and for many understandable reasons, chief among them that American culture as it (temporarily) stands is quite literally built on idolatry, with the highest and most prevalent expression of it being American idolatry of America itself.
As we ramp up for this year’s Round 2 of the great Clash of Idols displayed by 2018’s NFL vs. America competition, it seems like a good time to revisit some of the analysis that we shared last year as Round 1 got underway.
Last September in When Idols Collide: What is God showing us by pitting two American idols against one another?, we addressed the battle between these two titanic idols this way:
“While many of the conversations and commentaries supposedly aimed at examining the ongoing Patriotism vs The NFL drama are loaded with silliness and distract from far more meaningful points than they illuminate, there’s still much gold to be mined here. There are many worthwhile points to notice and questions to consider.
Questions like, “What is God showing us by pitting these two idols against one another?”
But before we can even ask, much less productively contemplate such an important question, we have to recognize the two idols in question for who and what they are.
Idol #1 is the NFL, also known as American professional football. We can also think of Idol #1 in this context as the modern American obsession with pro sports in general.
Idol #2 is the America Idol itself, or the veneration/adoration of the State, also known as Statism. This is the very religious worldview that we’ve been immersed in for generations of State-run children’s education and Corporate-controlled pop-culture, so the fact that America itself is the greatest idol in America shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. (For more on this, please read Temples of the State: The VERY Religious Mission of American Public Schools.)
So what is God showing us – whether we want to see it or not – by pitting these two idols against one another?
Here’s a handful of suggestions for your consideration:
1. God is showing us that the Political Right, like the Political Left, is more than happy to manipulate people through emotion in order to bypass and avoid critical thought. By painting all who might not stand and sing The Star Spangled Banner on cue like a trained chimp as ungrateful, Leftist, selfish punks who hate America, hate the police, and hate the military, the Political Right is mimicking the “feelings over facts”/”let’s shame the opposition into silence so that we don’t have to actually deal with their arguments” approach that they claim to find so reprehensible when practiced by the Political Left. This is rank hypocrisy and yet another sign that, at the end of the day and where the rubber meets the road, the Pagan Political Right and Pagan Political Left are two wings of the same dragon standing on the same “ends justify the means” foundation of Pagan pragmatism.
2. God is showing us that “We the People” are so drenched in pro-Statist political propaganda that we don’t even recognize it as political propaganda (which makes it the most effective sort of propaganda, of course). As we noted earlier this week in Singing The National Anthem *IS* A Political Statement:
“Of all the mind-blowingly stupid ideas being tossed around during The Great American National Anthem Crisis of 2017, one of the more revealing nuggets of idiocy is the oft-repeated contention that those who are protesting by not singing the national anthem before a football game “shouldn’t mix sports with politics”. They “shouldn’t use that time to make a political statement”. Politics, so these emotional (as opposed to thoughtful) critics say, should be kept out of sporting events. Political statements shouldn’t be made on such “neutral” grounds as a football field, baseball diamond, or basketball court.
Then, incredibly, the same people making these sorts of “arguments” try to bring it all together to somehow mean that everyone should stand and sing the national anthem before these games.
We should all be compelled to “respect America” enough to do that. Without thought and without question.
Because singing the national anthem isn’t making a political statement?!
Singing the national anthem is just “being a good American”?
Singing the national anthem is just “respecting America”?
How thoroughly programmed a drone must one be in order to
think process reality this way?
How completely and successfully brainwashed by the State (and its Corporate sponsors) must a person be in order to think that not singing the national anthem is making a political statement, but singing it is not?
Once again, at this point one feels compelled to say: Well done, public schools!”
3. God is showing us that , after generations of State-managed “education” and programming of all sorts, “We the People” on both sides of the political spectrum and everywhere in between tend to want to stifle true freedom and replace critical thought with feelings and emotion. This is a biggie. The increasing trend on both the Right and Left toward suppressing/dismissing/silencing critical thoughts and arguments by making emotional appeals is one of the telltale signs that we are a very weak, lazy, and easily manipulated people. Of course, we’re still very proud and tend to have sky high self-esteem, which only amplifies the problem. [insert “U! S! A!” chant here]
4. God is showing us that idolatry breeds idolatry. Once we reject Christ as actual Lord over our actual lives in every actual area, we put idols in those areas to fill the roles that should be reserved for Him. There are no vacuums. And once those idols are in place, they encourage the proliferation of more and more idols, often enabling and encouraging one another along the way (again, think: The NFL’s long running promotion of and profit from The America Idol).
5. God is showing us that he has a sense of humor as He judges America. The irony of such a massive purveyor and promoter of American Statism as the NFL now finding itself in pitched battle with the beast it’s been feeding (and profiting from) for so long is delicious. To see two mutually enabling and adoring pals like the NFL and the America Idol now go all King Kong vs. Godzilla on one another is pretty rich and it fits in with the kind of humorous (yet deadly serious) tone set by God towards rebel nations in Psalm 2, which we examined in Want to see America in Scripture? Try Psalm 2.:
“Every now and again someone somewhere tries to “find” America in Scripture.
It’s in this context that I offer for your consideration…
Verse 1: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
Why do “We the People” rage against Christ as King? Why do we despise and reject even the thought of Him ruling over us in practice and in detail?
Why, rather than repent and submit to Him, do we instead proudly pursue and relentlessly defend approaches to law and liberty that enable “legal” porn, “legal” child sacrifice, “legal” casinos with “legal” strip clubs, “legal” divorce on demand, “legal” “gay marriage”, “legal” adultery-based businesses like Ashley Madison, and, of course, “legally” protected mosques, witches’ covens and satanic temples where the open worship of all manner of false gods – including Satan himself – is “legal” and even cherished as a “great American virtue” held high for the world to emulate?
Talk about vanity…and plotting a socio-political course in vain…
Verses 2-3: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
From every angle and at every opportunity, the Pagan Political Left and Pagan Political Right wings of the progressive movement conspire to eviscerate true liberty, freedom, family, marriage, and life as personally embodied, defined, and sustained by God the Son, King Jesus. They strive to intimidate, control, and enslave God’s people through all manner of anti-Christ approaches to politics, law, economics, business, civil government, and
pretty much everything else.
Verse 4: He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
The reigning King and Author of all creation laughs at these pathetic, feeble attempts by created things to deny their Creator. He purposefully uses even their pouty, incoherent rebellion to demonstrate His majesty, power and unshakable sovereignty over every bit of His creation. Even these would-be gods who plot against Him are His tools for His glory according to His purposes on His schedule…however much they may imagine or pretend to believe otherwise.
Verses 5 and 6: Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
. . . And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The fact of Christ’s present and complete authority over all things – including law, economics, business, and civil government – is indeed a terrifying prospect, most especially for those who love to claim Him with their lips while denying Him in practice by refusing to submit to the crystal clarity of His Word.
Sound familiar, ‘Merica?
Verses 7 and 8: I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
Does anyone really think that the Son forgot to ask?
Does anyone really think that the Father is not even now delivering to the Son the nations of the earth as His possessions?
Verse 9: You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Those who persist in refusing to obey Christ here and now in His creation will be broken. By Him.
His personal Nature defines and sustains all of His creation. So it is that all who persist in rebelling against His Nature will be purged from His creation.
Verse 10: Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Yes, this includes you, American Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, Governors, Mayors, County Commissioners, and Sheriffs.
You are being warned.
You are being reminded.
You are being commanded to submit to your King…
Verse 11: Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
The Author, Definer and Sustainer of all things, including law, civil government, politics, and all legitimate offices therein, commands your obedience.
Submit to Him…or suffer the inevitable consequences…
Verse 12: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Kiss the Son, America, lest He continue to pour out His wrath upon you until there is nothing left of you.
Take refuge in Him.
Repent of all of your proud rebellion.
Beg for His forgiveness and salvation!
Hold nothing back.
Repent of the “legal” porn, “legal” child sacrifice, “legal” casinos with “legal” strip clubs, “legal” divorce on demand, “legal” “gay marriage”, “legal” adultery-based businesses like Ashley Madison, and “legally” protected mosques, witches’ covens and satanic temples.
Kiss the Son and submit to His perfect, loving and unbreakable authority…before He wipes you from the face of His earth.”
So what is God teaching us by pitting The America Idol and The NFL Idol against one another?
Both idols relentlessly pitch pride.
Both idols relentlessly dismiss repentance and submission to Christ as King in practice.
And both idols are being ground under the heel of the God they despise.
While He laughs.”
With that context established for last year, here are some questions for your consideration here and now in August of 2018:
Since Round 1 of the Clash of the Idols, has American culture moved (or even inched) toward repentance for its idolatry?
Or is America still a culture defined by pride rather than repentance, as it was in 2017?
Do Americans seem any closer to acknowledging that America might in and of itself be an idol in their lives? Do they even want to consider the possibility, or is the mere suggestion of the concept enough to send most of them into reflexive, dismissive anger or suspicion toward those who would challenge them to address the concept?
More pointedly, do professing Christians in America seem more or less likely to even want to test the Constitution for legitimacy in light of Scripture? Or are professing Christians in America still much more inclined to view the Constitution as their gold standard for law and civil government on earth rather than the Bible?
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Pastors need to repent of not preaching the full counsel of God's Word for every part of life and culture, while congregations need to repent of wanting their itchy little eardrums tickled every Sunday morning with skim milk preaching.