OK, Gang, jokes are over. No refunds.
I had been pondering some things for a while and trying to decide how to assemble them into something useful to present to you, the viewing audience. Finally, a discussion that I heard on a podcast brought it all together for me. I love it when a thought comes together.
Let's face it, instead of getting to know the real God, he gets rebuilt:
- "New Age" philosophies blending science fiction, fantasy, sentiment, wishful thinking and a bit of the Bible to make them sound good
- Various Reverend Doctor Feelgood-types telling us that the Bible does not mean what it says, your best life is here and now with riches and comfort, never mind the hereafter, and never mind that true believers have been persecuted and died for their faith; nonsense things like The Shack make an image of God who is not deserving of awesome reverence
- Eastern philosophies, with or without "New Age" add-ons
- Anti-God philosophies where there is no God, or we cannot know him, so we can do whatever we want, making ourselves into our own little godlings, accountable to no-one but ourselves
- Poorly-constructed, on-the-fly opinions: "Well, I think God is just a touchie-feelie love dude and wouldn't punish anyone for 'sin', and Jesus is just one way to Heaven. Deepak and Oprah said so!"
Now, the temples of Baal were then occupied by priestesses who were known as sacred prostitutes. The Hebrew in Hosea 4:14 even calls them by the root word of "holy women." They actually were considered to be holy women because Baal was believed to be active in the sexual act itself and so worship then became a sexual act with a temple prostitute. To have intercourse, then, with a temple prostitute was to be united in Dower with Baal, a very consummate act of worship.
Now, that is the way man invents his gods, to accommodate his own vile sinfulness. Inevitably, people, now get this, when men invent gods, those gods will lead men into immorality because they will be gods that reflect the sinfulness of the men who invented them. That is exactly why in Romans chapter 1 you have the fact that when they knew not God, or when they knew God they glorified Him not as God, they changed the glory of God into an image, they made their own idols and immediately in verse 24 you read this: "Wherefore God also let them go into uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves."
In other words, you have the rejection of the true God in verse 21, you have the establishment of the false gods in verse 22 and 23, and you have the consequent immorality in verse 24. And it goes all the way down to verse 32. It talks about God giving them up to vile affections. It talks about homosexuality. It talks about a burning in lust one toward another. It talks about, unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maligning, whispers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful and so forth. And all of those are simply representations of the kind of worship that man himself builds. And when man does that it says that he not only does them but has pleasure in them that do them.
Idolatry is always an abandonment to an immoral standard.