Spotting the gods of this age

It’s extremely difficult to point out when the gods of this age are really closer to us as believers than we like to admit. As a matter of fact, this one is going to get a LOT of disagreement. So, here we go.

The three big behemoth gorilla gods in the room of the American culture (and all too close to the American Church) are money, sex, and power. As believers, we are susceptible to all three. There are more gods of this culture, but those are the gorillas.

It’s easy to point them out in culture. Planned Parenthood feigning a huge fit last year over Susan G. Kommen foundation’s attempt to stop giving them a paltry sum of money for breast cancer screening is a great example. Try to poke the bear of sex and you get slapped back into your corner in a hurry.

But this one is about the church. Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation yesterday and before anyone had fully read it (like politicians reading the Affordable Care Act), there was vehement reaction… from evangelicals. Specifically, economic conservative evangelicals. The headlines? Things like, “The Pope is a Communist,” or “The Pope Calls for the Dismantling of Capitalism,” etc.

The one thing that stood out as economic policy (not theological thought) was attacked by conservative Christians. Capitalism is NOT theological truth. Neither is socialism. And what the pope said was far more than a few paragraphs dedicated to the question of just how far are we willing to allow unfettered capitalism to go?

There were so many wonderful pages about the truth of the gospel, the need for repentance, the need for mission, the task of changing the papacy and being more open to ideas… so many good things… but the gorilla god of money was attacked, so it decided to rouse up… conservative Christians. It’s a warning for me as well. I get stuck on pet ideas and anything that seems to attack it gets slapped down. I have to be more careful.

My invitation is to download and read the entire document. I am working my way through it and find it refreshing.

Agree or disagree with the pope on a list of things: veneration of Mary, papal infallibility, etc., I find this pope refreshing.

My prayer is we just keep things a bit more open in our minds and not allow the gods of this age to use us for their dirty work!

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