‘No Other Gods Before Me’: Seven false gods of the present age | Eastern North Carolina Now

Seven false gods out there today


By Rev. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
June 21, 2024

The study of the fall of civilizations is believed to be a complex phenomenon considered by sociologists, historians, archaeologists, and other academics using a variety of theories and methodologies. These academics study economic, political, social, environmental, external, cyclical, and technological dynamics. By examining these various factors, scholars aim to understand the multifaceted processes that lead to the fall of civilizations. However, the Bible gives a much simpler answer for the reason cultures fail and end up on the ash heap of history.

Understanding the Fall of Civilizations

In his book, Idols of Destruction, Dr. Herbert Schlossberg contends:

“In place of these analogies [by academics] the biblical explanation of the end of societies uses the concept of judgment. It depicts them [civilizations] as either having submitted themselves to God or else having rebelled against him…[T]he Old Testament portrays Israel as having become an evil nation, fully deserving the judgment God meted to it. Its rebellion against God was accompanied by a turning to idols, and this idolatry brought the nation to its end. “With silver and gold,” said the prophet Hosea, “they made idols for their own destruction” (Hosea 8:4).

“Idolatry in its larger meaning is properly understood as any substitution of what is created for the Creator. People may worship nature, money, mankind, power, history, or social and political systems instead of the God who created them all. The New Testament writers, in particular, recognized that the relationship need not be explicitly one of cultic worship; a man can place anyone or anything at the top of his pyramid of values, and that is ultimately what he serves. The ultimacy of that service profoundly affects the way he lives. When the society around him also turns away from God to idols, it is an idolatrous society and therefore is heading for destruction.” [1]

A Biblical Perspective on Societal Decline

The first commandment in God’s Big Ten is, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). This commandment does not acknowledge the existence of other gods as real entities. Instead, it emphasizes the exclusive worship and devotion to the one true God. Nothing must ever come before him or be first in one’s heart or life. The Lord is to be loved supremely because he is Supreme and worthy of being supremely adored and obeyed.

John Calvin, the 16th-century theologian, and reformer, has said, “Man’s mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind, it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain.” [3]

This insightful observation rings especially true today. The Western world, long shaped by the precepts of Christianity, now finds itself in what many describe as a post-Christian era. This shift is evident in society’s increasing turn to modern idols, placing faith in various temporal and unreliable constructs rather than in the eternal truths of God. As the foundational values of Christianity are set aside, the guiding light that once led the West through centuries of profound moral and cultural development dims with each passing day. This situation challenges us to reexamine the sources of our deepest convictions and the true nature of our ultimate allegiance.

Idols of Modern Society

Consider these seven pervasive idols in today’s society, which people often prioritize over spiritual values. While these are indeed significant, others might suggest different influential idolatrous forces, depending on their perspective. However, these seven seem the most prominent in Western cultures, and other potential idols mentioned would likely fall under one of these categories.


Definition and Beliefs:
Humanism is an approach to life that focuses on human rationality, ethics, and justice, without reference to the divine. This worldview advocates for the preeminence of reason, scientific discovery, and a human-based morality. While most often humanism is secular, it may at times wed itself to religious beliefs, but the approach, nevertheless, is still man-centered, denying the Sovereignty and power of God.

Impact on Society:
Progressive Christianity is a solid example of the integration of humanism with religion, more specifically, the Christian religion. Generally speaking, Progressive Christians see the Bible as simply a collection of historical and moral writings rather than the inerrant and infallible Word of the Almighty. They typically prioritize contemporary human experience and rational thought when interpreting the Scriptures, downplaying and reinterpreting aspects of the Bible that proclaim God’s dominion and miraculous ability.

In contrast, a Biblical worldview stresses God’s authority and his incomparable capacity – nothing is impossible with God. It emphasizes the Bible as the unfailing standard for truth, against which all truth claims are to be measured. Although humanity is created in the image of God with inestimable value and dignity, mankind is fallen and broken on every level, spiritually dead in sin, and desperately in need of redemption through Christ. Human abilities are finite, while God’s are infinite. This perspective encourages individuals to reject relying on their own flawed reasoning, acknowledging that human intellect, no matter how high its quotient, is seriously defective because of sin, and therefore not the ultimate source for discerning truth. Instead, true human welfare and moral responsibility are rooted in a personal relationship with an omniscient God and adherence to his commandments, directed through prayer and the scriptures.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Destructive Example:
Perhaps the most destructive example of the humanist perspective is their advocacy for so-called reproductive rights through the practice of abortion. They base their arguments on principles of individual autonomy, bodily integrity, and gender equality, asserting that women should have the right to make decisions about their bodies without interference from the state or religious influences. Humanists emphasize the importance of abortion access for women’s health and socioeconomic stability, rejecting religious objections based on scriptural teachings. Instead, they believe moral decisions should be based entirely on reasoned considerations. This perspective, however, dismisses the sacred contentions that human life possesses intrinsic value from the moment of conception and disputes the assertion that God alone holds the keys to both life and death.

Eve was the first humanist. She believed the secular argument, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). In other words, she thought she could attain wisdom and carry out her life without God or true religion. Eve was the first to succumb to self-worship, and Adam quickly followed her in the same error. Every form of suffering known to mankind—physical, emotional, social, and spiritual—flowed from this initial act by Adam and Eve, who chose to trust in their own understanding rather than acknowledge God and his benevolent directives.

Unfortunately, humanism is a monstrous and deadly idol of today.

Schlossberg has written: “When once a man lavishes theological distinctions upon himself, he is less likely to suspect that there exists a standard of behavior more exacting than his own or that a righteous judge is observing his actions.” [2]


Origins and Development:
Historicism is the belief that history has a discernible direction and that events unfold according to specific patterns and logic. Historicism evolved over several centuries, positing that historical events, cultures, and values are products of their time, shaped by distinct contexts and processes.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries, profoundly influenced historicism with his philosophy of history. Hegel viewed history as a dialectical process, where the unfolding of the World Spirit (Geist) ultimately leads to the realization of human freedom.

Historicism continues to intensely influence various ideologies and movements today.

Marxism is fundamentally rooted in historicism through its theory of historical materialism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels proposed that history progresses through stages driven by class struggle, leading ultimately to a classless society. This view sees economic and social developments as following a predictable and inevitable path based on material conditions and class relations.

Although not a dominant ideology, Marxism continues to exert influence in the United States, particularly within academic, cultural, and political spheres. In universities, Marxist theory is prevalent in the humanities and social sciences curricula, where it informs critical approaches to literature, sociology, and cultural studies. Culturally, Marxist critiques of capitalism are reflected in various media, art, and literature. Politically, progressive movements and some left-leaning politicians today draw on Marxist ideas to advocate for economic justice, labor rights, and wealth redistribution. Debates about income inequality, labor rights, and economic policies are often framed within a Marxist critique of capitalist structures. Marxist thought remains a significant undercurrent in discussions about social and economic issues in the U.S.

From a biblical worldview, however, Marxism’s focus on class struggle and economic conditions as the primary drivers of societal change reflects a historicist perspective that sees history progressing through unstoppable stages. This contrasts with the Bible’s teaching that human nature is inherently sinful and that true transformation comes only through spiritual renewal in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17), rather than through social or economic restructuring. While Marxism, influenced by historicism, advocates for the abolition of private property and collective ownership, the Bible upholds the legitimacy of private property and emphasizes responsible stewardship and generosity (Exodus 20:15; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). Additionally, Marxism envisions a state-controlled economic and social system to achieve equality, which is a historicist belief in the deterministic progression of society. In contrast, the Bible supports limited government that maintains order and justice, warns against excessive power, and advocates for personal responsibility and charity (Romans 13:1-7; Micah 6:8). Finally, whereas Marxism’s materialistic focus on economic conditions aligns with historicist views, the Bible prioritizes spiritual wealth over material possessions, teaching that the pursuit of material goods can lead people away from God (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10).

LGBTQ Rights Movement:
The LGBTQ rights movement can also be seen through a historicist lens. The legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries, increased recognition of transgender rights, and broader societal acceptance of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are considered milestones in an inescapable historical progression toward inclusivity and human rights.

In 2020, Netflix featured a documentary titled “Miss Americana.” In the film, superstar Taylor Swift discussed her decision to speak out on LGBTQ issues, despite concerns from her management team and her father about potential backlash and risks to her singing career. Swift passionately insisted on showing support for the LGBTQ movement, expressing her desire to be “on the right side of history.”

When activists and supporters of LGBTQ rights use this oft-repeated phrase, they are drawing from the well of historicism, which suggests that history bends towards justice, equality, and greater freedom. This statement implies that supporting LGBTQ rights is part of this inevitable progress and that those who oppose these rights will be judged negatively by future generations, much like past opposition to civil rights or women’s suffrage. However, the Scriptures, despite contradictions by the false prophets (clergy) of Progressive Christianity, teach that God will judge unbridled sexual sin – sex outside the marriage of one man and one woman. Those who live sexually pure may suffer the perverted judgment of men, but ultimately, it is God who will judge the sexually immoral and reward the righteous.

Environmental Movement:
Even the current environmental movement incorporates historicist thinking by framing the climate change crisis as part of a historical trajectory of industrialization and environmental degradation. The shift towards green energy and other eco-friendly practices is seen as a necessary response to something that history has predestined. Nevertheless, there is considerable evidence that many objectives of the environmental movement’s agenda may do more harm than good.

Historicism is a wicked idol to which the masses bow down – an idol that discounts God’s providence in history. It is an affront to God’s control of the past, present, and future. As someone has said, “History is, His Story,” and this is most definitely the case. Nothing ever takes God by surprise. Each event in history is part and parcel of a divinely directed plan.

So, whether it’s Marxism on the move, LGBTQ activism, or the environmental crusade, the Bible teaches that true equality, justice, and stewardship of the earth’s resources must align with God’s unchanging Word, not deceptive narratives of historical inevitability. If people really want to “get on the right side of history,” they should get on God’s side. Those things that do not align with God’s revelation will be judged by him, as will the people who practice them.

God will have no rival over history. History belongs exclusively to Him. The Lord declares in the Scripture, “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is still to come” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

Evolutionary Science

Prevalence and Acceptance:
Evolutionary science, which speaks to humanity’s origins is highly prevalent and widely accepted nowadays. It is the very backbone of the biological sciences taught in universities and colleges worldwide. A tremendous amount of research funding is allocated to evolutionary studies, and numerous peer-reviewed journals regularly publish their conclusions in this field. Educational standards, such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the U.S., include evolution as a fundamental concept for K-12 education. Leading scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), endorse evolution as a crucial framework for understanding life on earth.

The late Dr. John N. Moore, once a natural science educator at Michigan State University, wrote about how widely evolutionary thinking has been adopted:

“Today, evolutionary thinking has been adopted without question in every major discipline of human knowledge. This condition is the reverse of the ‘intellectual climate’ when Charles Darwin was preparing for his famous voyage around the world on the H.M.S. Beagle, which began in 1831. At that time the predominant belief regarding origins was in favor of special creation.

“The modern synthetic ‘theory’ of evolution (a modification of Neo-Darwinism, which in turn was a modification of Darwinism) has been unquestionably adopted in economics, psychology, education, theology, philosophy, American history, political science, literature, and science. The enormity of this ‘capture’ of the minds of such a wide range of intellectuals is seen as even more colossal when a candid inspection reveals the fact that mega evolution (amoeba to man) is without any observational foundation.” [4]

Evolution’s Impact:
In the last chapter of his book, Questions and Answers on Creation/Evolution, Moore precedes to show how evolution has deeply impacted every major discipline of knowledge he mentioned. Moore goes on to explain why the question of origins is so important. He says:

“Fundamentally, the issue involved in the creation-evolution controversy is a spiritual question. Is the individual in right relation with God the Creator – with Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior? For if Jesus Christ is not known personally as Lord, Master, and Creator of all things, then evolution, as amoeba to man, is the only basic substitute.

“Science began as an intellectual pursuit as a result of those men like Kepler, Newton, Clerk-Maxwell, and others who believed in God, the Creator.

“If humankind is not a special creation of God, then an animal origin is the only logical alternative. Nowhere does Scripture contain even a hint that God chose some anthropoid, some near man, and breathed the breath of life into it. With God all things are possible, and he breathed the breath of life into the dust of the earth. Naturalistically oriented atheists will not have God, so they must believe that humankind ‘evolved.” [5]

In other words, Moore rightly contends that atheism logically follows from the findings and advocacy of evolutionary science.

Theistic Evolution?
Some argue against this claim, pointing out that many people today identify as theistic evolutionists. Theistic evolutionists believe that God used evolutionary processes to bring the universe, the earth, and various life forms into existence.

Several years ago, a reporter from Seed Magazine read an article I wrote about evolution and requested an interview. During the interview, she asked how a good Christian should respond if evolution were proven true, as many scientists insist it is. [6]

I responded that it is impossible and will remain impossible to scientifically prove the theory of evolution, regardless of how many scientists claim otherwise. Scientists who assert that evolution has been scientifically proven are spreading false teachings. Evolution operates too slowly to be measured within a human timeframe. Observing the transmutation of one organism into a higher form would presumably take millions of years, making it beyond the realm of empirical science. Although there is evidence of small variations within species today, there is no way to conclusively prove that these changes can eventually lead to different and higher kinds.

Furthermore, I told her that evolution poses an insurmountable difficulty for any Christian serious about their faith. Evolution is neither scientific by strict definition nor is it good theology. The God of the Bible is not a God of chance, confusion, random combinations, natural selection, and survival of the fittest—core doctrines of evolution. God is sovereign over all matters of His creation. Evolution, by definition, denies this sovereignty and repudiates the full scope of God’s work in Jesus Christ, from creation to consummation. Clergy and church leaders who fail to recognize this end up presenting a gospel of randomness and uncertainty. By embracing evolution as part of their faith, they inadvertently lead people away from a God of creative purpose to a god of chance.

Evolution’s Harms:
Evolutionary science might be the most beloved god of modern times. It promises a better understanding of humanity but bitterly betrays its followers. By promoting a naturalistic worldview that excludes God, evolution contributes to moral relativism, which undermines humanity’s ability to experience genuine unity. Without belief in divine creation, even the sanctity of human life is weakened. If humans are merely products of random processes and natural selection, rather than beings uniquely created in the image of God with inherent dignity and purpose, then what becomes the basis of human worth and ethical standards? Is it simply one animal’s thinking over others? God help us if that is the case!

Social concepts born out of evolutionary science have unquestionably been associated with harmful ideologies such as social Darwinism, which applies the concept of “survival of the fittest” to human societies, justifying eugenics, racism, and inequality.

The Scripture says, “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So, they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen” (Romans 1:25).

What a cruel and heartless god is the god of evolutionary science.

This article will continue in the following post.


[1] Herbert Schlossberg, Idols of Destruction (Nashville, Camden, New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983), 6.
[2] Ibid. 40
[3] Brainy Quote, “John Calvin Quotes,” BrainyQuote, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_calvin_182879 (accessed June 20, 2024).
[4] John N. Moore, Questions and Answers on Creation/Evolution (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), 82.
[5] Ibid. 91-92
[6] Mark Creech, “Seed Magazine Writes About ‘The Clergy Letter Project,” Crosswalk, April 4, 2006, https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/seed-magazine-writes-about-the-clergy-letter-project-1386980.html (accessed June 21, 2024).

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Big Bob said:
( July 11th, 2024 @ 10:44 am )
I would add preachers living the high life. Fancy homes, private jets, hot girls...you name it.

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