“Why did our culture largely abandon God as its Hope? I believe it was because our
religious communities have been and continue to be filled with these false gods. Making an idol out of doctrinal accuracy, ministry success, or moral rectitude leads to constant internal conflict, arrogance and self-righteousness, and oppression of those whose views differ. These toxic effects of religious idolatry have led to widespread disaffection with religion in general and Christianity in particular.” (Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods)
Do you agree with Keller? Is what he says, true?
What Keller is saying is this: If you wonder why your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and Western culture at large have stopped trusting in God, it’s because the church did first. Keller suggests we have found good things, like doctrine, purity, and effective ministry and made them the ultimate thing. In doing so, we have replaced God with these idols.
When we make anything other than God our god, then we take on the character of that idol. At times it can lead to an arrogance or judgmentalism which is at odds with the character of God. Yet, Keller’s observation is not all bad news. If he is right, then could it be that our culture is not so much rejecting us or Jesus, as maybe the false idols we have inadvertently given ourselves over to?
What would happen if rather than be defensive, we reoriented our gaze more and more to Jesus? What if the moment we recognised that an idol had replaced Jesus as the centre of our lives, we repented and placed Jesus back in the centre of our lives. What would happen if we make sure that in all areas of our lives that we trusted in Jesus? If we simply pursued Jesus again as our hope, our lives might once again be the invitation to our culture to place their hope in Him.